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EHS in the Netherlands

© Stichting EHS (Dutch EHS Foundation) All rights reserved 2007

Electrohypersensitivity (EHS) in the Netherlands


– A Questionnaire survey

by
Hugo Schooneveld and Juliette Kuiper
Dutch Electrohypersensitivity (EHS) Foundation
(Stichting elektrohypersensitiviteit –EHS)
December 2007

Contents
Abstract page 1
Introduction page 2
Defining EHS page 3
Procedures page 3
Discussion of questionnaire data page 4
General discussion
Related questionnaire surveys page 7
Provocation experiments page 8
Questionnaire as a screening tool page 9
Recommended procedure for volunteer selection Page 9
References page 10
Appendix: The questionnaire data pages 12-20

Abstract
1. This questionnaire was completed by 250 electrohypersensitive (EHS) persons in the
Netherlands over a 3-year period, who contacted the EHS Foundation on their own
initiative. Self declared health problems were recorded along with the sources of
electromagnetic fields (EMFs) –if known- that caused the health effects.
2. EHS occurs in most age groups, from teenager to 80-year olds
3. Most persons seeking help and advice are female
4. There are several factors -environmental as well as psychological- that modulate
both onset and intensity of EHS symptoms
5. We found no specific EHS distress marker shared by all responders. Individuals
develop their personal range of stress symptoms and complaints varied greatly. 70%
of respondents suffered from chronic fatigue, headache, concentration problems and
other psychosomatic ailments. Somatic problems included impaired vision, smell and
hearing as well as skin problems and pains in joints ands muscles.
6. Several electrosensitives have a history of diseases ruining body or mind and many
are influenced by environmental factors such as odours, UV light, pollen, and
allergens. Some report a burnout, posttraumatic stress disorder or similar
environment and emotion-related disabling condition.
7. EMF sources reported to cause or maintain EHS symptoms vary greatly. No specific
source is mention by all persons, although the use of household equipment such as
Dect phones, WiFi, TV, PC and most other modern electronic systems induced
problems with at least half of the respondents. The incidence appears to increase

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during last year. External EMF sources such as GSM/UMTS and TETRA Base
stations played a minor role. AC magnetic fields emitted by underground electricity
cables were recognized as a new source of concern.
8. Living in an apartment with several neighbours is a risk factor due to EMFs travelling
through wall and floors
9. Three-quarter of the respondents have sought conventional medical advice, usually
with little success. Half of the respondents visited alternative practitioners, also with
little satisfaction. Ten percent of them claim to have recovered fully whereas 42%
report being only moderately healthy, although they still needed help with EMF
reduction.
10. 38% of the respondents are still at work and maintain a partial of full time position
11. Most respondents consider themselves to have an emotional character.
12. Some report that other members of the family also show sign of EHS, indicating that
there is some sort of hereditary factor involved in acquiring the oversensitivity for
EMFs.
13. It is speculated that the personal stress system is a key factor determining how
health problems are perceived and dealt with.
14. It is argued that provocation experiments should be designed such that personal
differences in EMF perception and nature of health effects should be taken into
account.

Introduction
Why a questionnaire?
Until recently, information about electrohypersensitivity (EHS) was non-existent in this
country and there was no interest in this matter by the government or health agencies.
Electrosensitive persons had no place to go for instructions or help to alleviate their
problems. This questionnaire should provide basic information about the complex
manifestations of EHS.
Early signs of electrohypersensitivity arose in the Netherlands around 1985. The
phenomenon was unknown at the time and the press had no interest, which hampered
the spreading of the message. In Sweden, a leading country in the implementation of
digital techniques discussions had started already. Electrosensitives had grouped and
started an informative website, www.feb.se . This site was probably the first and sole
source of information, presenting material that was most refreshing for those who
sought information on EHS. The English section of this site was a most useful source
of information for some years and encouraged others to take EHS serious and do
something about it. The incidence of EHS in Sweden was about 1,5% of the
inhabitants of Stockholm (Hillert 2002) and there is no reason to suppose that such a
figure would be much lower in the Netherlands. We hope this document will initiate
public debate on that matter.
We established an informal Working group on EHS (WEO) in the Netherlands in 2001
(www.electroallergie.org), which in 2007 developed into the Dutch EHS Foundation
(www.stichtingehs.nl) . The aims were to assess the EHS problem through close
contacts with electrosensitives and to extract from them their knowledge and insights
about:
1. The personal experience: which health problems are experienced?
2. Is there a common ‘marker’ symptom characteristic for the condition of EHS?

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3. Is there a common risk factor in the form of specific electromagnetic fields


from appliances and installations?
4. Their search for medical or paramedical help or from alternative
(complementary) practitioners.

We envisaged that such knowledge would be useful for:


1. Electrosensitive people can be helped to understand the complexity of their
EHS problem. We can give better advice on EMF management strategies.
2. Provocation experiments to assess people's ability to detect the presence or
absence of EMFs can be designed better. The conditions under which groups
or individuals are subjected to EMF exposure and questioned about their
subjective experiences should be redefined. Attention should be paid to both
high- and low-frequency EMFs.

The results of earlier versions of this questionnaire –based on 200 respondents- have
been published before (Schooneveld and Kuiper, 2006).
The phenomenon of EHS has been reviewed extensively by Johansson (2006) and
there is a wealth of information as to the effects of EMF on living tissue (Carpenter
and Sage, 2007), by both biophysical (Swanson and Kheifets, 2006) and biochemical
mechanisms (Lai and Singh, 2004).

Defining EHS
Healthy people not affected by a hypersensitivity for EMF sometimes express
scepticism as to the nature of EHS and the very existence of such a medically
unexplained health condition. As the WHO phrases it:
"EHS is characterized by a variety of non-specific symptoms, which afflicted
individuals attribute to exposure to EMF. The symptoms most commonly experienced
include dermatological symptoms (redness, tingling, and burning sensations) as well
as neurasthenic and vegetative symptoms (fatigue, tiredness, concentration
difficulties, dizziness, nausea, hart palpitation and digestive disturbances).The
collection of symptoms is not part of any recognized syndrome.
EHS resembles multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), another disorder associated
with low-level environmental exposures to chemicals. Both EHS and MCS are
characterized by a range of non-specific symptoms that lack apparent toxicological
or physiological basis or independent verification. A more general term for sensitivity
to environmental factors is Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance (IEI), which
originated from a workshop convened by the international program on chemical
sensitivity (IPCS) of the WHO in 1996 in Berlin. IEI is a descriptor without any
implication of chemical aetiology, immunological sensitivity or EMF
susceptibility. IEI incorporates a number of disorders sharing similar non-specific
medically unexplained symptoms that adversely affect people. However, since the
term EHS is in common usage it will continue to be used here"(WHO Fact sheet #296,
December 2005).
This is the formal way of looking at the problem. The EMF-affected individuals have a
different view: they simply know –often by experimentation- that certain pieces of
electrical equipment, installations or facilities make them sick. Switching these items

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off or lowering EMF exposure by shielding or increasing distance solves most of the
problems. It is as simple as that. The EHS Foundation helps them finding out which
appliances are most disturbing and what to do about it.
We learned in a early phase that specific attention should be paid to EMFs of
extremely low frequencies (ELF). Recently, the World health organization (WHO,
2007) published a monograph in which interest in ELF fields in encouraged.

Procedure
As the WEO working group and the EHS became more widely known, well over on-
thousand electrosensitives contacted us for advice and support. They were handed the
questionnaire before being admitted as a member. Their early answers formed the basis
of this enterprise. As our insights grew, irrelevant questions were deleted from the next
questionnaires issued, new questions were incorporated. Our major revisions brought
us to the list presented here. Most people were contacted by one of our staff for an in-
depth interview. When there was no hesitation as to the state of electrosensitivity, their
data has been used for this evaluation.
In the original questionnaire, 38 major questions were presented, with 284 possible
answers. Actual numbers of responses are given along with the percentage or choices
made. Not all questions are presented here because they were personal and not of
statistical relevance although answers were highly relevant for assessing the individual's
circumstances.
The data from 250 questionnaires was collected over a 3.5 year period, from January
2003 to summer 2007. Ages and some other data reflect the situation at the time of
answering the questions. There was a shift in the assessment of -for instance- the EMF
hazards experienced, health effects mentioned and assistance of the alternative
therapists sought. No statistics on such trends are available at this point.
The forms to be completed had ample space for additional comments which did not fit
the pre-programmed answering boxes. These comments were valuable to us because
they reflected the human person behind the answers given. Their views were not only
essential for re-editing questions in following issues of the questionnaire, they also
made clear how the tremendous variations in perceived danger and bad health was
caused or dealt with. Several of the points made in the discussion were derived from
this background information not found in the Appendix tables. The data actually given
in the tables more or less speaks for itself. It is the interpretation that counts.

Discussion of the data in the questionnaire (see Appendix)

Individual experiences
The tables in the questionnaire show that EHS affects broad categories of people (all
age groups, gender, and professions), that a broad variety of EMF radiating equipment
and machinery is causing problems, and that a wide variety of health problems is
reported.
It is this variation that causes disbelief among people who are not themselves
electrosensitive. Stories of EHS sufferers would be incoherent, EMF energies reported
to be disturbing would be too small to hold responsible for whatever known biological
effect on humans. There would simply be no well-established biological mechanism
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explaining such a degree of sensitivity. Indeed, we did not find any specific marker for
EHS among respondents. It is also true that other diseases or ailments are
characterized by similar health problems. Some developed a hypersensitivity for odours
(MCS patients), hard sounds (tinnitus, hyperacusis), (UV) light (CPLD), allergens
(allergies), food additives, chemical intolerances, etcetera.

Each person is unique


In-depth interviews after the completion of the questionnaire indicated that most
people have their own story: a given EMF source usually evokes a standard (set of)
reaction(s) and this cause-effect relationship is remarkably constant. The large variety
in symptoms recorded as a group effect does not apply for the individual. The
impression emerging from these interviews is the following:
Some persons have become electrosensitive and respond to some specific EMFs in
their environment and show some of the possible health effects induced by their
personal stress system (see Figure 1)

Figure 1. Schema expressing the


very personal relationship between
EMF stimuli and health effects
evoked. Every EHS person (1, 2,
and 3) recognizes certain field
‘components’ in the electrosmog
mixture around them. The stress
system thus activated generates a
mixture of physical ailments
(follow the red arrow). Every
person develops an unique pattern
of health complaints.

The interviews also revealed that the individual responses are quite predictable and
reproducible. Patterns may change somewhat in the course of EHS 'development' but
within a timeframe of a year or so the response is stable. In short: a given EMF
stimulus usually induces a predictable type of health effect and after a predictable
delay. The speed of response differs among individuals. Exposure to exceptionally
strong fields and EMF of a hitherto unknown quality may generate a more rapid and
powerful effect.
One of the main problems is that many people with EHS symptoms have no idea which
type of EMF –if any- is specifically annoying to him or her. This is caused by the
length of time usually elapsing between EMF exposure and health effect: several hours
is not unusual (Schooneveld and Arends-Zimmermann, 2006). One simply does not see
the connection.

Search for a specific EHS marker


The point never contemplated so far is that EHS is a problem of the individual, not of a
group. We all tend to expect the classical picture of an illness: much like measles
would make the skin of children appear reddish, and influenza would elevate body
temperature, we expect a similar marker for EHS. An obvious marker apparently does
not exist so far and we should perhaps stop looking for physically recognizable signs of
EHS. Future research on cell physiological processes will probably reveal what makes

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certain people perceive EMFs that go unnoticed by others (Carpenter and Sage, 2007).
We saw that most respondents indicated that they belong to the emotionally more
'sensitive' part of the population. It seems reasonable to suggest that the basic nervous
mechanisms for handling stress situations are responsible for the stress reactions
shown. And stress is something very personal; stress responses may differ greatly
among individuals.
Most electrosensitives who approached the EHS Foundation have had their own
experiences in cause-effect relationships: there is only a limited number of annoying
EMF sources (sometimes a single one) against which their hypersensitivity condition
has been evoked. Health complaints include only certain symptoms (sometimes only
headaches, pain in the neck or the like). Usually there was an increase in sensitivity
over the time as well as an increase in the spectrum of disturbing equipment

Common risk factors


The data in the tables and the side-remarks of the respondents indicate that EMFs from
certain sources are to be considered as serious risk factors. This is particularly true for:
1. Outdoor EMFs that cannot be controlled by citizens, such as from GSM/UMTS
base stations, underground and overhead power cables, and railway lines;
2. Indoor EMFs that are under personal control, such as (1) all equipment intentionally
radiating high-frequency fields (digital Dect telephones, WiFi, Wlan and other wireless
communication systems; (2) equipment –unintentionally radiating low-frequency
EMFs- powered many hours a day (ventilators, refrigerators), electronic items
employing digital power supplies such as computers and audio equipment, and all
power tools; above all: electric blankets; (3) the electricity net spreading electrical
fields at all times.
3. EMFs from neighbouring dwellings (from TV, PC, washing machine, emitted
through walls and floors);
4. EMFs in transport vehicles (automobiles with ignition motor, diesel motors with
electronic fuel injection system; certain trains, airplanes.
It is remarkable that the people's major concern is not the GSM/UMTS mast in their
vicinity, but rather regular electric and electronic tools in the household or office. In
other words, although high-frequency sources may be a threat at short distance, most
annoying are the equipment and utilities found in most households. Dect phones,
personal computers and TV are among the most-disturbing items. The possibility that
high- and low-frequency EMFs interact and reinforce each other in biological effects
should be explored.
Health problems caused by other factors
EHS symptoms are regularly accompanied by other illnesses (Grant, 2000; Hobbs,
2003; Nordström, 2004). Over one-half of the respondents reported that they were at
one time diagnosed as suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), chronic
fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, burnout, or other disabling psychosomatic ailments.
Several other respondents were reported to be sensitized by environmental factors like
odours, sunlight, pollen, chemicals, medicines, nutrients, food additives, etcetera.
This would mean that the physical condition of the individuals was generally poor; the
question is therefore whether EHS is the consequence of poor health, or the cause of
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it. Most respondents answered that EHS came first, whether or not followed by other
'sensitivities'. This point should merit closer attention in following queries.
In conclusion, these people seeking information and help from us were already in
rather poor physical condition and often had insufficient mental power to do something
about their condition or circumstances. Those who saw their problems in time could
have taken measures to minimize exposure to EMFs by different forms of field
management. This sometimes went as far as moving to another less stressful job or to a
cleaner environment, thus enabling them to adopt a satisfactory life style. Some
reported, however, that their electrosensitivity never really abated and that they should
always be careful to avoid unnecessary exposure.

Medical help sought


Three-quarter of the respondents have visited a physician or one or several medical
hospital specialists for help and advice. Very rarely did the person receive support that
showed that the consulted person made a correct diagnosis. It was regularly admitted
that there was no solution other than having a good sleep or taking a tranquillizer. It
was also not uncommon that one was send to alternative practitioners like homeopath,
acupuncturist or –as was reported- some 70 other types of alternative
(‘complementary’) help. Rarely with any real success and sometimes patients' health
was permanently damaged, as far as we could ascertain. They needed our help.
But electrosensitives hardly have any choice when their condition is not recognized
and appropriate measures taken. We conclude from their information that the only
effective protective strategy is avoiding the disturbing EMFs. This may require
shielding of living quarters against high-frequency fields from outside or from
neighbours, shielding apparatuses or electric installations, or moving to a cleaner
environment.

Exposure standards
None of the EMFs found in this study had a field strength that came anywhere near the
exposure limits formulated by the International committee for non-ionizing radiation
protection (ICNIRP). (Perhaps with the exception of the fields radiating from the
handsets of GSM of Dect phone systems). Field measurements done to characterize
the fields that were found annoying, all were several orders of magnitude weaker than
the ICNIRP limits. Similar findings were reported by Sage (2007).
Therefore, we usually adhere to the exposure limits recommended by German
specialists, the so-called SBM2003 norms (www.maes.de ). Even these values are in
some cases too tolerant, we suppose.

General discussion
Related questionnaire surveys
Several other investigators have undertaken to collect data on self-reported annoyance
from EMFs and resulting health complaints: Grant (2000), Hillert (2001), Carlsson et
al. (2005), Röösli et al. (2004), Huss and Röösli (2005), WHO (2007). It is of interest
that data from electrosensitive people in different countries is essentially similar. Most-
reported EHS symptoms are fatigue, headache, skin problems etcetera. Yet, the early
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experiments in Sweden indicate a much higher incidence of skin problems than later
studies (Hillert 2002, Stenberg e al. 1995). This could be the consequence of exposure
of office workers to early CRT type PC monitors which produced stronger EMFs than
later monitor types Wall (1995) and Nordström (2004). In short, the self-reported
problems encountered do not differ markedly over recent years, and the present report
on the situation in the Netherlands forms no exception to that.
The British organization Safe Wireless Initiative organizes a questionnaire survey on
the prevalence of the EHS condition in the UK, N-Ireland and the Channel Islands in
the short time-frame of November 2007 (McKinney and Crofton, 2007). The questions
asked resembles our questions. It should be interesting to see whether region-specific
differences in EHS problems become apparent.

Provocation experiments
Electrosensitives are all too eager to communicate on their problem but usually find
few listeners, and critics deny the existence of EHS. Several provocation experiments
in recent years failed to demonstrate that electrosensitive volunteers can actually
substantiate their claim under controlled and double-blind laboratory experiments
(Rubin et al., 2006; Seitz et al., 2005). We now understand why these experiments
were negative: more attention should be paid to the degree of variability of personal
responses found here.
There have been quite a few studies in which EMF sensitive and non-sensitive
volunteers were exposed to high-frequency EMFs, signals mimicking those of GSM or
UMTS transmitters. The question was whether EHS people could demonstrate –under
controlled conditions- that they could ‘feel’ whether the transmitter was ‘on’ or ‘off’’.
The outcome was mostly negative and authors like Rubin et al. (2006) and others
conclude that there was no evidence for an EMF-feeling talent. The present data show
that the situation is more complex: not all EHS people will react to high-frequency
EMFs. In future experiments, more attention should be paid to the specific conditions
under which EHS can be demonstrated by individual volunteers.
Individuals have their personal repertoire of annoying EMFs detected and stress
symptoms. We propose that there is a mismatch between people's frequency-dependent
sensitivity and frequency (and perhaps other physical parameters) of the fields
presented in those experiments. Also the evaluation methods may be irrelevant.
Exposures are usually of a rather short duration, whereas people's reaction to field
exposure may well take several hours to a day.
Therefore, it seems essential that volunteers participating in such studies should be
selected with care and questioned in detail about their personal experiences. Exposure
conditions should be adjusted to those individual preferences.
We now know that persons may be sensitized for only certain RF fields or even for
ELF fields, or for a mixture of certain frequencies. Certain persons claim erroneously
that their health is threatened by exposure to EGS/UMTS transmitters. In several cases
we examined their living quarters and found that they were in fact (also) sensitive to
ELF fields in their households. Measures to reduce those fields took away most of
their complaints.
Questionnaire as a screening tool for volunteers

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Eltiti et al. (2007) developed a questionnaire as a screening tool to be used for


identifying individuals who are sensitive to EMFs. This EHS screening tool includes a
symptom scale providing an index for both the type and intensity of symptoms. Eight
subscales were distinguished: for neurovegetative, skin, auditory, headache,
cardiorespiratory, cold related, locomotor and allergy related symptoms. Given the fact
that there is no objective diagnostic criterion for classifying someone as EHS, the
statistical weighing of people’s self-reported sensitivity should substantiate their
EHS claim. The subscales distinguished in their paper roughly correspond to the
health problems recorded by us and also the incidences are not too different.
We originally set out by asking for the degree of annoyance caused by known
electronic equipment, but the answers received were so much influenced by the
people's anger or expectations that we stopped asking for such data later on.
Our objectives were different. People came to us on their own initiative, to see
someone who would listen to them and who took their problems seriously. Some knew
perfectly well which piece of equipment was annoying them and that avoiding the
EMFs surrounding them solved the problem. But most of them had only a faint idea
what their problem was. Consecutive personal contacts were usually helpful in finding
out whether EMFs or instead other environmental or internal factors were causing
their health problems. The elimination of EMFs -for instance in the clean havens we
exploit- were usually effective in regaining health. But not so if other factors were still
in operation that just caused similar symptoms.
According to Eltiti et al. (2007) people with EHS-like symptoms –not caused by
EMFs- should be disqualified as suitable test persons. As we see it, it is the other way
round. There is certain proportion of citizens which are more 'sensitive' that others and
develop hypersensitivities for one or more of the environmental factors that go
unnoticed by 'ordinary' people. Apart from EMFs, such factors may be smells, UV
light, pollen, allergens to mention a few. We saw that a surprising number of our EMF
sensitives who report to simultaneously suffer from e.g. burnout (16%), multiple
chemical sensitivity (15,6%), fibromyalgia (13,6%), chronic fatigue syndrome (13,2%),
or a combination of these. The health problems of all these ailments are quite similar to
those of EHS.
Rather than omitting such multiple-hit persons from our lists, we think that their
multiple-factor sensitivity is one of the problems in several of our members.
Questionnaires should thus pay particular attention to this group. 'General sensitivity' –
however to be defined- seems to be a factor facilitating the onset of hypersensitivity for
both EMF and other environmental factors.

Recommended procedure for volunteer selection in provocation experiments


This observation has repercussions for the selection of volunteers needed for testing
the action of specific EMF frequencies on electrosensitive persons. Experiments should
focus on the specific frequency as indicated by the person in question. He or she may
know nothing about frequencies but can usually mention the piece of equipment that
causes ill health. The experimenter should in these cases assess the specific frequencies
emitted by this item and offer this frequency in test situations to evoke the correct kind
of response from this person. It is irrelevant testing high frequency transmitter signals
to those being sensitized for e.g. kitchen machinery and vice versa. It is quite possible

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that much of the confusion in the scientific literature is caused by their ignorance of
frequency-dependent nature of personal responses.

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World health organization (2007). Extremely low frequency fields. In:
Environmental health criteria Monograph No. 238.

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EHS in the Netherlands
© Stichting EHS (Dutch EHS Foundation) All rights reserved 2007

Appendix
The questionnaire data
A. General statistics

A1. Number of questionnaires retrieved: 250

A2. Age of respondents at the time of completing this form:


242 respondents
Response percentage
19 and younger 0.4%
20 - 29 5.0%
30 - 39 8.3%
40 - 49 24.5%
50 - 59 28.2%
60 - 69 20.3%
70 - 79 7.1%
80 and older 6.2%

N.B. Average age of all participants 52.5 years

A3. Gender
250 respondents
Response percentage
Women 68%
Men 32%

A4. When did the EHS problem start?


177 respondents
Response percentage
As a child (up to 14 years 6.8%
As a teenager (15-19 years) 12.4%
As an adult (older than 19 yeas) 80.8%

A5. Are you still maintaining a job position?


162 respondents
Response percentage
Yes, a full time job 37.7%
Yes, working part time 20.3%
No 42.0%

A6. What are the specific causes of your EHS problems?


164 respondents
Responses
Exposure to electromagnetic (AC) fields 81
Exposure to GSM/UMTS transmitters 69
Exposure to additional psychological stress situation 46
The installation of a Dect telephone at home or with neighbors 45

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Moving to a new home 38


Installation of a Blue tooth system at home 26
Installation of a wireless internet modem/router 25

B. Health problems reported

Medical history ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

B1. Which of next medical treatments induced your EHS condition?


36 respondents
Responses
Result of a hospitalization 18
Anesthesia 14
Regular medical treatment 14
Orthodontic treatment 14
MRI scan 5

B2. Which diseases or illnesses contributed to your current problems?


114 respondents
Responses
Burn out 40
Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) 39
Fibromyalgia 34
Chronic fatigue syndrome 33
Repetitive stress injury (RSI) 19
Illness of Pfeiffer 14
Metabolic diseases 13
Sick building syndrome (SBS) 9
Post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS) 8
Illness of Sudeck 8
Alternative therapists 6
Post traumatic dystrophy 5
Illness of Lyme 5
Chronic polymorphic light dermatosis 3
Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency 1
Gulf war syndrome 1

Health effects experienced- -------------------------------------------------------------------

B3. Health problems, 20 most cited symptoms reported:


250 respondents
Responses
Chronic fatigue 174
Concentration problems 170
Hearing problems 168
Face and skin problems 166
Insomnia 158
Eye problems 158
Numb feeling in head 123
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Skin problems 123


Headache 120
Pressure in head 115
Dizziness 107
Nose problems 105
Memory problems 100
Being irritated 96
Dry skin 91
Restlessness, hyperactivity 80
Blocked nose 72
Itching hair 63
Agitation 59
Vital fatigue 58
‘Tight band around head’ 58
Spasms 57
Nervousness 50
Eczema 44
Heart rhythm problems 42
Spastic intestine 41
Restless legs 39
Itching leg 32
Aggression 30
Change in blood pressure 25
RSI 17
Epilepsy 12
‘Brainwave’ 9

B4. Organ-oriented health problems


Head
246 respondents
Responses
Numb feeling in head 123
Headache and migraine 120
Pressure insight head 115
Tight band around head 58
Sensation of flu or cold 30

Face and facial skin


166 respondents
Responses
Dry skin 71
Hair irritation/itching 63
Reddish facial skin 47
Warm facial skin 47
Feeling of needle punctures 32
Facial discoloration 29
Swollen skin 29
Hurting eyebrows 27
Pimples 19
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Skin
123 respondents
Responses
General itching 49
Eczema 44
Subcutaneous itching 29
Inflammations 26
Pimples 22
Reddening of the skin 20
Psoriasis 16
Mould infections 14
Urticaria 6

Ears
168 respondents
Responses
Buzzing ears 96
Hissing sounds 80
Loss of hearing 63
Strong low frequency sounds 55
Ear aches 38
Sound of bells clanging 28

Eyes
158 respondents
Responses
Eye irritation 106
Bad focus 104

Nose
105 respondents
Responses
Blocking nose 72
Running nose 49

Status of EHS- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

B5. Is EHS the cause of your health problems or is it a side-effect of other


environmental illnesses?
96 respondents
Percentages
EHS is the cause 84%
EHS is the consequence of earlier diseases 12%
Don’t know 0%

B6. Do your health problems disappear in an electrically clean environment?


128 respondents
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Percentages
Yes, the complaints disappear 77%
Don’t know 18%
No, they don’t disappear 5%

Other environmental hypersensitivities- -------------------------------------------------

B7. Are you allergic or intolerant for one of the next specific substances,
treatments or environmental factors?
169 respondents
Responses
Nutrient 92
Loud noise 72
Smells 59
Medication 50
Pollen 48
Dust mite 42
Sunlight 41
Light 39
Sodium glutamate (MSG) 38
Antibiotics 38
Fine dust particles, smaller than 10 µm 36
Preservatives 26
Narcotics 23
Smell of printing ink 21
Histamine 21
Pesticides 20
Stings of honeybees or wasps 18

B8. Various complaints


In personal contacts apart from this questionnaire, people reported the following
problems: sudden colds, continuous sneezing, dry eyes feeling like sandpaper, taste of
smells, cramps or pain in jaws and teeth, rough turning of neck vertebrae, and other
less common complaints.

Current health status---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B9. Are you an emotional person?


191 respondents
Percentages
I find myself rather emotional 63%
I find myself moderately emotional 28%
I find myself not emotional 9%

B10. How is your health now?


180 respondents
Percentages
I feel fine 24%
I feel moderately healthy 45%
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My health is bad 31%

B11. Do you ever use tranquilizers?


138 respondents
Percentages
Yes, regularly 20%
Now and then 25%
Never 57%

C. Causes of EHS, risk factors – Physical factors

Inside EMF sources-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

C1. Disturbing appliances and installations at home. Which of the next items do
you use?
250 respondents
Responses
Television, radio, video, DVD player, audio 137
Personal computer with peripheral 100
Fluorescent lights 81
Halogen illumination with transformer 80
Energy saving lamps 78
Dect telephone 71
Using a cell phone inside 64
Electric alarm clock near be 62
Using a cell phone outside 60
Audio apparatus 49
Programmable central heating thermostat 47
Central heating stove 45
Light intensity dimmer 45
ADSL modem 44
Wireless 44
Permanent wall-mounted ventilator 39
WiFi 37
LCD 36
Telephone answering recorder 29
Burglar alarm 23
Electric blanket 22
Roof ventilator 20
Electric adjustable bed 17
Video games: Nintendo, Play station, etc 15
Water 11
Induction heater 10
Electric floor heating sys 8
Digital intercom inst. with video display 5
Electric toy train on D 4
Digital electricity m 4

C2. Which appliances are bothering you most?


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189 respondents
Responses
Dect telephone 76
Television, personal computer 53
Buzzing sounds (of the neighbors) 31
Low frequency noises of neighbors 31
WIFI installations 21
Other electric installations 19

C3. Addendum
Apart from this questionnaire, we maintained contact with individuals who reported
that they were disturbed very rapidly by one or more of the following apparatuses:
magnetic brakes of coaches going downhill, machinery in fitness centers driven by –or
retarded by electric power, battery chargers, electric razors, electric traction of
wheelchairs, power tools, detection gates in airports and shops, electronic dog watch,
check out counters in shops, high frequency plastic sealing apparatus, digital photo
camera’s, all types of LCD screens in cars and navigational systems, data transmission
lines in offices, electric connections between GSM base station antenna and the power
supply of these masts, handsets for mobile communication, digital heat sensors for
monitoring radiator temperatures, motor cars with hybrid motors (combination of
electric and combustion motors), electric fences and microwave oven.

Outside EMF sources --------------------------------------------------------------------------

C4. Installations within critical distance from the house (risk factors)
165 respondents
Responses
GSM base station (less than 400m) 69
Electricity power cable in the street (less than 10m) 25
High-voltage transformer unit (less than 20m) 25
UMTS transmitter (less than 200m) 23
Street car tracks (less than 200m) 22
Electrified railroad (less than 500m) 17
Tetra base station (less than 1000m) 13
Amateur radio transmitter (less than 100m 10
Electric fences (less than 100m) 7
High tension power cables (less than 100m) 7
Underground metro (less than 100m) 2

D. Medical assistance sought

Regular medicine--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

D1. Which regular medical and paramedical help have you sought?
196 respondents
Responses
Family doctor 192
Neurologist 60
Acupuncturist 59
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Allergy specialist 56
Institutional doctor 47
Physiotherapist 38
Psychologist 35
Psychiatrist 21
Medical inspector 17
Rheumatologist 5

Apart from this questionnaire, personal contacts with electro sensitive people indicated
that the following specialists have been consulted as well: general physician, jaw
surgeon, throat – nose – ear specialist, revalidation physician.

N.B. None of the doctors visited understood the real condition of the EHS patient. A
psychiatric consultation was sometimes suggested. None of the EHS sufferers received
any advice that helped them understand or combat their EMF hazards.

Alternative practitioners ----------------------------------------------------------------------

D2. Which alternative therapist or treatment have you sought?


151 respondents
Responses
Homeopath 63
Electro-Acupuncturist 45
Bio resonance therapist 41
Naturopathic practitioner 34
Orthomolecular practitioner 30
Home sanitizer 21
Dowsing rod 19
Reiki therapist 17
Osteopath 15
Lechner antenne practitioner 12
Paranormal therapist 12
Kinesiologist 11
Haptonomist 11
Healer 9
Bio tensor therapist 2

D3. Alternative practitioners and home sanitation?

Apart from this list, a broad variety of therapists have been consulted that were said to
have the gift of localization and neutralization of (undefined) fields in home or
environment, protection of the body, or treatment of the body with diverse forms of
electrotherapy or other therapies.
As the rationale of these therapies has not been documented by these practitioners, no
attempt has been made to analyze the functionality of these therapies.
All together, 142 persons (approx. 56.8%) have indicated to have contacted one or
more of these alternative therapists and they made their choice out of over 70 different
therapies.

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EHS in the Netherlands
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D4. What was the result of the alternative therapies?


91 respondents
Percentages
Result was good 14%
Result was doubtful 30%
There was no result or negative result 56%

E. Heredity of EHS

E1. Are you recognizing signs of electrical hypersensitivity with your family
members? Yes, the following members appeared EHS to me:
54 respondents
Responses
Son, daughter 27
Brother, sister 21
Father, mother 20
Nephew, niece 2
Uncle, aunt 1

Correspondence to:
Dr. Hugo Schooneveld
Dutch EHS Foundation (Stichting electrohypersensitivity –EHS)
Wageningen, the Netherlands
E-mail hugo.schooneveld@stichtingehs.nl

File: EHS_in_the_Netherlands
December 2007

This article may be distributed and duplicated only unaltered and with full reference to the source 20
www.stichtingehs.nl
The BioElectric Shield Company has been dedicated to helping create a more balanced and peaceful
world one person at a time since 1990.

In the 1980’s, when Dr. Charles Brown, DABCN, (Diplomate American College of Chiropractic
Neurologists), the inventor of the Shield, became aware that a certain group of his patients exhibited
consistent symptoms of stress and a slower rate of healing that the rest of his patient population. This
group of patients all worked long hours in front of CRT computer screens for many hours a day, and
usually 6 days a week. He began researching the effects of electromagnetic radiation in the literature, and
found there were many associated health effects. He wanted to help these patients, and hoped that he
could come up with a low-tech, high effect product.

In 1989, he had a series of waking dream that


showed him a specific pattern of crystals. Each
of 3 dreams clarified the placement of the
crystals. He showed the patterns to an individual
who can see energy and she confirmed that the
pattern produced several positive effects. She
explained that the Shield interacts with a
person’s energy field (aura) to strengthen and
balance it. Effectively it created a cocoon of
energy that deflects away energies that are
not compatible. In addition, the Shield acts to
balance the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies of the aura.

A series of studies was conducted to investigate the possible protection from EMF's wearing this kind of
device. Happily the studies were consistent in showing that people remained strong when exposed to
these frequencies. Without the shield, most people showed measurable weakening in the presence of both
EMF’s and stress. Of interest to us was that these same effects were noted when people IMAGINED
stress in their lives. It seems obvious that how we think and what we are exposed to physically both have
an energy impact on us. The Shield addresses energy issues-stabilizing a person's energy in adverse
conditions. See “How the Shield Works” for more information.

Since that time, we have sold tens of thousands of Shields and had feedback from more people than we
could possibly list. Here are just a few of the testimonials we have gotten back from Shield wearers.

Dr. David Getoff was one of the earliest practitioners to begin wearing a Shield and doing his own testing
with patients with very good results (video).

BioElectricShield.com | About the Shield | Shield Products | In the Media | Contact


OUR MISSION

Our mission is to make the BioElectric Shield available worldwide. In doing so, we feel we are part of the
solution to the health crisis that is, in part, caused by exposure to electromagnetic radiation and well as
exposure to massive amounts of stress, from situations and other people’s energy.

We also want to bring more peace, balance and joy to the world - and the Shield offers a vibration of
peace, love, and balance in a world filled with fear and uncertainty. Selling a Shield may seem like a
small thing in the scheme of things, but each Shield helps one more person find a greater sense of ease,
balance and protection, allowing them to focus on living their dreams

To enhance your sense of well-being, (In addition to the Shield, ) we offer other products that provide
health and wellness benefits on many levels.

By working together we can, and are, accomplishing miracles.

Charles W. Brown, D.C., D.A.B.C.N.

Dr. Brown graduated in 1979 w ith honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic. He
is a Di plomate of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and a Di plomate of
the A merican B oard o f Chiropractic Neu rologists. He al so i s cer tified i n Ap plied
Kinesiology. Dr. Brown has had his own radio show "Health Tips". Additionally, he
has t aught an atomy at B oston Un iversity an d t he New E ngland I nstitute o f M assage
Therapy.

He invented the BioElectric Shield, Conditioning Yourself for Peak Performance (a DVD of series of
Peak Performance Postures with Declarations) and Dr. Brown’s Dust and Allergy Air Filters, as well as
Dr. Brown’s Dust and Allergy Anti-Microbial, Anti-Viral Spray. He is presently working on other
inventions.

Dr. Brown’s experience of the Shield is that it has helped him move deeper into spiritual realms, quantum
energy, and creative meditative spaces. It has always been his desire to help others, and he is grateful that
the Shield is helping so many people worldwide.

Virginia Bonta Brown, M.S., O.T.R.

As child, I always wanted others feel better. As a teenager, I volunteered as a


Candy Striper at the local hospital, wheeling around a cart of gifts to patients’
rooms. The hospital setting didn’t really draw me, so summers were spend
teaching tennis to kids at a wonderful camp in Vermont. With the idea of
becoming a psychologist, I received a B.S. degree from Hollins College in

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psychology and worked with drug addicts for a year. Called by the practicality of Occupational Therapy, I
received an M.S. degree in Occupational Therapy from Boston University in 1974

For the next 16 years, working with ADD, ADHD, autistic and other special needs children was my
passion. Because of my specialty in Sensory Integration Dysfunction (a technique based on neurology), I
met Anne Shumway Cook, RPT, PhD, a brilliant PT, with a PhD in neurophysiology. We created special
therapy techniques for children with vestibular (balance and position in space) dysfunction while she
worked with the Vestibular Treatment Center at Good Samaritan, and while I managed the therapy
services of the Children's Program at this same hospital in Portland, Oregon. A fun project at that time
also included collaborating with a team of other therapists to create a therapy in the public schools manual
for OT, PT and Adapted PT procedures. It included goals and treatment plans which has served as a
model for nearly every school district in the United States. There was nothing quite so satisfying as
seeing a child move from frustration to joy as they began to master their coordination and perceptual
skills.

For the next seven years, I shifted my focus. Married to Dr. Charles Brown, we decided that I’d begin to
work with him in his Pain and Allergy Clinic, first in Boston and then in Billings, Montana. During this
time I began to hear people talk about how thoroughly stressed out they were by their job environment.
Their neck and shoulders hurt from sitting in front of computer screens. They were fatigued and
overloaded dealing with deadlines and other stressed out people! They wanted to be sheltered from the
“storm” of life. Though conversation, myofascial deep tissue and cranio-sacral therapy helped them, the
stress never disappeared. It was our patients who really let us know that something that managed their
environment and their energy would be a wonderful miracle in their lives.

What could we do to help them? I became an OT so I could help children and adults accomplish whatever
it was that they wanted to do. When my husband, Dr. Brown, invented the Shield, initially I felt I was
abandoning my patients. Running the company meant I didn’t spend as much time in the clinic. But then
I saw what the Shield was accomplishing with people. They got Shields and their lives began to improve.
People told me they felt less overwhelmed, didn’t get the headaches in front of the computer, were less
affected by other people’s energy and enjoyed life more. I began noticing the same thing!

In 2000, we received a request for a customized shield for a child with ADD/ADHD. After it was
designed, our consultant told us that she could create a special shield that would help any person with
these symptoms. Read more about the ADD/ADHD Shield.

When we started the company in 1990, I was still seeing patients nearly full time. I was wearing the
Shield and began to notice something different about my own life. At the clinic, I noticed my energy was
very steady all day. Instead of being exhausted at the end of the day, particularly when I had treated
particularly needy patients, I was pleasantly tired and content. I noticed I was more detached from the
patient’s problem. In other words, I didn’t allow it to tire me. Instead I became more compassionate and
intuitive about what they needed to help them. I was able to hear my Guides more clearly as they helped
me help them. As I wore it during meditation, I felt myself go deeper into a space of Unity of all things,
from people to mountains to stars.

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Over the years, I’ve spoken with many, many people, from all walks of life. Because they consistently
tell me how much it’s helped them, I become more committed each year to offer this to as many people
as possible. It is my belief that the Shield is a gift from the Divine, and that those who wear it will be
helped on earth to accomplish their own mission, with greater health and greater compassion. For this
reason, it is my desire to provide the blessing of the BioElectric Shield to as many people as possible.

Carolyn (Workinger) Nau:

I joined the BioElectric Shield Company in January 1994 when the shipping and order
department consisted of one computer and a card table. With my help, the company
grew to what it is today. From 1994 to 2000 I traveled and did approximately 100 trade
shows, talking to people, muscle testing and really finding out how much difference the
Shield makes in people’s lives.

An empath and natural intuitive, I have personally found the Shield to be one of my most important and
valued possessions, as it assists me in not taking on everyone else’s stuff. That ability has also been
invaluable when I talk to and connect with clients in person, over the phone or even via email. I am
frequently able to “tune in” and help advise on the best Shield choice for an individual.

I felt a strong pull to move to California and reluctantly left the company in 2000. While in California I
met the love of my life, David Nau. After being married on the pier in Capitola, we relocated to
Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he’d accepted a job as design director of an award winning exhibit firm.
David is an artist and designer, and has taken all the newest photos of the Shields. They are the most
beautiful and accurate images we have ever had!
Through the magic of the internet I was able to return to working with the company in January 2008. I
love how things have changed to allow me to live where I want and work from home. I am fully involved
and even more excited about the Shield’s benefits and the need for people to be strengthened and
protected. I am thrilled to be back and loving connecting with old and new customers. It’s great to pick up
the phone and have someone say, “Wow, I remember you. You sold me a Shield in Vegas in 1999”

How did I get started making Energy Necklaces? It's not every day that going to a trade show can totally
change your life. It did mine. I must have been ready for a drastic change. I just didn't know it. I guess
I’ve just always been a natural Quester.

Quite by chance, I went to the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee. The show is an entire convention
center filled with beads, baubles and semi-precious stones. I looked over my purchases at the end of the
first day and realized I didn't have enough of some for earrings. So I went back with a friend who
normally is the voice of reason. I thought if I got carried away she’d help me stop. Joke was on me.

I was unable to resist all those incredible goodies. My friend turned out to be a very bad influence, she’d
find fabulous things and hold semi-precious and even precious stones in front of me saying "Have you
seen this?". How can a woman resist all that beauty? I can’t! I couldn't. I walked out with a suitcase full
of beads and stones. The only problem was, I didn’t even know how to make jewelry.

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I spent the summer taking classes, reading books, practicing jewelry making. Immediately people were
stopping me in the street asking about the jewelry I was wearing. It finally dawned on me that just maybe
I was meant to design and share my creations. Thus Bold Bodacious Jewelry was born.

I still laugh about this whole process. Obviously the Universe or someone was guiding me. Looking back
it should have been obvious that I was buying enough to start a business. But at the time, it just felt like
the right thing to do. Not a conscious plan. Sometimes following your gut can change your life.

In the fall of 2008, I felt a pull to examine how various gemstones could enhance the protective and
healing effects of the BioElectric Shield. I also wanted to wear great jewelry and my gold and diamond
Shied at the same time, so I created something new so I could do that. After making a few “Shield energy
necklaces”, I was convinced that not only was my jewelry beautiful and fun to wear, it had additional
healing qualities as well. Since then I’ve been immersed in studying stones and their properties, paying
particular attention to the magical transformation that happens when stones are combined. Much like the
Shield, the combined properties of the stones in my jewelry are more powerful than the same combination
of stones loose in your hand. To view gem properties and styles to complement your shield, please visit
Shield Energy necklaces .

David Nau:

We’re pleased to have added David to our team. David is an award winning creative
designer who readily calls on the wide variety of experience he has gained in a
design career spanning over thirty years. His familiarity with the business allows
him to create a stunning design, but also one that works for the needs of the client.
The design has impact, and functions as needed for a successful event. Having
owned his own business, David maintains awareness of cost as he designs, assuring the most value
achieved within a budget.

A Graduate of Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, David’s career has included positions as Senior Exhibit
Designer, Owner of an exhibit design company, Design Director, and Salesman. This variety of positions
has provided experience in all phases of the exhibit business; designing, quoting, selling, directly working
with clients, interfacing with builders and manufacturers, staging and supervising set-up.

David has worked closely with many key clients in the branding of their products and themselves in all
phases of marketing, both within and outside the tradeshow realm. He has designed tradeshow exhibits,
museum environments and showrooms for many large accounts including Kodak, Commerce One,
Candela Laser, The Holmes Group, Kendell Hospital Products, Enterasys, Stratus, Pfizer, Ligand
Medical, Polaroid, Welch Allyn, and Nortel. He has also designed museum and visitor centers for
Charlottesville, NASA Goddard, Hartford and Boston children’s museums.

David’s artistic eye has added to other aspects of our BioElectric Shield site and we appreciate his
ongoing contributions. David is currently unemployed and so has started going to trade shows with
Carolyn. For someone who has been designing trade shows for 35 years actually being in the booth he
designed is a whole new experience for him.

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Sam Sokol

Sam is our Internet consultant, bringing expertise and wisdom to this area of
communication for our company. Sam works with a wide variety of companies
in many industries to build, market and maintain their online presence. He has
helped both small and big companies to increase their online sales and build their
businesses. He has helped us to grow BioElectric Shield by giving us direct
access to great tools to make changes to our web site.

Dedicated to helping create a more balanced and peaceful world one person at a time Let's change our
lives and our worlds one thought, one action at a time.

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