What does the scientific literature say about EHS?

Before I begin delving into the scientific literature, it is important to note that conducting studies on this topic has numerous limitations. First, there is no clear diagnosis criteria for EHS, so all subjects included are self-diagnosed. Second, individuals tend to experience various symptoms ranging from headaches, nausea to suicidal thoughts and depression. Finally, the trigger (source of EMF) and exposure strength/length of time can vary with each individual.

With that in mind, we will look into a systematic review conducted by Rubin et al that compiled all blinded and double blinded provocation studies. These studies are typically incude a EMF exposure device EMF waves versus sham (provocation) to EHS individuals and non EHS individuals (control group) and determine which group is more accurate with their response to exposure or experiences a reproducible symptom.

In this review, they analyzed 31 studies with 725 EHS subjects. The authors tabulated all data and used meta-analyses to compare EHS and control subjects to be able to discriminate active from sham exposures. Twenty-four of these studies found no evidence to support the existence of biophysical hypersensitivity. Of the 7 studies that reported support evidence, 2 failed to reproduce their findings, 3 were statistical artefacts, and 2 were mutually incompatible results. This review concludes it is difficult to show that EHS subjects can distinguish between EMF exposure versus sham exposure, suggesting EHS is unrelated to EMF exposure. The authors do agree that more research into this issue is required.

Rubin GJ, Das Munshi J, Wessely S. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: a systematic review of provocation studies. Psychosom Med. 2005;67:224–232. doi: 10.1097/01.psy.0000155664.13300.64.