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Friday, February 10, 2017

Rubin's study on Electromagnetic Hyper Sensitivity - Detailed & criticizing analysts

Few years back I wrote a criticizing post about the faulty study of PhD James Rubin about EHS .
Following the last few days (shaming of an Israeli EHS person and an Interview given by a researcher on BBC Sussex radio who claimed EHS is not related to exposure) I wrote an additional post regarding this study -

Tonight (09/02/2017), following a Facebook conversation with an EHS person, I found the time to create a detailed analysts of this study, the methods used, the results and finding and the conclusions. I  hope that those of you who read this post will find it logical and will be able to better argue the case for EHS recognition and will understand what is so wrong with Rubin study and conclusions.

Key points in the study:
  1. 3 types of exposures were done in this study
    a. to a GSM signal
    b. to a continues wave emitted from the device antenna.
    c. to a continues wave redirected to internal load in the device.
    The last was suppose to be a "sham exposure" but was actually exposure to Extreme Low Frequency and Mid Frequency electric and magnetic field in addition to some RF emission that was still present, at smaller level than the GSM or continues exposure but still an exposure.  The sham exposure was actually "Partial" or "lower" exposure.
  2. Every exposure was for 50 minutes.
    This is a long enough time for most mid and high severity EHS people to react with pains to the ELF + mid frequencies + lower RF exposure that was emitted from the device during what was supposed to be the "Sham exposure". 
  3. Before and after every exposure,  a 30 minute of adjustment and rest period was applied. During that time the subjects were asked to answer questions, give info and fill in questioners. After the exposure was done, they were asked about the symptoms and their experience during the exposure.
  4.  In this study 83 EHS people, and 69 non-EHS people took part .
  5. Out of which, 71 EHS people and 60 non-EHS people appeared for the first exposure test.
  6. Out of which 60 of each group concluded all the 3 exposure. 
Result Summary:
  1. Post analysis of the reports of headaches ( a main & frequent symptom in EHS people) showed that the pain increased during all 3 types of exposures, as the time of exposure grew longer, and decreased after the exposure ended.
    The headaches were stronger (a lot stronger) in the EHS group, but a slight increase during exposure was also seen in the control group of non-EHS people.
    In the following figure, out of the study, the trend clearly appears:
    כאבי ראש לפי החשיפה בתלות בזמן החשיפה ולפי קבוצות
  2. When you look at the graph that shows the headache servery over time per participant, it is also clearly seen that the EHS people suffers a lot more in every exposureכאבי ראש כתלות בחשיפה, רגישים מול בקרה
  3. 26 cases of  sever reaction were noticed only in the EHS group:
    9 subjects withdraw from the study entirely after an exposure.
    17 asked for early termination of the exposure.
    In the control group there were no such cases of withdraw or early termination. 
  4. Out of these 26 cases
    7 were after the GSM exposure.
    10 after the continues wave.
    9 after what was supposed to be the "sham exposure" (which was more of a "partial exposure" to ELF+Mid Frequencis and "low exposure" to RF). 
  5. Out of the people who withdraw , 4 did not say why.
  6. The next day after the exposure the subjects were asked about the "day after symptoms" .
  7. In the control group 0 out of 41 reported symptoms the next day after the GSM exposure,
    2 after the continues wave exposure,
    4 after what was supposed to be a sham exposure.
    In the EHS people group, 5 out of 49 reported symptoms the next day after GSM exposure,
    8 after the continues wave exposure (out of 49),
    4 after the faulty sham exposure (out of 49 that were asked).
  8. The subjects were ask if the think there was a transmission after each exposure.
    After the GSM exposure 63% of the EHS reported a transmission, compared to 58% in the control group.
    After the continues wave exposure 68% of the EHS reported a transmission, compared to 70% in the control group.
    After the faulty sham exposure(which was actually partial and lower exposure) 63% of the EHS reported a transmission, compared to 68% in the control group.
    To the full summary please see the table at -

My conclusions about the study and the results:

  1. The supposed to be "sham exposure" was not a "no radiation exposure". It was more of a "partial exposure" to ELF and mid Frequency electric and magnetic fields and a "lower exposure" to RF. Since the time of exposure  was long (50 minutes) it is only very logical that mid level and high level EHS will develop symptoms during the faulty sham exposure. 
  2. The "faulty sham exposure" is a basic technical mistake in the study, causing it's analysis and conclusion to have no real value.
    The assumption that the sham exposure was with not radiation was faulty.
    The researchers field to understand or notice the error in their study and concluded that the subjects reacted to a no radiation exposure when in fact there were reacting to a "partial" or "lower" exposure. 
  3. As in other faulty studies in this field, it is still possible to look at the data and results accumulated in the study and learn few things from them:
    1. Most EHS people withdraw from the study, or asked for an early termination because of symptoms, compered with the controlled group of non-EHS.
    2.  EHS subjects reacted with more sever headaches to the exposures.
    3. Both in the EHS and non-EHS groups, the severity of the headaches increased as the time of exposure prolong and decreased after it was ended (but in the EHS group the headaches were much sever). 
    4. In the EHS group there were more reports about headaches and symptoms in the day after the exposure. 
    5. Both in the EHS group and the non-EHS group, most of the subjects were able to identify the exposures (noticing the "sham exposure" was not relay a sham exposure). 
  4. When reading the study and the results in critique read and when understanding that the supposed to be sham exposure was not sham but actually a real exposure ( more of a "partial" or "lower" exposure ) it is easy to understand that the study results actually show that EHS people reacted more severity to the exposure (than the non-EHS people) and that the main symptom of an headache was caused and elevated by exposure to different types of radiation.


  1. Well written, Amir.
    I agree with your assessment and comments.
    The sham was actually a real RF and ELF exposure, even if at a low level.
    It invalidates the results.

    1. Thank you for your reply and support.
      We are right, but he is the one making a mark.
      Since his faulty experiment he published many studies on EHS, saying what industry wants to hear.
      This has to change.
      All the best