Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Data from two previous studies were aggregated to provide a statistically powerful test of whether exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) produced by telecommunication base stations negatively affects well-being in individuals who report idiopathic environmental illness with attribution to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF) and control participants. A total of 102 IEI-EMF and 237 controls participated in open provocation trials and 88 IEI-EMF and 231 controls went on to complete double-blind trials in which they were exposed to EMFs from a base station emitting either a Global System for Mobile Communication and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System or a Terrestrial Trunked Radio Telecommunications System signal. Both experiments included a comparison sham condition. Visual analog and symptom scales measured subjective well-being. Results showed that IEI-EMF participants reported lower levels of well-being during real compared to sham exposure during open provocation, but not during double-blind trials. Additionally, participants reported lower levels of well-being during high compared to low load trials and this did not interact with radiofrequency-EMF exposure. These findings are consistent with a growing body of literature indicating there is no causal relationship between short-term exposure to EMFs and subjective well-being in members of the public whether or not they report perceived sensitivity to EMFs.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





96 - 107


electromagnetic hypersensitivity, human health, mobile communications, radiofrequency fields, Adult, Cell Phones, Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic, Double-Blind Method, Electromagnetic Fields, Environmental Exposure, Environmental Illness, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Radio Waves