Martin Röösli of ICNIRP: Brief comments on EHS

Yesterday, I have published a very brief blog post about my opinions presented in twitter-discussion on EHS with Martin Röösli and Frank de Vocht. Today, Martin Röösli has submitted comment that I consider as very significant input into the EHS-debate. Thus, I decided to publish Martin Röösli’s comment as a stand-alone guest blog, making sure readers will not miss it.

I need to state that I agree with many of Martin’s opinions. Studying EHS, in reliable way, is certainly difficult scientifically and costly. However, it feels very refreshing that scientist who is a member of the Main Commission of ICNIRP has this very open view on EHS and is willing to support the idea that further research on EHS is scientifically justified and should be performed not only using psychology provocation tests but also using tests examining molecular level EHS physiology.

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Brief Comment on EHS by Martin Röösli

Just to make my point of view also visible. I support novel approaches for EHS research and the search for biomarker. I agree that acute provocation study are not the solution for effects from long term exposure. Nevertheless, there are a few facts, that need to be acknowledged.
  1. A substantial proportion of EHS individuals reports to react within minutes to EMF exposure in their daily life (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1438463904702746?via%3Dihub)
  2. For this phenomenon double blind blind crossover trials (provocation studies) applying well controlled exposure conditions is the method of choice.
  3. If one is concerned about the validity of the response (from stress and worries), a positive control can be applied, e.g. an open provocation, in which study participants are informed about the presence of EMF. Several studies documented that in open provocation participants reacted and thus the response are valid. However, in the same test they did not react if exposure was blinded.
  4. Alternatively individualized testing is a very clever way to deal with these validity problems (see https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016041201630931X)
  5. From all these trials it is quite clear, that acute reaction to EMF below regulatory limit within minutes has not been documented so far (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12940-019-0519-x). And for this question provocation studies are the gold standard.
  6. It is also clear that diagnosis and identification of real EHS (i.e. reaction of EMF with unknown latency and induction time) is complex because the reported symptom pattern is heterogeneous. There is no method established so far for this.
  7. To search for biomarkers and apply efficient screening technology, as proposed by Dariusz, still needs the identification of EHS individuals, in order to compare the biomarker of EHS with control persons. Thus, how would you select the cases, to be sure that they react to EMF? If you cannot prove that, any subsequent molecular analyses will not be informative in terms of reaction to EMF exposure. Rather you may see molecular differences between different type of personalities, etc. And then you are back into psychological research again.
  8. If a specific and sensitive biomarker can be identified, the EHS research would be much more efficient. All attempts in this direction have failed so far.

11 thoughts on “Martin Röösli of ICNIRP: Brief comments on EHS

  1. Pingback: EHS-dagen: Topforskere er enige om nye måder at udforske den omstridte lidelse – Tabt Tråd

  2. DariuszTo call EHS a Disease is an insult to people who have been made to suffer this way,  The telco’s put up transmitters next to peoples homes, bombard them 365,  24/7 with high levels of radiation and then tel them they must have something wrong with them because their bodies don’t like the external electrical stimuli.
    The report that Henrik put on your Blog was mine, the one thing not on that report is my personal result which was  86% for all tests, done correctly provocation studies do work, trusting the researchers is the problem, as demonstrated by my report.

  3. Pingback: EHS debate on BRHP: Denis Henshaw responds to Martin Röösli | BRHP – Between a Rock and a Hard Place

  4. Dariusz, I think it is important that there is more bio-medical community involvement on this issue. The research on EHS today is dominated by psychologists, many of whom are influenced/funded by industry – especially in Australia, This includes the new chair of ICNIRP.
    When one has symptoms that impairs health and well being, whom does one go an see? A medical doctor or a psychologist? A medical doctor is qualified to make a health diagnosis. If a medical doctor feels that after excluding all other possibilities it is a mental issue, they can direct the patient for psychological assessment. Of course, when one reviews research papers in the ORSAA database one finds that studies performed by bio-medically qualified researchers predominately find a link between exposure and symptoms. While those performed by psychologist do not – with the Nocebo effect being hypothesized by this group as the likely cause. Notwithstanding the fact that nocebo cannot explain how many EHS people are initially unaware of the cause when symptoms first develop and have had no preconceived ideas about wireless safety.
    What is missing in many provocation studies is the tracking of individual symptoms from development to full regression. ideally sham, or exposure, should not commence until subject is symptom free. Otherwise existing symptoms will confound the results.
    Many provocation tests confuse EMF sensitivity i.e. reacting to a signal or signals and developing symptoms, which can be delayed, with EMF sensing i.e being able to sense when the field is active and when it is not. Because most individuals who are EHS cannot reliably determine whether a field is active or not does not mean they are not sensitive to EMF – symptom development as demonstrated by McCarty et al., 2011.
    Of course it may require a battery of individually tailored tests to be conducted because of variability between reactivity to signals (as shown in lymphocyte exposure to EMF) a single test protocol for all EHS people maybe highly inappropriate.
    Some tests that can be considered in conjunction with provocation to a real functioning wireless device (something that the subject claims they are sensitive too) include:
    ECG – there is a youtube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIobFr3m8kk) showing how an EHS persons heart reacts (in a blinded situation) to a smartmeter signal compared to a healthy normal individual.
    EEG – Do we see a difference in brainwave activity in EHS people compared to Health people?
    fMRI – research suggests EHS people brains do have functional differences compared to healthy people
    Neurotransmitter profiling
    Urinary Pyrrole Test
    C-nerve fibre reactivity as performed by Dr Hocking (MD)
    Genetic screening and Blood Redox – De Luca (2014)
    Proteomics

  5. EHS can be demonstrated via double blinded provocation studies when carefully executed and individually tailored. One such example: https://andrewamarino.com/PDFs/F247-IntJNeurosci2011.pdf There are very high numbers of methodological flaws in most previous provocations studies. Objective testing in parallel will obviously strengthen the data and I would encourage it but subjective testing alone can, and has, worked. Thank you Professor Röösli for encouraging further EHS research, it is very much needed. Best wishes to all.

  6. In regard to the search for reliable biomarkers, I have seen that Prof. Dr. Dominique Belpomme published an article earlier this year, covering the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of EHS. Does his work have subsance/weight in your (and Mr Röösli’s) opinion?

    Kind regards.

  7. Before going that far… first let’s prove EHS and determine prevalence and exposure levels that trigger it…

  8. The much more challenging question is: what exactly happens if it turns out that some people react more strongly to EMF than the general population?

    Establishment of white zones? Lowering of exposure limits?

  9. Agreed… as with most of diseases, preferably panel of biomarkers will be necessary for diagnosis.

  10. As stated by you and Martin, EHS is heterogeneous and one single biomarker won’t be enough. It should be rather a test panel of biomarkers.

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