So far, almost 40 good-quality provocation studies have been performed with people reporting electromagnetic sensitivity. In order to be able to rule out the possibility that the electromagnetic field is actually the cause, the experiments are performed blind or double-blind.

Double-blind research is used in biomedical sciences to rule out the so-called placebo effect: the influence of the belief or the conviction of the participant or researcher is limited in this way. The volunteer in a blind provocation experiment does not know which of the two situations he is in. The researchers in a double-blind provocation experiment who conduct the test are also not aware of the nature of the session.

In only a few of these studies has a connection been observed between the symptoms and exposure to an electromagnetic field. However, these results were neither statistically strong nor reproducible. The majority of these studies have found no association.

This suggests that exposure to electromagnetic fields plays no role – or a very small role – in the existence of EHS. The World Health Organisation has concluded on the basis of these findings that there is no scientific basis to associate symptoms of EHS to exposure to electromagnetic fields. (see the WHO fact sheet no. 296).

A more general term for such forms of scientifically unproven sensitivity to environmental factors is Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance, IEI. EHS is considered a form of idiopathic environmental intolerance. In this regard, electromagnetic hypersensitivity resembles Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), in which the symptoms are subjectively attributed to exposure to low doses of chemical substances.

But the research continues. Researchers are also studying electromagnetic hypersensitivity in our country. The BBEMG (Belgian BioElectroMagnetic Group) is performing a study to better understand the problem, and to evaluate the effects of 50 Hz magnetic fields on people

You can download all information of this section in its entirety as a PDF document (information sheet “Electromagnetic hypersensitivity”).