Electrosensitivity Science

Scientific Literature

Updated 1/17/20

Electrosensitivity to electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, laptop computers, Wi-Fi routers and nearby cell towers are increasingly recognized. “Microwave illness”  (aka electrosensitivity or electrohypersensitivity or EHS or microwave syndrome) was described by NASA 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. Bevington  in 2019 published his results of an extensive review that estimates about 0.65% of the general population are restricted in their work access due to electrosensitivity (EHS-EMF/IEA), and about 18% of the general population have moderate symptoms.

The EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016 

The EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016 for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of EMF-related health problems and illnesses is a comprehensive guide written by many scientists and physicians in Europe who are part of the European Academy for Environmental Medicine (EUROPAEM) – EMF working group who have recognized and treated those with electrosensitivity for many years. This is a thorough, well researched and well-referenced scientific paper.

Abstract here EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016

Full Paper here  EUROPAEM EMF Guideline 2016

Microwave Syndrome, The Cuba Mystery Illness and Electrosensitivity

“Microwave Syndrome” Symptoms described in military compendiums such as the 1981  NASA Report, showed nonspecific neurologic and physiologic symptoms. These are strikingly similar to the strange sounds and sensations recently experienced by Cuban diplomats and their family members in 2016 and 2017, by an unknown energy source, in what are called acute “health attacks”. The team of physicians from the University of Miami, who were the first to carefully examine and treat the 25 Havana victims, recently published  an article with their objective findings in the December 2018 issue of Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology.  Those affected reported feeling a force wave, noise or pressure followed by longer term symptoms of dizziness, loss of balance, nausea, hearing loss, difficulty concentrating, slowed processing speed, tinnitus, ear pain and headaches.  100% of the patients were found to have otolithic abnormalities in the inner ear and cognitive dysfunction.  A potential mechanism was identified as cavitation bubbles forming in bodily fluids from targeted energy sources, (high intensity focused ultrasound), which was also reported in a Miami Herald news report .  The physicians conclude “This report is intended to facilitate an objective diagnosis of this disorder as new actual or potential cases continue to be reported.”  In a prior report by Swanson, physicians at the University of Pittsburg  concluded that these effects were more consistent with traumatic brain injury and concussion. It is notable that these symptoms were also reported in Chinese embassy workers and highlighted in an investigative  New York Times news article, September 2018.

Mystery Illness Identified as Microwave Sickness

University of California San Diego Professor, Dr. Beatrice Golomb, has extensively reviewed the literature and the data on the diplomats. She provides, in her 2018 published article in Neural Computation, the most comprehensive explanation for the diplomat’s mystery illness, stating that the constellation of symptoms are consistent with exposure to microwave radiation and similarly identified in those with electrosensitivity.

All EMF’d Up

Annie Mills, the wife of a Sieman’s engineer who moved to Germany also experienced typical but severe symptoms of EHS that were later found to be caused by a nearby cell tower downloading sensitive government data in the middle of the night. She kept a diary and wrote about her story in “All EMF’d Up”. See the PST blog and book review  on “All EMF’d Up: My Journey Through wireless Radiation poisoning” with related content and research

Symptoms regularly reported by researchers and physicians like Dr. Scott Eberle  with  An Underworld Journey: Learning to Cope With Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity   or in What’s the Diagnosis Doctor? as well as in dozens of studies below, including effects experienced by those living adjacent to cell towers, 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.


Electrosensitivity as a Definitive Diagnosis and Disability

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- See American Access Board Recommendations for Accommodation.  In a 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. 

New ICD 10  Billable Codes for Exposure to Radiofrequency 

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The newest revised  ICD 10 code book includes codes for physicians to use for those patients with electrohypersensitivity (EHS)  or microwave sickness. The codes are

  • ICD 10 – W90.0 – Exposure to Radiofrequency Radiation
  • ICD 10 – W90.8 – Exposure to Other Non-ionizing Radiation


Americans for Disability Act and EHS

According to the Americans for Disabilities Act: Title II regulations, Sections  35.140 and 35.141-35.148   non discrimination on the basis of disability in state and government services

§ 35.140 Employment discrimination prohibited

  • (a) No qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be subjected to discrimination in employment under any service, program, or activity conducted by a public entity.
  • (b)
    • (1) For purposes of this part, the requirements of title I of the Act, as established by the regulations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 29 CFR part 1630, apply to employment in any service, program, or activity conducted by a public entity if that public entity is also subject to the jurisdiction of title I.
    • (2) For the purposes of this part, the requirements of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as established by the regulations of the Department of Justice in 28 CFR part 41, as those requirements pertain to employment, apply to employment in any service, program, or activity conducted by a public entity if that public entity is not also subject to the jurisdiction of title I.
    • Subpart D—Program Accessibility

      § 35.149 Discrimination prohibited.

      Except as otherwise provided in § 35.150, no qualified individual with a disability shall, because a public entity’s facilities are inaccessible to or unusable by individuals with disabilities, be excluded from participation in, or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any public entity.

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.

See Also Scientific Research at


Newest Research


Published Articles and Research

Note:  These are listed by date and author, and include different sources of wireless radio frequency radiation such as Cell Phone and Cell Tower Health Effects and Smart Meters (Lamech 2014) – Scroll to the bottom of this list to see theses articles categorized by Overview/History, Case Studies, Diagnosis and Treatment, Cell Phone Effects, Cell Tower Effects, Prevalence Studies, Public Health and Policy Decisions.


Categorized Articles on Electrosensitivity



Case Studies Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity


Diagnosis and Treatment

Cell Phone Electrosensitivity Symptoms


Cell Tower Electrosensitivity Symptoms and Health Effects


Prevalence Studies


 EMF Public Health Implications and Policy Decisions


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