The "Mainzer EMF-Wachhund": results from a watchdog project on self-reported health complaints attributed to exposure to electromagnetic fields.

Abstract

The "Mainzer EMF-Wachhund," a watchdog project, offered a system of self-notification of health complaints attributed to exposures to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) to a population of a part of Germany with about 4 million inhabitants. By using a self-administered questionnaire, which was provided online and for download from the Internet, 192 persons reported such health complaints in the period from October 2003 to March 2005. Of these, 56% classified themselves as electromagnetic hypersensitive (EH). Predictors of this self classification were being affected by all kinds of EMF rather than single EMF sources and being female. On average, EH subjects reported a high degree of suffering, 77% of whom had already sought advice from physicians. An Internet-based standardized questionnaire is an economic way of offering affected persons a direct link to scientific institutions to establish contact. However, the study base obtained by such an approach is not representative to estimate a population-based prevalence. As a large number of subjects did not classify themselves as EH and reported very specific links between exposure and symptoms, they may provide a very distinct and interesting group for future research.

Cite this paper

@article{Schz2006TheE, title={The "Mainzer EMF-Wachhund": results from a watchdog project on self-reported health complaints attributed to exposure to electromagnetic fields.}, author={J. Sch{\"{u}z and Christian Petters and Ulrich Egle and Bernd Jansen and Renate Kimbel and Stephan Letzel and Wilfred A. Nix and Lutz Schmidt and Lutz Vollrath}, journal={Bioelectromagnetics}, year={2006}, volume={27 4}, pages={280-7} }