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Letter to the Editor: Will We All Become Electrosensitive?

Authors:
  • Hallberg Independent Research
  • Amt der Salzburger Landesregierung

Abstract and Figures

An increasing number of people are suffering from electrosensitivity, also known as being electrically hypersensitive (EHS) in Sweden. There are also other diseases such as fibromyalgia and burn-out syndrome, that have symptoms common to those exhibited by people suffering from electosensitivity. Electrosensitivity is recognized as a handicap, with no basis and physical or medical mechanism. it is expected that electrosensitivity will more widely spread in the near future.
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Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 25: 189–191, 2006
Copyright © Informa Healthcare
ISSN 1536-8378 print
DOI: 10.1080/15368370600873377
Letter to the Editor: Will We All
Become Electrosensitive?
ÖRJAN HALLBERG
1
AND GERD OBERFELD
2
1
Hallberg Independent Research, Trångsund, Sweden
2
Public Health Department Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
Dear Editor,
Each year an increasing number of people claim to suffer from electrosensitivity
(see, e.g., compilation of references given in Table 1), also known as being
electrically hypersensitive (EHS). There are also other diseases, such as fibromyalgia
and burn-out syndrome, that have symptoms similar to those exhibited by people
suffering from electrosensitivity.
In Sweden, electrosensitivity is recognized as a handicap, but there is still
controversy surrounding the diagnosis of the disease. The mainstream view by
governmental and medical authorities is that this handicap is a psychological
phenomenon with no basis in physical or medical mechanisms (Swedish National
Board of Health and Welfare, SNBHW, 1995), whereby perpetuating the
misconception that only a small fraction of the population is concerned about
electrosensitivity or the proximity of new radio transmission masts.
The number of reported cases of electrosensitivity has been steadily increasing
since it was first documented in 1991. Data presented here are estimates and are
based on large sample inquiries where different sets of questions have been used. To
determine whether the statistics indicate a sub-population of electrosensitivity or if
the total population is at stake, we plotted reported prevalence estimates over time
in a normal distribution diagram (Table 1 and Figure 1).
Contrary to the views of mainstream medical authorities, Figure 1 shows that
the group of electrosensitive people around the world, including Sweden, is not just
a small fraction that deviates from the rest of the healthy population. Instead, it
points at the possibility that electrosensitivity will be more widespread in the near
future. The extrapolated trend indicates that 50% of the population can be expected
to become electrosensitive by the year 2017.
Data presented here were collected in Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland,
Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.
Address correspondence to Örjan Hallberg, Hallberg Independent Research, Polkavägen
14B, Trångsund 142 65, Sweden; E-mail: oerjan.hallberg@swipnet.se
189
190 Hallberg and Oberfeld
Table 1
Estimated prevalence of electrosensitive people in different years and countries
Measured % El
year sensitive Country, reported year Ref. No.
1985 006 Sweden 1991 (0.025–0.125%) National Encyclopedia Sw., 1991
1994 063 Sweden 1995 Anonymous est., 1994
1995 150 Austria 1995 Leitgeb N. et al., 1995, 2005
1996 150 Sweden 1998 SNBHW, Env. report, 1998
1997 200 Austria 1998 Leitgeb N. et al., 1998, 2005
1997 150 Sweden 1999 Hillert L. et al., 2002
1998 320 California 2002 Levallois P., 2002
1999 310 Sweden 2001 SNBHW, Env. report, 2001
2000 320 Sweden 2003 Sw Labour Union Sif, 2003
2001 600 Germany 2002 Schroeder E., 2002
2002 1330 Austria 2003 (7.6–19%) Spi
ß B., 2003
2003 800 Germany 2003 Infas, 2003
2003 900 Sweden 2004 Elöverkänsligas Riksförbund, 2005
2003 500 Schweiz 2005 Bern, Medicine Social, 2005
2003 500 Ireland 2005 This is London, 2005
2004 1100 England 2004 Fox E., 2004
2004 900 Germany 2005 Infas, 2004
2017 5000 Extrapolated to 50%
Figure 1. The prevalence (%) of people around the world who consider themselves to be
electrosensitive, plotted over time in a normal distribution graph. The endpoint at 50% is an
extrapolated value. Variation explained is 91%, the endpoint not included.
Letter to the Editor 191
References
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... Figure 7. Estimated prevalence (%) of people around the world who consider themselves to be electrohypersensitive, plotted over time in a normal distribution graph, according to Reference [73]. ...
... Estimated prevalence (%) of people around the world who consider themselves to be electrohypersensitive, plotted over time in a normal distribution graph, according to Reference[73]. ...
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... Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is a new syndrome, where the exposure to electric or magnetic fields are accused to the patients' aches and pains, headaches, depression, lethargy, sleeping disorders, and even convulsions and epileptic seizures [3] Recently, a high prevalence of musculoskeletal pain/syndromes, like juvenile FMS, benign joint hypermobility syndrome, myofascial syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis, epicondylitis, and complex Peer review under responsibility of Egyptian Society of Rheumatic Diseases. regional pain syndrome, was observed in female adolescents who used at least two electronic devices [4]. ...
... A weak association between exposure to EMF and non-specific physical symptoms scores are reported in some, but not all of the electrohypersensitive persons [2]. On the other hand, Hallberg and Oberfeld stated that FMS has symptoms similar to those exhibited by people suffering from electro-sensitivity [3]. In this work, it was found that microwave users tended to have a have higher SS score and WPI than non-users. ...
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... Representatives of some of the communities involved in the discussion estimated the frequency of this phenomenon at up to 50%. It was probably due to one of the alarmist estimates from 2006 (Hallberg and Oberfeld 2006) predicting that around 2017 half of the population would suffer from IEI-EMF. ...
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... The number of telecommunication base stations built in residential areas has increased public concern due to substantial controversy about the potential hazard effects of the radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) emissions of base stations (D'Angelo et al., 2015;Isabona et al., 2016;Siegrist et al., 2005). According to Cousin and Siegrist, 2010;Hallberg and Oberfeld, 2006), the health effects of EMF are headaches, giddiness, nausea, skin rashes, feeling warn, depression, night sweats, memory loss, disturbances in menstruation, and insomnia. In addition, this may cause property values to diminish because the existence of these potential health effects. ...
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Environmental Health Report. Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare
Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare. (1998). Environmental Health Report. Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare. (2001). Environmental Health Report. Swedish National Encyclopedia. (1991). Nationalencyklopedin. elöverkänslighet, 5.
Pilotstudie zu Mobilfunkstrahlung und Gesundheit–Modellierung der Immission mit den Programmen NIRView und CORLA. Diplomarbeit an der Naturwissenschaftlichen Fakultät der
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Ermittlungen der Befürchtungen und Ängste der breiten Öffentlichkeit hinsichtlich möglicher Gefahren der hochfrequenten elektromagnetischen Felder des Mobilfunks–jährliche Umfragen. B. f. Strahlenschutz
  • Infas
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Proc Int Workshop on EMF and Non-Specific Health Symp
  • N Leitgeb
Leitgeb, N. (1998). Electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Proc Int Workshop on EMF and Non-Specific Health Symp. pp. 8-16, Graz, Austria.
Stakeholder-Perspektiven zur Novellierung der 26
  • E Schroeder
Schroeder, E. (2002). Stakeholder-Perspektiven zur Novellierung der 26.BlmSchV. Ergebnisse der bundesweiten Telefonumfrage im Auftrag des Bundesamtes für Strahlenschutz (BfS).
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  • Infas
Infas. (2003). Ermittlungen der Befürchtungen und Ängste der breiten Öffentlichkeit hinsichtlich möglicher Gefahren der hochfrequenten elektromagnetischen Felder des Mobilfunks-jährliche Umfragen. B. f. Strahlenschutz. Bonn, Institut für angewandte Sozialwissenschaft GmbH: 1-34.