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Hospital splashes cash on 'electro-allergy' room

Hospital splashes cash on 'electro-allergy' room

Published: 05 Jan 2012 14:05 GMT+01:00
Updated: 05 Jan 2012 14:05 GMT+01:00

Falköping hospital in southern Sweden recently spent just under a million kronor ($146,130) to have a room adapted to suit the needs of the "electro-oversensitive", despite the fact that the allergy hasn't been scientifically proven to exist.

Since the remodeling was completed about eight months ago, only one patient has used the room, sparking criticism that the money has been wasted.

"It feels like the money could've been used in a better way," paediatrician Mats Reimer told Sveriges Radio (SR), suggesting that it would've been more appropriate to help these people to overcome their belief that their symptoms have anything to do with electricity.

Three percent of Swedes claimed to suffer from electro-oversensitivity when a national survey was conducted in 2007.

Local politician Jonas Andersson is sceptical that the condition really exists, he still felt it's reasonable to satisfy the needs of this "vulnerable group of people" since they clearly suffer, he told SR.

And he's not the only one who thinks that way, according to SR. A number of hospitals around the country have also taken steps to provide havens for those who claim to be sensitive to electricity.

The Local reported in November on a man in the Dalarna region whose alleged allergy almost caused the local authority create a mobile phone "dead zone" in the area near his home, despite experts saying that there are no scientific studies showing that there is such a thing as electro-oversenstivitiy.

Now, eight months after having put in the expensive insulation in the room, critics are saying that the initiative was a waste of the taxpayers' money, but also that it can be considered a disservice to those it's suppose to help.

Reimer claims that giving in to these imagined needs will only exacerbate peoples' irrational fear of electricity.

"This kind of evasive behaviour may give them temporary relief but i the end you are only helping to fan the irrational fear and in the end they will end up in a trailer in the woods with candles and a lantern," he told SR.

Joel Linde (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:24 January 5, 2012 by Scepticion
Well, now that the money is spent, keep the rooms, but do NOT label/mark them specially, keep it secret. Then do blind tests with people who claim to be electro sensitive, let them stay in such a room, and another room. Afterwards they should tell if any of the rooms was better, and which one.

In another type of experiment, the a non-isolated room should be labeled as electo-isolated WITH awareness of the patient, and again, after staying in the room and comparing with another, sufferers should report if the room worked.
16:42 January 5, 2012 by zooeden
Soooo typical Sweden!!! but in that hospital they prefer to cut on staff...
16:52 January 5, 2012 by Nomark
This is absolutely ridiculous. They could have used the money for something proven to work, such as a MRI scanner, or a nurse. People die needlessly when health resources are misallocated. This is a scandal (or should be).

The person who approved this purchase should be held accountable and made to publicly justify his/her decision to spend tax payers money in this way. However, this being Sweden, I'm sure that the hospital will simply see over its routines.
17:06 January 5, 2012 by tadchem
A million kronor will buy a lot of aluminium foil hats.
17:37 January 5, 2012 by Frobobbles
Electro can be quite horrible as a genre
18:06 January 5, 2012 by Michael Whitfield
Wasteful spending! Sounds like Sweden is getting some pointers from US govt. Spending money they don't have to buy something they don't need.
18:10 January 5, 2012 by mikewhite
You can buy foil-backed wallpaper for heat insulation or damp-barrier purposes ... http://www.amazon.co.uk/Three-Proof-Lining-Paper-Backed/dp/B0020I0DZW

Must be a big room to cost that much !

Or maybe they used copper foil ... http://uk.farnell.com/3m/fe510093332/1181-copper-foil-50mm-x-16-5mtrs/dp/1776398
10:06 January 6, 2012 by Da Goat
As tadchem and mike white said it does not cost very much at all to achieve an electro black room they could also just use a metal fly screen in the walls to do it too or simply send the sufferers off to a cave with some candles !

I hope they don't have light in their special room that would defeat the purpose! LOL
11:45 January 6, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
Interesting... I wonder if the 'decision process' in all this was perhaps secretive, and dominated by a small number of unrepresentative, possibly ill-informed people?

In some environments, ideas are floated to see what the response is and either 'dropped' or followed through - before the money is spent
11:50 January 6, 2012 by riose
The common sense is the less common of all the senses :P
18:26 January 6, 2012 by godnatt
Don't question the electro-sensitive or you are a Nazi.
20:53 January 7, 2012 by D. ane
'...despite the fact that the allergy hasn't been scientifically proven to exist.'

There have been many scientific papers showing that the allergy exists. Mast-victims.org can guide you the some of these and the news site is worth looking at. Often these are suppressed by the mobile phone companies which have much to lose, if people think their technologies are dangerous.

'Allegy' is probably not the right word to describe how people feel and many more who don't know they have it are probably affected, if the bad temper people display these days is anything to go by!

I think the 'sensitivity' that people feel is mainly due to the microwaves emitted by the wireless technologies that have sprung up especially the last 10 years.

German doctors back 2002 noticed certain deseases that seemed to have increased and they signed the 'Freiberger Appeal' informing the government and people that we should be more careful usng wireless technologies. They appear to cause certain neurological symptoms such as anxiety, depression, agitation, insomnia, hyperactivity in children and possibly heart palpitations - anything really that involves the nervous systen can be affected.

People are not noticing cause and affect, largely because their microwave technologies are in constant use and they cannot make the connection that their anxiety, depression or bad temper is due to their mobile phone WiFi etc.

And of course now it is so difficult to get away from these microwaves since they are everywhere.

So if you suffer from anxiety, depression, bad temper try doing without your mobile phone and your Wifi you may surprise yourself - you might just get better!
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