Yet again, I found myself twitter-discussing individual sensitivity to EMF, includes EHS, with Martin Röösli and Frank de Vocht. You can go to mine and theirs’ tweet accounts and see for yourself… It is enlightenin and, necessary to admit, we have some/many scientific disagreements…
Briefly, this discussion led me to express the following opinion (here made a bit longer because of no twitter-constraints):
To date executed psychological provocation studies generate subjective data that are scientifically unreliable/questionable. In such studies, no matter how well the EMF exposures and exposure conditions are controlled, the self-diagnosed EMF sensitive persons are exposed to, harmful in their opinion, EMF and are expected to answer whether they feel, more or less immediately, no delayed responses are possible, any of the sensitivity symptoms.
The psychological provocation studies have unreliable set-up for experiments because the answers provided by sensitive persons are given:
- when scared of EMF,
- when worried of health damage in experiment,
- when excited whether reacting as expected,
- when is known that psychology (person’s pre-existing opinion) affects physical/physiological feelings as proven by nocebo* and placebo** effects
*A nocebo effect is said to occur when negative expectations of the patient regarding a treatment cause the treatment to have a more negative effect than it otherwise would have
**A placebo effect is the tendency of any medication or treatment, even an inert or ineffective one, to exhibit results simply because the recipient believes that it will work.
Persons, the self-diagnosed sensitives, are answering questions under some kind of duress.
These are not optimal conditions to run test on EHS & ask how you feel, and to get reliable, unbiased and objective data. Data obtained in psychological provocation studies is by definition, biased and subjective. It is scientifically unreliable.
How to better test sensitivity to EMF? In my opinion it could be done using the very efficient screening technologies, effectively used by pharmaceutical companies to sift through large numbers of possible drug candidates. Testing molecular “markers” could find markers behaving differently in response to EMF exposures. Not easy and not cheap but who said the scientific discoveries need to be easy and cheap.