Possible Health Effects of Exposure to Residential Electric and Magnetic FieldsCommittee on the Possible Effects of Electromagnetic Fields on Biologic Systems, National Research Council. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1997. 356 pp., illus. $39.95. ISBN 0-309-05447-8 1. John D. Boice Jr.⇓
1. Correspondence to: John D. Boice, Jr., Sc.D., International Epidemiology Institute, 1500 Research Blvd., 2nd Floor, Rockville, MD 20850-3127. We are continuously bathed in a menagerie of non-ionizing frequencies emanating from home appliances, personal computers, power lines, radios, and mobile cellular telephones. Non-ionizing radiations such as electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) of low frequency (60 Hz) are created whenever electricity flows. Because of public concern over possible health risks from residential EMF, the U.S. Congress requested the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to determine the scientific basis for adverse health effects. The NAS delivered an exhaustive review of the published literature up to 1996. The report concludes, “. . . the current body of evidence does not show that exposures to these fields present a human health hazard. Specifically, no conclusive and consistent evidence shows that exposures to residential electric and magnetic fields produce cancer, adverse neural behavior effects, or reproductive and development effects.” There are five major sections covering exposure and physical interactions, cellular and molecular effects, animal and tissue effects, epidemiology, and risk assessment. These sections are written by leading authorities and provide useful summaries and detailed discussion of possible hazards. The exposure and physical interaction section was clearly written and contained several interesting observations. For instance, while typical residential fields of 60 Hz (about 1 milligauss) can induce currents within the body, these induced currents are about 1000 times less than endogenous currents associated with electric...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document