Scientific Literature

Electrosensitivity to electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, laptop computers and nearby cell towers are increasingly recognized. “Microwave illness”  (aka electrosensitivity or electrohypersensitivity or EHS or microwave syndrome) was described in the military in the 1970’s with a wave of ensuing research confirming these effects.  Studies show that anywhere from 1-13% of people report symptoms of EHS. A 2017 comprehensive systemic review and meta analysis (Wang et al) showed a significant association between mobile phone use and headaches. The mechanism is not fully understood but appears to be linked to membrane calcium channel effects, blood brain barrier effects or neurotransmitter effects. “Microwave Syndrome” Symptoms described in military and other studies such as Navarro’s‘ include:

  • headaches
  • insomnia
  • dizziness
  • irritability
  • fatigue
  • heart palpitations
  • nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • feeling of discomfort
  • poor concentration
  • memory loss
  • and neuropsychiatric problems such as depression.

In the thoroughly referenced PST  Electrosensitivity  review articles it is noted that electrosensitivity should be recognized by the American Access Board as a true disability.  In Clinical Approach to Electrosensitivity there is information on diagnosing and treating EHS as well as recommendations for ICD 10 codes. See also on this site- Austrian Medical Association Electrosensitivity Questionnaire  and  Electrosensitivity Stories. 

Electrosensitivity Documented with Functional Brain Imaging

A new and fascinating study identifying functional brain changes in those with electrosensitivity was published in July, 2017. Researchers used functional  Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to observe active changes. Hueser and Hueser found among the subjects that there were similar brain alterations in the medial orbitofrontal areas.  Functional brain MRI in patients complaining of electrohypersensitivity after long term exposure to electromagnetic fields.    The MRI images are listed here Images of Electrosensitive Individuals with Functional MRI .

Navarro Study Indicates Much Lower Levels of Exposure Cause Symptoms

The Navarro (2003) study on cell towers and “Microwave Syndrome” in Spain found that in those living near cell towers symptoms occurred at low power. He looked at distance from the towers and electromagnetic field exposures and concluded, ” Based on the data of this study the advice would be to strive for levels not higher than 0.02 V/m for the sum total, which is equal to a power density of 0.0001 µW/cm² or 1 µW/m², which is the indoor exposure value for GSM base stations proposed on empirical evidence by the Public Health Office of the Government of Salzburg in 2002.”

Scientific Studies Below 

The scientific studies below are divided into both an uncategorized list of research, as well as a categorized list divided into sections, including: Overviews, Case Studies, Diagnosis and Treatment, Health/EHS effects of cell phone and cell towers, Prevalence, Public Health/Policy Implications.  The full uncategorized list of research articles is listed in order of date following the categorized list below in this section.

See Also Scientific Research at


Newest Research

  • Individual variation in temporal relationships between exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields and non-specific physical symptoms: A new approach in studying ‘electrosensitivity’. (2018) Bogers RP. Environ Int. 2018 Sep 15;121(Pt 1):297-307.
  • Diplomats’ Mystery Illness and Pulsed Radiofrequency/Microwave Radiation. (2018) Golomb BA.  Neural Comput. 2018 Sep 5:1-104.
  • Neurological Manifestations Among US Government Personnel Reporting Directional Audible and Sensory Phenomena in Havana, Cuba.(2018)  Swanson RL  et al. . JAMA. 2018 Mar 20;319(11):1125-1133.




Case Studies Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity


Diagnosis and Treatment


Health Effects of Cell Phones and Cell Towers

Cell Phone Electrosensitivity Symptoms


Cell Tower Electrosensitivity Symptoms and Health Effects


Prevalence Studies


 EMF Public Health Implications and Policy Decisions



 In order of date and not including cell phone EHS(see above)  or cell tower EHS health effects (see above).