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Electromagnetic fields from Power lines, Wiring & Appliances

4. Do Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) fields cause other health effects?


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Taken as a whole, the results of human studies do not establish that exposure to ELF fields harms pregnancy outcomes.

Many laboratory experiments exposing mammals and other animals to strong static magnetic and ELF electric fields, have consistently shown no harmful effects on reproduction and development.

Exposure of the fetus to ELF magnetic fields generally does not result in major harmful effects on development and reproduction in mammals. More...


Many studies have examined EMF-induced genetic effects. They investigate whether EMFs are directly genotoxic (toxic to the genetic material or DNA of cells), or are able to enhance the effect of well-known mutagens (agents that can induce mutations) or carcinogens.

Unlike ionizing radiation, ELF fields are not powerful enough to break (ionize) chemical bonds; they are therefore called non ionizing radiations. Overall, there is no indication from most studies that ELF electromagnetic fields are genotoxic. However, several studies have reported that ELF magnetic fields enhance the effect of agents (such as ionizing radiation), which are known to damage DNA and chromosomes, i.e. it is possible that ELF fields are co-mutagens or co-carcinogens. More...


Many studies have investigated the effect of ELF fields on the immune system, blood formation, melatonin hormone and other hormone levels, behavior and other parameters. No consistent effects have been observed. In particular, no convincing effect on melatonin levels has been seen in monkeys and no long-term behavioural deficits have been seen in rodents. More...


Exposure to high levels of extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields was investigated by a number of epidemiological investigations and laboratory studies on human volunteers, which concluded:

  • Too few studies have been done to reach any conclusions regarding effects on the immune system and blood.
    Too few studies have been done to reach any conclusions.
  • No effects on melatonin hormone levels were observed in volunteers exposed to ELF fields at night. In contrast, a small reduction has been observed in workplace and residential environments, but effects of various other environmental factors are difficult to separate.
  • Few effects on the cardiovascular system and the central nervous system have been observed, and findings are generally weak and inconsistent.


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