Advertisement: Healthy House

Healthy House electrosmog adAttached to the ridiculous article promoting the ridiculous idea of “electrosmog”, is a full-page advertisement for “Healthy House”.

The advert claims that “there is a great deal you can do to protect yourself and your family” from “electrosmog”, an alarmist claim designed to raise fear of a cause that has been rejected in every objective scientific study. There is no scientifically agreed definition of the term “electrosmog”, a term coined by the cottage industry of self-identified “electrosensitives” which is not tied, as the name implies, to any form of demonstrably harmful pollution.

The advertisement links to the website, promoting “electrical sensitivity products”. This page states: “Electrical sensitivity, as with most other ‘allergic’ conditions, varies in intensity from mild symptoms to being quite restrictive. It can cause a wide range of symptoms from levels of electrosmog that most people would not react to. It is a recognised illness in Sweden and is gradually being more recognised in this country as the network of electromagnetic fields become more impossible to avoid. The symptoms and effects of electromagnetic stress vary from a feeling of lethargy and fatigue, tingling in the arms and legs to more severe symptoms including psychological problems, inability to concentrate, anxiety and depression, insomnia and dizziness to breathlessness and high blood pressure.”

The Healthy House sells expensive solutions to non-existent problems, promoting delusional self-diagnosis over medical diagnosis and treatment.

There is no credible evidence to support the claim that these effects are caused by non-ionising electromagnetic radiation – in provoked tests, self-identified electrosensitive individuals are unable to distinguish whether they are subject to EMF or not:

Our metaanalyses found no evidence of an improved ability to detect EMF in “hypersensitive” participants; The symptoms described by “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” sufferers can be severe and are sometimes disabling. However, it has proved difficult to show under blind conditions that exposure to electromagnetic fields can trigger these symptoms. This suggests that “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” is unrelated to the presence of electromagnetic fields.

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: A Systematic Review of Provocation Studies, Psychosomatic Medicine March 1, 2005 vol. 67 no. 2 224-232

There is no credible evidence that electrosensitivity (as opposed to idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields) is being “increasingly recognised” as a genuine medical condition in the UK, in the light of the World Health Organisation finding that:

EHS is characterized by a variety of non-specific symptoms that differ from individual to individual. The symptoms are certainly real and can vary widely in their severity. Whatever its cause, EHS can be a disabling problem for the affected individual. EHS has no clear diagnostic criteria and there is no scientific basis to link EHS symptoms to EMF exposure. Further, EHS is not a medical diagnosis, nor is it clear that it represents a single medical problem

Electromagnetic fields and public health, World Health Organisation

Previous ASA adjudications have upheld complaints that these claims are not scientifically supportable, for example:

The last of these was published in WDDTY. There is no excuse for the editors, or The Healthy House (who sell Phi Harmonics gadgetry), being unaware that these claims are misleading and unsubstantiated.

electrostressThe web advertisement states:

You may not even know that the symptoms you experience are caused by electrical sensitivity particularly if you haven’t measured the fields and been able to move your bed and favourite chair to a safer place. If you do know that you are electrically sensitive you may fear that there is nothing that will help you.” “Because few people recognise this condition it may be difficult for your family and friends to come to terms with it especially as the use of electrical gadgetry is so widespread. Please click to learn more about electromagnetic stress and geopathic stress, the causes of electrical sensitivity.

This is calculated to cause people to self-diagnose, to reject genuine diagnosis by doctors, and to attribute symptoms to a condition for which there is no causal evidence. As such, it is misleading and likely to cause people not to seek essential medical treatment for what is likely to be a treatable psychosomatic disorder for which effective medical treatments such as CBT may be available.

The references to electromagnetic stress and geopathic stress are presented as definitions, but there is no credible evidence that either condition exists as a genuine medical condition attributable to the stated cause. As such it is misleading and likely to discourage people from seeking medical treatment for a potentially serious condition. The mechanism for detecting geopathic stress is stated to be dowsing – that alone should be enough to show you it’s bollocks.

Basically the advertiser sells expensive solutions to non-existent problems, promoting delusional self-diagnosis over medical diagnosis and treatment.

Why don’t doctors tell you that “electrosmog” is poisoning you?

Because it isn’t true.

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