Microwave sickness: a reappraisal

Occup Med (Lond). 2001 Feb;51(1):66-9. doi: 10.1093/occmed/51.1.66.


Microwave sickness (MWS) has been a disputed condition. The syndrome involves the nervous system and includes fatigue, headaches, dysaesthesia and various autonomic effects in radiofrequency radiation workers. This paper describes the early reports of the syndrome from Eastern Europe and notes the scepticism expressed about them in the West, before considering comprehensive recent reports by Western specialists and a possible neurological basis for the condition. It is concluded that MWS is a medical entity which should be recognized as a possible risk for radiofrequency radiation workers.

MeSH terms

  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Headache / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microwaves / adverse effects*
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Paresthesia / etiology