Yesterday, I have published a very brief blog post about my opinions presented in twitter-discussion on EHS with Martin Röösli and Frank de Vocht. Today, Martin Röösli has submitted comment that I consider as very significant input into the EHS-debate. Thus, I decided to publish Martin Röösli’s comment as a stand-alone guest blog, making sure readers will not miss it.
I need to state that I agree with many of Martin’s opinions. Studying EHS, in reliable way, is certainly difficult scientifically and costly. However, it feels very refreshing that scientist who is a member of the Main Commission of ICNIRP has this very open view on EHS and is willing to support the idea that further research on EHS is scientifically justified and should be performed not only using psychology provocation tests but also using tests examining molecular level EHS physiology.
Brief Comment on EHS by Martin Röösli
- A substantial proportion of EHS individuals reports to react within minutes to EMF exposure in their daily life (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1438463904702746?via%3Dihub)
- For this phenomenon double blind blind crossover trials (provocation studies) applying well controlled exposure conditions is the method of choice.
- If one is concerned about the validity of the response (from stress and worries), a positive control can be applied, e.g. an open provocation, in which study participants are informed about the presence of EMF. Several studies documented that in open provocation participants reacted and thus the response are valid. However, in the same test they did not react if exposure was blinded.
- Alternatively individualized testing is a very clever way to deal with these validity problems (see https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016041201630931X)
- From all these trials it is quite clear, that acute reaction to EMF below regulatory limit within minutes has not been documented so far (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12940-019-0519-x). And for this question provocation studies are the gold standard.
- It is also clear that diagnosis and identification of real EHS (i.e. reaction of EMF with unknown latency and induction time) is complex because the reported symptom pattern is heterogeneous. There is no method established so far for this.
- To search for biomarkers and apply efficient screening technology, as proposed by Dariusz, still needs the identification of EHS individuals, in order to compare the biomarker of EHS with control persons. Thus, how would you select the cases, to be sure that they react to EMF? If you cannot prove that, any subsequent molecular analyses will not be informative in terms of reaction to EMF exposure. Rather you may see molecular differences between different type of personalities, etc. And then you are back into psychological research again.
- If a specific and sensitive biomarker can be identified, the EHS research would be much more efficient. All attempts in this direction have failed so far.