Medical Journal of Malaysia

MJM, Vol 70 Supplement 1 September 2015

Non-specific health symptoms due to exposure to electromagnetic field radiation

Mohammad Wisman Abdul Hamid*, Adlina Suleiman*, Thor Teong Gee**, Ong Bee Lay***, Halyna Lugova*, Aqil Mohd Daher*, Mala Manickam*, Nurul Saadiah*

*Community Medicine Department, National Defence University, Kuala Lumpur, **Klinik Public, Sungai Ara, Penang, ***EMF Protection Alliance


The development of mobile telecommunication technology has led to substantial growth of the number of mobile phone base station (TELCO) tower worldwide. It has raised public concerns and substantial controversy about the potential health effects of electromagnetic field emissions that is not yet fully understood. Residents living within the vicinity of TELCO towers develop adverse health conditions now known as non-specific health symptoms (NSHS) mainly due to hypersensitivity to the radiation. The manifestation of this hypersensitivity manifest as health complains such as headaches, giddiness, nausea, skin rashes, feeling warm, depression, night sweats, memory loss, reduced reaction time, disturbances in menstruation and insomnia .The health effects of EMR is best explained in a study by Hallberg and Oberfeld estimated that 50% of the public exposed to EMR would be sensitive to the radiation effects by 2017. This paper will discuss several cross-sectional studies on EMR and the health effects conducted in Malaysia from 2008 to 2015 covering Petaling Jaya, Pulau Pinang, Taiping and Johor Bahru. The author will discuss how the studies have evolved from epidemiological studies using questionnaires with initial analysis using qualitative statistical tests, to studies of exposed groups and non-exposed groups calculating the odds ratio, to the more sophisticated blood studies and  the reason for the change in methodology with be explained.

Keywords: electromagnetic field radiation, EMR, non-specific health symptoms