An increasing number of people worldwide complain that they have become electromagnetic hypersensitive (EHS). We conducted a questionnaire survey of EHS persons in Japan. The aim was to identify electromagnetic fields (EMF) and plausible EMF sources that caused their symptoms. Postal questionnaires were distributed via a self-help group, and 75 participants (95% women) responded. Reported major complaints were "fatigue/tiredness" (85%), "headache", "concentration, memory, and thinking" difficulty (81%, respectively). Seventy-two per cent used some form of complementary/alternative therapy. The most plausible trigger of EHS onset was a mobile phone base station or personal handy-phone system (37%). Sixty-five percent experienced health problems to be due to the radiation from other passengers' mobile phones in trains or buses, and 12% reported that they could not use public transportation at all. Fifty-three percent had a job before the onset, but most had lost their work and/or experienced a decrease in income. Moreover, 85.3% had to take measures to protect themselves from EMF, such as moving to low EMF areas, or buying low EMF electric appliances. EHS persons were suffering not only from their symptoms, but also from economical and social problems.
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