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Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) in occupational and primary health care
Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2016 Dec 2. pii: S1438-4639(16)30385-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2016.11.013. (Epub ahead of print)
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) in occupational and primary health care: A nation-wide survey among general practitioners, occupational physicians and hygienists in the Netherlands.
Slottje P 1, van Moorselaar I 2, van Strien R 2, Vermeulen R 3, Kromhout H 4, Huss A 5.
1 Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands; Department of General Practice and Elderly Care Medicine, EMGO+ Institute, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
2 Department of Environmental Health, Public Health Service of Amsterdam (GGD), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
3 Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands; Julius Centre for Public Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
4 Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
5 Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands; Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine, Bern, Switzerland. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subjects who attribute health complaints to every day levels of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF) have been referred to as electrohypersensitive (EHS). Previous surveys in Europe showed that 68-75% of general practitioners had ever been consulted on EHS. Given the lack of data on EHS in the Netherlands in the general population and on EHS in occupational settings, we performed a national survey among three professional groups that are likely in the first line of being consulted by EHS individuals. Results show that about one third of occupational hygienists, occupational physicians and general practitioners had ever been consulted by one or more EHS subjects. Many of these professionals considered a causal relationship between EMF and health complaints to some degree plausible, and their approach often included exposure reduction advice. Given the lack of scientific evidence for EHS and how low level EMF exposure could cause reported health complaints and given the finding that the majority of these professionals felt insufficiently informed about EMF and health, targeted information campaigns might assist them in their evidence based dealing with subjects who attribute symptoms to EMF.
Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier GmbH.
Electromagnetic fields; Electromagnetic hypersensitivity; General practice; Idiopathic environmental intolerance; Occupational exposure
This paper describes in how far the mentioned professional groups are aware of possible health problems associated with EMF / RF radiation exposure. In view of the absence of good information on this subject from the authorities, the awareness is relatively large. The fact that: ''Many of these professionals considered a causal relationship between EMF and health complaints to some degree plausible, and their approach often included exposure reduction advice'', gives rise to some optimism for the future.
However, the statement in the abstract that there is a ''lack of scientific evidence'' is completely untrue. There is far enough general evidence in the form of the many experiences of victims all over the world and hazardous and possibly hazardous biological effects have been reported in thousands of peer-reviewed scientific publications on this subject. On my website almost once a week the link to a new publication is added:
Furthermore, history has shows that experiences have preceded and have always been more important than scientific evidence in comparable cases, see:
What is unfortunately missing in the paper is that no suggestion or recommendation is made to inform patiënts, who have not yet made the link to EMF themselves, about the possibility that their complaints might be caused by EMF and that it might help to reduce their exposure.
So far the patiënts first have to find out themselves that their exposure to EMF might be a problem. This often takes a long time, years in many cases. During that period many suffer unnecessary and are often subjected to costly medical examinations, which don't yield any result all.
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