As societies industrialize and the technological revolution continues, there has been an
unprecedented increase in the number and diversity of electromagnetic field (EMF)
sources. These sources include video display units (VDUs) associated with computers,
mobile phones and their base stations. While these devices have made our life richer,
safer and easier, they have been accompanied by concerns about possible health risks due
to their EMF emissions.
For some time a number of individuals have reported a variety of health problems that
they relate to exposure to EMF. While some individuals report mild symptoms and react
by avoiding the fields as best they can, others are so severely affected that they cease
work and change their entire lifestyle. This reputed sensitivity to EMF has been generally
termed electromagnetic hypersensitivity or EHS.
This fact sheet describes what is known about the condition and provides information for
helping people with such symptoms. Information provided is based on a WHO Workshop
on Electrical Hypersensitivity (Prague, Czech Republic, 2004), an international
conference on EMF and non-specific health symptoms (COST244bis, 1998), a European
Commission report (Bergqvist and Vogel, 1997) and recent reviews of the literature.
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