Electromagnetic Sensitivity (EMS)


Electromagnetic sensitivity and ADA

Are you disabled by exposure to electromagnetic radiation and wireless devices? How does the Americans with Disabilities Act define disability?

U.S. Access Board recognized electromagnetic sensitivity as real and a potential disability in 2002

Federal agency advocates for the EMF-disabled and reducing electromagnetic fields in buildings — the 2005 U.S. National Institute of Building Sciences Indoor Environmental Quality report

California legislature recognizes people with electromagnetic sensitivities as disabled

EUROPAEM EMF: Guideline 2016 for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses

Are Smart Meters and wireless tech making you sick?

Veterans and electromagnetic sensitivity

Short video on EMS

Biomarkers for electromagnetic sensitivity / electro-hypersensitivity

From the U.S. Access Board:

The [U.S. Access] Board recognizes that multiple chemical sensitivities and electromagnetic sensitivities may be considered disabilities under the ADA if they so severely impair the neurological, respiratory or other functions of an individual that it substantially limits one or more of the individual’s major life activities.
.S. Access Board, 2002

There are a significant number of people who are sensitive to chemicals and electromagnetic fields…For people who are electromagnetically sensitive, the presence of cell phones and towers, portable telephones, computers, fluorescent lighting, unshielded transformers and wiring, battery re-chargers, wireless devices, security and scanning equipment, microwave ovens, electric ranges and numerous other electrical appliances can make a building inaccessible…Electromagnetic fields and radiofrequencies can jeopardize the functioning and safe access of electromagnetically sensitive individuals.
U.S. Access Board, 2005

From the Americans with Disabilities Act:

§ 35.108 Definition of “disability.”

(a)(1) Disability means, with respect to an individual:

(i) A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;
(ii) A record of such an impairment; or
(iii) Being regarded as having such an impairment as described in paragraph (f) of this section.

(c)(1) Major life activities include, but are not limited to:

(i) Caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, sitting, reaching, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, writing, communicating, interacting with others, and working; and

(ii) The operation of a major bodily function, such as the functions of the immune system, special sense organs and skin, normal cell growth, and digestive, genitourinary, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular, endocrine, hemic, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, and reproductive systems. The operation of a major bodily function includes the operation of an individual organ within a body system.

(2) Rules of construction. (i) The definition of “disability” shall be construed broadly in favor of expansive coverage, to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of the ADA.

(i) The term “substantially limits” shall be construed broadly in favor of expansive coverage, to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of the ADA. “Substantially limits” is not meant to be a demanding standard.

(ii) The primary object of attention in cases brought under title II of the ADA should be whether public entities have complied with their obligations and whether discrimination has occurred, not the extent to which an individual’s impairment substantially limits a major life activity. Accordingly, the threshold issue of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity should not demand extensive analysis.

Americans With Disabilities Act new rules, effective 10-11-16

Essential resources — United States

Excerpts, 2005 U.S. Access Board  Indoor Environmental Quality Report on ADA accommodation for those disabled by electromagnetic sensitivity and multiple chemical sensitivity

2005 U.S. Access Board Indoor Environmental Quality Report — full report

Americans with Disabilities Act, 2009 and 2016 amendment excerpts

Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended in 2009

ADA Title II Technical Assistance Manual with highlights on
sections — fees as surcharges, and businesses in a special relationship with the state

When New Technologies Hurt, Department of Labor, Job Accommodation Network

Accommodation Ideas for Electroomagnetic Sensitivity, Department of Labor, Job Accommodation Network

For health care professionals:

Physicians for Safe Technology http://www.MDsafetech.org
Under “Review of topics”: Smart Meters, electrosensitivity
Under “Scientific literature”: electrosensitivity

EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016 for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses, 2016

Guideline of the Austrian Medical Association for the diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses (EMF syndrome), 2012

Santa Cruz County (California) Health Department: Health Risks Associated with SmartMeters 2012 (p. 9-18 of a set of 5 Smart Meter-related actions considered and adopted by the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors January 24, 2012   http://sccounty01.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/bds/Govstream/BDSvData/non_legacy/agendas/2012/20120124/PDF/041.pdf )

Biological and Health Effects of Microwave Radio Frequency Transmissions: A Review of the Research Literature”, Paul Dart MD (lead author), June 3, 2013 as presented to the Oregon legislature

Commentary on the California Council on Science and Technology report“Health Impacts of Radio Frequency from Smart Meters”, Dr. Karl Maret, January 30, 2011

More to come….