The Charity for Environmental Illness

What is Electrical Sensitivity?

As the amount of electromagnetic pollution increases, more people are developing Electrical Sensitivity (ES). About 2.5 % of the population are now thought to be affected to some degree, although they may be unaware of it. The first signs are often headaches, warmth or a burning sensation in the face, a tingling, stinging feeling or a rash after using appliances like mobile phones or computers. If early symptoms are ignored, sensitivity usually increases. Severe sufferers can be often forced to live in remote areas without any form of electricity, mobile phones or wireless appliances, and away from phone masts, radar etc.


Diagnosis is usually made by the sufferer as they notice their symptoms get worse when they use a certain appliance or are in a particular place. ES can start after prolonged use of things like mobile phones, computers etc or exposure to strong electromagnetic fields. Individuals are more likely to be susceptible if they are already stressed or ill.



Sweden is the only country to officially recognise ES as a 'physical impairment' and offer help to sufferers. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) acknowledge Electrical Sensitivity as a "real and sometimes disabling condition". The first WHO International Conference on ES took place in October 2004. In September 2007 the EU's European Environment Agency expressed concern about the long term and cumulative effects of electromagnetic radiation from the rapidly expanding new technologies. They said it would be prudent for health authorities to recommend action to reduce exposures, especially to vulnerable groups.

Electrical Sensitivity is also known as Electrical Oversensitivity (EO), electromagnetic stress or Electrical Hypersensitivity (EH or EHS).

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