Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (ES) is an illness that is both highly controversial and little understood. The symptoms can vary a lot between sufferers, but will normally include some of the following: sleep disturbance, tiredness, depression, headaches, restlessness, irritability, concentration problems, forgetfulness, learning difficulties, frequent infections, blood pressure changes, limb and joint pains, numbness or tingling sensations, tinnitus, hearing loss, impaired balance, giddiness and eye problems. There have been reports of cardiovascular problems such as tachycardia, though these are relatively rare.

Many of the symptoms reported have a lot in common with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), and it is quite common for someone who suffers from one condition to suffer from the other. It seems quite sensible to theorise that both syndromes therefore may affect particularly susceptible members of the population. It may also be that there is a 'synergistic' effect; i.e. people develop symptoms in the presence of both (or multiple) environmental exposures, whereas only one such exposure would not provoke the symptoms.

» Read more: Electromagnetic hypersensitivity | Microwave sickness

What you can do

The best way to mitigate symptoms if you suffer from ES is to avoid exposure to them. Don't use a mobile or cordless phone, don't use WiFi, and avoid public areas that offer Wireless access. However, even then, it can be difficult to know exactly what you are exposed to from other sources, including in your own home. There are a number of further measures that can be taken to help identify and reduce your exposure, such as detectors that can display exposure to sources of electromagnetic fields, and shielding materials that can either block or reflect the fields, enabling you to have a very low EMF home environment.

» Read more: Detectors | Shielding material | Dirty electricity protection | Low EMF lighting

Further reading

Powerwatch have written a 66 page document covering all aspects of ES, from what it is, what can trigger the symptoms, to what you can do about it, complete with references to the research to date. The sections are as follows:

  1. A reaction to the environment
  2. What ES is and what produces it
  3. The Triggers and Symptoms of ES
  4. The Biology of ES
  5. What you can do if you have ES
  6. The Challenges
  7. References
  8. Appendices

» Read more: Powerwatch article library

Other links

ES-UK » A UK-based charity championing the cause of electromagnetic hypersensitivity
EMFields » A UK retailer selling detectors and shielding equipment for electromagnetic fields
Powerwatch » An NGO specialising in the science and politics of EMFs around the World
Electrosensitivity.org » A personal site dedicated to those suffering from ES
Electromagnetic Man » Another personal site dedicated to those suffering from ES
EMF Refugee » A Yahoo! group for those with ES
Mast Victims » A website dedicated to those suffering from effects from mobile phone base stations