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Wien Med Wochenschr. 2005 May;155(9-10):237-41.

Does "electromagnetic pollution" cause illness? An inquiry among Austrian general practitioners.

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  • 1Institute of Clinical Engineering, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria. Norbert.Leitgeb@tugraz.at

Abstract

More and more self-declared electromagnetic hypersensitive patients are entering physicians' practices seeking help. To assess the prevalence of cases and the opinion of Austrian physicians regarding the potential health-relevance of environmental electromagnetic fields ("electromagnetic pollution"), a statistical investigation among general practitioners was undertaken, with surprising results. Only one-third report on never having been asked about the health impact of electromagnetic pollution by patients. An overwhelming percentage of general practitioners (up to 96%) to some degree, or totally, believe in a health-relevant role of environmental electromagnetic fields, and only 39% have never associated health symptoms with "electromagnetic pollution". Two-thirds are consulted occasionally or even frequently by self-declared electromagnetic hypersensitive patients. However, sound information seems to be lacking. Knowledge on existing electromagnetic exposure limits and on environmental field levels in relation to them is poor. It is remarkable that authorities play a marginal role in informing physicians. Only 4% mention having received information on "electromagnetic pollution" from such a source. It is rather remarkable that there is such a widespread contradiction between physicians' opinions and established national and international health risk assessment. With respect to the frequency with which doctors are confronted with this issue, the results demonstrate an urgent need for action.

PMID:
15999632
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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