PhotoElectromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome is well-known to viewers of the AMC series "Better Call Saul," in which the main character's brother believes he suffers from the supposed disorder.

There's some controversy about whether the syndrome really exists because of the lack of scientific verification so far. But those who say they suffer from it demand accommodation, among them a 12-year-old boy and his parents who are suing the Fay School, a private boarding school in the Boston area, claiming the school's wi-fi system has aggravated their son's debilitating sensitivity to wi-fi emissions.

According to the lawsuit the Fay School installed a high-powered wi-fi system in spring 2013. A short time later, the child -- referred to as "G" -- began coming home with headaches, itchy skin and rashes, which would disappear over the weekend and holidays, Courthouse News Service reported.

The situation worsened during the 2014 academic year, when G frequently had to leave school early, the lawsuit charges. 

"Exposure to Wi-Fi emissions at the levels emitted by the type of Wi-Fi to which the children are exposed in Fay classrooms causes, in those persons affected, most notably children, the symptoms of EHS, which include severe headaches, fatigue, stress, sleep disturbances, skin symptoms such as prickling, burning sensations and rashes, muscle aches, nausea, nose bleeds, dizziness and heart palpitations," the lawsuit states.

ADA invoked

The parents sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act, saying the school refused to accommodate their son's condition.

"G's continued exposure to the high-density Wi-Fi emissions, without any attempt at a reasonable accommodation by Fay to avoid or minimize them, violates the ADA," the complaint states.

The suit includes a statement by Martin Blank, a Columbia University professor who has researched the issue.

"I can say with conviction, in light of the science, and in particular in light of the cellular and DNA science, which has been my focus at Columbia University for several decades, putting radiating antennas in schools (and in close proximity to developing children) is an uninformed choice," Blank wrote.

But a National Institutes of Health 2009 double-blind study found that when both the researchers and the test subjects were not aware whether or not they were actually being exposed to electromagnetic activity, symptoms of electromagnetic hypersensitivity vanished.


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