I see a host of symptoms in my clients with elevated magnetic fields in their home, and with the studies pointing towards cancer and leukemia risks, I advise we use the “precautionary principle” especially in a child’s bedroom.
Magnetic fields are typically created when the electric current flows to power appliances & lights. Awareness and simple steps can lower your risks factor from magnetic fields.
Important Magnetic Field Takeaways:
- MOST HARMFUL
- LEAST COMMON OF THE EMFs
- DISTANCE IS YOUR FRIEND – the fields drops off significantly 3-4 feet away from source.
- SHIELDING NOT POSSIBLE – you must eliminate.
- USUALLY A DAYTIME ISSUE (unless wiring error or related to power lines.)
- WIRING ERRORS – can drain your energy but if lights are out not an issue.
Sneaky Indoor Sources:
- Electronic equipment – clock, computer, CPAP machine, electric blanket etc.
- Appliances with a motor – stove, refrigerator, washing machine, ice maker
- Overhead fluorescent lighting
- Charging adapters or other transformers.
- Some transformers are inside the equipment and some look like your phone charger. Transformers convert high voltage to low voltage.
REMEMBER: All of these sources must be kept at least four feet away from areas where people spend a lot of time.
Sneaky Outdoor Sources:
- Overhead power lines near your home – these can NOT typically be remediated.
- Buried power lines in close proximity to your home – can NOT typically be remediated.
- Grounding of electric current on metal water or gas pipes – can be remediated.
- Wiring errors – can be remedied.
- Beware of transformer or equipment that is on the other side of the wall.
- Normal materials of construction do not reduce or stop AC Magnetic fields.
- Transformers produce magnetic fields at all times when plugged in even when they are not powering anything.
A Look at the Science:
Studies in many countries point to elevated cancer risks and immune system suppression with magnetic fields.
- The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC ) has classified magnetic fields from household wiring and appliances as a category 2B – “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
- Swedish researchers studied over 500,000 people for the impacts of high-tension electrical power lines on the population. They found nearly a fourfold increase in leukemia cases among children exposed to magnetic fields over three milliGuass and twice the risk if exposed to as low as one milliGauss.
- Sweden’s National Board for Industrial and Technical Development announced after its epidemiological study on magnetic fields, it “will act on the assumption that there is a connection between exposure to power-frequency magnetic fields and cancer, in particular, childhood cancer.”
- Concern over EMFs really came to the forefront in the late 1970’s in a study in Colorado that showed school children who lived near power lines had two or three times as much chance to develop cancer.
- The scrutiny intensified in the 1980’s when Paul Brodeur, a environmental journalist who campaigned against asbestos and chlorofluorocarbons, wrote two books on the subject of EMFs (Currents of Death and The Zapping of America). Brodeur believed EMFs were one of the greatest environmental threats facing the nation. “Never before has there been this much epidemiological evidence of the carcinogenicity of any agent,” says Brodeur, “and that agent declared to be benign.” You can also read his series of articles in the New Yorker in 1989.
- Click here to see what the Magnetic Field limits are around the world and how the U.S. stacks up to protect the public: The International EMF Exposure Limits for AC and Magnetic Fields.
Robert Becker, M.D., author of Cross Currents (Tarcher, 1990), who has studied this subject since the 1960s warns: “EMFs could turn out to be a far worse environmental disaster, affecting far more people, than toxic waste, radiation or asbestos.”
Still, as Dr. Becker observes, “Companies won’t admit that EMFs are risky, because they will become liable. And the government won’t, because it is the largest user of the electromagnetic spectrum, especially for military communications. Our whole economy depends on them now.”
“We must proceed using the Precautionary Principle that instructs us in the face of serious threats, a lack of scientific certainty never justifies inaction” Martin Blank, PhD