Descriptive self-reporting survey of people with idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF): similarities and comparisons with previous studies
- 123 Downloads
In France, cases of people self-reporting symptoms due to electromagnetic fields (EMF) or idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF) have emerged over the past 10 years. Several self-help and action groups have claimed an increasing number of members. However, little is known about this population in France.
Our primary objective was to describe the reported symptoms and the sources that may induce these symptoms through a questionnaire-based study. Secondly, we discussed our results alongside those obtained from the existing literature and provide an overview of this physical condition.
Subjects and methods
From April to November 2014, a self-questionnaire survey was conducted in France. With 52 participants, the average age of respondents was 50 ± 11 years and the majority of participants at 79% were women.
Our study results in the French population were consistent with findings in the literature conducted in other countries and also highlighted a number of emerging EMF sources such as wireless area networks, to be perceived as possible causes of symptoms.
Despite methodological differences, we summarized facts from previous comparable investigations. We also provided an overview of people claiming EMF effects and briefly discussed possible avenues of research.
KeywordsElectromagnetic hypersensitivity (IEI-EMF) Questionnaire study Symptoms Environmental illness Electrohypersensitivity (EHS) Survey
The authors wish to warmly thank all the respondents for their participation, the members of French self-help and action groups, as well as the association representatives for sharing and communicating about the research, and the representatives of the “Collectif des Electrosensibles de France” for their invaluable assistance.
This work was fully funded by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES); grant number: SENSI-RF EST-2013-002.
Compliance with ethical standards
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The protocol was approved by the ethics committee of the CPP Nord Ouest CHU Amiens, France (CPP, 2014/8).
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Conflict of interest
All authors declare have no conflict of interest.
- Andrianome S, Hugueville L, de Seze R, Hanot-Roy M, Blazy K, Gamez C, Selmaoui B (2016) Disturbed sleep in individuals with idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF): melatonin assessment as a biological marker. Bioelectromagnetics. https://doi.org/10.1002/bem.21965
- Andrianome S, Gobert J, Hugueville L, Stéphan-Blanchard E, Telliez F, Selmaoui B (2017a) An assessment of the autonomic nervous system in the electrohypersensitive population: a heart rate variability and skin conductance study. J Appl Physiol (1985). https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00229.2017
- Assistance Publique, Hôpitaux de Paris, Anses – Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail (Anses), Institut National de l’Environnement Industriel et des Risques (INERIS) (2012) Evaluation of a specialized therapeutic care of patients presenting an idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields. National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD. Available from: http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT01854801. Accessed 20 April 2017
- Avis de l’Anses Rapport d’expertise collective Radiofréquences et santé Mise à jour de l’expertise (2013) Available at: https://www.anses.fr/fr/system/files/AP2011sa0150Ra.pdf. Accessed 8 Jan 2016
- Bergqvist U, Vogel E (1997) Possible health implication of subjective symptoms and electromagnetic fields. A report by a European group of experts for the European Commission. National Institute for Working Life, Solna , SwedenGoogle Scholar
- De Luca C, Thai JCS, Raskovic D, Cesareo E, Caccamo D, Trukhanov A, Korkina L (2014) Metabolic and genetic screening of electromagnetic hypersensitive subjects as a feasible tool for diagnostics and intervention. Mediat Inflamm 2014:924184. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4000647/pdf/MI2014-924184.pdf. Accessed 11 January 2016
- Eltiti S, Wallace D, Ridgewell A, Zougkou K, Russo R, Sepulveda F, Fox E (2009) Short-term exposure to mobile phone base station signals does not affect cognitive functioning or physiological measures in individuals who report sensitivity to electromagnetic fields and controls. Bioelectromagnetics 30(7):556–563CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hillert L, Kolmodin-Hedman B, Eneroth P, Arnetz BB (2001) The effect of supplementary antioxidant therapy in patients who report hypersensitivity to electricity: a randomized controlled trial. Med Gen Med 3(2):11Google Scholar
- Rubin GJ, Cleare AJ, Wessely S (2008) Psychological factors associated with self-reported sensitivity to mobile phones. J Psychosom Res 64:1–9-12Google Scholar
- Rubin GJ, Hillert L, Nieto-Hernandez R, van Rongen E, Oftedal G (2011) Do people with idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields display physiological effects when exposed to electromagnetic fields? A systematic review of provocation studies. Bioelectromagnetics 32:593–609CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Santini R, Santini P, Danze JM, Le Ruz P, Seigne M (2002) Investigation on the health of people living near mobile telephone relay stations: incidence according to distance and sex (in French). Pathol Biol (Paris) 50(6):369–373. Erratum in: Pathol Biol (Paris). 50(10):621Google Scholar
- WHO (2006) Hansson Mild K, Repacholi M, van Deventer, Ravazzani P (Eds) Electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Proceedings from an international workshop on EMF Hypersensitivity, Prague, Czech Republic, Oct 27, 2004. WHO Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data, WHO, GenevaGoogle Scholar