ArticlePDF Available

The Prevalence of People With Restricted Access to Work in Man-Made Electromagnetic Environments


Abstract and Figures

Some surveys have identified people who have restricted access to work in environments with man-made electromagnetic exposures. This study attempts to determine their prevalence, an aspect not previously investigated in its own right. It is based on analyses of the two different types of surveys of people with Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance attributed to Electromagnetic Fields (IEI-EMF), or Electromagnetic Hyper-Sensitivity (EHS), either of the general population or of people with IEI-EMF/EHS. In addition, there are different definitions of IEI-EMF/EHS, with a range of subconscious, mild, moderate or severe symptoms, potentially leading in three stages to hyper-sensitivity. The current evidence is assessed as indicating that, in addition to subconscious sensitivity, the prevalence of IEI-EMF/EHS is between about 5.0 and 30 per cent of the general population for mild cases, 1.5 and 5.0 per cent for moderate cases and < 1.5 per cent for severe cases. The prevalence of people restricted in their access to work in a man-made electromagnetic environment is estimated at 0.65 per cent of the general population, at about 18% of the general population with moderate IEI-EMF/EHS. The estimate of 0.65% equates to 435,500 people in the UK’s population of 67 million. Some reasons for possible under-reporting are discussed. Adjustments can enable some people with this disability to remain in employment, suggesting that rates of restriction in access to work may fall as employers become aware of what adjustments are needed.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Journal of Environment
and Health Science ISSN: 2378-6841
The Prevalence of People with Restricted Access to Work
in Manmade Electromagnetic Environments
Michael Bevington
Stowe School, Stowe, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire MK18 5EH, United Kingdom
*Corresponding author: Michael Bevington, Stowe School, Stowe, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire MK18 5EH, United Kingdom; E-mail:
Citation: Bevington, M. The Prevalence of People with
Restricted Access to Work in Manmade Electromagnetic
Environments. (2019) J Environ Health Sci 5(1): 01- 12.
Received date: January 4, 2019
Accepted date: January 11, 2019
Published date: January 18, 2019
Some surveys have tried to assess the prevalence of employment
among people aected by man-made electromagnetic environ-
ments. This condition is known as Idiopathic Environmental
Intolerance attributed to Electromagnetic Fields (IEI-EMF), or
Electromagnetic Hyper-Sensitivity (EHS), and also as Radio
Wave Sickness or Intolerance, Microwave Sickness, or Electro-
sensitivity. There are two types of surveys, either large-scale of
the general population, or small-scale and limited to people with
IEI-EMF/EHS. Both depend on a method of identifying people
The dierences between the two types of survey are not
necessarily a problem. Once the percentage of the general pop-
ulation with IEI-EMF/EHS is known, surveys limited to people
with IEI-EMF/EHS can be evaluated in the light of this percent-
age. Some surveys of the general population are here estimated
to show that about 18% of people classied as having IEI-EMF/
EHS with moderate symptoms are restricted in access to work.
The criteria for the diagnosis of IEI-EMF/EHS are a
greater problem. Many surveys have relied on self-diagnosis,
without external objective analysis. The World Health Organi-
Research Article DOI: 10.15436/2378-6841.19.2402
Vol 5:1 pp 1
Copyright: © 2019 Bevington, M. This is an Open access article
distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
International License.
zation Backgrounder (WHO 296, 2005) did not provide a clear
diagnostic test. Only recently have multi-systemic tests been
proposed as suitable for diagnosis (Belpomme, et al. 2015).
The two proposed aetiologies of IEI-EMF/EHS are not
an issue, since either aetiology could lead to restricted access to
work. The psychological aetiology is based on failures to nd
a comprehensive association between exposure and conscious
symptoms, suggesting instead a nocebo eect or electrophobia
during sham sessions (Eltiti, et al. 2018; Rubin, et al. 2010),
dependent on media reports, which can vary between countries
Some surveys have identied people who have restricted access to work in environments with man-made electromag-
netic exposures. This study attempts to determine their prevalence, an aspect not previously investigated in its own
right. It is based on analyses of the two dierent types of surveys of people with Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance
attributed to Electromagnetic Fields (IEI-EMF), or Electromagnetic Hyper-Sensitivity (EHS), either of the general
population or of people with IEI-EMF/EHS. In addition, there are dierent denitions of IEI-EMF/EHS, with a range
of subconscious, mild, moderate or severe symptoms, potentially leading in three stages to hyper-sensitivity. The cur-
rent evidence is assessed as indicating that, in addition to subconscious sensitivity, the prevalence of IEI-EMF/EHS
is between about 5.0 and 30 per cent of the general population for mild cases, 1.5 and 5.0 per cent for moderate cases
and < 1.5 per cent for severe cases. The prevalence of people restricted in their access to work in a man-made electro-
magnetic environment is estimated at 0.65 per cent of the general population, at about 18% of the general population
with moderate IEI-EMF/EHS. The estimate of 0.65% equates to 435,500 people in the UK’s population of 67 million.
Some reasons for possible under-reporting are discussed. Adjustments can enable some people with this disability to
remain in employment, suggesting that rates of restriction in access to work may fall as employers become aware of
what adjustments are needed.
Keywords: Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance attributed to Electromagnetic Fields (IEI-EMF); Electromagnetic Hy-
per-Sensitivity (EHS); Work; Employment; Retirement; Disability; Functional impairment
Citation: Bevington, M. The Prevalence of People with Restricted Access to Work in Manmade Electromagnetic Environments. (2019) J Environ Health Sci 5(1):
01- 12. Vol 5:1 pp 2
(Tseng, et al. 2013), and related to personality traits (Boehmert, et al. 2018; Johansson A, et al. 2010;Witho, et al. 2018). The al-
ternative, physiological, aetiology, possibly characterising an essentially dierent condition (Bogers, et al. 2018; Dieudonné, 2016)
is based on individual provocation cases (McCarty et al, 2011; Rea, et al. 1991), cerebral blood scans (Irigaray, Lebar, et al. 2018),
3d fMRI (Heuser, et al. 2017) and genetics (De Luca et al, 2014), dependent on mechanisms such as voltage-gated calcium channels
(Pall, 2013), cryptochromes (Sherrard, et al. 2018) and oxidative stress (Irigaray, Caccamo, et al. 2018).
There is a growing awareness of the issues concerning people with IEI-EMF/EHS and the duties of society towards them
(Johansson, 2015). The analysis presented here is the rst to be concerned primarily with restricted access to work.
Two types of surveys of people unable to access work
Surveys of the general population: Most epidemiological surveys have assessed the prevalence of IEI-EMF/EHS in the general
population according to their own criteria, by questions on conscious symptoms. Although all humans are naturally sensitive to
electromagnetic elds in the form of, for instance, solar radiation, these surveys have concerned only conscious and adverse symp-
toms of sensitivity, from man-made technology. They have necessarily included people with mild, moderate and severe symptoms
of IEI-EMF/EHS. This wide range of sensitivity has age-related dierences (Redmayne et al. 2015).
The estimated proportion of the general population with IEI-EMF/EHS has varied considerably, depending on a survey’s
minimum requirements in terms of the number and extent of the symptoms needed to classify a person with IEI-EMF/EHS. Where
the classication is looser, including a wider a range of people with IEI-EMF/EHS, the proportion of the general population with
IEI-EMF/EHS may be higher. These cases are likely to include many mild ones, where the condition is less disabling and there-
fore a smaller subsection is likely to be restricted in access to work. The converse also applies, where a more demanding range of
symptoms gives a smaller proportion of the general population, but the cases are likely to be more severe, with a larger subsection
identied as restricted in access to work.
The validity of this analysis is apparent from some of the literature. In population-based surveys the prevalence of IEI-
EMF/EHS has ranged from 1.5% in Sweden (Hillert et al. 2002), at a low level, to over 30% in Austria (Schröttner, et al. 2008),
with an average value for some surveys at 3.6% (Table 1). The comparatively high value of 4.6% (Huang, et al. 2018) was for a
survey in Taiwan which did “not nd a higher risk of being unable to work in participants with IEI-EMF”. In fact the survey asked
only whether the person was employed, and not about any restriction on access to work, and its combined percentage of out of work
and unable to work was, unusually, lower for people with IEI-EMF/EHS than others, despite its nding that 0.58% of the general
population had impairment of daily activities because of their IEI-EMF/EHS.
Table 1: Surveys of the general population showing the prevalence of people with IEI-EMF/EHS with restricted access to work.
Study Number
of gen-
eral pop-
Percentage (and
number) of gen-
eral population
classied with
some annoyance
Extrapolated percentage
of IEI-EMF/EHS with
restricted access to work
(dierential between
IEI-EMF/EHS and gen-
eral population controls)
Extrapolated per-
centage of general
population with
with restricted ac-
cess to work
Percentage of general
population with severe
symptoms of IEI-EMF/
EHS, or with impair-
ment in daily activities,
or much annoyance
Tseng, et al. 2011 1,197 13.3 (104) 18.9 2.4
Carlsson, et al. 2005 13,381 2.7 (367)1
13.5 (1812)2
Eltiti, et al. 2007 3,633 4.0 (145) 1.8
Huang, Li, et al. 2018 3,303 4.6 (155) -0.63 3 0.58
Hojo, et al. 2016 1,306 4.59 (60) 22.1 41.44
Levallois, et al. 2002 2,072 3.2 (68) 0.52
Baliatsas, et al. 2014 5,073 3.5 (202) 13.2 0.46
Hillert, et al. 2002 10,439 1.5 (166) 12.5 0.19
Mean (with Tseng and Carlsson) 6.4 13.2 1.00 1.6
Mean (without Tseng and Carlsson) 5 3.6 11.8
0.65 1.2
1‘Other (non-lighting) electrical equipment’: some or much annoyance.
2 Visual display unit (VDU) and Fluorescent tube lighting (FTL): some or much annoyance.
3 The dierential of the combined percentage for out of work and unable to work, for IEI-EMF compared with non IEI-EMF. This negative gure
implies proportionately more people with IEI-EMF than non IEI-EMF were working.
4 The dierence in the per centage unemployed, excluding students, between controls identied by screening as EHS and all controls; the dier-
ential for homeworking was 12%.
5 The gures from Tseng, et al. 2011, and Carlsson, et al. 2005, appear to be outliers. Therefore, they are omitted from the averages.
6 Excluding Huang, Li, et al. 2018, where the anomalous value of -0.63 [see note 3] does not appear to relate to the nal column recording severe
symptoms, unless Taiwanese employers had already made the necessary adjustments for people with severe cases of IEI-EMF/EHS. The survey’s
contacts were made by telephone; severe cases of IEI-EMF/EHS often cannot tolerate EMFs from a corded or especially a wireless telephone.
Restricted Access in Manmade Electromagnetic Environments
Bevington, M Vol 5:1 pp 3
In contrast, a survey which found a relatively lower percentage, identifying 3.2% as having IEI-EMF/EHS in California
(Levallois et al. 2002), concluded that “being unable to work might be a consequence of the disorder for the more severe cases”.
Extrapolated gures give 0.52% of the general population as facing restrictions in accessing work because of IEI-EMF/EHS, similar
to the Taiwan gure of 0.58% with impairment of daily activities. In the Swedish survey which found 1.5% with IEI-EMF/EHS
(Hillert et al. 2002), rates of unemployment, sick leave and early retirement were higher for those identied as having IEI-EMF/
EHS compared with others without IEI-EMF/EHS, by up to 2.7 times. It concluded that those with IEI-EMF/EHS “appeared to
have a lower capacity for work”, based on 51.8% of those with IEI-EMF/EHS working (compared with 61.1% of others), 12.1%
unemployed (4.4% others), 2.5% on sick leave (1.6% others), and 7.7% on early retirement or disability pension (3.8% others). This
gives 12.5% of the people classied as having IEI-EMF/EHS as restricted in access to work. In terms of the general population, this
is equivalent to 0.19%.
Surveys of people with IEI-EMF/EHS: Where a study is restricted to people with IEI-EMF/EHS, and especially where they are
people with a severe rather than mild form of IEI-EMF/EHS, it is likely that a higher proportion will be found to have no, or restrict-
ed, access to work. The few studies of this type so far have been limited in scale but half those listed have found between 50% and
67% of their respondents with no, or restricted, access to work (Table 2).
Table 2: Surveys of people with IEI-EMF/EHS showing the prevalence of people with IEI-EMF/EHS with restricted access to work
Study Funding: Government Agen-
cy (GA), or Independent
(Ind.) and various
Number of
EHS refer-
Percentage (num-
ber) of ES (Elec-
trical Sensitivity),
but not of EHS
(number) of IEI-
EMF/EHS ref-
erents: restricted
access to work 1
(number) of IEI-
EMF/EHS refer-
ents: death (brain
tumour, suicide)
Gibson, et al. 2015 Ind. 465 (IEI) 86 (394) unspecied 67 (301) 2
UK, 2019 current 3 Ind. 36 47 (17) 3 (1) 67 (24) 8 (3)
Kato, et al. 2012 Ind. 75 95 (71) 5.3 (4) 65 (49)
Johansson A, et al. 2010 Center for Env. Res., Umeå 71 82 (58) 0 60 (43)
Levallois, et al. 2002 GA: PUC 68 59 (40) unspecied 53 (36)
IDEA, 2005 Ind. 16 38 (6) unspecied 50 (8)
Arnetz, et al. 1997 GA: NIRP 116 4 92 (12) 89 (103) 41 (47)
Hojo, et al. 2016 Ind. 82 79.5 (101) 35 (45) 38 (48) 5
Kjellqvist, et al. 2016 Center for Env. Res., Umeå 114 85 (75) unspecied 35 (40)
Johansson A, et al. 2010 Center for Env. Res., Umeå 0 62 (28) 100 (45) 6 31 (14)
Andrianome, et al. 2018 GA: ANSES 52 79 (41) unspecied 26.9 (14)
Blomkvist, et al. 1993 GA: Swed. Found. for Occup.
1,650 unspecied unspecied 9.1 (150)
1Restricted access to work, including: decreased income, disability pension, early retirement, reduced work, sick leave, unable to work, unem-
ployed, work transfer.
2Of the 34% in work, 15% worked full or part time from or inside the home, compared with 18% who worked full or part time outside the home.
31% held university degrees. 22 % were recorded as homeless at some time, and 4% were currently homeless. IEI was called environmental sen-
sitivity, comprising chemical and electrical sensitivity.
3Analysis of 36 cases of IEI-EMF/EHS reported in UK printed media 2006-2017, including access to work (unpaid) categorized as applicable to
one parent-carer, one university student, and two school pupils. Of the 9 remaining in work, 6 had adjustments made for them to continue in work.
4A 1993 study of 133 visual display unit (VDU) workers in Sweden, of whom 87% (116) reported sensitivity to health symptoms and 10% (13)
hyper-sensitivity (EHS). 35% (47) were unable to use a VDU for more than 3 hours per day without experiencing symptoms.
5 The aggregated dierence between the combined totals for unemployed and homeworker compared with controls.
6‘Mobile Phone’ symptoms, as opposed to ‘general EHS’.
A survey of 16 people with IEI-EMF/EHS in Ireland found that 50% were unable to work (IDEA, 2005). A survey of 75
people with IEI-EMF/EHS in Japan found that 50% of 40 had lost their jobs and that, overall, 65% had lost work or experienced
a decrease in income after the onset of IEI-EMF/EHS (Kato, et al. 2012). A study in the USA concerned with only severe cases of
environmental sensitivities, including IEI-EMF/EHS, reported 67% unemployed out of 465 subjects (Gibson et al. 2015), where it
was stated: “We consistently nd in my lab that (unless we request working participants), two-thirds of study participants are un-
employed” (Gibson, 2017). A similar proportion of unemployment was found among 71 subjects with EHS in Sweden, where only
16% were employed (compared with 73% among 106 controls), 60% were on sick leave or disability pension (16% controls), and
17% were unemployed or retired (11% controls) (Johansson A, et al. 2010).
To help validate these ndings, which relied on online, paper or telephone questionnaires among self-help groups, relevant
media reports were analyzed on 36 individuals or groups with IEI-EMF/EHS published in the U.K. between 2006 and 2017 (UK
Citation: Bevington, M. The Prevalence of People with Restricted Access to Work in Manmade Electromagnetic Environments. (2019) J Environ Health Sci 5(1):
01- 12. Vol 5:1 pp 4
Survey, 2019, Table 2, Supplementary Data). These reports of-
ten involved a personal interview by a skeptical journalist, who
could more objectively assess how far the subject could access
work or needed adjustments. Of the 32 relevant cases of peo-
ple with IEI-EMF/EHS who started as paid workers, 24 (75%)
had been employed and 8 (25%) had been self-employed. Four
others comprised of one parent child-carer, one university stu-
dent, and two school pupils. Of the 36 cases, 24 (67%) stopped
working, retired early, or left their place of education, 3 (8%)
died, one from a brain tumor and two by suicide, and only 9
(25%) continued in work. Of the nine who continued working,
ve cases were in or before 2006 when the amount of man-made
radiation was lower than now. Six were able to continue work af-
ter adjustments were made to their electromagnetic environment
by the employer or the self-employed person. The overall result
of 67% of people with severe IEI-EMF/EHS being unable to
continue work or nd work is comparable with the range of 60%
to 67% listed above among similar groups in Japan, Sweden, the
USA and elsewhere.
Numerical relationship between the two types of studies of
the prevalence of people restricted in access to work
The percentage of the general population unable to access of
work because of IEI-EMF/EHS deduced from surveys of the
general population varies from 0.19% to 2.4% (Table 1). It is
here argued that 0.65%, the mean of four lower gures, can be
considered a valid average, given the nature of the evidence.
The low gure of 0.19% of the general population with
restricted access to work comes from the detailed survey in Swe-
den of 10,439 respondents in the general population (Hillert, et
al. 2002). This found 1.5% of the population with IEI-EMF/
EHS, with a dierential for restrictions on work of 12.5%, giv-
ing 0.19% of the general population restricted in access to work.
A survey in 2007 of 1,197 people in Taiwan gave an extrapola-
tion of 2.4% as having restricted access to work, but this survey
identied 13.3 % as having IEI-EMF/EHS, a gure later reduced
for Taiwan to 4.6% (Huang, et al. 2018). The latter’s nding of
+0.58% for impairment of daily activities from IEI-EMF/EHS
did not match the -0.63% restrictions on work. In other words,
more people with IEI-EMF/EHS, despite their impairments,
were in work than the controls, which from other surveys seems
unlikely. In addition, this survey did not ask about disability pen-
sions, part-time work or early retirement, and was conducted by
telephone, whereas severe cases of IEI-EMF/EHS cannot use
telephones. Another study found 4.0% of 3,633 members of the
UK general population had IEI-EMF/EHS (Eltiti, et al. 2007).
In study 2 it found that 74% of people with IEI-EMF/EHS, or
1.8% of the general population, were classied as having severe
symptoms, and these people may be considered most likely to
suer restrictions on access to work. However, since there was
no direct assessment of access to work, this gure must be treat-
ed cautiously and preference given to other lower gures.
Another approach for assessing the relationship be-
tween the two types of surveys, of the general population (Ta-
ble 1) and of people with IEI-EMF/EHS (Table 2), where the
referents are often accessed via self-help groups, is to estimate
the number of people with an environmental health condition
typically in contact with specialised national self-help groups.
Allergy UK in 2017 had 11,383 contacts through its helpline,
webchat and by email out of 21 million people with an allergy,
at 0.054% (The British Allergy Foundation, 2017). Asthma UK
in 2017 had 93,000 downloads of online Action Plans out of 5.4
million people with asthma, at 1.7% (Asthma UK, 2017). Ap-
plying these proportions of 0.054% - 1.7% to Electrosensitivity,
UK’s distribution of 710 printed newsletters in September 2018
(Electrosensitivity UK, 2018) would produce a national preva-
lence of 0.062% - 1.94%, meaning that the general population
with restricted work, based on 67% of people with IEI-EMF/
EHS, would be 0.042 - 1.3%, with a midpoint of 0.67%.
These gures show some overlap with the gures of
0.19–2.4 % deduced from general population surveys and the
gures of 0.58-2.3% of people with severe symptoms from IEI-
EMF/EHS. The mean gure of 0.65 %, suggested here from
extrapolations from general population surveys, is close to the
average of 0.67% based on UK charity contacts. It is only half of
the 1.2% for severe symptoms, but these are less reliable guides
to restricted access to work for people with IEI-EMF/EHS than
actual surveys. Three of the general population surveys appeared
reasonably consistent in giving an average rate of about 15.9%
(range 12.5 – 22.1%) for people with IEI-EMF/EHS having re-
strictions on access to work. For the UK’s population of 67 mil-
lion, the survey mean of 0.65% gives 435,500 people aected in
this way.
Prevalence of restricted works in terms of (i) symptom sever-
ity and (ii) stages in the progress of IEI-EMF/EHS, and (iii)
compared with visual impairment
(i) Subconscious, mild, moderate and severe symptoms: some
of the wide variety of the reported prevalence of IEI-EMF/EHS
can be explained by the wide variety of denitions typically used.
This especially applies to the four ranges of severity in symptoms
among the general population, here estimated at: subconscious
30 – 80%, mild 5 –30%, moderate 1.5 – 5%, and severe < 1.5%.
Subconscious symptoms from man-made electromag-
netic exposure cover most of the general population, just as all
people are aected by, for instance, natural electromagnetic ex-
posure in the form of solar radiation. Although the eects may
include conscious ones, they depend on chronic subconscious
exposures, usually in a dose-response relationship, as in a study
of 180 respondents near a phone mast (Eger, et al. 2010). A study
of 217 students at two schools found an association with a gen-
eral decrease in motor skills, spatial working memory and at-
tention in the school with higher levels of radiation from base
stations (Meo, et al. 2018). This dose-response sensitivity was
also evident near base stations in Austria, where, of 336 resi-
dents, in the highest exposure category 79% reported headaches
and 76% concentration diculties (Hutter, et al. 2006); these
and ve other health eects, cold hands or feet (62%), sweating
(40%), palpitations (38%), vertigo (32%) and loss of appetite
(24%), all showed increased incidence for each higher exposure
level. The diculty of attributing eects may explain how 70%
of 587 students complained of headaches whereas only 6.8%
related these directly to mobile phone use (Szyjkowska, et al.
2005). Another study implied that up to 40% of adults may have
subconscious sensitivity owing to their chronic inammatory or
immune conditions, based on responses by 90% of 64 subjects
Restricted Access in Manmade Electromagnetic Environments
Bevington, M Vol 5:1 pp 5
(Marshall, et al. 2017). For long-term occupational exposure
51% reported cardiovascular impairments (Bortkiewicz, et al.
2012). Cancer, which can be considered as a symptom of IEI-
EMF/EHS, increased from 0.00313 to 0.00767% incidence for
967 persons within 400m of a phone mast after 5 years’ exposure,
and elsewhere to 0.0129% within 350m, with a 10.5 relative risk
for women but only 1.4 for men (Kundi, et al. 2009) perhaps
reecting greater female IEI-EMF/EHS sensitivity. Since it is
dicult for an individual to identify the exposure source when
symptoms are triggered subconsciously, most surveys based on
self-diagnosis do not cover these eects.
Mild forms of self-reported IEI-EMF/EHS are often
characterized as specic sensitivities and intolerances to specic
EMF devices, typically up to about 30% of the general popula-
tion. A survey of 2,048 of the general population found 29.3%
who were “slightly disturbed” (Schröttner, et al. 2008). Of 1,375
respondents “20.9% of our study population was electrohy-
persensitive according to our denition” (Mohler, et al. 2010),
although other authors would dene “hypersensitive” more
narrowly. Some studies in this range overlap the previous, sub-
conscious, category. A study of inhabitants near a base station
found a prevalence of 28.2% for the most common symptom
associated with exposure and over 20% for 5 other symptoms,
compared with none among controls (Abdel-Rassoul, et al.
2007). At this level IEI-EMF/EHS is usually seen in a dose-re-
sponse relationship to the EMFs and is often called ‘intolerance’
or ‘sensitivity’, but not ‘hyper-sensitivity’.
Moderate levels of conscious reactions are more often
described as ‘hyper-sensitivity’ or IEI-EMF/EHS. These are
typically found in about 5% or under of the population. Among
2,048 Swiss respondents, 5% were classied as ‘EHS’ (Schreier,
et al. 2006). “Intolerance” to EMFs was used for 2.7% of 3,406
Swedish and 1.6% of 1,535 Finnish respondents (Karvala, et
al. 2017). Moderate and severe forms of IEI-EMF/EHS can be
non-linear in the relationship of the severity of symptoms and
the exposure, rather than dose-response as in mild and subcon-
scious forms.
Severe forms of IEI-EMF/EHS, below the 1.5 - 5.0% of
the general population with moderate symptoms, are most likely
to lead to restrictions on access to work. Here it is suggested that
these severe symptoms are found in about 1.2 % of the general
population, based on a mean from the range 0.58 - 2.3 % (Table
1), or 33% of people with moderate IEI-EMF/EHS, averaged
at 3.6%, as having a severe form. One study argued that “The
results show that very electrosensitive people do exist and are
more common in groups reporting EHS”, and that while 2% of
the general population were “very sensitive individuals”, “more
than 11% of the EHS persons were classied as very sensitive”
(Schröttner, et al. 2007). Here it is also suggested that about a half
the people with severe IEI-EMF/EHS, at 0.65% of the general
population, based on a mean for the range 0.19 – 1.44% (with
2.4% as an outlier) face restrictions in access to work (Table 1).
(ii) Three stages in the progress of IEI-EMF/EHS: the con-
dition of IEI-EMF/EHS often develops over the years, starting
with mild and occasional sensitivity to a single device, but mov-
ing into moderate or severe hyper-sensitivity to many sources
of EMFs. IEI-EMF/EHS was divided into three stages by A.G.
Panov and N.V. Tyagin in 1966 (Petrov, 1970). Its progression
is considered non-linear, since adaptive immunological reac-
tions can restore a limited degree of homeostasis in mild forms
of IEI-EMF/EHS, as shown in markers for chronic stress reac-
tions (Buchner, et al. 2011), where cumulative eects of Wi
and cordless phones were sometimes seen as reinforcing the
phone mast eects. The term ‘electromagnetic hyper-sensitivi-
ty’ is usually reserved for the nal and most severe stage, with
more frequent and more intense reactions (Hecht, 2012). Only
a few surveys have attempted to dierentiate the three stages of
IEI-EMF/EHS, but some have distinguished between the lengths
of EMF exposure (Baliatsas, et al. 2012), or found that most
people with IEI-EMF/EHS reported that their “hyper-sensitivity
started after high-dose or long-term EMF exposure” (Gruber, et
al. 2018).
(iii) The prevalence and severity of IEI-EMF/EHS compared
with visual impairment: the variations in prevalence and se-
verity of IEI-EMF/EHS can be paralleled in some respects with
visual impairment and loss (Table 3). About 25% of children suf-
fer visual impairment in the form of myopia, usually corrected
with glasses (Williams. et al. 2015), while some 30% of the pop-
ulation has limited sensitivity to a specic EMF device, which
they may be able to avoid. About 3.0% of the population suers
visual loss, while a mean of about 3.6% of the population suers
IEI-EMF/EHS with moderate severity. About 0.54% of the pop-
ulation is registered blind or partially sighted (UK NHS, 2018),
while 0.65% of the population is estimated here as restricted in
access to work because of IEI-EMF/EHS (Table 1).
Table 3: Comparison of the prevalence and severity of (a) IEI-EMF/EHS and (b) Visual Impairment and Visual Loss
scious eects1
EHS Mild
symptoms 2
Moderate symp-
toms (estimated
Severe symp-
toms (estimat-
ed mean)4
work (estimat-
ed mean)5
(b) Visual
Myopia (chil-
Loss 7
Visual Loss:
blind or par-
tially sighted 8
Percentage (gen-
eral population)
79 29 3.6 1.2 0.65 25 3.0 0.54
Number (UK, 67
52,930,000 19,430,000 2,412,000 804,000 435,500 16,750,000 2,000,000 360,000
1Long-term exposure at high levels > 0.5 mW/m2 [ = > 500microW/m2] (Hutter, et al. 2006).
2(Schröttner, et al. 2008).
3,4,5Table 1.
6(Williams, et al. 2015).
7(UK NHS, 2018).
8(UK NHS, 2018).
Citation: Bevington, M. The Prevalence of People with Restricted Access to Work in Manmade Electromagnetic Environments. (2019) J Environ Health Sci 5(1):
01- 12. Vol 5:1 pp 6
Temporal changes in the prevalence of (i) IEI-EMF/EHS and
(ii) restrictions in access to work
(i) Temporal changes in the prevalence of IEI-EMF/EHS:
A temporal change in prevalence with a reduction in perceived
symptoms of sensitivity is evident from the two Taiwan surveys,
unless it depends on dierent denitions: from 13.3% in 2007
(Hedendah, Let al. 2015), it fell to 4.6% by 2012 (Huang, et al.
2018). This was also true in the UK, where it fell from 11% of
3,600 respondents with “some sensitivity” in 2004 (Mild, 2004)
to 4% in 2007 (Eltiti, et al. 2007). In contrast, Swedish preva-
lence remained at 3.1 or 3.2% from 1999 to 2007 (The Swedish
National Board of Health. 2009. p.192), although another Swed-
ish survey gave 1.5% in between in 2002 (Hillert, et al. 2002).
If correct, a fall may reect a variety of factors, such as
societal attitudes to wireless radiation, including dependence on,
and addiction to, devices, as well as possible psychological or
physiological adaptation over the time between surveys, along
with dierences in the surveys themselves. It does not appear
that conscious sensitivity has developed to the 50% extrapolat-
ed for 2017 (Hallberg, et al. 2006). However, a fall may also
reect an increased acceptance among the general population
of ill health as normal, for instance, frequent insomnia, tinnitus
or headache. A survey of 526 of the Austrian general population
found that 24% would accept a higher health risk from new tech-
nologies for the “increased comfort they provided” (Schröttner,
et al. 2008). Since the symptoms are also seen as results of ag-
ing, this evidence of general worsening health has led IEI-EMF/
EHS to be described as the “Rapid Aging Syndrome” (Havas,
(ii) Temporal changes in the prevalence of restrictions in ac-
cess to work for people with IEI-EMF/EHS: There is limit-
ed evidence at present whether the prevalence in restrictions in
access to work for people with IEI-EMF/EHS is changing. In
the UK survey of 36 cases of people with IEI-EMF/EHS, there
appeared to be an increase in numbers of cases after 2004, where
cases triggered in each quinquennial period were: 1991-95: 3;
1996-2000: 6; 2001-05: 4; 2006-10: 11; 2011-15: 12 (Supple-
mentary Data). This could reect the growing use of mobile
phones and Wi from about 2004, but may be an artefact. A
2009-15 general survey (Hojo, et al. 2016) showed people with
IEI-EMF/EHS facing work restrictions about 7.5 times higher
than a survey in 1997 (Hillert, et al. 2002), and a prevalence of
IEI-EMF/EHS of 4.59% compared with a similar survey from
2004 of 4.0% (Eltiti, et al. 2007). On the other hand, if more
employers make the necessary adjustments, then restrictions on
access to work may be decreasing. This could be oset, how-
ever, by more people suering from IEI-EMF/EHS. Countries
adopting long-term exposure guidelines like EUROPAEM 2016
(Belyaev, et al, 2016) could also see a reduction in both IEI-
EMF/EHS and restrictions to work. Among 145 Finns unable to
work because of IEI-EMF/EHS, avoidance of EMFs removed or
lessened symptoms, whereas psychotherapy was useful in only
42% of cases (Hagström, et al. 2013).
Factors behind possible under-reporting of the prevalence of
restrictions in access to work
A number of socio-economic factors may help explain why this
area of public health has not received greater attention in the lit-
erature so far. In addition to any temporal changes, the following
factors may be relevant to under-reporting.
(i) Gender dierence: a gender dierence was found with a fac-
tor of 0.77 in sensitivity to ELF currents, where 4.2% women
and 1.7% men were very sensible, and 0.6% women and 1.2%
men very insensible, and women also had a larger range for per-
ception thresholds than men, 15 times below the mean, com-
pared with 8 for men (Leitgeb, et al. 2003). Where IEI-EMF/
EHS was found to be 3.2% in Sweden in 2007, the gender dif-
ferential was 1.2%, based on 3.8 % women and 2.6 % men (The
Swedish National Board of Health. 2009. p.192). Since in some
cultures female employment has in the past been socially less the
norm than male, unemployment in severe cases may have been
under-reported where women predominated.
(ii) Diculty in diagnosing adults with IEI-EMF/EHS: It is
often dicult to identify IEI-EMF/EHS and to link EMF ex-
posure with health eects which restrict access to work. In one
case a physician with 25 years’ experience spent nine months re-
searching before he discovered that he had developed IEI-EMF/
EHS (Eberle, 2014). Three out of the four cases in another study
showed that it took from 3 to 17 years to identify EMF exposure
as a cause of symptoms (Genuis, 2008). Another case (#3, UK
survey 2019; Supplementary Data) took 14 years to discover that
the cause of her varied symptoms was probably IEI-EMF/EHS;
in fact, of the 34 individual adults in this survey, 7 (21%) were
graduates of Oxford or Cambridge universities, an unusually
high proportion given that these graduates form under 1% of the
UK’s adult population. In another study 50% of people consid-
ered IEI-EMF/EHS had the equivalent of university education
compared with 11% of others (Schröttner, et al. 2008), while of
107 with IEI-EMF/EHS, 27.3% were classied as having ‘high’
education compared with 12.2% as ‘low’ (Schreier, et al. 2006).
No known psychological or neurological factors explain this
preponderance towards higher education. Instead, it may reect
the intellectual challenge of linking unseen radiation with ill
health, especially given the shortage of information about IEI-
EMF/EHS in some medical literature and in some ocial sourc-
es. In Japan it was reported that in 2012 only 1% of the general
population had heard of IEI-EMF/EHS (Hojo, et al. 2016). This
diculty of diagnosis may also explain under-reporting in some
studies on IEI-EMF/EHS based on self-diagnosis.
(iii) Diculty in diagnosing children with IEI-EMF/EHS:
It can be especially dicult to diagnose IEI-EMF/EHS as the
cause of symptoms among children. In one case it took 10 years
for physicians and therapists to establish that the child had IEI-
EMF/EHS (case 1, Hedendahl, et al. 2015), suggesting that there
may be signicant under-reporting for children, who need ad-
justments to prevent restriction or exclusion from their school
work situations.
Restricted Access in Manmade Electromagnetic Environments
Bevington, M Vol 5:1 pp 7
(iv) Diculty in dierential diagnosis of IEI-EMF/EHS and
MCS: During the ten years before a survey in 2012-15, IEI-
EMF/EHS became the second most common trigger for Multi-
ple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) at 26.9%, with 17.1% aected
at home and 11.7% at work or school, after construction and ren-
ovation (35.1%), whereas it did not feature at all in a survey of
1999-2003 (Hojo, et al. 2018). This link between IEI-EMF/EHS
and MCS matches earlier ndings (Rea, et al. 1991; Belpomme,
et al. 2015), but can make diagnosis dicult, where MCS is a
better known and more prevalent environmental intolerance.
(v) Diculty in dierential diagnosis of IEI-EMF/EHS and
cancer: markers for some cases of IEI-EMF/EHS, such as ge-
netic haplotypes (De Luca, et al, 2014) and chronic inamma-
tion and oxidative stress (Irigaray, Caccamo, et al. 2018), are
also linked with cancers, a common health outcome among
many people with IEI-EMF/EHS, related by dose-response to
exposures (Kundi, et al. 2009) and supported by WHO’s IARC
2B possible human carcinogen classication, making a dieren-
tial diagnosis often problematical.
(vi) Enforced relocation: some people with IEI-EMF/EHS
have felt forced to move to remote areas (Evans, 2017), or even
emigrate from their country of birth to seek an environment with
less wireless radiation. This makes it dicult to document their
removal from a particular employment.
(vii) Perceived shame: people with IEI-EMF/EHS often feel
shame and are reluctant to admit their situation, especially when
they have been made redundant or dismissed from employment
(Eberle, 2017). They see themselves as failing their family by
being unable to earn money to support them and also by pre-
venting their family from having the same wireless environment
as other people. As a result they are often unwilling to complete
surveys and thus they remain hidden from statistics.
(viii) Denial because of ridicule, dismissal, and the fear of in-
voluntary incarceration: where the person with IEI-EMF/EHS
has been verbally ridiculed by their employers and peers, or dis-
missed unsympathetically by their physician, or detained against
their will in a psychiatric unit, the perceived danger of further
ridicule, dismissal, and involuntary incarceration can lead to a
state of denial (Crumpler, 2017). This can make them refuse to
admit their actual health condition to themselves or to others.
Such people often actively avoid all surveys in their refusal to be
labelled as having IEI-EMF/EHS.
(ix) Helplessness syndrome: people with severe cases of IEI-
EMF/EHS are prone to developing helplessness (Hecht, 2012).
Because they cannot change their situation, they develop depres-
sion and other psycho neuroimmunological disorders. This can
lead to under-reporting of the original condition which triggered
their helplessness.
(x) Mortality ending work: in cases where death was concur-
rent with, or subsequent to, IEI-EMF/EHS, the referent may not
be recorded as losing employment or ‘work’ because of their
IEI-EMF/EHS. In one survey, three people with IEI-EMF/EHS
died, one from a brain tumour and two from suicide (UK survey,
2019, Table 2; Supplementary Data), but such cases are not al-
ways recorded as relating to work.
(xi) Financial reward and legal ‘gagging’ clauses to end em-
ployment of people with IEI-EMF/EHS: some employers
have paid employees with IEI-EMF/EHS to terminate their work
(Aschermann, 2011). According to verbal reports, some people
with IEI-EMF/EHS in the UK have been subject to “gagging”
clauses requiring secrecy in the nancial settlement ending em-
ployment because of their IEI-EMF/EHS. Such cases cannot, by
their nature, appear in published surveys.
(xii) Secondary unemployment: few if any surveys include
secondary unemployment caused by IEI-EMF/EHS. In such cas-
es people are kept from employment because they are required
to care full time for the needs of a close relative or friend suer-
ing from IEI-EMF/EHS (Granlund-Lind, et al. 2004).
Adjustments enabling access to work
In some countries it appears that people disabled by IEI-EMF/
EHS experience a higher rate of restrictions on access to work
than people with other disabilities. In 2012 in the UK there were
30.1% fewer disabled people in work compared with non-dis-
abled (UK Government, 2014). A Swedish survey (Hillert, et al.
2002) found that 175% more people with IEI-EMF/EHS were
unemployed compared with others, 103% more on early retire-
ment or disability pension, and 56% more on sick leave.
One factor behind this higher rate may be that, for peo-
ple with IEI-EMF/EHS, there is a greater range in the severity
of functional impairment between mild and severe cases than in
some other disability groups. Therefore, within the overall gure
of people with IEI-EMF/EHS, the proportion of very severe cas-
es is likely to be higher. This matches the small surveys limited
to often severe cases of IEI-EMF/EHS, where half gave 50-67%
out of work (Table 2).
Some countries recognise IEI-EMF/EHS as a specif-
ic functional impairment, such as Sweden from 2000, Canada,
and the USA under its Americans with Disabilities Act. Gov-
ernments, local authorities and employers are required to ensure
health and equality of access to workplaces, in addition to ac-
commodation and transport (Johansson O, 2015). Some coun-
tries have suggested ideas for accommodation to enable people
with IEI-EMF/EHS to continue working (US Department of La-
bour, 2015). Biological guidelines, such as EUROPAEM EMF
Guidelines 2016 (Belyaev, et al. 2016), are applicable to work-
places with people suering from IEI-EMF/EHS, who need
low-level and long-term limits. Where an employee suers ini-
tial symptoms of IEI-EMF/EHS, however, lengthy delay in mak-
ing adjustments can worsen the condition, as in one case where it
took the employer two years to make the necessary adjustments,
during which time the employee developed hyper-sensitivity,
something which might have been avoided if the employer had
reacted promptly (case 3, Hedendahl, et al. 2015).
There is a variety of evidence, both from surveys of the general
population and from surveys limited to people with IEI-EMF/
EHS, establishing that people with IEI-EMF/EHS, especially in
Citation: Bevington, M. The Prevalence of People with Restricted Access to Work in Manmade Electromagnetic Environments. (2019) J Environ Health Sci 5(1):
01- 12. Vol 5:1 pp 8
a severe form, can face restrictions in access to work. Surveys
have shown that, in addition to subconscious symptoms for up
to 79% of the general population, the numbers of people with
IEI-EMF/EHS typically range between 5.0 and 30 per cent of
the general population for mild cases, 1.5 and 5.0 per cent for
moderate cases, and under 1.5 per cent for severe cases. From
such surveys it can be deduced that the average prevalence of
people with severe IEI-EMF/EHS who are restricted in access
to work is in the region of 0.65% of the general population, at
about 18% of the general population having moderate IEI-EMF/
EHS. The estimate of 0.65% equates to 435,500 people in the
UK’s population of 67 million. Further surveys and more accu-
rate diagnosis are necessary to conrm these numbers, but over
150 subjects in the general population are needed to ensure that
a survey is likely to identify at least one such person. When the
necessary adjustments are made, some people even with severe
IEI-EMF/EHS can continue to work, suggesting that the per-
centage facing restrictions could fall once employers are aware
of what is needed.
Funding: This research received no external funding.
Conict of Interest: The author declares no conict of interest.
• Abdel-Rassoul, G., El-Fateh, O.A., Salem, M.A. et al. Neurobe-
havioral eects among inhabitants around mobile phone base sta-
tions. (2007) Neurotoxicology 28(2): 434-440.
• Andrianome, S., Seze, R., Braun, A., et al. Descriptive self-report-
ing survey of people with idiopathic environmental intolerance
attributed to electromagnetic elds (IEI-EMF): similarities and
comparisons with previous studies. (2018) J Public Health 26(4):
• Arnetz, B.B., Berg, M., Arnetz, J. Mental strain and physical
symptoms among employees in modern oces. (1997) Arch Envi-
ron Health 52(1): 63-67.
• Aschermann, C. Electrosensitivity: A patient with Burn-like Skin
Manifestations. (2011) Umwelt-Medizin-Gesellschaft 24(2): 141-
• Asthma U.K. Annual Report & Accounts for the year to 30 Sep-
tember 2017. p.11.
• Baliatsas, C., van Kamp, I., Hooiveld, M., et al. Comparing
non-specic physical symptoms in environmentally sensitive pa-
tients: prevalence, duration, functional status and illness behavior.
(2014) J Psychosom Res 76(5): 405-413.
• Belpomme, D., Campagnac, C., Irigaray, P. Reliable disease bio-
markers characterizing and identifying electrohypersensitivity and
multiple chemical sensitivity as two etiopathogenic aspects of a
unique pathological disorder. (2015) Rev Environ Health 30(4):
• Belyaev, I., Dean, A., Eger, H., et al. EUROPAEM EMF Guide-
line 2016 for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of EMF-re-
lated health problems and illnesses. (2016) Rev Environ Health
31(3): 363-397.
• Boehmert, C., Verrender, A., Pauli, M., et al. Does precauon-
ary informaon about electromagnec elds trigger noce-
bo responses? An experimental risk communication study. (2018)
Environ Health 17(1): 36.
• Bogers, R.P., van Gils, A., Clahsen, S.C.S., et al. Individual vari-
ation in temporal relationships between exposure to radiofrequen-
cy electromagnetic elds and non-specic physical symptoms: A
new approach in studying ‘electrosensitivity’. (2018) Environ Int
121(Pt 1): 297-307.
• Bortkiewicz, A., Gadzicka, E., Szymczak, W. et al. Heart rate vari-
ability (HRV) analysis in radio and TV broadcasting stations work-
ers. (2012) Int J Occup Med Environ Health 25(4): 446-455.
• Buchner, K., Eger, H. Changes of Clinically Important Neurotrans-
mitters under the Inuence of Modulated RF Fields - A Long-term
Study under Real-life Conditions. (2011) Umwelt-Medizin-Ge-
sellschaft 24(1): 44-57.
• Carlsson, F., Karlson, B., Orbaek, P. et al. Prevalence of annoy-
ance attributed to electrical equipment and smells in a Swed-
ish population, and relationship with subjective health and dai-
ly functioning. (2005) Public Health 119(7): 568-577.
• Crumpler, S. MCS and EHS: An Australian Perspective.
(2017) Ecopsychology 9(2): 112-116.
• De Luca, C., Thai, J.C., Raskovic, D., et al. Metabolic and ge-
netic screening of electromagnetic hypersensitivity subjects as a
feasible tool for diagnostics and intervention. (2014) Mediators
Inamm 2014: 924184.
• Dieudonné, M. Does electromagnetic hypersensitivity originate
from nocebo responses? Indications from a qualitative study.
(2016) Bioelectromagnetics 37(1): 14-24.
• Eberle, S. What’s the diagnosis, doctor? (2014) Sonoma Medicine
65: 27–32.
• Eberle, S. An Underworld Journey: Learning to Cope with Electro-
magnetic Hypersensitivity. (2017) Ecopsychology 9(2): 106-111.
• Eger, H., Jahn, M. Specic Health Symptoms and Cell Phone Radi-
ation in Selbitz, Bavaria, Germany: Evidence of a Dose-Response
Relationship. (2010) Um Medizin Gesellschaft 23(2): 130-139.
• Electrosensitivity UK, personal communication, September 2018.
• Eltiti, S., Wallace, D., Zougkou, K., et al. Development and evalu-
ation of the electromagnetic hypersensitivity questionnaire. (2007)
Bioelectromagnetics 28(2): 137-151.
• Eltiti, S., Wallace, D., Russo, R., et al. Symptom Presentation in
Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance With Attribution to Elec-
Restricted Access in Manmade Electromagnetic Environments
Bevington, M Vol 5:1 pp 9
tromagnetic Fields: Evidence for a Nocebo Eect Based on Data
Re-Analyzed From Two Previous Provocation Studies. (2018)
Front Psychol 28(9): 1563.
• Evans, J. Displaced by Chemical and Electrical Hypersensitivities.
(2017) Ecopsychology 9(2): 80-82.
• Genuis, S.J. Fielding a current idea: exploring the public health
impact of electromagnetic radiation. (2008) Public Health 122(2):
• Gibson, P.R., Kovach, S., Lupfer, A. Unmet health care needs
for persons with environmental sensitivity. (2015) J Multidiscip
Healthc 8: 59-66.
• Gibson, P.R., Introduction to the Special Issue on Environmen-
tal Sensitivities: Living on the Margins with Access Denied.
(2017) Ecopsychology 9(2): 53-59.
• Granlund-Lind, R., Lind, J. Black on White: Voices and Witness-
es about Electro-Hypersensitivity: The Swedish Experience: 2004
2nd edition. Translation, Svartpåvitt - Rösterochvittnesmål om
elöverkänslighet. (2002).
• Gruber, M.J., Palmquist, E., Nordin, S. Characteristics of per-
ceived electromagnetic hypersensitivity in the general population.
(2018) Scand J Psychol 59(4): 422-427.
• Hagström, M., Auranen, J., Ekman, R. Electromagnetic hypersen-
sitive Finns: Symptoms, perceived sources and treatments, a ques-
tionnaire study. (2013) Pathophysiology 20(2): 117-1122.
• Hallberg, O., Oberfeld, G. Leer to the editor: will we all become
electrosensive? (2006) Electromagn Biol Med 25(3): 189-91.
• Havas, M. Radiation from wireless technology aects the blood,
the heart, and the autonomic nervous system. (2013) Rev Environ
Health 28(2-3): 75-84.
• Hecht, K. Health Implications of Long-term Exposure to Electros-
mog. (2012) Eects of Wireless Communication Technologies: A
Brochure Series of the Competence Initiative for the Protection
of Humanity, the Environment and Democracy e.V. Brochure 6.
Translated (2016) Katharina Gustavs .
• Hedendahl, L., Carlberg, M., Hardell, L. Electromagnetic hyper-
sensitivity - an increasing challenge to the medical profession.
(2015) Rev Environ Health 30(4): 209-215.
• Heuser, G., Heuser, S.A. Functional brain MRI in patients com-
plaining of electrohypersensitivity after long term exposure to
electromagnetic elds. (2017) Rev Environ Health 32(3): 291-299.
• Hillert, L., Berglind, N., Arnetz, B.B., et al. Prevalence of self-re-
ported hypersensitivity to electric or magnetic elds in a popu-
lation-based questionnaire survey. (2002) Scand J Work Environ
Health 28(1): 33-41.
• Hojo, S., Tokiya, M., Mizuki, M., et al. Development and evalua-
tion of an electromagnetic hypersensitivity questionnaire for Japa-
nese people. (2016) Bioelectromagnetics 37(6): 353-372.
• Hojo, S., Mizukoshi, A., Azuma, K. et al. Survey on changes in
subjective symptoms, onset/trigger factors, allergic diseases, and
chemical exposures in the past decade of Japanese patients with
multiple chemical sensitivity. (2018) Int J Hyg Environ Health
• Huang, P.C., Cheng, M.T., Guo, H.R. Representative survey on
idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic
elds in Taiwan and comparison with the international literature.
(2018) Environ Health 17(1): 5.
• Hutter, H.P., Moshammer, H., Wallner, P., et al. Subjective symp-
toms, sleeping problems, and cognitive performance in subjects
living near mobile phone base stations. (2006) Occup Environ
Med 63(5): 307-313.
• IDEA. Sensitivity to non-ionising radiation in Ireland. Position
Paper on Electro Magnetic Radiation. (2005) Irish Doctors’ Envi-
ronmental Association (IDEA).
• Irigaray, P., Lebar, P., Belpomme, D. How Ultrasonic Cerebral To-
mosphygmography can contribute to the Diagnosis of Electrohy-
persensitivity. (2018) J Clin Diagn Res 6: 143.
• Irigaray, P., Caccamo, D., Belpomme, D. Oxidative stress in elec-
trohypersensitivity selfreporting patients: Results of a prospective
in vivo investigation with comprehensive molecular analysis.
(2018) Int J Mol Med 42(4): 1885-1898.
• Johansson, A., Nordin, S., Heiden, M. et al. Symptoms, personali-
ty traits, and stress in people with mobile phone-related symptoms
and electromagnetic hypersensitivity. (2010) J Psychosom Res
68(1): 37-45.
• Johansson, O. Electrohypersensitivity: a functional impairment
due to an inaccessible environment. (2015) Rev Environ Health
30(4): 311-321.
• Karvala, K., Sainio, M., Palmquist, E., et al. Prevalence of various
environmental intolerances in a Swedish and Finnish general pop-
ulation. (2017) Environ Res 161: 220-228.
• Kato, Y., Johansson, O. Reported functional impairments of elec-
trohypersensitive Japanese: A questionnaire survey. (2012) Patho-
physiology 19(2): 95-100.
• Kjellqvist, A., Palmquist, E., Nordin, S. Psychological symptoms
and health-related quality of life in idiopathic environmental in-
tolerance attributed to electromagnetic elds. (2016) J Psychosom
Res 84: 8–12.
• Kundi, M., Hutter, H.P. Mobile phone base stations – Ef-
fects on wellbeing and health. (2009) Pathophysiology 16(2-3):
• Leitgeb, N., Schröttner, J. Electrosensibility and electromagnetic
Citation: Bevington, M. The Prevalence of People with Restricted Access to Work in Manmade Electromagnetic Environments. (2019) J Environ Health Sci 5(1):
01- 12. Vol 5:1 pp 10
hypersensitivity. (2003) Bioelectromagnetics 24(6): 387-394.
• Levallois, P., Neutra, R., Lee, G. et al. Study of self-reported hy-
persensitivity to electromagnetic elds in California. (2002) Envi-
ron Health Perspect 110(Suppl 4): 619-623.
• Marshall, T.G., Heil, T.J.R. Electrosmog and autoimmune disease.
(2017) Immunol Res 65(1): 129-135.
• McCarty, D.E., Carrubba, S., Chesson, Jr. A.L., et al. Electromag-
netic Hypersensitivity: evidence for a novel neurological syn-
drome. (2011) Int J Neurosci 121(12): 670-676.
• Meg Tseng, M.C., Lin, Y.P., Cheng, T.J. Prevalence and psychiat-
ric comorbidity of self-reported electromagnetic eld sensitivity
in Taiwan: a population-based study. (2011) J Formos Med Assoc
110(10): 634-641.
• Meo, S.A., Almahmoud, M., Alsultan, Q., et al. Mobile Phone
Base Station Tower Settings Adjacent to School Buildings: Im-
pact on Students’ Cognitive Health. (2018) Am J Mens Health 7:
• Mild, K.H. Rapporteur’s Report. (2004) WHO Workshop on Elec-
trical Hypersensitivity 25–27.
• Mohler, E., Frei, P., Braun-Fahrländer, C., Fröhlich, J., et al. Ef-
fects of everyday radiofrequency electromagnetic-eld expo-
sure on sleep quality: a cross-sectional study. (2010) Radiat Res
174(3): 347-356.
• Pall, M.L. Electromagnetic elds act via activation of voltage-gat-
ed calcium channels to produce benecial or adverse eects.
(2013) J Cell Mol Med 17(8): 958-965.
• Petrov, I.R. Inuence of microwave radiation on the organism of
man and animals. Translation of Vliyaniye SVCh-Izlucheniyana
Organizm Chelovekai Zhivotnykh. (1970) Meditsina Press, Len-
ingrad. NASA TT F-708.
• Rea, W.J., Pan, Y., Yenyves, E.J. et al. Electromagnetic eld sensi-
tivity. (1991) J Bioelectricity 10(1-2): 241-256.
• Redmayne, M., Johansson, O. Radiofrequency exposure in young
and old: dierent sensitivities in light of age-relevant natural dif-
ferences. (2015) Rev Environ Health 30(4): 323-335.
• Rubin, G.J., Nieto-Hernandez, R., Wessely, S. Idiopathic environ-
mental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic elds (formerly
‘electromagnetic hypersensitivity’): An updated systematic review
of provocation studies. (2010) Bioelectromagnetics 31(1): 1-11.
• Schreier, N., Huss, A., Röösli, M. The prevalence of symptoms
attributed to electromagnetic eld exposure: a cross-sectional rep-
resentative survey in Switzerland. (2006) Soz Praventivmed 51(4):
• Schröttner, J., Leitgeb, N., Hillert, L. Investigation of electric cur-
rent perception thresholds of dierent EHS groups. (2007) Bio-
electromagnetics 28(3): 208-213.
• Schröttner, J., Leitgeb, N. Sensitivity to electricity--temporal
changes in Austria. (2008) BMC Public Health 12(8): 310.
• Sherrard, R.M., Morellini, N., Jourdan, N. et al. Low-intensity
electromagnetic elds induce human cryptochrome to modulate
intracellular reactive oxygen species. (2018) PLoS Biol 16(10):
• Szyjkowska, A., Bortkiewicz, A., Szymczak, W. et al. Subjec-
tive symptoms related to mobile phone use--a pilot study. (2005)
Pol Merkur Lekarski 19(112): 529-532.
• Tseng, M.C. (see also under Meg Tseng, M.C.), Lin, Y.P., Hu, F.C.,
et al. Risks perception of electromagnetic elds in Taiwan: the in-
uence of psychopathology and the degree of sensitivity to elec-
tromagnetic elds. (2013) Risk Anal 33(11): 2002-2012.
• The British Allergy Foundation. Trustees’ Annual Report (Includ-
ing Directors’ Report), Year Ended 31 March 2017. (2017)
• The Swedish National Board of Health. Miljöhälsorapport [Envi-
ronmental Health Report] 2009. (2009) Socialstyrelsen, Karolins-
ka Institutet.
• UK Government. Ocial Statistics: Disability facts and gures,
January 16, 2014. (2014).
• UK NHS (National Health Service). Blindness and Vision Loss.
(2018). Revised 08/06/2018.
• US Department of Labor. The Oce for Disability Employment
Policy (ODEP), Job Accommodation Network (JAN). (2015) Job
Accommodations for People with Electrical Sensitivity.
• Williams, K.M., Bertelsen, G., Cumberland, P. et al. Increas-
ing Prevalence of Myopia in Europe and the Impact of Educa-
tion. (2015) Ophthalmology 122: 1489–1497.
PubMed | Crossref | Other
• Witthöft, M., Freitag, I., Nußbaum, C., et al. On the origin of wor-
ries about modern health hazards: Experimental evidence for a
conjoint inuence of media reports and personality traits. (2018)
Psychol Health 33(3): 361-380.
• World Health Organization. Electromagnetic elds and public
health: Electromagnetic hypersensitivity. (2005) Backgrounder
Restricted Access in Manmade Electromagnetic Environments
Bevington, M Vol 5:1 pp 11
Supplementary Data: Survey of people with IEI-EMF/EHS facing restrictions in access to work in the UK (n = 36).
Case Number; Source Demographics: M/F;
<18, 18-65, >65
Original Work Status: Em-
ployed, Self-employed,
Work Outcome: Contin-
ued, Adjustments, Left/
Retired early
Graduate of Oxford
or Cambridge
1 a M 18-65 Self-Employed Left/Retired 1990s
2 b M 18-65 Employed Continued Yes 1993
3 c F 18-65 Self-Employed Left/Retired 1994
4 d F 18-65 Employed Left/Retired 1999
5 e F 18-65 Employed Left/Retired 1990s
6 f F 18-65 Employed Left/Retired c.2000s
7 g M 18-65 Employed Adjustments 2000
8 h F 18-65 Employed Left/Retired 2000
9 i 18-65 Employed (Continued) 2000
10 j F 18-65 Employed Left/Retired 2003
11 k M 18-65 Student Left/Retired 2004
12 d M 18-65 Employed Left/Retired 2004
13 l M 18-65 Employed Left/Retired 2004
14 m M 18-65 Employed Adjustments Ye s c.2006
15 n M 18-65 Employed Adjustments Ye s 2006
16 o F 18-65 Employed Left/Retired 2007
17 p F 18-65 Employed Left/Retired 2007
18 q M 18-65 Employed Left/Retired c.2007
19 d M 18-65 Employed Left/Retired 2008
20 b F 18-65 Self-Employed Adjustments 2008
21 r F 18-65 Employed (Left/Retired) Yes c.2008
22 s M 18-65 Employed Left/Retired 2009
23 t M 18-65 Self-Employed Adjustments c.2009
24 u F 18-65 Parent-carer (Continued) Yes c.2010
25 j F 18-65 Employed Left/Retired 2011
26 a F 18-65 Employed Left/Retired 2011
27 v F <18 School pupil Left/Retired 2011
28 d M 18-65 Self-Employed Adjustments c.2012
29 w M 18-65 Self-Employed Suicide Ye s 2012
30 a F 18-65 (Employed) (Left/Retired) Yes 2012
31 x F <18 School pupil Suicide 2012
32 y M 18-65 Employed Left/Retired c.2012
33 z M 18-65 Self-Employed Left/Retired 2013
34 aa M 18-65 Employed brain tumour <2016
35 bb M >65 Self-Employed (Left/Retired) 2015
36 cc F 18-65 Employed Left/Retired 2015
Totals F: 17 Employed: 24 Continued: 3 Oxbridge: 7 1991-95: 3
M: 18 Self-Employed: 8 Adjustments: 6 (21% of 34) 1996-2000: 6
<18: 2 School pupil: 2 Left/Retired: 24 2001-05: 4
18-65: 33 Student: 1 Brain tumour: 1 2006-10: 11
>65: 1 Parent-carer: 1 Suicide: 2 2011-15: 12
(a) Polly Dunbar: “Could Wi be harming your health?” Daily Mail, November 24 2014; other (b) Nicholas Blincoe: “Electrosensitivity: is tech-
nology killing us?” The Guardian, March 29 2013; other (c) Claire Campbell: “It happened to me ... I’m allergic to modern life” Mail on Sunday,
June 28 2009; other (d) Thomas Ball: “Electrosensitivity: is technology killing us? - in pictures” The Guardian, March 29 2013; other (e) Josh
Fordham: “Electro-magnetic waves have made this Chard woman unable to leave the house” Somerset Live, December 20 2016; other (f) Yao
Lan: “Trapped in a cage by electromagnetic hypersensitivity” ecns, April 12 2017; other (g) Joani Walsh: “Using Wi has cost me my life” Sunday
Express, August 5 2007; other; (h) Rebecca Cain: “Welsh Newton woman voices concerns about phone masts after she developed severe skin
rash” Hereford Times, March 21 2016; other (i) Jonathan Milne “Mystery headaches reboot Wi fears” Times Educational Supplement, March
Citation: Bevington, M. The Prevalence of People with Restricted Access to Work in Manmade Electromagnetic Environments. (2019) J Environ Health Sci 5(1):
01- 12. Vol 5:1 pp 12
Submit your manuscript to Ommega Publishers and
we will help you at every step:
• We accept pre-submission inquiries
• Our selector tool helps you to nd the most relevant journal
• We provide round the clock customer support
• Convenient online submission
• Thorough peer review
• Inclusion in all major indexing services
• Maximum visibility for your research
Submit your manuscript at
30 2007; other (j) Angela Epstein: “The women who say they are allergic to modern life: Blinding headaches. Violent sickness. Even blackouts.
So could Wi, mobile phones and TV screens be to blame?” Daily Mail, May 26 2013; other (k) Annette McIntyre: “New technology blamed for
Ilkley student’s living nightmare” Ilkley Gazette, July 10 2008; other (l) Juliette Maxam: “Computer network forced man to quit job” East Anglian
Daily Times, July 10 2006; other (m) Jonathan Milne: “Wi fears hang in the air” Times Educational Supplement, December 15 2006; other (n)
Joanna Bale: “Health fears lead schools to dismantle wireless networks: Radiation levels blamed for sickness; teacher became too sick to work”
The Times, November 20 2006; other (o) Jo Smith: “The Invisible Threat” Plymouth Herald, May 23 2012; (p) Faith Eckersall: “No car, TV, laptop,
lights or trips to the shops: meet the woman who says she’s allergic to electronics” Bournemouth Echo, June 14 2015; other. Madlen Davies: “The
woman ‘allergic to electricity’: 50-year-old dons protective suit and veil to go outside as she claims Wi could kill her” Daily Mail, July 3 2015;
other (q) Joani Walsh: “Using Wi has cost me my life” Sunday Express, August 5 2007; other (r) Youle R: “How gadgets and gizmos make life
miserable” The South Wales Post, March 18 2009; (s) Catherine Frompovich: “Are You Impacted By Electrosmog?” Activist Post, June 24 2017;
other (t) Heidi Blake: “The man who is ‘allergic’ to Wi” Daily Telegraph, July 24 2009; other (u) Guy Hudson: “The doctor who diagnosed her
own electrosensitivity” What Doctors Don’t Tell You, April 2014; other (v) Florence Waters: “Is Wi making your child ill?” Daily Telegraph, May
9 2015; other (w) “Tormented musician killed himself because he was ‘allergic to mobile phones’” The Sun, November 6 2012; other (x) Vivien
Mason, “Parents of schoolgirl Jenny Fry are campaigning to have Wi restricted in schools following her death” Cotswold Journal, November 25
2015; other (y) Laura Page: “The man living alone in the woods to escape Wi and mobile phones” The Guardian, July 20 2012; other (z) Tom
Davis: “Wi allergy known as EHS has forced me to close my computer repair shop – Kidderminster boss” Evesham Journal, July 1 2016; other
(aa) Anna Hodgekiss and Madlen Davies: “Business executive who claimed spending six hours a day on his mobile gave him brain cancer dies aged
44” Daily Mail, May 20 2016. other (bb) Anna Hodgekiss: “Grandfather claims he suers bizarre allergy to Electricity which gives him ‘sunburn’
every time he watches TV” Daily Mail, April 25 2016; other (cc) Adam Bennett: “Woman forced to give up home and job to live in a shed as she’s
allergic to WiFi” Mirror, January 19 2017; other.
... Not everyone tolerates certain types of medication and not everyone tolerates exposure to even low levels of electromagnetic fields. A growing population is developing electrohypersensitivity (EHS) 26 and the question remains, "Can individuals who are electromagnetic intolerant benefit from PEMF treatments"? According to this study, those who benefitted the most were self-classified as being EHS (n=7). ...
Full-text available
Frequency therapy, in the form of pulsed electromagnetic fields, is becoming increasingly popular within the scientific/medical community as is heart rate variability for assessing wellness. These two techniques were combined to determine if a particular pulsed electromagnetic field treatment (Seqex, Theta) had any beneficial effects (based on Brain Tap HRV) on 20 volunteers ranging in age from 21-81. Treatment consisted of a 36-minute exposure to 4–8 Hz with a magnetic flux density between 12 to 68 mG and several proprietary waveforms. Treatment was conducted at a wellness clinic that had low levels of electromagnetic fields/radiation and heart rate variability was tested immediately before and immediately following treatment. Significant benefits were documented for 72% of the participants and these were associated with reduced stress and a lower biological age (vs. chronological age) as indicators on Brain Tap HRV. Indices for cardiovascular health; LF/HF balance, neurohormonal regulation and psychoemotional state all improved overall as did energy resources and energy balance (catabolic vs. anabolic). Individuals who believed they were sensitive to electromagnetic fields (i.e. had electrohypersensitivity) also improved. Some of the beneficial results persisted over a 24-hour period. Despite this positive outcome, 28% of the participants either showed no objective change or were worse (based on heart rate variability) immediately following treatment. We conclude that pulsed electromagnetic field treatments may be highly beneficial even among those who have electrohypersensitivity resulting in reduced stress and improved homeostasis. However, treatments should be provided in an electromagnetic clean environment for optimal results and objective testing with heart rate variability, or some other assessment tool, should be used to ensure that the patient is receiving a treatment that is beneficial.
... Other pathways include cryptochromes [4]. Such EMF sensitivity occurs in 100% of people subliminally, and in 30% consciously [5]. Hypersensitivity is associated with the 1.2% severely disabled by EMFs. ...
Full-text available
To investigate responses difference of soil potential nitrification rates (PNR) to heavy metals and antibiotics, batch toxicity experiments of Cu and sulfadiazine (SDZ) were conducted in four typical soils which were collected from different locations of China. Toxic differences of Cu and SDZ to soil PNR were evaluated based on their values of EC20 and EC50 calculated with logistic model. It was found that soil nitrification was a good indicator of Cu contamination in soils except for paddy soil. For SDZ, their ECX values were significantly higher than its concentration level (0.002 ~ 0.760 mg·kg⁻¹) in soils. Thus, it was concluded that soil nitrification might be more sensitive to Cu than SDZ in field soil. The further Pearson correlation analysis indicated that the response of soil PNR to Cu and SDZ contamination were significantly related with soil PNR0 and pH.
Full-text available
There is a general concern on the possible hazardous health effects of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiations (RFR) emitted from mobile phone base station antennas on the human nervous system. To identify the possible neurobehavioral deficits among inhabitants living nearby mobile phone base stations. A cross-sectional study was conducted on (85) inhabitants living nearby the first mobile phone station antenna in Menoufiya governorate, Egypt, 37 are living in a building under the station antenna while 48 opposite the station. A control group (80) participants were matched with the exposed for age, sex, occupation and educational level. All participants completed a structured questionnaire containing: personal, educational and medical histories; general and neurological examinations; neurobehavioral test battery (NBTB) [involving tests for visuomotor speed, problem solving, attention and memory]; in addition to Eysenck personality questionnaire (EPQ). The prevalence of neuropsychiatric complaints as headache (23.5%), memory changes (28.2%), dizziness (18.8%), tremors (9.4%), depressive symptoms (21.7%), and sleep disturbance (23.5%) were significantly higher among exposed inhabitants than controls: (10%), (5%), (5%), (0%), (8.8%) and (10%), respectively (P<0.05). The NBTB indicated that the exposed inhabitants exhibited a significantly lower performance than controls in one of the tests of attention and short-term auditory memory [Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT)]. Also, the inhabitants opposite the station exhibited a lower performance in the problem solving test (block design) than those under the station. All inhabitants exhibited a better performance in the two tests of visuomotor speed (Digit symbol and Trailmaking B) and one test of attention (Trailmaking A) than controls. The last available measures of RFR emitted from the first mobile phone base station antennas in Menoufiya governorate were less than the allowable standard level. Inhabitants living nearby mobile phone base stations are at risk for developing neuropsychiatric problems and some changes in the performance of neurobehavioral functions either by facilitation or inhibition. So, revision of standard guidelines for public exposure to RER from mobile phone base station antennas and using of NBTB for regular assessment and early detection of biological effects among inhabitants around the stations are recommended.
PubMed│CrossRef│Other • The Swedish National Board of Health
PubMed │ Crossref │Other • The British Allergy Foundation. Trustees' Annual Report (Including Directors' Report), Year Ended 31 March 2017. (2017) PubMed│CrossRef│Other • The Swedish National Board of Health. Miljöhälsorapport [Environmental Health Report] 2009. (2009) Socialstyrelsen, Karolinska Institutet. PubMed│CrossRef│Other • UK Government. Official Statistics: Disability facts and figures, January 16, 2014. (2014).
Grandfather claims he suffers bizarre allergy to Electricity which gives him 'sunburn' every time he watches TV" Daily Mail
  • Anna Hodgekiss
  • Madlen Davies
Anna Hodgekiss and Madlen Davies: "Business executive who claimed spending six hours a day on his mobile gave him brain cancer dies aged 44" Daily Mail, May 20 2016. other (bb) Anna Hodgekiss: "Grandfather claims he suffers bizarre allergy to Electricity which gives him 'sunburn' every time he watches TV" Daily Mail, April 25 2016; other (cc) Adam Bennett: "Woman forced to give up home and job to live in a shed as she's allergic to WiFi" Mirror, January 19 2017; other.