Why electrohypersensitivity and related symptoms are caused by non-ionizing man-made electromagnetic fields: An overview and medical assessment

Environ Res. 2022 Sep;212(Pt A):113374. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2022.113374. Epub 2022 May 7.

Abstract

Much of the controversy over the cause of electrohypersensitivity (EHS) lies in the absence of recognized clinical and biological criteria for a widely accepted diagnosis. However, there are presently sufficient data for EHS to be acknowledged as a distinctly well-defined and objectively characterized neurologic pathological disorder. Because we have shown that 1) EHS is frequently associated with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) in EHS patients, and 2) that both individualized disorders share a common pathophysiological mechanism for symptom occurrence; it appears that EHS and MCS can be identified as a unique neurologic syndrome, regardless their causal origin. In this overview we distinguish the etiology of EHS itself from the environmental causes that trigger pathophysiological changes and clinical symptoms after EHS has occurred. Contrary to present scientifically unfounded claims, we indubitably refute the hypothesis of a nocebo effect to explain the genesis of EHS and its presentation. We as well refute the erroneous concept that EHS could be reduced to a vague and unproven "functional impairment". To the contrary, we show here there are objective pathophysiological changes and health effects induced by electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure in EHS patients and most of all in healthy subjects, meaning that excessive non-thermal anthropogenic EMFs are strongly noxious for health. In this overview and medical assessment we focus on the effects of extremely low frequencies, wireless communications radiofrequencies and microwaves EMF. We discuss how to better define and characterize EHS. Taken into consideration the WHO proposed causality criteria, we show that EHS is in fact causally associated with increased exposure to man-made EMF, and in some cases to marketed environmental chemicals. We therefore appeal to all governments and international health institutions, particularly the WHO, to urgently consider the growing EHS-associated pandemic plague, and to acknowledge EHS as a mainly new real EMF causally-related pathology.

Keywords: EHS; Electrohypersensitivity; Electromagnetic field; Extremely low frequency; Microwaves; Pathophysiological mechanism; Radiofrequency.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Microwaves
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity* / diagnosis
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity* / epidemiology
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity* / etiology
  • Nervous System Diseases*
  • Radio Waves