* John, a former director of an IT consultancy
My first experience with electrosensitivity was seven years ago, while working very near a satellite-communications base station. I worked in that job for 11 months, and had concentration and short-term memory problems for most of that time. About three years ago, I installed wireless networking in my home and office. So, for 18 months, I had near-continuous exposure to wireless networking, laptops, computers, and DECT [digital enhanced cordless telecommunication] and mobile phones.
It was then that both I and my close colleagues noticed a significant effect on my work capability – poor concentration/focus, poor short-term memory, headaches. I also noticed I could tell when the wireless network was on because of sensation in the skin of my face. So I switched off all of the wireless equipment, and started to use a Q-Link pendant, following a recommendation.
Both of these changes made an improvement, but I was still having problems. I moved house to a semi-rural location, but my issues with concentration/motivation/memory still gave me problems. For example, once a week, I used to have to go to the Institute of Directors in London for regular weekly meetings. But every time I went, my symptoms got significantly worse, and those days were a complete write-off for me. I discovered they had wireless broadband in the building.
I had to resign from my firm.
* Jason, a 33-year-old heavy mobile-phone user, who first developed ES symptoms about seven years ago
I get tingling in my forehead and my head starts to burn. Then, if I don’t get away from the source that is affecting me, the left-hand side of my head can go numb and feel like it’s burning up inside. Finally, I get extremely lethargic and go in a zombie-like state. I feel the need to lie down and sleep, but sleep does not refresh. I can feel I am going to collapse at any time.
My short-term memory is now terrible. I also get very confused, and have difficulty making decisions and become very disorientated.
I have seen numerous doctors, but no one has offered any explanation or help. I have had to move house three times in the last two years, and every home I live in I have had to have completely rewired-in screened mains cables to eliminate electrical fields. Also, I can no longer drive or use any public transport due to the high magnetic fields present in vehicles and from people using mobile phones. In the last 12 months, I have also become sensitive to certain chemicals, showing early signs of MCS [multiple chemical sensitivity], and the symptoms are virtually the same as I get from electricity.
I am dictating this as I can no longer write or touch paper. We can’t have visitors anymore because I can smell washing powder on their clothes. I have to sit in the gloom as my eyes have become sensitive to sunlight.