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Health Library : Environmental Medicine

 

Electric and Magnetic Fields

Electric and magnetic fields and your health

There has been a fear that electric and magnetic fields (EMF) from power lines in residential areas may be linked to cancer and other diseases in humans. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) conducted a six-year research and evaluation program on EMF associated with power line frequencies and concluded that the evidence for a risk of cancer and other human disease from the EMF around power lines is weak.

According to the report, only a weak statistical association exists between EMF exposure at home and childhood leukemia. A weak statistical association also exists between chronic lymphocytic leukemia and adults who are employed as electric utility workers, machinists, and welders. 

The NIEHS believes that the probability that EMF exposure is truly a health hazard is probably small. The weak epidemiological associations and lack of any laboratory support for these associations provide only marginal scientific support that exposure to EMF causes any degree of harm.

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