In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Personal testimony : electrosensitivity

Posted by seumasach on August 29, 2010

Burgerwelle News

29th August, 2010

As told to me by Barbara Lake and documented by Dr Jonathon Fox, Medical Director, Environmental Health Clinic, Fall River, Nova Scotia, Canada.

When the tower at Wolfville Ridge, Nova Scotia, Canada was built by Aliant in 2001, a thousand feet from Barbara Lake’s home she already knew that she had a sensitivity to microwave radiation from her experiences of illness in High School when she was working in an environment close to microwave ovens..

Within one year of the installation of the Aliant telecom tower, Barbara and her family became ill. To name only some of their illnesses; extreme dizziness, blurred vision, insomnia, diarrhea, abnormal blood cells, bladder infections,headaches, nausea, heart palpitations, loss of memory, depression, loss of appetite, arthritis, vomiting, bloody stools.

Some of their neighbors living directly around them died. One neigbour died of cancer within 6 months of the citing of the tower. Soon after his wife developed cancer. Although she survived, she remains chronically ill with many of the symptoms experienced by Barb and her family. Another neighbor died soon after, apparently of natural causes. The following summer another neighbor to the west of Barb’s house died of cancer. Another neighbor had a miscarriage. Another neighbor developed cancer and continues to fight the disease. A group of children living nearby became chronically ill with one of them suffering a stroke at the age of 16.

By 2003, she had to seek relief by sleeping at her place of work instead of at her home in Wolfville Ridge next to the microwave tower. Because of chronic illness Barbara and her family were no longer able to live in their home next to the Aliant Telecom Tower and by 2005 they had to leave their home. Unable to sell it, they lost it to a foreclosure. Then, due to overwhelming illness she closed her seamstress shop in Wolfville.

In 2003-2004 she was referred by her family doctor to the Environmental Health Center in Fall River, Nova Scotia. In Dec 2006, tests were conducted to determine the extent of her sensitivity to microwave radiation. Those tests concluded that Barbara Lake had a reaction to microwave radiation. She was diagnosed with an unspecified environmental illness in 06 was advised to stay away from microwave radiation. In march 07 she applied to the Nova Scotia Government for disability assistance as she could no longer work because of the illnesses caused by exposure to microwave radiation. Her claim was rejected on the basis that the illness was not long term or life threatening. Dr Johnathon Fox, Medical Director of the Environmental Health Center in Fall River endorsed Barbara’s request for disability assistance with a medical recommendation that microwave radiation was making her ill and that she is disabled by it. Her file was finally closed in April 2010 and her claim dismissed with the explanation that she was “obsessed with cell phones”.

Now separated from her husband, she has moved twice in the past 4 months. Although she can see a telecom tower from the window of her rented house where she has just moved, Barbara is hoping that the 3 kms distance is far enough away from her.

With no disability assistance, limited places to work, an uncertain safe place to live, along with her estrangement from her family and husband, Barbara’s electrosensitivity has overtaken her life. She is handicapped with headaches, insomnia, nervousness, lack of appetite, memory problems and a general malaise that is always with her. She is basically just holding on and hoping for some small assistance of any kind. She was recently approved for a small grant from the Federal Government to purchase reflective fabric and paint, for her to install at her place of work. She has a small amount of Social Assistance.

Well versed in the politics of telecommunications, government and industry and the inadequate Safety Code, Barbara has been known to almost clear EastLink’s (the tower builders) promotional public meetings. She continues to lobby government and seek medical treatment and continues to look for a safe environment to live and work in. She is hoping that her story will help others in Nova Scotia to seek medical assistance and a proper diagnoses of their own electrosensitivity. She is hoping that her personal testimonial will begin to publicly document the environmental illness of electrosensitivity in Nova Scotia.

Now in fifty years old, Barbara misses her active, athletic lifestyle and feels imprisoned by an environmental illness that could be prevented, that is being ignored by the government. She is concerned for the future of her children. Barbara now faces a similar situation that many victims of electrosensitivity face, that is, impoverishment, possible homelessness and no hope to regain a normal life.

It is the responsibility of our provincial and federal government to protect the health of Canadians if they are able to. The Canadian government is more interested in subsidizing big businesses with our very own tax money while the victims of this obscene profiteering are left homeless and sick without financial or health assistance.

In spite of scientific evidence from scientists like Olle Johansson and Magda Havas, presented to the Canadian Government at a health conference in April in Ottawa, the Canadian government refuses to acknowledge that they may be wrong about the safety of the levels of electromagnetic radiation. The Canadian government refuses to revise the safety codes, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence, they refuse to acknowledge the growing numbers of law abiding citizens of Canada who have had their lives destroyed for the convenience and profits of others.

Please add this testimonial to the growing list of victims.

Informant: jcarroll

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