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Woman Sued for Using iPhone, Wi-Fi in Likely Publicity Stunt

You may have heard about Arthur Firstenberg, the man suing his Santa Fe neighbor, Raphaela Monribot, for refusing to turn off her iPhone, wireless network, and other gadgets that emit electromagnetic radiation, which Firstenberg claims to have a hyper-sensitivity to.

Ignoring the fact that, according to most studies, electromagnetic sensitivity (EMS) is at best a purely psychological disorder, and at worst the machinations of over-zealous Luddites, this lawsuit still reeks. Firstenberg isn't just some guy who claims to suffer from a controversial disease, he's an author who has written about the negative effects of electromagnetic radiation and an activist who has fought to keep the city of Santa Fe from offering free Wi-Fi in public buildings. It seems to us that this attempt to milk $530,000 out of his neighbor and former cook is a disingenuous ploy to draw attention to his cause.

The basic facts are as follows: Monribot was hired by 59-year-old Firstenberg to cook meals for him. While under his employment, Monribot took care to keep her cell phone off in his home to avoid aggravating his "allergy." The two ended up living as next door neighbors. Firstenberg requested she keep her electronic devices turned off and unplugged, but Monribot refused. Firstenberg claims the resulting discomfort ("nausea, vertigo, diarrhea, ringing in the ears, severe headaches and body aches, crippling joint pains, insomnia, impaired vision, [and] impaired muscular control) forced him from his home, and now he is reportedly living out of his car.

Since the '80s, Firstenberg has formed activist groups, written books, edited magazines, launched Web sites, and lectured about the dangers of wireless technology and the attempts of the telecommunications industry to suppress evidence of its adverse health effects. Even the World Health Organization has failed to find any evidence of the existence of such a condition. Studies have show that while the symptoms are often real, there is no indication that they are in any way associated with electromagnetic radiation. Participants in studies often report symptoms both when exposed to electronics and when exposed to placebo devices that emit no electromagnetic field.

If Firstenberg suffered from a legitimate disability that caused him great discomfort when exposed to modern technology (even your home's electrical wiring emits low-level electromagnetic fields), living in a busy modern city like Santa Fe may not be the best idea. We're surprised he's even bringing his body into court, a hotspot of "harmful" radiation in the form of fluorescent lighting, one of Firsternberg's claimed allergens. [From: Santa Fe Reporter, via: Huffington Post]

Tags: Arthur Firstenberg, ArthurFirstenberg, electromagnetic radiation, electromagnetic sensitivity, ElectromagneticRadiation, ElectromagneticSensitivity, EMS, health, radiation, top, wi-fi, wifi