Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: A Systematic Review of Provocation Studies

  title={Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: A Systematic Review of Provocation Studies},
  author={G. James Rubin and Jayati Das Munshi and Simon Wessely},
  journal={Psychosomatic Medicine},
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to assess whether people who report hypersensitivity to weak electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are better at detecting EMF under blind or double-blind conditions than nonhypersensitive individuals, and to test whether they respond to the presence of EMF with increased symptom reporting. Methods: An extensive systematic search was used to identify relevant blind or double-blind provocation studies. This involved searching numerous literature databases… 

A Systematic Review of Treatments for Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity

The best evidence currently available suggests that cognitive behavioural therapy is effective for patients who report being hypersensitive to weak EMFs, and none of the other therapies have had their efficacy adequately demonstrated.

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: Evidence for a Novel Neurological Syndrome

EMF hypersensitivity can occur as a bona fide environmentally inducible neurological syndrome under conditions that reasonably excluded a causative role for psychological processes.

Idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (formerly ‘electromagnetic hypersensitivity’): An updated systematic review of provocation studies

A narrow focus by clinicians or policy makers on bioelectromagnetic mechanisms is unlikely to help IEI-EMF patients in the long-term, and the role of the nocebo effect in triggering acute symptoms in sufferers is supported.

Development and evaluation of the electromagnetic hypersensitivity questionnaire

The two key results of this study were the development of a scale that provides an index of the type and intensity of symptoms commonly experienced by people believing themselves to be EHS and a screening tool that researchers can use to pre-select the most sensitive individuals to take part in their research.

Methodological limitations in experimental studies on symptom development in individuals with idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF) – a systematic review

Evaluated methodological limitations in experimental studies on symptom development in IEI-EMF individuals that might have fostered false positive or false negative results indicated that an effect of exposure is unlikely and researchers are encouraged to achieve a high credibility of the results by minimizing sources of bias and imprecision.

Origins of electromagnetic hypersensitivity to 60 Hz magnetic fields: A provocation study

Investigation of physiological changes, subjective symptoms, and perception of the magnetic field to assess origins of the subjective symptoms concluded that subjective symptoms did not result from the 60 Hz, 12.5 µT magnetic field exposures but from other non‐physiological factors.

Do people with idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields display physiological effects when exposed to electromagnetic fields? A systematic review of provocation studies

There is no reliable evidence to suggest that people with IEI-EMF experience unusual physiological reactions as a result of exposure to EMF, which supports suggestions that EMF is not the main cause of their ill health.



Hypersensitivity of human subjects to environmental electric and magnetic field exposure: a review of the literature.

It appears that the so-called hypersensitivity to environmental electric and magnetic fields is an unclear health problem whose nature has yet to be determined.

Electrosensibility and electromagnetic hypersensitivity.

The presented data show that the variation of the electrosensibility among the general population is significantly larger than has yet been estimated by nonionizing radiation protection bodies, but much smaller than claimed by hypersensitivity self-aid groups.

Prevalence of self-reported hypersensitivity to electric or magnetic fields in a population-based questionnaire survey.

The results suggest that there is widespread concern among the general population about risks to health posed by electric and magnetic fields, and characteristics of the group reporting such hypersensitivity with regard to demographics, other complaints, hypersensitivities, and traditional allergies are described.

Project NEMESIS: Perception of a 50 Hz electric and magnetic field at low intensities (laboratory experiment)

The EMF perception experiment suggests that EHS is not a prerequisite for the ability to consciously perceive weak EMF and vice versa and points to the existence of a small EMF sensitive subgroup within the study group.

Provocation of electric hypersensitivity under everyday conditions.

Exposure to electric and magnetic fields per se does not seem to be a sufficient cause of the symptoms experienced by this patient group, and patients suffering from "electric hypersensitivity" were no better than the control group in deciding whether or not they were exposed to electric or magnetic fields.

Electromagnetic Field Sensitivity

A multiphase study to find an effective method to evaluate electromagnetic field (EMF) sensitivity of patients and found 16 of the EMF-sensitive patients had positive signs and symptoms scores, plus autonomic nervous system changes.

Provocation study of persons with perceived electrical hypersensitivity and controls using magnetic field exposure and recording of electrophysiological characteristics.

Analysis of possible neurophysiological effects of intermittent 15 sec on/off cycle, 60 Hz, 10 microT magnetic field exposure on patients with perceived "electromagnetic hypersensitivity" (EHS), and control subjects during rest and performance of a mental arithmetic task indicates EHS patients have a rather distinctive physiological predisposition to sensitivity to physical and psychosocial environmental stressors.

Hypersensitivity symptoms associated with exposure to cellular telephones: no causal link.

It is concluded that adverse subjective symptoms or sensations, though unquestionably perceived by the test subjects, were not produced by cellular phones.

Symptoms of ill health ascribed to electromagnetic field exposure--a questionnaire survey.

From June 2001, health questionnaires were distributed to people who complained about symptoms of ill health which they ascribed to exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF), to gain a better knowledge of the anxieties of complainants, to obtain hints of possible problems and of actions that should be taken to solve the problems.