EHSPublicatiesElectrohypersensitivity (EHS) in the Netherlands
Electrohypersensitivity (EHS) in the Netherlands

Electrohypersensitivity (EHS) in the Netherlands

Abstract

  • This questionnaire was completed by 250 electrohypersensitive (EHS) persons in the
    Netherlands over a 3-year period, who contacted the EHS Foundation on their own
    initiative. Self declared health problems were recorded along with the sources of
    electromagnetic fields (EMFs) –if known- that caused the health effects.
  • EHS occurs in most age groups, from teenager to 80-year olds
  • Most persons seeking help and advice are female
  • There are several factors -environmental as well as psychological- that modulate
    both onset and intensity of EHS symptoms
  • We found no specific EHS distress marker shared by all responders. Individuals
    develop their personal range of stress symptoms and complaints varied greatly. 70%
    of respondents suffered from chronic fatigue, headache, concentration problems and
    other psychosomatic ailments. Somatic problems included impaired vision, smell and
    hearing as well as skin problems and pains in joints ands muscles.
  • Several electrosensitives have a history of diseases ruining body or mind and many
    are influenced by environmental factors such as odours, UV light, pollen, and
    allergens. Some report a burnout, posttraumatic stress disorder or similar
    environment and emotion-related disabling condition.
  • EMF sources reported to cause or maintain EHS symptoms vary greatly. No specific
    source is mention by all persons, although the use of household equipment such as
    Dect phones, WiFi, TV, PC and most other modern electronic systems induced
    problems with at least half of the respondents. The incidence appears to increaseduring last year. External EMF sources such as GSM/UMTS and TETRA Base
    stations played a minor role. AC magnetic fields emitted by underground electricity
    cables were recognized as a new source of concern.
  • Living in an apartment with several neighbours is a risk factor due to EMFs travelling
    through wall and floors
  • Three-quarter of the respondents have sought conventional medical advice, usually
    with little success. Half of the respondents visited alternative practitioners, also with
    little satisfaction. Ten percent of them claim to have recovered fully whereas 42%
    report being only moderately healthy, although they still needed help with EMF
    reduction.
  • 38% of the respondents are still at work and maintain a partial of full time position
  • Most respondents consider themselves to have an emotional character.
  • Some report that other members of the family also show sign of EHS, indicating that
    there is some sort of hereditary factor involved in acquiring the oversensitivity for
    EMFs.
  • It is speculated that the personal stress system is a key factor determining how
    health problems are perceived and dealt with.
  • It is argued that provocation experiments should be designed such that personal
    differences in EMF perception and nature of health effects should be taken into
    account.

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