Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


French woman gets grant for 'gadget allergy'

27 August 2015, 06:44

Toulouse - A French court has awarded a disability grant to a woman claiming to suffer from a debilitating allergy to electromagnetic radiation from everyday gadgets such as cellphones.

The applicant, Marine Richard, 39, hailed the ruling as a "breakthrough" for people afflicted by Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS).

The condition is not recognised as a medical disorder in most countries, including France, but sufferers insist that exposure to mobile phones, WiFi routers, televisions and other gadgets cause them anything from mild discomfort to life-ruining disability.

Scientific studies have found no evidence linking electromagnetic exposure to the symptoms - tingling, headaches, fatigue, nausea, or palpitations.

Richard, a former radio documentary producer, has opted for a reclusive life in the mountains of southwest France, in a renovated barn without electricity, and drinking water from the well.

In a ruling last month, a court in the southern city of Toulouse decided she can claim a disability allowance - about $912 per month for an adult - for a period of three years.

Also Read: Allergic to Christmas?

The ruling accepted that her symptoms prevented Richard from working, but stopped short of recognising EHS as an illness.

Her lawyer Alice Terrasse said the ruling could set a legal precedent for "thousands of people" concerned.

"It's a breakthrough," added Richard.

The World Health Organisation lists EHS as a condition, but says there is "no scientific basis" for linking the symptoms to electromagnetic exposure.

Sweden and Germany have classified it as an occupational disease.

Double-blind scientific trials, where neither the patient or researcher was aware whether they had been exposed to electromagnetic waves, have refuted any link to the symptoms, and many experts ascribe the condition to a phobia.

Some believe it might be triggered by the so-called "nocebo" effect - the placebo effect in reverse - when people feel unwell because they believe they have been exposed to something harmful.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...