Is there an ability to perceive or to be sensitive on electromagnetic fields?
This investigation asks about if there are people who are very sensitive to EMF, especially to the magnetic field with a frequency of 50 Hz or to GSM radiation of mobile cells, because of their special biology or who are very susceptible to EMF, because they have a high level of psychological or physiological stress.
Subjects: There were 45 individuals who reported a variety of non-specific health problems that they have attributed to exposure to electromagnetic fields, produced by mobile cells or base stations, or if they stay into the magnetic field produced by current. They imply a causal relationship between reported symptoms and EMF describing them as being electrohypersensitive. 96 other volunteers (48 males, 48 females) without such caused symptoms were the controlled samples.
Experimental surroundings: The random sequence for field exposure changed with a sham, each of them lasted for 10 minutes and every one three times. The experiment was carried out as a double, same times only as a single blind setting. Some of the participants are exposed to the magnetic field of strength of 10 µT in an office room. The other ones are exposed to GSM radiation due to a mobile cell in a shielded Faraday room. After each period the volunteers were asked whether they have had any sensation in respect to EMF. They answered on a paper with yes or no.
Skin conductance response (SCR) was recording permanently because it reflects physiological as well as emotional reactions due to changing conditions of load very sensitive. Because the level of SCR is individually only its changes are measured.
Results: There was no significant effect on the level of skin conductance response during the course of the experimental periods. There is no relationship between the level of SCR and the real EMF exposure. Not any people who reported electromagnetic hypersensitivity could be confirmed by variance analysis. We found no effect on SCR if the exposure continued or altered. The differences between the averages of the SCR level in the following periods are smaller than the standard deviations, but not significant between sequences of exposure. Although individuals who reported sensitive reactions on EMF rated most times that field exposure is going on than off, but their success rate was not better than chance.
Conclusion: No evidence of exposure and special biology or a special kind of susceptibility could be found. The hypothesis, that there are individuals who are hypersensitive to these field characteristics has to be abandoned. That's it is improbable that there is a health risks like "hypersensitivity" when the parameter of field lie under the limit. But it would be more possible that an electromagnetic "hypersensitivity" reflect a psychological phenomenon which is subconscious for each subjects.
Please download the complete report "Is there an ability to perceive or to be sensitive on electromagnetic fields?" (in German only).
Is there an ability to perceive or to be sensitive on electromagnetic fields?.
1. edition. Dortmund: Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin 2009.
ISBN: 978-3-88261-087-1, 198 pages, Project number: F 5212, Papier, PDF-Datei
Signatures of the BAuA library:
B424/ED200/28; DM19/ED200/28; D122/ED200/28