Electromagnetic hypersensitivity close to mobile phone base stations - a case study in Stockholm, Sweden med./bio.

Published in: Rev Environ Health 2022 [in press]

Aim of study (acc. to author)

In a case study, the hypothesis was investigated whether the symptoms assigned to electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) which a previously healthy office worker developed after moving to another office might be attributed to the exposure to electromagnetic fields.

Background/further details

A 55 year old previously healthy female office worker changed her work place to another office at the 6th floor close to base stations on the roof. She had worked in the same building for almost 10 years at another location without health problems. During the following months after she had changed office she experienced increasing health problems. She attributed the symptoms to the working place, as the symptoms diminished while being away from the premises and reappeared and increased when back.

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 5 Hz–400 kHz
Exposure 2: 16.7 Hz
electric train
Exposure 3: 50 Hz
Exposure 4: 2–400 kHz
Exposure 5: 87–5,850 MHz
Exposure 6: 87–5,850 MHz
radiofrequency total without downlink
Exposure 7:
Exposure 8:
TETRA I
Exposure 9:
Exposure 10:
GSM and UMTS 900 downlink
Exposure 11:
LTE 2600 downlink

General information

Measurements were conducted in the office on a business day afternoon

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 5 Hz–400 kHz
Type
Exposure setup
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 135 nT minimum measured - -
magnetic flux density 284 nT mean measured - -
magnetic flux density 497 nT maximum measured - -

Exposure 2

Main characteristics
Frequency 16.7 Hz
Type
Additional info electric train
Exposure setup
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 0 nT minimum measured - -
magnetic flux density 76 nT mean measured - -
magnetic flux density 383 nT maximum measured - -

Exposure 3

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Type
Exposure setup
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 0 nT minimum measured - -
magnetic flux density 241 nT mean measured - -
magnetic flux density 285 nT maximum measured - -

Exposure 4

Main characteristics
Frequency 2–400 kHz
Type
Exposure setup
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 0 nT minimum measured - -
magnetic flux density 1.8 nT mean measured - -
magnetic flux density 3.5 nT maximum measured - -

Exposure 5

Main characteristics
Frequency 87–5,850 MHz
Type
Additional info radiofrequency total
Exposure setup
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 423.5 µW/m² minimum measured - -
power density 1,098.7 µW/m² mean measured - -
power density 4,183.8 µW/m² maximum measured - -

Exposure 6

Main characteristics
Frequency 87–5,850 MHz
Type
Additional info radiofrequency total without downlink
Exposure setup
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 5 µW/m² minimum measured - -
power density 34.9 µW/m² mean measured - -
power density 1,585.4 µW/m² maximum measured - -

Exposure 7

Main characteristics
Frequency
Type
Additional info FM radio broadcasting
Exposure setup
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 0 nW/m² minimum measured - -
power density 0.8 nW/m² mean measured - -
power density 45.5 nW/m² maximum measured - -

Exposure 8

Main characteristics
Frequency
Type
Additional info TETRA I
Exposure setup
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 0 µW/m² minimum measured - -
power density 16.3 µW/m² mean measured - -
power density 1,520 µW/m² maximum measured - -

Exposure 9

Main characteristics
Frequency
Type
Additional info LTE 800 downlink
Exposure setup
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 18.3 µW/m² minimum measured - -
power density 132.1 µW/m² mean measured - -
power density 1,480.1 µW/m² maximum measured - -

Exposure 10

Main characteristics
Frequency
Type
Additional info GSM and UMTS 900 downlink
Exposure setup
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 38.8 µW/m² minimum measured - -
power density 269.6 µW/m² mean measured - -
power density 1,340.9 µW/m² maximum measured - -

Exposure 11

Main characteristics
Frequency
Type
Additional info LTE 2600 downlink
Exposure setup
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 26 µW/m² minimum measured - -
power density 181.9 µW/m² mean measured - -
power density 2,077.5 µW/m² maximum measured - -

Exposed system:

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

All measured field levels were within the current safety limits, however the working premises were demonstrating elevated exposure levels both to the radio frequency electromagnetic field and the extremely low frequency magnetic field. (Remark EMF-Portal: Exposure data of the former office were not provided.)
The authors concluded that the exposure to electromagnetic fields at the working place could be the cause for developing EHS-related symptoms. The association was strengthened by the symptom reduction outside the working place.

Study character:

Study funded by

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