Electromagnetic Fields: Are they Hazardous?

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are very useful in our lives today. The new century introduced us to various appliances, gadgets and instruments that uses an electromagnetic field to operate. Even airlines use an electromagnetic field in order to communicate and function well.

Common Appliances Emitting EMF Transmission

electromagnetic field from microwavePerhaps, the most common EMF exposure that we have nowadays is in our mobile phones, computers and laptops. However, there are many other appliances that can expose us to electric and magnetic fields.

For electric field strength, the limit value is 5000 V/m at a distance of 30 cm. Electrical appliances are way below this limit. The list includes stereo receivers, iron, refrigerator, mixer, toaster, hair dryer, colored TV, coffee machine, vacuum cleaner, electric oven and light bulb.

Appliances that emit magnetic field strength include hair dryer, electric shaver, vacuum cleaner, fluorescent light, microwave oven, portable radio, electric oven, washing machine, iron, dishwasher, computer, refrigerator and colored TV. The limit value is 100 µT at 30 cm. All of the appliances mentioned stay well within the limit. However, there are some hair dryer and electric shaver that can go beyond the limit at a distance of 3 cm.

EMFs in the Environment

electromagnetic field from a network tower

EMFs in the environment

Apart from appliances at home, the public is also exposed to electromagnetic fields in the environment such as radars, security systems, electric trains or trams, and network power base stations. The World Health Organization can assure though that the level of exposure is way below the limit value. Numerous countries have conducted their own surveys and studies and none of them found any adverse effect of EMFs in the environment to human health.

Do Cell Phones Increase the Risk of Developing Tumor or Cancer?

For sure, you have read and heard a lot about cell phones increasing the risk of developing brain tumors (and other forms of cancer). For instance, Mercola.com posted an article about the ill effects of exposure to low frequency voltage or otherwise known as electrosmog. Both Reuters and Telegraph published an article in 2012, about an Italian court ruling linking tumor and mobile phone use.

However, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the public should not be concerned about the possible cancer causing effects of using mobile phones. To date, no study can establish a solid proof that cell phones can indeed cause cancer. According to the NCI, most of the studies have biases and inaccuracy, hence, the inconsistencies.

Possible Effects on Health

electromagnetic field from cell phones

Are using mobile phones hazardous?

Just to give you an idea, overexposure can cause anxiety, headaches, nausea, loss of libido and fatigue. Long term exposures can even cause depression and suicide. In the meantime, workers constantly exposed to EMFs can develop cataracts and general eye irritation.

Information over the Internet can indeed be confusing. There may be some ounce of truth to some data and information presented, although there are also inaccuracies in it. The best advice to consumers is to use electrical appliances and technological gadgets in moderation. As long as you do not misuse these gadgets and appliances, there is no reason to be concerned about any ill effects.



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