The term “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” comprises the development of subjective symptoms due to the exposure to electromagnetic fields. In general, the symptoms are rather unspecific and no consistent group of symptoms has been identified so far. In some people, the symptoms only occur in connection with certain exposure sources, others are sensitive to different types of exposure sources. Symptoms like headache, sleep disorders, dizziness, tiredness, concentration problems, fatigue, nausea or heart palpitations often occur near different exposure sources (e.g. mobile phones, base stations, high-voltage power lines, radar, household appliances). Occasionally, muscle pain, eye and hearing problems (e.g. tinnitus) are reported.
Whilst working with visual display units (cathode ray tube) and close to neon tubes, skin symptoms (e.g. redness, tingling, burning) and eye irritations (burning) are reported.
The strength of the electromagnetic fields provoking the symptoms lies in many cases below values for which physiological changes could be observed in scientific studies. According to WHO, there has been no distinct diagnostic criteria for electromagnetic hypersensitivity up to now. There is neither a clinical picture nor any proof that it is a discrete medical problem (WHO 2005). Moreover, there is no known biological marker or diagnostic test for electromagnetic hypersensitivity. In some cases, some physicians have proposed using a range of biological markers, MRI scans or genetic screening, along with a patient case history (Belpomme et al. 2015, Irigaray et al. 2018, De Luca et al. 2014, Heuser and Heuser 2017). Although a range of markers and tests has been proposed, these are also valid for other diseases and environmental intolerances, such as multiple chemical sensitivity and therefore, they are unspecific.
Further information and an overview of all studies on electromagnetic hypersensitivity can be found within the EMF-Portal, all epidemiological studies with power frequency field exposure (50 Hz/60 Hz) here, all experimental studies with magnetic field exposure (50 Hz/60 Hz) here and all experimental studies with electric field exposure (50 Hz/60 Hz) here