Really just a very poor article on EHS by the BBC. The described study is very poor, the article seems biased, there is very little skepticism and seemingly poorly research on the subject considering this:
There have been no previous studies that scientifically assess whether electromagnetic fields in the environment could produce human symptoms.
Is just not true. Below are the study which was cited in the BBC article (which they didn’t bother to link to) as well as two recent meta studies on the subject which took me about 5 minutes to find.
Here is the study cited by the BBC
Objective: We sought direct evidence that acute exposure to environmental-strength electromagnetic fields (EMFs) could induce somatic reactions (EMF hypersensitivity). Methods: The subject, a female physician self-diagnosed with EMF hypersensitivity, was exposed to an average (over the head) 60-Hz electric field of 300 V/m (comparable with typical environmental-strength EMFs) during controlled provocation and behavioral studies. Results: In a double-blinded EMF provocation procedure specifically designed to minimize unintentional sensory cues, the subject developed temporal pain, headache, muscle twitching, and skipped heartbeats within 100 s after initiation of EMF exposure (p < .05). The symptoms were caused primarily by field transitions (off–on, on–off) rather than the presence of the field, as assessed by comparing the frequency and severity of the effects of pulsed and continuous fields in relation to sham exposure. The subject had no conscious perception of the field as judged by her inability to report its presence more often than in the sham control. Discussion: The subject demonstrated statistically reliable somatic reactions in response to exposure to subliminal EMFs under conditions that reasonably excluded a causative role for psychological processes. Conclusion: EMF hypersensitivity can occur as a bona fide environmentally inducible neurological syndrome.
A meta study from 2005
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to assess whether people who report hypersensitivity to weak electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are better at detecting EMF under blind or double-blind conditions than nonhypersensitive individuals, and to test whether they respond to the presence of EMF with increased symptom reporting.
Methods: An extensive systematic search was used to identify relevant blind or double-blind provocation studies. This involved searching numerous literature databases and conference proceedings, and examining the citations of reviews and included studies. The results of relevant studies were tabulated and metaanalyses were used to compare the proportions of “hypersensitive” and control participants able to discriminate active from sham EMF exposures.
Results: Thirty-one experiments testing 725 “electromagnetically hypersensitive” participants were identified. Twenty-four of these found no evidence to support the existence of a biophysical hypersensitivity, whereas 7 reported some supporting evidence. For 2 of these 7, the same research groups subsequently tried and failed to replicate their findings. In 3 more, the positive results appear to be statistical artefacts. The final 2 studies gave mutually incompatible results. Our metaanalyses found no evidence of an improved ability to detect EMF in “hypersensitive” participants.
Conclusions: The symptoms described by “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” sufferers can be severe and are sometimes disabling. However, it has proved difficult to show under blind conditions that exposure to EMF can trigger these symptoms. This suggests that “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” is unrelated to the presence of EMF, although more research into this phenomenon is required.
A meta study from 2010/11
For the last two decades, a large number of studies have investigated the effects of mobile phone radiation on the human brain and cognition using behavioral or neurophysiological measurements. This review evaluated previous findings with respect to study design and data analysis. Provocation studies found no evidence of subjective symptoms attributed to mobile phone radiation, suggesting psychological reasons for inducing such symptoms in hypersensitive people. Behavioral studies previously reported improved cognitive performance under exposure, but it was likely to have occurred by chance due to multiple comparisons. Recent behavioral studies and replication studies with more conservative statistics found no significant effects compared with original studies. Neurophysiological studies found no significant effects on cochlear and brainstem auditory processing, but only inconsistent results on spontaneous and evoked brain electrical activity. The inconsistent findings suggest possible false positives due to multiple comparisons and thus replication is needed. Other approaches such as brain hemodynamic response measurements are promising but the findings are few and not yet conclusive. Rigorous study design and data analysis considering multiple comparisons and effect size are required to reduce controversy in this important field of research. Bioelectromagnetics 32:253–272, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.