Dangerous electromagnetic fields?
Name: Tommy T Joseph
Why are electromagnetic fields supposedly dangerous?
I assume you are asking about power line frequency (60 Hz) fields, since
they have been in the news lately. No one knows for sure that they are dangerous.
There have been a few studies which seem to show an association between how close
homes are to power lines, and the incidence of childhood cancer (mostly leukemia)
in children living (or who have lived) in those homes. Other similar studies have
not found such an association. In all the studies which have found an association,
none has actually measured the fields. Studies which actually have measured the
fields find no association. There is no known mechanism for 60 Hz fields to cause
cancer. Furthermore, the classic "dose-response relationship," that is, the greater
the dose, the greater the response, does not seem to work here. Many laboratory
studies have found that 60 Hz fields have an effect on organisms under certain
conditions, but none of the observed effects can be convincingly related to a
hazard. The bottom line is, no one knows for sure. It is important to realize
that it is impossible to prove that anything is completely safe. My personal opinion
is that, if there is a risk, it must be very small, or it wouldn't be so hard to
prove. I can supply some good unbiased references if you are interested.
Gary E Myers
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Update: June 2012