Electromagnetic sensitivity – Can’t escape it, but here is the science

This subject is of personal interest to me and has been a hot topic in the news as more and more claims emerge that electromagnetic sensitivity is ruining people’s lives. Like this recent story:

Airline pilot has nowhere to escape from wireless radiation – thestar.com.

Professional pilot Melissa Chalmers has moved twice in 10 months to escape wireless radiation and worries she’s running out of places to hide.

The commercial pilot of 20 years is on sick leave. She suffers from sensitivity to electromagnetic waves — the invisible waves given off by almost everything electric, in particular, those emitted by communication towers that are popping up across Canada.

Cellphones, cellphone towers, wireless internet routers, cordless phones and power lines have all been recognized as possible contributors to electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EMS), which is caused by significant exposure from radio waves.

Except they HAVEN’T. This claim is NOT warranted as given and it is irresponsible of the author to say this.

The doctor quoting in this piece says: “WHO (World Health Organization) supports that phenomenon as being real”. Again, misleading. Here is what the WHO actually says:

EHS [Electrical Hypersensitivity] is characterized by a variety of non-specific symptoms that differ from individual to individual. The symptoms are certainly real and can vary widely in their severity. Whatever its cause, EHS can be a disabling problem for the affected individual. EHS has no clear diagnostic criteria and there is no scientific basis to link EHS symptoms to EMF exposure. Further, EHS is not a medical diagnosis, nor is it clear that it represents a single medical problem.

There indeed are a few studies that hint this may have a basis in reality. Here is a case study of one person. And here is a study that shows individuals vary in perception of fields. Take a look at the rest of these studies (I used recent ones and reliable sources) that show there may be SOMETHING there but not to the degree that is claimed.

Idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF) and electrosensibility (ES) – Are they connected?

Detection of MF might be possible for people with IEI-EMF to some extent. Although heightened sensibility to MFs may play a role in the development and/or in the perpetuance of the IEI-EMF phenomenon, symptoms attributed to the MF seem to be mainly of psychogenic origin.

Do people with idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields display physiological effects when exposed to electromagnetic fields? A systematic review of provocation studies.

At present, there is no reliable evidence to suggest that people with IEI-EMF experience unusual physiological reactions as a result of exposure to EMF. This supports suggestions that EMF is not the main cause of their ill health.

Idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF): A systematic review of identifying criteria.

Idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF) remains a complex and unclear phenomenon, often characterized by the report of various, non-specific physical symptoms (NSPS) when an EMF source is present or perceived by the individual. The lack of validated criteria for defining and assessing IEI-EMF affects the quality of the relevant research, hindering not only the comparison or integration of study findings, but also the identification and management of patients by health care providers.

Non-specific physical symptoms and electromagnetic field exposure in the general population: can we get more specific? A systematic review.

This systematic review and meta-analysis finds no evidence for a direct association between frequency and severity of NSPS and higher levels of EMF exposure. An association with perceived exposure seems to exist, but evidence is still limited because of differences in conceptualization and assessment methods.

Comparison perception of singular transcranial magnetic stimuli by subjectively electrosensitive subjects and general population controls.

The major study endpoint was the ability of the subjects to differentiate between real magnetic stimulation and a sham condition. There were no significant differences between groups in the thresholds, neither of detecting the real magnetic stimulus nor in motor response. But the three groups differed significantly in differentiating between stimulation and sham condition, with the subjectively electrosensitive people having the lowest ability to differentiate and the control group with high level of EMF-related complaints having the best ability to differentiate. Differences between groups were mostly due to false alarm reactions in the sham condition reported by subjectively electrosensitives (SES). We found no objective correlate of the self perception of being “electrosensitive.” Overall, our experiment does not support the hypothesis that subjectively electrosensitive patients suffer from a physiological hypersensitivity to EMFs or stimuli.

Provocation of electric hypersensitivity under everyday conditions.

In most previous provocation studies subjects suffering from “electric hypersensitivity” have not been able to determine correctly whether or not they have been subjected to a sham or true provocation to magnetic or electric fields. However, an often-discussed weakness is that most of the earlier provocation studies have been performed in a laboratory situation, often with simulated fields, which may not be representative of conditions prevailing in the homes or workplaces of the patients.

The patients suffering from “electric hypersensitivity” were no better than the control group in deciding whether or not they were exposed to electric and magnetic fields.

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity: A Systematic Review of Provocation Studies (A frequently cited review of studies)

The symptoms described by “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” sufferers can be severe and are sometimes disabling. However, it has proved difficult to show under blind conditions that exposure to EMF can trigger these symptoms. This suggests that “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” is unrelated to the presence of EMF, although more research into this phenomenon is required.

Possible Health Effects of Exposure to Residential Electric and Magnetic Fields (1997) (National Research Council Report)

[…]the conclusion of the committee is that the current body of evidence does not show that exposure to these fields presents a human-health hazard. Specifically, no conclusive and consistent evidence shows that exposures to residential electric and magnetic fields produce cancer, adverse neurobehavioral effects, or reproductive and developmental effects.

Proceedings International Workshop on EMF Hypersensitivity (WHO workshop)

The majority of studies indicate that IEI individuals cannot detect EMF exposure any more accurately than non-IEI individuals. By and large well controlled and conducted double-blind studies have shown that symptoms do not seem to be correlated with EMF exposure.

There are also some indications that these symptoms may be due to pre-existing psychiatric conditions as well as stress reactions as a result of worrying about believed EMF health effects, rather than the EMF exposure itself. It was added that IEI should not be used as a medical diagnosis since there is presently no scientific basis to link IEI symptoms to EMF exposure.

What to think of all this? My opinion from looking at this as a layperson: Most people who think they are EMF sensitive are not but some individuals may be under specific circumstances. The cases of people who say their lives are ruined can undergo double-blinded tests to see if they are actually affected or have psychosomatic issues instead. But to suggest that the whole world bathed in EMFs is making you sick is currently NOT a claim you should accept at face value. The evidence is NOT there.

  38 comments for “Electromagnetic sensitivity – Can’t escape it, but here is the science

  1. Rachel
    October 18, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    I wrote a literature review that I believe was republished in The Bent Spoon on some of these studies. It’s saddening that reporters lie to people. It makes puppies cry.

  2. Rand
    October 18, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    I think a lot of times the cause of the problem is misplaced. For instance, the “emf” from fluorescent lights (such as the awful examples above my cubical right now) is not responsible for sensitivity, but the horrible flickering, and high-pitched whine they constantly emit does get annoying and cause headaches.

    Many other pieces of electronic equipment (I’m looking at you wall-wart power supply) often end having high-pitched whines which are barely within hearing range, to the point that you don’t consciously notice them until it’s pointed out to you, but which can be quite annoying and cause headaches, or just be stressful.

  3. Mac
    October 18, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    As usual, these claims are typically made by people who have no clue what the inverse square law says about transmitted fields.

    In addition, the signals they talk about are very small compared to signals that thousands of people were exposed to before cell phones. One good example would be the CB radio fade in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Many thousands of people were exposed to these signals at significantly higher power.

    Ham operators and radio/tv broadcast engineers would be another possible control group.

    I’ve never seen any suggestions that these groups have any health issues attributed to their em field exposure.

  4. Peebs
    October 18, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Thanks for an excellent take down on this.

    My sister works for a very high powered law firm who a actively chasing people who claim to have this condition.

    When I gently pointed out that it was bollocks she looked down her nose at me and told me I know nothing and her bosses are right because they’re lawyers.

  5. Haldurson
    October 18, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    I hate fluorescent lights for this reason — I get headaches from them. But I’ve never claimed any kind of EMF sensitivity — maybe it’s because my hearing is pretty good, so I can often hear their high-pitched sound and therefore can better identify the source of my discomfort. Even worse is when a fluorescent light is either going bad or not installed properly and the light therefor flickers. It’s not always noticeable in an otherwise well-lit room, but that also seems to cause me stress and probably stress-related headaches.

  6. F89
    October 18, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Am I the only one that finds it odd that Melissa Chalmers claims that her EMF problems are soley coming from the Cell towers, when she works/worked in an environemen that was FULL of them? (HF Aircraft radio, Radar, sensors,) ?

  7. Kitty
    October 18, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    I have passed this article on to two people I know that claim they have this condition. One of them was ripped off by a builder who claimed to be able to put up walls that would protect him. He paid double what a normal builder would charge. Also, he lives in three rooms with no windows as extra protection.

    I doubt this will do much good. Quite sad, as imagining you have this can really restrict your life.

  8. Madmanintheattic
    October 18, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    I have had an interesting experience with this. I lived in an apartment in which I could not sleep more than about three hours per night. I was wide-awake and buzzed all the time when I was in the apartment but as soon as I left, for instance to go to work, I would start to get sleepy. This was the first time I lived in a modern apartment with all the extra low-voltage wiring in the walls (fire alarm, intercom, etc) and a couple of dozen wi-fi stations broadcasting at full-blast.

    One natural experiment which got me thinking I was sensitive to Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) was one day the power went off and within about 10 minutes I started to fall asleep. I went to bed and had the best, deepest sleep I had had in months and felt bodily wrenched out of the sleep when the power came back on.

    After four months of not sleeping and suspecting EMR I became homeless and started sleeping under a tarp in a park. Even though I was sleeping rough there was neither a cell phone signal or an AM radio signal available there and I immediately started sleeping like a baby.

    Dismiss this as anecdotal, of course …

  9. F89
    October 19, 2012 at 6:44 AM

    You said you were in a park? (I am going to assume a city park) how did that prevent you from being affected by RF? Cities are FULL of EMF.
    How did you know there was NO cell phone signal? A cell phone may indicate that there is no signal, but that doen’t mean it’s non-existant.
    How does the AM signal affect you Vs the FM? How do you know that?

  10. Mac
    October 19, 2012 at 6:44 AM

    More likely it is the cumulative audio frequency noise generated by the switching power supplies used by most all of the mentioned devices.

    This can be low amplitude or high enough frequency that you may not perceive it as a “heard” sound.

  11. One Eyed Jack
    October 19, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    Yep. She is getting bombarded with levels of magnitude higher EM waves in a cockpit than she is ever getting from cell phones or towers.

  12. One Eyed Jack
    October 19, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    “Dismiss this as anecdotal, of course…”

    Tell me what this is other than anecdotal? Do you understand the definition of anecdotal? Do you understand why anecdotal evidence is unreliable?

    So, yeah, it’s anecdotal. And, yeah, it’s as valuable as an other anecdote.

  13. Jon Marcus
    October 19, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    While no cell phone & radio signal don’t guarantee absolutely zero EMR, they’re a decent indicator that the intensity (at least at those wavelengths) is much lower.

    And re “Cities are FULL of EMF” see above comment about people who don’t understand inverse square laws. Living in an apartment with many EMR emitters within a few meters is quite different from being in the middle of a city park, likely 100+ meters away from emitters.

  14. Ruth
    October 19, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    As someone who recently got over a somatoform pain disorder, I know how painful and frustrating it is to be told that something you’re really experiencing is in your head. I fought it at first, I was frustrated and confused and unable to believe. Even after the diagnosis it took me about 6 months to get to a point where I can call myself “better.”

    I don’t think I’d have believed beforehand that my brain could cause that kind of real, crippling pain (enough to put me on disability temporarily) without something going on in my body. I can see why people who claim EMF-sensitivity don’t want to believe that it’s in their heads…sadly, that’s probably the only way they’ll get better. :-/

  15. Phil
    October 19, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    I think this is an hypothesis worth testing and is feasible. The EMF energy itself would be far too weak to affect people. Any takers?

  16. Madmanintheattic
    October 19, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    It was a provincial park about 30 kilometers from the nearest urban setting, down in a river valley with high banks towering up on both sides in a rural, agricultural area and a region not noted for good cell-phone reception. I could not get any signal on my cell-phone so I think there was none. I could not get a signal on my car radio so I think there was none.

    The inverse square law would indicate that whatever emissions were being generated by urban installations would have been very small.

    I don’t know how the AM vs the FM affects me. How could I? This is my first experience of having noticed sleep disturbance corelated with EMF.

    Why are you so angry?

  17. Madmanintheattic
    October 19, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    It is anecdotal. I know what anecdotal means. I do understand why anecdotal information is unreliable. That is why I pre-dismissed my own experience in order to de-fuse comments like yours. That clearly did not work.

    The value of anecdotal evidence is it can create the basis for a workable hypothesis leading to the design of useful experiments. No body believed in the existence of Gorillas when the anecdotes of these large primates emerged from the early African explorers. When proper expeditions to gather proper evidence were launched proper evidence was obtained and the existence of Gorillas was confirmed. Ignatz Semilweis noticing fewer women died of childbed fever if the attending washed his hands first was initially only anecdotal evidence and he was hounded out of his profession and out of his mind by people I imagine to have been very much like you. Proper research has since confirmed the germ theory of disease and vindicated poor old Ignatz. Do YOU understand the nature of Scientific Progress?

    My experience could be the basis of an investigation into my experience, that particular apartment, why I generally sleep better when I am away from the influences of EMF. An investigation into that apartment may have found something other than EMF as a cause of my inability to sleep. An investigation could also have determined why that apartment was always vacant, all previous tenants having vacated within four or five months of moving in (I found out later).

    All I am saying is I had an experience which seemed to be related to EMF and confirmed by at least two natural experiments – the power failure and that when I left the apartment I immediately wanted to fall asleep. In addition I have always slept better in the backcountry and my sleep has gotten worse and worse in corelation with the increase of EMF sources (and, yes, I DO know the difference between corelation and causation – hold your next snarky comment). Anecdote leading to hypothesis leading to experimental design leading data leading to increased knowledge. What is so hard to understand about that?

  18. Gary B
    October 19, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    I am curious as to your living arrangement now and if you still seem to be affected by EMF. In my experience with cell phone signals, I frequently have none in some buildings, especially metal buildings. As for living as a homeless person, do you mean that in the way most of us interpret it? I have never had a bad experience with electronic stimuli that I know of. Thanks

  19. Madmanintheattic
    October 19, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    After living in the park, sleeping on a picnic table with a tarp slung between two trees for a few weeks, and sleeping VERY well, I met someone who had an unused travel trailer parked in a rural campground (one weak Wi-Fi signal and very poor cell reception) which I could use for only the cost of the pad rent and the electric bill. Being winter I had an oil-filled electric heater keeping the place warm. Once again my sleep became severely disturbed. When spring came and I could shut the heater off I started to sleep very well again. (This particular anectdote may contain some elements of an experiment: all the lights were 12 volt, stepped down from 120 by a rectifier and the heater ran on 120 so the only major EMF fields were from the heater and the rectifier. I cooked with propane.)

    The owners of the trailer wanted to use it so I went into the bush and slept in a hiking tent for two months. Slept like a baby. Then my counsellor (I have some physical and mental disabilities) got me into a Crisis Housing unit. A modern house with all the normal low and high voltage wiring, cable TV, three televisions on 16 hours per day and over 30 Wi-Fi signals at full blast detectable by my laptop plus very strong cell reception. Again, severe sleep disturbance mostly consisting of waking after 2 or 3 hours then not being able to return to sleep or nap later in the day. Needless to say, sleep deprivation only added to my existing problems.

    This crisis housing was for short term only and I left just yesterday, as a matter of fact, and slept on the reclining seat of my small pick-up truck. Slept like a baby again, first time in 30 days. (one reason i am homeless is there is NO low-cost housing available and what there is discriminates against older men – women, students and young people in general have no problem.)

    So, more anecdotal information. And there could be other factors – out-gassing of toxic VOC, vibration, noise (I always wear earplugs), ambient light(I always wear a blind-fold) and who knows what else. The thing which stands out to me is there has alway been outgassing, noise, light and vibration but all the excess EMF is a new phenomenon in my life (I am 57 years old and remember when television come to town and houses were built with only one AC plug in each room – no cable, no intercoms, no fire alarms, no Wi-Fi). And I restate the increase in my sleep disturbance seems to be corelated with the increase of EMF in the environment. And, yes, corelation is not causation but to me it seems like it could be a good place to start formulating an working hypothesis.

    So I don’t know if that is homeless as most of you interpret it but to me a home is somewhere you feel safe and comfortable and have some stuff around which you identify with, where you can cook your own food the way you like it, NOT have a TV on and where you can have friends over and not be ashamed. I have had varying forms of shelter (tarp, tent, trailer, Crisis housing) but I have been homeless for over a year now.

    Now bring on the attacks that it is all in my head or due to my other health problems since I have admitted to disabilities in those areas of my life.

  20. F89
    October 19, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    I’m not angry, I’m asking a question.

  21. Peebs
    October 19, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    To be honest, the fact you call yourself Madmanintheattic and tell us you’ve had mental health problems diminishes your credibility somewhat.

    No anger there, just an observation.

  22. Rachel
    October 19, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Well, madmanintheattic, you are obviously suffering for some reason. As of now the science says it’s not sensitivity to EMF, but you are suffering. Could it have something to do with your current diagnoses? It is possible that you are having psychosomatic problems stemming from other mental health issues, it’s been demonstrated that those with mental health issues are more prone to that. If that’s the case, it’s not as easy as telling yourself it’s all in your head either. I would continue to bring it up in medical appointments, and perhaps when you are online you could research and email places doing research in those fields to see if they can refer you to current studies you can participate in.

  23. Rachel
    October 19, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    It’s really interesting, I’ve never met someone who was able to deal with it and accept the diagnosis. Would you be interested in writing about it further? If not here, let me know and I can email you.

  24. Rachel
    October 19, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    [removed extra text from personal discussion – editor]

    I would like to do my own replication of some studies. I wonder if anyone else would like to help design the experiments and conduct them too?

  25. Madmanintheattic
    October 19, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    “Now bring on the attacks that it is all in my head or due to my other health problems since I have admitted to disabilities in those areas of my life.”

    … and you did. You hard-headed, science skeptics are SO predictable. While you are at it get on with attacking all the great scientists, mathematicians and artists who have had a bit of mental difficulty. And how many of YOU are diagnosed or diagnosable but not admitting it?

    John Nash was and still is a paranoid schizophrenic. Does that make his mathematics questionable or not credible?

    I stated my anecdotal evidence couched in terms which could lead to a working hypothesis. I don’t read any delusion in what I have written. And remember so-called “scientists” were telling us for 50 years that smoking was not only harmless but good for you. I am sure I could list hundreds of examples of bad science taken at face value – the fallacious Lipid Hypothesis being one.

    This is the first time I have and the last time I shall post on a skeptics website. You people are just as bad as the “true believers” just at the other end of the spectrum – they are so open-minded their brains have fallen out; you are so rigid and closed your brains seem to have atrophied. Just because I have admitted to some health problems doesn’t mean I can’t think. And the patronizing comments about my sleep disturbance being part of my health difficulties – you didn’t even read that I said I SLEEP LIKE A BABY WHEN I AM IN THE BACKWOODS.

    You have heard the last from me. I am sure you now think you have made the world a better place.

  26. idoubtit
    October 19, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Nice going everyone!!! [sarcasm]

    This is EXACTLY what I was trying to avoid, insulting people who can contribute to understanding the issue.

    Every discussion is not a debate. Sometimes, you just need to listen and try to understand.

  27. am_sci
    October 19, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    She thinks microwaves are harmful but chooses a profession that increases her exposure to gamma radiation (that’s of the ionizing sort). That just goes to show you how ignorant these people are of basic physics.

  28. am_sci
    October 19, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    I sincerely hope no one intended to insult you merely because you suffer from a mental illness. Any student of critical thinking should know that we are all subject to delusions. The human brain is not an instrument of reason, it is an evolved organ with a flawed simulation of reality, riddled with biases. That is why one cannot accept personal experience, not even one’s own as evidence.

  29. October 20, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    A while ago I offered a reward of 1,000 dollars to anyone who could accurately determine if a series of wireless devices were turned on or off by sitting near them, while they were in RF-transparent but visually opaque enclosures.

    A fairly simple protocol: Stuff like wifi routers, cell phone amplifiers, audio transmitters and any other devices they specifically chose as being especially prone to causing symptoms would be placed around them in thin cardboard boxes, to block any sense of being on or off.

    A switch would be connected to wires feeding them all. Ten tests would be conducted, where the switch would be closed. However, whether the switch was energized or not was not known to them or to the proctor.

    (The switch would be connected to a power supply out of sight. The supply would be turned on or off randomly by someone else, out of sight of them and the proctor)

    The task was to accurately identify each test run as an actual energized run (Where the transmitters receive power and transmit) or a dummy run (where there was no power flowing to the devices and thus no transmitting).

    I also offered to do the test in a setting of their choice. If they normally did not have a problem with ambient levels of RF, away from nearby sources, then we could just do it someplace that was not too close to any major sources. If they claimed to be too sensitive for that, I offered to secure an RF isolated room (The only one I know of is in Connecticut, near where I am, but I offered to attempt to locate a suitable one near them if need be).

    I have had no takers for my “Challenge”

    Also, I would offer more than a thousand dollars if I could, but that’;s about the most I can afford to offer right now. Feel free to chip in to the fund if you want to help finance this challenge. I don’t need money, only an assurance you will pay if necessary (and to be honest, I don’t expect you ever will)

  30. October 20, 2012 at 12:35 AM


    I am not passing judgement on you, but understand I am skeptical of the claim that electromagnetic fields have noticeable health effects on you.

    Can I ask what area of the world you live in? I don’t need the town or anything. Just the country, and if it’s the US, the portion?

    I’d be very interested to offer you the chance to qualify this in a double-blind setting.

    I’m willing to modify my protocol, if the interval is too short or something. My only stipulation is that you be able to prove the ability to show a statistically significant ability to detect the difference between transmitters being on or off in a double-blind setting.

    I offer one thousand dollars if you can. I might be able to get others to offer something too. I can ask around and see if anyone will sign a contract to that effect.

    If you can do it, I will be very happy to award my prize. It will be a big contribution to science to just document this.

  31. One Eyed Jack
    October 20, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    You are extremely defensive. You read a lot into a few sentences.

    My comments were made in response to what I interpreted as a challenge from you. When I read “Dismiss this as anecdotal, of course …”, I took that as a challenging remark. Apparently you meant it as some sort of preemptive dismissal of your own argument. Re-read your original post. Perhaps you can see how it can be taken different than you intended it.

    You seem extremely wired (pun intended… can’t resist 🙂 ) over this issue. It’s personal for you in a way that it is not for me. You might want to dial it back a bit and read what is being posted without adding your own emotion to what others are writing.

  32. One Eyed Jack
    October 20, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    We shouldn’t really be surprised at such things, but we are. All pain is in our head. With training it is entirely possible to block out pain from physical sources, so it shouldn’t surprise us when we learn that a source of pain was “all in our head”. It doesn’t make it less real. Everything we experience is just our brain interpreting signals. So whether the source is external or internal, the pain is real.

    Congratulations on your progress.

  33. idoubtit
    October 20, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Actually, as I noted above, there ARE studies that appear to document this. From what I can tell (in no way did I do an extensive search), there is certainly some individual variation in people’s sensitivity. That does not seem extraordinary since we all have different acuity in vision, hearing, perception.

    The problem here, that has been alluded to, is not that some people are SENSITIVE to it but that it can utterly DESTROY your life – to the point that you feel you have to move or change jobs or hide out in caves. Or, that you blame others for using technology that you feel harms you. Then we get into messy territory.

    The larger studies appear to show that people are NOT good at even identifying EMF waves but if some sort of GOOD test for individuals could be devised to see how sensitive each person REALLY is, that would be something to go on to help them deal with it. However, such a test would be like isolating a person claiming to be allergic to air or water from their allergen since EMFs are all around us.

  34. idoubtit
    October 20, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    Everyone: I removed comments where a few of us went off on a tangent about moderation. I apologize for editing but I’d like to keep this focused on the main topic. I know many of you disagree with the policy but I want to make this a source of INFORMATION. So, if you would please just consider the format of this site (different from many other blogs), and help make it a useful science-based place where people can come to see the issue presented in that light. It’s a goal to reach as many people as possible with this and not attack those with opposing views. Sorry for the confusion.

  35. One Eyed Jack
    October 20, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    ” there ARE studies that appear to document this.”

    Perhaps I lost the thread of the conversation. Are you saying that there are studies that confirm sensitivity to EMF signals? I didn’t get that from the list of articles that you posted. They all state that they were unable to find a link.

    The use of “idiopathic” alone indicates that the cause is unknown.

    Am I misunderstanding your statement or the evidence? I don’t see anything that supports a link.

  36. idoubtit
    October 20, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    It’s in the paragraph before the long list…

    “There indeed are a few studies that hint this may have a basis in reality. Here is a case study of one person. And here is a study that shows individuals vary in perception of fields. ”


  37. DontEatThat
    May 8, 2014 at 5:51 PM

    Just came across this article and I believe people can have hypersensitivity to radio waves. I was on an uncrowded train a few years ago and there was a man sitting directly across the aisle reading the paper. We were at the rear of the train and an employee came and sat behind him. Suddenly, the man winced and put his hands on his head. He turned to the employee behind him and asked him not to use his cell phone because he was sensitive to the radio waves. Without any visual or auditory clues, he seemed to know exactly when the cell phone was activated. The employee apologized and turned it off. The man relaxed and continued reading. He commented to us how difficult it was to have this sensitivity, especially in public places. A few minutes later, he grabbed his head again and decided to try another seat in the next car.

    The man was in his late 30s and seemed edgy but otherwise normal. He was not lying to us about his sensitivity, we witnessed it with our own eyes.

  38. idoubtit
    May 8, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    It would be really great if there was a test for some people who feel they are electro-sensitive. It’s not completely implausible.

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