Gro Harlem Brundtland (former head WHO)

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Illness Electrosensitivity EHS
Date: (if known) 2002-07-02
passed away No
Company World Health Organisation
Industry Medical Industrial Establishment
Country EU, Oslo
Website URL
YouTube URL

From the Magda Havas link:

“Dr. Brundtland, my name is Magda Havas and I’m a professor at Trent University. I work with people who have electrohypersensitivity. In this age of growing exposure to wireless technology and constantly increasing levels of exposure to radiofrequency radiation, what advice do you have for the University of Waterloo and for the rest of Canada and for those who are or will become electrohypersensitive.”

She paused for a few moments and then went on to explain a health issue that has caused a lot of controversy in her life.

Dr. Brundtland said, “Based on your question, I assume you know that I am electrically sensitive. I never place a mobile phone next to my head because in one second I would develop a bad headache. I use the phone in speaker mode,” and she demonstrated with her cell phone, holding it away from her head.

“I answered truthfully to media regarding my sensitivity to mobile phones. My story was written up in a Norwegian paper,”

She cautioned about the overuse of cell phones and went on to explain how she became allergic to microwave radiation.

”Let me tell you how I became electrically sensitive. In my case, it was an accident with a microwave oven. While making lunch for my husband and myself, I placed some food in the microwave oven on a plate that had blue flowers. The plate began to spark, and foolishly, I went closer to have a look. My eyes were damaged and I was blinded for one year. I still have poor eyesight. It turned out that the flowers were made of cobalt blue paint and we know not to put metal into a microwave oven. This happened only two months after I become Director-General of the World Health Organization. I had researched before putting a microwave oven in my home and had convinced myself that it would not be dangerous—which was not correct.

From that incident I became electrically sensitive. I have been heavily criticized as scaring people from using cell phones because I told the truth about my illness.

This is important. We are exposed to different technologies of a new nature. I am frustrated that I was unable to sound the alarm fully. A sentence in an instruction book—where you do not explain the danger of radiofrequency—is not good public health and consumer policy. I became electrically sensitive and have been criticized because I can scare the public. We know they are not inert and there are potential consequences. People who have electrical sensitivity show that we do take some risk. Until we know more, we cannot say this is no problem.”

In the end, Dr. Brundtland said that people who say they are electrically sensitive are not taken seriously. Her final words to the audience were, “Let your children have a mobile phone all day? NO!”

Those of us in the audience, who were familiar with her background, appreciated her honesty. The question period was terminated.

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