Electric and Magnetic Fields

All electrical equipment, from house wiring to cellular phones and computers, emits electromagnetic radiation (EMR). There is growing public concern about the health effects of EMR exposure and a wide range of diseases. This list includes headaches, depression, neurological damage, Alzheimer's and Cancer.
Every day we are unknowingly exposed, in the workplace and at home, to harmful levels of EMR which studies show increase the risk of Cancer. In spite of this, Health Canada has not created regulations against citizens being exposed to dangerous levels of EMR. To understand why we are not protected against this form of radiation, one must comprehend the relative omnipotence of the global Electrical Industry and it's supporting ideology of corporatism.

Robert Becker, MD, in his book Cross Currents writes, "At this time, the scientific evidence is absolutely conclusive: 50-60-Hz magnetic fields cause human cancer cells to permanently increase their rate of growth by as much as 1,600 per cent and to develop more malignant characteristics."

Electricity and electrical devices are every where; cellular phones, refrigerators, automobiles, satellites, tools, toys, and the largest most secretive EMR research and development sector, electromagnetic military weapons. The list is endless.
Together the manufacturers of these products represent the largest and most powerful industry / interest group in the world- the Electrical Industry. These huge corporations dominate and control : research,
scientists, government bureaucrats, politicians, the media and ultimately public opinion.

Electric and Magnetic Fields at Extremely
Low Frequencies
The Issue

Every time we use electricity at home and in the workplace, we are exposed to electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) at extremely low frequencies (ELF).

There are concerns that daily exposure to these EMFs may cause health problems. These concerns are reflected in a number of media reports that have attempted to link EMF exposure to a variety of health issues, including childhood cancer.

Electricity plays a central role in modern society. We use it to light our homes, prepare our food, run computers, and operate other household appliances such as TVs and radios. In Canada, appliances that operate by plugging into a wall socket use electric power which flows back and forth at a frequency of 60 cycles per second (60 hertz).

When we use electricity and electrical appliances, we are exposed to electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) at extremely low frequencies (ELF). The term "extremely low" is used to describe any frequency below 300 hertz. EMFs produced by the transmission and use of electricity belong to this category.

In 1988, Dr. David Savitz set out to disprove the results of the earlier Denver study using a different group of children. Instead , his findings were nearly identical with the first study; indicating elevated risk for all cancers among children living in homes near power lines with magnetic fields at or above 2 milligauss (mg). A milligauss is a unit of measurement for EMR.

Irrefutable evidence that EMR promotes cancer was found in the l993 Swedish Study by Maria Feychting and Anders Ahlbom. This study clearly established a dose/ response relationship. That is the more EMR you are exposed to, the greater your risk in developing cancer. This study was conducted on everyone in Sweden under the age of 16 years who lived within 300 meters of a power line between l960 and 1985.
Those children who lived furthest away from the power line and were outside its radiation showed no increased risk of leukemia.
Those children who lived nearer the power line with an exposure of
2 milligauss were 2.7 times more likely to have leukemia.
Those who lived closer still to the power line in a 3 milligauss
field were 3.8 times as likely to develop leukemia.
Many other studies that show a relationship between EMR and cancer
are listed in 'THE EMF BOOK" by Mark Pinsky

These startling findings indicate that children are especially vulnerable
to EMR's health destroying effects.

Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMFs)
Electric and magnetic fields are invisible forces that surround electrical equipment, power cords, and wires that carry electricity, including outdoor power lines. You can't see or feel EMFs.

Electric Fields: Formed whenever a wire is plugged into an outlet - even when the appliance is not turned on. The higher the voltage, the stronger the electric field.
Magnetic Fields: Formed when electric current is flowing within a device or wire. The greater the current, the stronger the magnetic field.
These fields can occur separately, or together. For example, when you plug the power cord for a lamp into a wall socket, it creates an electric field along the cord. When you turn the lamp on, the flow of current through the cord creates a magnetic field. Meanwhile, the electric field is still present.

The Strength of EMFs

Electric and magnetic fields are strongest when close to their source. As you move further away from the source, the strength of the fields fade rapidly. This means you are exposed to stronger electric and magnetic fields when standing right beside a source - such as a lamp or power cord - and you are exposed to weaker EMFs as you move away from the source.

What are electromagnetic fields?
Electrical currents cause electromagnetic fields. Common household current is alternating current (AC), which reverses its direction (its charge) then switches back. One complete cycle per second is a hertz (Hz). For example, if a hair dryer operates at 60 Hz, its current changes direction 60 times per second. This cycle creates electric and magnetic fields at the same frequency. The fields created by power lines that distribute power throughout the country are power frequency fields.

The US. Environmental Protection Agency warns "there is reason for concern" and advises "prudent avoidance". Martin Halper, the EPA's Director of Analysis and Support goes even further. "I have never seen a set of epidemiological studies that remotely approached the weight of evidence that we're seeing with ELF [extremely low frequency] electromagnetic fields. Clearly there is something here".

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Electrical fields, magnetic fields, and power frequency fields can be high or low in intensity, continuous or brief in duration. None of them linger in the environment. The moment the power is turned off, the fields and induced currents disappear. At low frequencies, the electric and magnetic fields are separable; at high and super high frequencies, the fields are inseparable.

Electromagnetic fields are divided into several categories:
appliances and power lines--extremely low frequencies (ELF)
AM radio transmission--high and low frequencies (HF and LF)
TVs and video display terminals--very low frequencies (VLF)
TV and FM radio transmissions--very high frequencies (VHF)
microwaves--super high frequencies (SHF)
The super high frequencies can affect molecules. When microwave energy passes through something containing water, it causes the water molecules to vibrate and produce heat. Infrared and the different frequencies of visible light (which produce the different colors of the rainbow) occupy only a small portion of the electromagnetic energy spectrum. EMFs at frequencies higher than the visual light range are called ionizing radiation because they have enough energy to strip electrons from atoms. X-rays, for example, have enough energy to break apart molecules that contain genes. Excessive exposure to ionizing frequencies can cause cancer.


In a corporatist society people rarely have a chance to hear the truth, instead we are given a version of the facts that is carefully tailored by those who control the information.
Noam Chomsky called this "the manufacture of consent". John Ralston Saul
claims that corporatism describes the organization of modern society better than any other. He says: "Corporatism is the persistent rival school of representative government. In place of the democratic idea of individual citizens who vote, confer legitimacy and participate to the best of the ability, individuals in the corporatist state are reduced to the role of secondary participants". In short, groups have legitimacy, individuals do not. The larger the group the more legitimacy.

How are humans exposed?
Pinpointing a single source of exposure is difficult because humans may be exposed to a multitude of possible sources. Electromagnetic fields are found naturally in the environment, such as in lightning and in the Earth's magnetic field, which causes a compass needle to point north. The natural electromagnetic fields in the human body allow messages to flow through the nervous system.

Electric and magnetic fields are produced by distribution or power lines, the electrical wires inside the walls of homes, and a wide assortment of electrical appliances. While electric fields do not pass through building materials, magnetic field do. Magnetic fields can also be found near buried electric lines.

Electromagnetic fields are commonly found around:
high voltage power lines
neighborhood transmission lines
grounding systems that protect residents from lightning
grounding systems that protect residents from electric shock that can result from faulty appliances the operation of common electrical appliances, including microwave ovens
ovens, electric ranges, aquariums, table fans, electric space heaters
computer monitors, electric clocks, clock radios, heated waterbeds
electric blankets, hair dryers, cellular phones
Recently, video display terminals (VDTs) have been a source of concern because many people are spending a significant amount of time close to them. Although evidence suggests that continuous exposure to VDTs can aggravate some health conditions, there is insufficient information linking EMFs directly to these health conditions. As computers manufacturers build computers that use less electricity more efficiently, lower EMFs are generated.

What can someone do?
In spite of the absence of valid evidence based on solid scientific research, the effects of EMFs on the health of individuals and environments may still be of concern to some people. Until research data suggests a need for more extreme action, those who want to do something may wish to consider the following suggestions:

Deceiving the public is nothing new for Govt Health Orgs. They have a long history of ignoring our health concerns.

In some countries Govt Health Orgs refused for three decades to classify asbestos as carcinogenic, they shirked their responsibilities by not insisting that the Red Cross perform proper blood screening thus allowing thousands to be infected by HIV; and Hepatitis C; contaminated blood.
The nuclear weapons and power industry has lied about its safety for
years and Govt Health Orgs have done nothing. (One should not forget that the electrical industry and the nuclear industry are almost one and the same). It took decades of death and suffering before they implemented regulations on tobacco use...

Govt Health Orgs in many countries refuse to acknowledge the gulf war syndrome as a disease even though 2,000 Canadians, 2,400 British, and 30,000 Americans have been afflicted with the disease since the Gulf War.
Ironically, they may be the victims of electromagnetic biological weapons used by the military.
Silicone breast implants, thalidomide, DDT, and dioxins all have caused immeasurable suffering and the list keeps growing. The lack of regulations to protect the public from these substances are not mistakes.


Stay away from the EMF sources. The strength of a magnetic field drops quickly just a few feet from the source. Do not sleep or sit for long periods of time near electrical devices, especially those with motors.
Stay a minimum of 18 inches away from a video display terminal (VDT). Turn it off when not in use. Don't sit close to the back or sides of the monitor even when it is in another room or behind a partition.
Where feasible, turn off or unplug waterbed heaters and electric blankets before going to bed. Unplugging and turning these appliances off removes the electric field.
Stay several feet away from all sides of a television including TVs located in another room against a wall.

Danger Zones

EMF Levels From Common Sources in Milligauss (mG)* 
Recommended Safety Levels: .5 mG to 2.5 mG with 1.0mG as preferred standard. 
Adverse biological effects have been found at 2.5mG

Up to 4 inches At 3 feet
50 to 220 .3 to 3
Clothes Washer
8 to 200 .1 to 4
Coffee Maker
6 to 29 .1
4 to 20 2 to 5
Fluorescent Lamp
400 to 4,000 .1 to 5
Hair Dryer
60 to 20,000 .1 to 6
Microwave Oven
100 to 500 1.0 to 25
5 to 100 .1 to 6
Vacuum Cleaner
230 to 1300 3 to 40
50 mG average on 747  

*Source: USA Environmental Protection Agency

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Other suggestions:
Don't place beds or cribs against wall with major appliances nearby or on the other side of the wall.
Move electric clocks, clock radios, and telephone answering machines at least 4 feet away from the head of the bed.
Fluorescent bulbs generate stronger fields than incandescent lamps. Estimate 1 foot for incandescent bulbs and 3 feet for fluorescent lamps.
Avoid using electric blankets and hair blow dryers.
Check the background field in your home. You can purchase an EM meter for $100 to $300

Sampling the Health Risk Association Contingency

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that in 1997 health concerns about EMF cost the U.S. economy approximately $1 billion yearly.

Just last year, a group assembled by the National Institute of Environmental Health and Sciences (NIEHS) -- after examining hundreds of studies -- indicated that there was sufficient evidence to consider EMFs a potential carcinogen to humans (though they claimed the risk wasn't high).

At the 1998 EMF Research Review Meeting sponsored by the Energy Department, two scientists indicated that intermittent fields disturbed sleep quality. They also pointed out that magnitude of a field is less important than its intermittency nature or other characteristics (such as power surges).

Some studies still continue to demonstrate links between EMFs and health effects on individuals exposed to frequent albeit low EMF radiation. A particular Scandinavian study found a significant increase in neurovegetative disorders in workers who spent eight-hour days over one to five years in locations above high-end tension cables and transformers.

In 1996, the National Academy of Sciences said that "wire codes are associated with childhood cancer" but that it was unknown what caused it. They contended that EMFs seemed capable of modifying biological tissues.

A 1988 study by Preston-Martin and Peters found that electric welders developed leukemia 25 TIMES more often than non-welders. *
In a l991 study by PA Demers, published in the, American Journal of Epidemiology, electrical workers were found to be 6 times as likely to develop breast cancer as thegeneral population.*
A John Hopkins University study found that the incidence of leukemia among telephone cable workers was 7 times greater than among other telephone company employees.*
Many other studies of electrical workers with increased cancer rates are listed in
THE EMF BOOK, by Mark Pinsky.

EMF Exposure Plots of Worker

Measurements in milligrams (mG)
The sewing machine operator worked all day, took a 1-hour lunch break at 11:15 am, and took 10-minute breaks at 8:55 am and 2:55 pm. The mechanic repaired a compressor at 9:45 am and 11:10 am
The electrician repaired a large air-conditioning motor at 9:10 am and 11:45 am. The government worker was at the copy machine at 8:00 am, at the computer from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm and also from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm.


Epidemiological information from occupational and residential exposure studies have revealed a "moderate" risk of cancer in kids and adults exposed to strong magnetic fields. Approximately 98 percent of homes across the nation have magnetic fields averaging in strength from 0.5 to 0.9 mG. The federally allowed limit in workplaces is 1,000-mG.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina found that electric utility workers who experienced high exposure to EMFs were more than two times likely to get brain cancer as compared to those with lower exposure.

In 1997, researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California discovered that EMFs muck with biological influences. They can inhibit natural and synthetic drug functioning. Particularly, they found that EMFs can curb the capability of melatonin (a hormone created by the brain during darkness periods) and tamoxifen (a hormone-emulating drug used to prevent breast cancer recurrence) to stop the growth of cancer cells.

As for other biological influences also due to EMFs, an international team reported that EMFs with a 60-hertz frequency and one gauss in strength initiate a ripple of enzyme-driven cell-signaling events that are fabricated by tumor-promoting genes.

In the last few years, some studies have focused on the potential role of EMFS as promoters or catalysts of carcinogenicity rather than a direct cause agent. And while some studies that looked at liver and skin tumors were generally negative, others that investigated breast tumors found a number of "suggestive" outcomes. Coincidentally, researchers at Bristol University demonstrated that the electric element of EMFs attracts and concentrates airborne pollutant aerosols, which is indicative of the attraction and concentration of bacteria and viruses. By being able to attract established and suspect carcinogen carriers, they attributed EMFs with a causal link to cancer occurrences.

In spite of the electrical industry's obvious bias , their scientists still have released study after study linking EMR and cancer. However, the industry has a remarkable ability to discredit their own research. Even though the best scientific methodology available is used public relations people have gone to work to cast doubt on the results.
Their job is to baffle and confuse the public by pointing out all the supposed flaws in their own studies until the public does not know what to think. They know that as long as the public does not have clear and accurate information on the hazards of EMR, we will not be able to make knowledgeable decisions as to what is safe.

There is another level of understanding this strategy of publishing damning evidence and then discrediting the study. It creates confusion and a quiet desperation in the public, while maintaining the illusion that the electrical industry is doing something, and they care about our health. Meanwhile, they are injecting a key element into their information control strategy; fear of the unknown and specifically fear of cancer. Corporations spend
millions of dollars studying human behavior and they know that fear is a powerful ingredient in controlling public behavior.
When people are fearful, they tend to feel powerless and give up responsibility for their own health and safety to those in authority;
in this case to the very people who are harming them.

Magnetic fields can diminish drug action

by J. Raloff

The low-level electromagnetic fields present in some North American homes
today can diminish or wipe out a widely prescribed drug's action, at least
in test tubes. Researchers have found that when exposed to such fields, the
drug tamoxifen lost its ability to halt the proliferation of cancer cells
grown in the laboratory. Tamoxifen is a synthetic hormone used to prevent
the recurrence of breast cancer. MORE

While our health authorities procrastinate on making meaningful regulations, there
are many things we can do to protect ourselves . we can TEST our homes and workplaces
for EM Radiation and have wiring errors repaired . We can practice Prudent Avoidance
of EMR as advocated by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the United
States Environmental Protection Agency. This basically involves identifying the sources
of EMR around us and developing strategies to eliminate or avoid them. We can contact
our Members of Parliament and demand that they put pressure on Health Canada to implement
regulations. We can ensure that our children's schools purchase computer equipment that
emit EMR below the level that has been shown to promote cancer. We can organize our
communities to resist any efforts to place microwave cellular phone towers near us and
our children. Above all, we have to educate ourselves to understand the health threats of EMR.\

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A recent headline from the Associated Press:
" BE CAREFUL ABOUT CELL PHONES", The essence of the article states that the British government issued safety precautions amid safety worries in the use of cellular phones. This is primarily true of children under the age of 16. Evidence exists that using a cell phone may be a health risk.
Syracuse Herald Journal Sunday