Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Project NEMESIS: perception of a 50 Hz electric and magnetic field at low intensities (laboratory experiment). med./bio.

Published in: Bioelectromagnetics 2002; 23 (1): 26-36

Aim of study (acc. to author)

It should be investigated whether a magnetic and electric field (50 Hz) can be preceived by subjects with and without self-reported electrosensitivity.

Background/further details

A total of 63 subjects participated in this study: 49 with and 14 without self-reported electrosensitivity. Each subject took part in one experimental session composed of 10 sham exposure and 10 exposure blocks à 2 minutes (40 minutes in total) in a randomized sequence.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: continuous for 2 minutes, 10 times

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Exposure duration continuous for 2 minutes, 10 times
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Chamber acoustic chamber attenuating noise from endogenous and exogenous sources and external electric and magnetic fields
Setup an exposure cubicle was built of wood; two 60 x 140 cm sheets of conductive wallpaper were attached on the left and right side of the frame; coil for magnet field (30 cm diameter, 240 windings) was installed above the subject's head; the frame, including the coil and wallpaper, was wrapped with non-conductive linen; exposure cubicle was furnished with an adjustable chair; electric field and magnetic field were in phase
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
electric field strength 100 V/m - measured - in the chest/head region
magnetic flux density 6 µT - measured - in the chest/head region

Reference articles

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • before exposure
  • during exposure
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

A significant number of subjects (7 out of 63) showed a statistically significant number of correct answers in the perception test.
For this result, it was not relevant if the subjects had a self-reported electrosensitivity. Moreover, there were no crucial differences in the types and amount of reported symptoms between subjects with a statistically significant perception result and those without.
The authors conclude that a magnetic and electric field (50 Hz) could be perceived by a small group of humans independently from electrosensitivity phenomena.

Study character:

Study funded by

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