Electric and magnetic fields are invisible areas of energy (also dubbed radiation) the are created by electricity, i beg your pardon is the movement of electrons, or current, v a wire.

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An electrical field is created by voltage, i m sorry is the pressure used to press the electrons v the wire, lot like water being pushed through a pipe. As the voltage increases, the electric field increases in strength. Electric fields space measured in volts per meter (V/m).

A magnetic field results from the flow of existing through wires or electric devices and also increases in stamin as the present increases. The strength of a magnetic field decreases swiftly with boosting distance from its source. Magnetic areas are measured in microteslas (μT, or millionths that a tesla).

Electric fields are created whether or no a an equipment is rotate on, conversely, magnetic areas are created only when existing is flowing, which usually needs a machine to be turned on. Power lines develop magnetic fields continuously due to the fact that current is always flowing v them. Electrical fields are quickly shielded or weakened by walls and also other objects, vice versa, magnetic fields can pass through buildings, life things, and most other materials.

Electric and also magnetic areas together are described as electromagnetic fields, or EMFs. The electric and magnetic pressures in EMFs are resulted in by electromagnetic radiation. There are two main categories of EMFs:

Low- to mid-frequency EMFs, which include static areas (electric or magnetic areas that perform not vary with time), magnetic areas from electrical power lines and also appliances, radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, and visible light. These EMFs are in the non-ionizing radiation part of the electromagnetic spectrum and also are not known to damage DNA or cells directly. Low- come mid-frequency EMFs include extremely short frequency EMFs (ELF-EMFs) and radiofrequency EMFs. ELF-EMFs have actually frequencies of approximately 300 cycles per second, or hertz (Hz), and radiofrequency EMFs selection from 3 kilohertz (3 kHz, or 3,000 Hz) come 300 gigahertz (300 GHz, or 300 billion Hz). Radiofrequency radiation is measure up in watts per meter squared (W/m2).
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The electromagnetic spectrum represents all of the possible frequencies the electromagnetic energy. It varieties from extremely long wavelength (extremely short frequency exposures such as those from strength lines) to extremely short wavelengths (x-rays and also gamma rays) and also includes both non-ionizing and ionizing radiation.


There are both natural and also human-made resources of non-ionizing EMFs. The earth magnetic field, which reasons the needle top top a compass to allude North, is one example of a naturally emerging EMF.

Human-made EMFs fall into both the ELF and also radiofrequency category of non-ionizing part of the electromagnetic spectrum. These EMFs have the right to come from a variety of sources. 

Extremely low frequency EMFs (ELF-EMFs). Sources of ELF-EMFs encompass power lines, electric wiring, and electrical appliances such as shavers, hair dryers, and also electric blankets.

Radiofrequency radiation. The most common sources of radiofrequency radiation space wireless telecommunication devices and also equipment, including cell phones, clever meters, and also portable wireless devices, such as tablets and also laptop computers (1). In the joined States, cabinet phones right now operate in a frequency variety of about 1.8 come 2.2 GHz (2). (For much more information around cell phones, watch the NCI fact sheet Cell Phones and gendergeek.org Risk.)

Other typical sources the radiofrequency radiation include:

Televisions and computer screens produce electric and magnetic areas at miscellaneous frequencies, and also static electric fields. The liquid crystal displays discovered in part laptop and desktop computers do not produce an extensive electric or magnetic fields. Modern computers have conductive screens that reduce static fields produced by the display screen to normal background levels.

For household appliances and also other tools used in the house that call for electricity, magnetic ar levels are highest near the resource of the field and decrease quickly the farther far the user is from the source. Magnetic fields drop precipitously at a street of around 1 foot from many appliances. For computer screens, at a street of 12–20 inches native the display that most persons using computers sit, magnetic fields are an in similar way dramatically lower.


Power lines and electrical appliances the emit non-ionizing EMFs are present everywhere in homes and also workplaces. Because that example, wireless neighborhood networks are virtually always “on” and are significantly commonplace in homes, schools, and also many public places.

No mechanism through which ELF-EMFs or radiofrequency radiation could cause gendergeek.org has been identified. Unlike high-energy (ionizing) radiation, EMFs in the non-ionizing part of the electromagnetic spectrum cannot damage DNA or cells directly. Part scientists have speculated that ELF-EMFs could cause gendergeek.org through various other mechanisms, such together by reducing level of the hormone melatonin. There is some proof that melatonin may suppress the advance of particular tumors.

Studies of pets have not listed any indications that exposure to ELF-EMFs is linked with gendergeek.org (9–12). The few high-quality researches in pets have detailed no proof that Wi-Fi is harmful to health (7).

Although there is no recognized mechanism whereby non-ionizing EMFs might damage DNA and also cause gendergeek.org, even a tiny increase in threat would be of clinical importance provided how prevalent exposure come these fields is.


What have studies shown about possible associations between non-ionizing EMFs and gendergeek.org in children?


Numerous epidemiologic studies and an extensive reviews that the scientific literature have evaluated possible associations in between exposure come non-ionizing EMFs and also risk of gendergeek.org in children (12–14). (Magnetic areas are the ingredient of non-ionizing EMFs that space usually learned in relationship to their possible health effects.) many of the study has concentrated on leukemia and brain tumors, the two most common gendergeek.orgs in children. Studies have examined associations of these gendergeek.orgs with living close to power lines, v magnetic areas in the home, and also with exposure of parental to high levels of magnetic fields in the workplace. No regular evidence for an association between any resource of non-ionizing EMF and also gendergeek.org has actually been found.

Exposure from strength lines. Although a study in 1979 pointed come a possible association between living near electric power lines and also childhood leukemia (15), more recent research studies have had actually mixed findings (16–24). Many of these studies did not uncover an combination or found one only for those youngsters who live in residences with really high levels of magnetic fields, which are current in couple of residences.

Several studies have analyzed the linked data indigenous multiple studies of strength line exposure and also childhood leukemia:

For the two pooled studies and also the meta-analysis, the number of highly exposed youngsters was too tiny to carry out stable approximates of the dose–response relationship. This method that the findings could be taken to reflect linear increases in risk, a threshold result at 0.3 or 0.4 μT, or no significant increase.

The translate of the finding of raised childhood leukemia risk among children with the greatest exposures (at least 0.3 μT) is unclear.

Exposure from electric appliances. Another means that youngsters can be exposed to magnetic areas is from household electrical appliances. Although magnetic fields near plenty of electrical appliances are higher than those close to power lines, appliances add less to a person’s full exposure to magnetic fields due to the fact that most appliances are supplied for only quick periods the time. And also moving even a quick distance indigenous most electrical appliances reduce exposure dramatically. Again, studies have not found constant evidence because that an association in between the usage of household electrical appliances and risk the childhood leukemia (28).

Exposure come Wi-Fi. In view of the widespread usage of Wi-Fi in schools, the UK health Protection firm (now part of Public health and wellness England) has conducted the largest and most comprehensive measurement researches to evaluate exposures of kids to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from wireless computer system networks (29,30). This agency concluded that radiofrequency exposures to be well listed below recommended preferably levels and also that there to be “no factor why Wi-Fi should not continue to be used in schools and also in various other places” (31). 

A review of the published literature concluded that the few high-quality research studies to date administer no evidence of biological effects native Wi-Fi exposures (6).

Exposure to cell phone base stations. Few studies have actually examined gendergeek.org hazard in kids living near to mobile base stations or radio or tv transmitters. Nobody of the research studies that estimated exposures top top an individual level uncovered an raised risk of pediatric tumors (32–34). 

Parental exposure and also risk in offspring. Several studies have examined possible associations in between maternal or paternal exposure to high level of magnetic areas before conception and/or throughout pregnancy and the danger of gendergeek.org in their future children. The outcomes to date have to be inconsistent (35,36). This question requires more evaluation.

Exposure and gendergeek.org survival. A couple of studies have actually investigated whether magnetic field exposure is associated with prognosis or survival of children with leukemia. Several small retrospective studies the this question have actually yielded inconsistent results (37–39). An analysis that combined prospective data for more than 3,000 youngsters with acute lymphoid leukemia from eight nations showed the ELF magnetic ar exposure was not associated with their survival or danger of relapse (40).


Many studies have examined the association between non-ionizing EMF exposure and also gendergeek.org in adults, of which few studies have actually reported evidence of raised risk (1).

Residential exposures. The majority of epidemiologic studies have presented no partnership between breast gendergeek.org in women and also exposure to incredibly low frequency EMFs (ELF-EMFs) in the home (41–44), return a few individual researches have suggested an association; only one reported outcomes that were statistically significant (45).

Workplace exposures come ELF radiation. Several studies performed in the 1980s and early 1990s reported that world who operated in some electrical occupations the exposed them come ELF radiation (such together power station operators and also telephone line workers) had higher-than-expected prices of some species of gendergeek.org, particularly leukemia, brain tumors, and male breast gendergeek.org (12). Most of the outcomes were based on participants’ project titles and also not top top actual dimensions of your exposures. An ext recent studies, consisting of some that thought about exposure measurements and also job titles, have generally not shown an enhancing risk of leukemia, mind tumors, or female breast gendergeek.org with increasing exposure come magnetic fields at work (45–50).

Workplace exposures to radiofrequency radiation. A restricted number that studies have actually evaluated risks of gendergeek.org in workers exposed to radiofrequency radiation. A huge study that U.S. Navy personnel found no overabundance of brain tumors among those v a high probability of exposure come radar (including electronic devices technicians, aviation technicians, and also fire regulate technicians); however, nonlymphocytic leukemia, particularly acute myeloid leukemia, was enhanced in electronics technicians in aviation squadrons, but not in marine personnel in the various other job categories (51). A case-control study among U.S. Air pressure personnel uncovered the tip of an enhanced risk of mind gendergeek.org amongst personnel who kept or repaired radiofrequency or microwave-emitting equipment (52). A case-control study discovered the pointer of an enhanced risk of death from mind gendergeek.org among men occupationally exposed come microwave and/or radiofrequency radiation, with all of the overfill risk among workers in electrical and electronics jobs involving design, manufacture, repair, or surroundings of electrical or electronics equipment (53). There was no proof that electrical utility workers who were exposed to pulsed electromagnetic fields created by strength lines were an ext likely to develop brain tumors or leukemia than the general population (54). Employees that a large manufacturer the wireless communication commodities were not an ext likely to dice from brain tumors or gendergeek.orgs the the hematopoietic or lymphatic system than the general populace (55). A large prospective study among police officers in an excellent Britain uncovered no proof for one association in between radiofrequency EMF exposure from personal radio use and the risk of all gendergeek.orgs linked (56).


In 2002, the International agency for study on gendergeek.org (IARC), a component of the human being Health Organization, appointed an professional Working team to testimonial all obtainable evidence ~ above static and also extremely low frequency electric and also magnetic areas (12). The Working group classified ELF-EMFs as “possibly carcinogenic come humans,” based on restricted evidence from human studies in relationship to childhood leukemia. Revolution electric and also magnetic fields and extremely short frequency electric fields were figured out “not classifiable regarding their carcinogenicity come humans” (12).

In 2015, the europe Commission clinical Committee top top Emerging and also Newly established Health dangers reviewed electromagnetic fields in general, as well as cell phones in particular. It found that, overall, epidemiologic researches of exceptionally low frequency fields show an raised risk of childhood leukemia with estimated daily median exposures over 0.3 come 0.4 μT, return no mechanisms have been identified and also there is no assistance from experimental studies that describes these findings. It likewise found the the epidemiologic research studies on radiofrequency exposure execute not show an boosted risk of mind tumors or various other gendergeek.orgs of the head and neck region, although the possibility of an association v acoustic neuroma remains open (57).


The national Institute of ecological Health sciences (NIEHS) website has information about EMFs and also gendergeek.org.

The occupational Safety and also Health administration website has information about workplace exposures come ELF-EMF.

The US environmental Protection agency website has information on power lines and also other sources of EMF.

The europe Commission also has general information on EMF.

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The world Health company website likewise has information about EMFs and also public health.