Pregnancy and Wireless Radiation Risks

Posted by on November 04, 2016

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A review on Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and the reproductive system

Asghari A, Khaki AA, Rajabzadeh A, Khaki A. A review on Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and the reproductive system. Electron Physician. 2016 Jul 25;8(7):2655-62. doi: 10.19082/2655. eCollection 2016.


Environmental factors, such as electromagnetic waves, induce biological and genetic effects. One of the most important physiological systems involved with electromagnetic fields (EMFs) is the genital system. This paper reviews the effects of EMFs on human reproductive organs, female animals, fetus development and the importance of two types of natural antioxidants, i.e., vitamin E and fennel. The studies presented in this review referred to the effects of different exposures to EMFs on the reproductive system, and we tried to show the role of natural antioxidants in reducingthe effects of the exposures. Many studies have been done on the effects of ionizing and non-ionizing electromagnetic waves on the cell line of spermatogenesis, sexual hormones, and the structure of the testes. Also, about the hormonal cycle, folliculogenesis and female infertility related to EMF have been given more consideration. In particular, attention is directed to pregnant women due to the importance of their fetuses. However, in addition to the studies conducted on animals, further epidemiological research should be conducted.


Many studies have shown that electromagnetic fields can have destructive effects on sex hormones, gonadal function, fetal development, and pregnancy. So people must be aware of the negative effects of EMFs. Although the impact of the waves varied at different frequencies, it is better to stay as far away as possible from their origin because of the risks associated with exposures to these waves. In addition, people can use natural antioxidants to help reduce the effects of these waves.

Open Access Paper:

Recent studies that found adverse effects on offspring 

from prenatal exposure to wireless radiation
(Updated: Nov. 1, 2016)


behavioral problems:
hearing loss:

preterm birth:
spontaneous abortion:
spontaneous abortion:


bone & muscle tissue:

brain: (DECT cordless phone)

brain & liver:


brain & behavior: (Yale study)


brain & behavior:




Feb 9, 2016
French cell phone manufacturer warns pregnant women and teens

about cell phone radiation
The French phone manufacturer WIKO states in their manual for the Pulp 4G smartphone (pp. 21-22):

“The maximum SAR value tested on this device when used in its normal position at the ear is 0.114 W/kg and 0.387 W/kg when used close to the body, at a minimum distance of 1.5 cm. It complies with the rules on exposure to radio frequencies when used in its normal position at the ear or at a minimum distance of 1.5 cm from the body. The device uses a high-quality network connection for transmitting files, data and messages. On occasion, the transmission of files or messages may be delayed until the connection is available. When this is the case, be sure to follow the instructions regarding the separation distance for establishing the transmission. If you use a case, belt-clip or holder for carrying the phone, it must not contain any metal and should be kept at a minimum distance of 1.5 cm from your body.

*The SAR limit for mobile devices is 2.0 watts / kilogram (W/kg) averaged over ten grams of body tissue. SAR values may vary according to the standards for reporting information that are in force in different countries.  [My note: This standard is used in France and many other countries. In the U.S. the limit is 1.6 watts / kilogram averaged over one gram of body tissue.]

Tips for Reducing Exposure Levels

We recommend that you use your phone in good reception conditions in order to reduce the amount of radiation received. It is advisable to limit the amount of time you use the phone in underground car parks and when travelling by car or train, etc.

Reception conditions are indicated by the bars that are displayed on your phone: the more bars there are, the better the reception quality.

We recommend that you use the hands-free kit to reduce exposure to radiation.

To reduce the adverse effects of prolonged radiation exposure, we advise teenagers to hold the phone away from their lower abdomen, and that pregnant women hold the phone at a distance from their stomach.”

Copyright © 2015 WIKO

July 1, 2015

Doctors Caution Pregnant Women About Wireless Radiation Health Risks

Over one hundred medical doctors and scientific experts from around the world agree: the risks of exposure to RF radiation from wireless devices for pregnant women and their unborn children are real, and women have a Right To Know.

NEW YORK, July 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — More than one hundred medical doctors, scientists and public health experts from around the world have signed a Joint Statementadvising pregnant women to take simple precautions to protect themselves and their babies from wireless radiation. The Statement is part of a national right-to-know campaign called the BabySafe Project created by two non-profit organizations to inform pregnantwomen about the issue.

The wireless world may be convenient, but it’s not without risks,” says Patricia Wood, Executive Director of Grassroots Environmental Education and co-creator of the BabySafe Project. “When more than one hundred of the world’s leading medical doctors and researchers on wireless radiation say we have enough evidence for women to take protective action, we think women should know about it.

The project is based on recent scientific studies suggesting that radiation from wireless devices is capable of interfering with the tiny electrical impulses that help synapses connect in a developing brain. Researchers at Yale University have been able to demonstrate that the brains of laboratory mice exposed to pulsed radio frequency radiation in utero were wired differently from those of the mice who were not exposed, resulting in behavioral differences that include poorer memory and symptoms that resemble ADHD in children.

The Yale study builds on more than twenty years of research and hundreds of independent, peer-reviewed studies showing that exposure to radiation from wireless devices can have non-thermal, biological effects on humans, including DNA strand breaks and other impacts not previously known.

The authors of many of those studies are among those calling for precautions.

The fetus is perhaps the most vulnerable to these types of insults, when the brain is just forming, when all of the organ systems are just beginning to develop,” says Dr. Hugh Taylor, Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Professor of Women’s Health at Yale University, and lead author of the study. “There’s essentially no downside to being cautious and protecting your baby. Why not do it?

SOURCE Grassroots Environmental Education

June 3, 2014

The following joint statement on pregnancy and wireless radiation is part of the Baby Safe Project, a new public awareness initiative designed to inform women about the links between pregnancy and wireless radiation.  The statement was signed by 44 physicians and scientists from 13 nations, and by 13 educators who have studied wireless radiation health effects.
The project is a joint initiative of two environmental health non-profit organizations: Grassroots Environmental Education and Environmental Health Trust.
A video of the press conference that launched the Baby Safe Project and supplementary resources are available at

Dr. Hugh Taylor from the Yale University School of Medicine, Dr. Devra Davis from the Environmental Health Trust, and Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein, a pediatric neurologist who treats autistic children, made presentations at the press conference and answered questions from journalists.

Dr. Taylor discussed his peer-reviewed, experimental research on pregnant mice that were exposed to cell phone radiation. In his study prenatal exposure to cell phone radiation resulted in decreased memory and increased hyperactivity in the offspring. A dose-response relationship was observed between the amount of fetal exposure to cell phone radiation and altered brain activity in the offspring. Dr. Taylor recommends that pregnant women limit their exposure to cell phone radiation.

Dr. Davis discussed the history of tobacco and asbestos in the U.S. to argue for a precautionary approach to reducing risks from “possibly carcinogenic” environmental exposures like wireless radiation (as determined by the World Health Organization). She summarized peer-reviewed, experimental research on prenatal exposure to microwave radiation conducted by Dr. Nesrin Seyhan which found DNA damage in mice and by Dr. Suleyman Kaplan which found damage to brain cells in the hippocampus as well as adverse behavioral effects in the offspring.  Dr. Davis provided recommendations on how to reduce exposure to cell phone and Wi-Fi radiation.

Dr. Shetreat-Klein discussed peer-reviewed observational research that found prenatal exposure to wireless radiation associated with adverse behavioral changes in children. She advises pregnant women to keep cell phones away from their bodies.

In response to audience questions, Dr. Davis discussed the need for research funding. She mentioned that the Environmental Health Trust and Dr. Joel Moskowitz at Berkeley are calling for an annual, one dollar fee per cell phone to be devoted to training and research on wireless radiation and health.  Dr. Taylor reported that his patients appreciate receiving precautionary information regarding the need to reduce exposure to wireless radiation during pregnancy. Dr. Davis discussed recommendations from the U.S. General Accountability Office and the American Academy of Pediatrics that call on the FCC to test cell phones in a realistic manner. Finally, Dr. Davis discussed the potential product liability faced by the cell phone industry due to adverse health impacts, an issue which she addressed in her book on cell phone radiation, Disconnect.

Joint Statement on Pregnancy and Wireless Radiation

We join together as physicians, scientists and educators to express our concern about the risk that wireless radiation poses to pregnancy and to urge pregnant women to limit their exposures.

We recognize that the exquisitely delicate systems that direct the development of human life are vulnerable to environmental insults, and that even minute exposures during critical windows of development may have serious and life-long consequences.

We know that the scientific process demands a thorough and exhaustive examination of the possible impact of wireless radiation on health; however, we believe substantial evidence of risk, rather than absolute proof of harm, must be the trigger for action to protect public health.

We call on the research community to conduct more studies to identify the mechanisms by which a fetus could be affected by wireless radiation exposures. We call on our elected leaders to support such research and to advance policies and regulations that limit exposures for pregnant women. We call on industry to implement and explore technologies and designs that will reduce radiation exposures until such research is carried out.

We affirm our role as health and science professionals to inform the public about the potential dangers associated with early-life exposures to wireless radiation, and invite all professionals engaged in obstetric, pediatric, and environmental health advocacy to join us in our quest to ensure the safety and health of future generations.

(Affiliations listed for identification purposes only)

Mikko Ahonen, PhD, University of Tampere, Finland
Jennifer Armstrong, MD, Ottawa Environmental Health
Martin Blank, PhD, Associate Professor of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, Columbia University
David Brown, PhD, Public Health Toxicologist, Environment and Human Health, Inc.
Lois Brustman, MD, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist, St. Luke’s – Roosevelt Hospital Center
Sheila Bushkin-Bedient, MD, Concerned Health Professionals of New York

David Carpenter, MD, School of Public Health, University at Albany
Richard Clapp, DSc, MPH, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Health, Boston University

Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, Visiting Scholar, University of California at Berkeley

Alvaro Augusto de Salles, PhD, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Larysa Dyrszka, MD, Pediatrician, New York

Dr. Elizabeth Evans, MA, (Cantab) MBBS (London), DRCOG,  UK

Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, UC San Diego School of Medicine
Oleg Gregoriev, DrSc, PhD, Chairman, Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Magda Havas, PhD,  Associate Professor of Environmental & Resource Studies, Trent University, Ontario, Canada
Gunnar Heuser, MD, University of California at Los Angeles (retired)
Olle Johansson, PhD, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Sweden
Cynthia Johnson-McKay, MD, Columbia University

Süleyman Kaplan, PhD, Ondokuz Mayıs University, Samsun, Turkey

Henry Lai, PhD,  Bioelectromagnetics Research Laboratory, University of Washington

Michael Lerner, PhD, President, Commonweal
Luana Licata, PhD, University of Rome Tor Vergata
Don Maisch, PhD,, Australia
Asish Mehta, MD, MCh, DNB, Neurological Surgeon Mumbai, India

Anthony Miller, MD, School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Canada

Joel Moskowitz, PhD, School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley
Hildor Palsdottir, PhD, School of Medicine, New York University
Janet Perlman, MD, MPH, University of California at Berkeley
Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, School of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco
Lisa Ridgway, MD, Pediatrician
Aviva Romm, MD, Family Physician, Boston

Annie SascoMD, DrPH, University of Bordeaux, France

Stephen Sinatra, MD, FACC, CNS, CBT
Maya Shetreat-Klein, MD, Pediatric Neurologist, Bronx, New York
Colin L. Soskolne, PhD, University of Canberra, Australia
Ken Spaeth, MD, MPH, Hofstra University, North Shore–LIJ Health System
Yael Stein, MD, Hebrew University – Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel

Anne Steinemann, PhD, University of California at San Diego
Hugh Taylor, MD, Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale-New Haven Hospital

Leonardo Trasande, MD,  Institute of Environmental Medicine, Langone Medical Center, New York University

Lucy Waletzky, MD, Psychiatrist, Sleepy Hollow, New York
John Wargo, PhD, Professor of Risk Analysis, Environmental Policy, and Political Science, Yale University
John West, MD, Surgeon, RadNet

Jingduan Yang, MD, Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia

Wafaa Aborashed,
 Bay Area Healthy 880 Communities

Nancy Alderman, Environment and Human Health, Inc.

Mary Beth Brangan & James Heddle, Ecological Options Network (EON)

Giorgio Cinciripini, Italian Network of No-Electrosmog NGOs

Frank Clegg, Canadians For Safe Technology

Desiree Jaworski, Center for Safer Wireless

  1. Blake Levitt,former New York Timescontributor, medical/science journalist, author

Ellen Marks, California Brain Tumor Association

  1. Lloyd Morgan, Environmental Health Trust

Janet Newton, EMRadiation Institute
Camilla Rees, MBA,

Cindy Sage, MA, Sage Associates; Co-Editor, BioInitiative 2012 Report



For more information about wireless radiation reproductive health effects and effects on children
The Baby Safe Project. “What You Need to Know about Wireless Radiation and Your Baby”

The Baby Safe Project


Environmental Health Trust

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

Related news releases from Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
Cell Phone Use and Prenatal Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation May Cause Headaches in Children

Children’s Cell Phone Use May Increase Their Risk of ADHD

MOBI-KIDS: Childhood Brain Tumor Risk & Mobile Phone Use Study
Media: Children’s Cell Phone Use
Cell Phone Radiation, Pregnancy, and Sperm Phone Radiation Damages Sperm

Magnetic Field Exposure Before Birth May Contribute to Childhood Obesity


Belgium Adopts New Regulations to Promote Cell Phone Radiation Safety
French Health Agency Recommends Children and Vulnerable Groups Reduce Cell Phone Radiation Exposure

Frequently asked questions about electromagnetic radiation

Which are the different types of electromagnetic radiation? What is ionizing radiation, what is low and what high frequency radiation? What is the difference of artificial from natural radiation? Are there health effects? What scientists disagree on? Why the research results are contradictory?

man holding questions answers sign

What is electromagnetic radiation?

Electromagnetic radiation is energy fields produced by electrically charged particles.

There are natural types of radiation (solar and other cosmic radiation the earth’s magnetic field, Shumman waves etc.) and artificial radiations (from electrical devices, cables, mobile telephones, antennas, radar etc)

Electromagnetic radiation is divided into categories according to the transmission frequency:

  • Non-ionizing Low Frequency Radiation from electrical and electronic devices, cables, household electrical installations, transformers etc.
  • Non-ionizing High Freuency Radiation from cell phones and cell phone masts, wireless internet (WI-FI), cordless phones (DECT), bluetooth devices, alarm systems, microwave ovens, wireless game consoles, broadcasting antennas, radars for military, airports and ports, weather radars, satellites, police communications (TETRA) etc.
  • Ionizing radiation = Radioactivity (frequency higher than visible light) from x-rays, UV and other cosmic radiation, radon gas that flows from the earth ground, uranium (used in nuclear power plants), radioactive materials located in various rocks etc.

electromagnetic fields frequency spectrum

Is only ionizing radiation harmful?

The separation of electromagnetic radiation to ionizing and non-ionizing, creates the false impression that ionization the only biologically harmful process.

Ionizing radiation (= radioactive) activates the production of free radicals in the human body cells and can cause changes in the structure of the chromosomes of the cell membrane (mechanisms associated with cancer development).

Non-ionizing radiation is artificial and very recently introduced on the environment, while ionizing radiations have always existed in the evolution of the human species, which means that we have developed some coping mechanisms.

And as you can read in our article on radioactivity, specific types and dosages of ionizing radiation may even benefit us (radiation hormesis theory).

On the other hand, the constant and increasing exposure to non-ionizing radiation from the power grid, mobile phone masts and dozens of new wireless applications that are added daily, can cause significant health effects through mechanisms other than ionization.

“A major contemporary threat to the health of Society is man-made ‘electrosmog’. This non-ionising electromagnetic pollution of technological origin is particularly insidious, in that it escapes detection by the senses – a circumstance that, in general, tends to promote a rather cavalier attitude, particularly with respect to the necessity of ensuring an adequate degree of personal protection. Yet the nature of the pollution is such that there is literally ‘nowhere to hide’.” Dr. Gerard Hyland, Biophysics, University of Warwick, 2 times Nobel Prize contender Medicine [1]

What is the point of disagreement between scientists about the effects of non-ionizing radiation?

Scientists disagree on the levels of non-ionizing radiation that cause health effects.

To date safety limits are set taking into account only the thermal effects of high-intensity fields. These values are encountered rarely and only in the immediate vicinity of powerful radiation sources (eg radio antennas).

In recent years, a significant portion of scientists argues that according to recent research data, there are health effects from much lower non-thermal exposure levels.

According to an increasing number of epidemiological and experimental studies, even slight exposure to non-ionizing electromagnetic fields increases the risks of cancer, can be accompanied by nervous disorders and disruption of the circadian rhythms and seems capable of affecting developing organisms. The results of many in vivo and in vitro studies show increasing clearly the interaction mechanisms underlying such disorders and illnesses, centered mainly in cell membrane, lead to disruption of melatonin secretions, ornithine decarboxylase activity and T-lymphocyte efficacy, testifying to the probable role of non-ionizing radiation in promoting cancer.”European Parliament Resolution B3-0280/92 [2]

How can low levels of non-ionizing radiation affect our health?

The human body has numerous biological reactions at low (non-thermal) levels of artificial radiation: increaseδ cell proliferation, production of stress proteins, increased activity of free radicals, calcium outflow, increased permeability of blood-brain barrier, miscoordination of hydrogen-oxygen bonds etc. .

The guide of the International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety (IECEM) analyzes thenon-thermal effects and mechanisms of interaction with humans.

The potential to cause health effects depends not only on the intensity of electromagnetic fields but also on the duration and frequency of exposure.

Short term and periodic exposure, even at high field intensities, is usually not dangerous because the human body can repair any damage (possible exceptions to people with weakened immune systems, the elderly, pregnant women and children).

On the other hand, the continuous and simultaneous exposure to multiple sources of radiation, creates chronic biological responses that could lead to health effects.

Which effect of artificial radiation may be linked to a plurality of health symptoms?

One of the main causes of health effects according to Dr. Blank, Columbia University professor and researcher in bioelectromagnetism, is the fact that our cells have a stressful reaction to artificial radiation, as they do with other environmental toxins (heavy metals etc.)

The human DNA functions as an antenna which receives even low power low and high frequency signals and commands cells to produce stress proteins.

The mechanism of adaptation to stress triggers our hormonal system to cope with any challenge presented. Unfortunately it is designed to operate for a temporary period.

Chronic stress protein production is:

  • associated with sleep problems, depression, headaches, gastric and skin problems, obesity, heart disease, asthma, infections, etc. [3]
  • exhausts the immune system and leads to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s Lyme, lupus, disease Crohn, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, etc. [4]

The above effect is a possible explanation for the results of a significant number of studies linking artificial radiation with leukemia, cancer of the breast, skin, brain, testes and salivary gland, blood clots, diabetes, miscarriagies, male infertility, Alzheimer, insomnia, neurotic disorders, depression etc.

“The key point about electromagnetic pollution that the public has to realize is that it is not necessary that the intensity be large for a biological interaction to occur. There is now considerable evidence that extremely weak signals can have physiological consequences. These interactive intensities are about 1000 times smaller than the threshold values formerly estimated by otherwise knowledgeable theoreticians, who, in their vainglorious approach to science, rejected all evidence to the contrary as inconsistent with their magnificent calculations. These faulty estimated thresholds are yet to be corrected by both regulators and the media.”Abraham Liboff, researcher, Center of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Florida Atlantic[5]

  What is the difference between artificial (man made) and natural radiation?

1. The levels of cosmic radiation is minute in relation to artificial radiations while their frequencies are quite different.

“Thus in the frequency range 100 kHz to 300 GHz, 50 years ago it was scarcely possible to measure 10 pW/cm2 on the ground in our countries. Today, depending on the location, values one million to one thousand million times higher are recorded because of the explosion of telecommunications.” European Parliament Resolution B3-0280/92 [2]

The earth’s magnetic field which is stronger than most artificial electromagnetic fields but this field is static. In contrast to alternating fields, static fields do not continuously change polarity, causing changes in the alignment of the molecules and atoms.

2. Artificial radiations have unnatural waveforms with constant repetitive pattern width, pulse etc.

New York University [9]

“The problem is, man-made electromagnetic exposures aren’t “normal.” They are artificial artifacts, with unusual intensities, signaling characteristics, pulsing patterns, and wave forms, that don’t exist in nature. And they can misdirect cells in myriad ways. Every aspect of the ecosystem may be affected, including all living species from animals, humans, plants and even microorganisms in water and soil. We are already seeing problems in sentinel species like birds, bats, and bees. Wildlife is known to abandon areas when cell towers are placed. Radiofrequency radiation (RF)—the part of the electromagnetic spectrum used in all-things-wireless today—is a known immune system suppressor, among other things. RF is a form of energetic air pollution and we need to understand it as such.” Blake Levit, author of “Electromagnetic Fields, A Consumer’s Guide to the Issues and How to Protect Ourselves” [5]

3. Artificial radiations are have been very recently added to the human environment and we have not developed evolutionary mechanisms to address them.

“Furthermore, given the relatively short time for which we have been exposed to it, we have no evolutionary immunity either against any adverse effects it might directly have on our alive organism or, indirectly, against its possible interference with certain electromagnetic processes of natural origin, which appear to be essential for homeostasis, such as, for example, the Schumann resonance – a weak electromagnetic field that oscillates resonantly in the cavity between the earth’s surface and the ionosphere at frequencies close to those of human brain rhythms, isolation from which has been found to be deleterious to human health. What distinguishes technologically produced electromagnetic fields from (the majority of) those of natural origin is their much higher degree of coherence. This means that their frequencies are particularly well-defined, a feature that facilitates the discernment of such fields by living organisms, including ourselves. This greatly increases their biological potency, and ‘opens the door’ to the possibility of frequency-specific, non-thermal influences of various kinds, against which existing Safety Guidelines – such as those issued by the International Commission for Non-ionising Radiation Protection ( ICNIRP) – afford no protection”. Dr. Gerard Hyland, Biophysics, University of Warwick, 2 times Nobel Prize contender Medicine [1]

The radiation from electrical appliances, power cables etc exist many years and we are fine. Why should we reduce our exposure to them?

1. Our exposure to radiation due to electricity has increased significantly due to:

  • greater use of electric and electronic devices
  • greater power consumption
  • turn to electrical solutions for cooling and heating (eg instead of oil, natural gas)
  • use of plastic cables in homes instead of grounded steel cables

2. The radiation emitted by cables and devices today has a more aggravating waveform

dirty electricity waveformThe extensive use of electronic non-linear load devices such as fluorescent lamps, AC adapters, dimmer electronic switches, inverter air conditioners, plasma TVs, photovoltaic systems etc. result in deformation of the plain sinusoidal signal of 50-60Hz mains with high frequency harmonics.

This phenomenon is called “Dirty Electricity” because it causes overheating of the neutral conductor and premature aging of equipment. Some scientists believe that the new waveform is particularly burdensome for humans [6] .

3. Electricity does have health implications

Previously it was thought that low frequency radiation does not have enough energy (photons) and therefore our body could not distinguish it from the natural electromagnetic waves produced by the body (thermal noise).

But research since 1977 (Adey and Bawin) has shown that organisms can react to exogenous electromagnetic signals of very low intensity and experience an even greater reaction to them than from stronger signals.

The explanation of the phenomenon of amplification of an exogenous signal gave Gilbert and Rodbell the Nobel Prize in 1994. The G proteins integrate multiple signals outside the cell and activate various cell amplification systems. Because of these, a single photon of electromagnetic energy is sufficient to start the massive calcium entry into the cells, activating several biological functions. [7]

To date studies have linked low-frequency radiation with miscarriages, Alzheimer’s, leukemia, breast cancer, skin cancer, insomnia, thrombosis, damage to DNA, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, neurotic disorders, depression etc.

The alternating magnetic fields have ben rated as “possible carcinogens” by the National Environmental Health Institute, USA (NIEHS) [8] and by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organisation [9] .

“Very recently, new research is suggesting that nearly all the human plagues which emerged in the twentieth century, like common acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children, female breast cancer, malignant melanoma and asthma, can be tied to some facet of our use of electricity. There is an urgent need for governments and individuals to take steps to minimize community and personal EMF exposures.” Samuel Milham MD, MPH, Medical epidemiologist in occupational epidemiology. [10]

Radiation from radio antennas exists for many years and we are fine. Why are the lower power cell phone masts, Wi-Fi etc dangerous?

1. Today we receive a much larger amount of radiation from cell phone masts

Broadcasting antennas are usually situated on hills in non-urban areas and therefore, although emit with more power, their signal reaches us faint.

Research in 2000 in Sweden showed that emissions from radio and tv broadcasting antennas were only 13% of wireless radiation in the suburbs and 1% in city centers [11] .

The largest proportion of our greatly increased exposure to wireless radiation comes from cell phone masts, mobile phones, cordless phones and wi-fi modems.

2. The radiation emitted by cell phone masts, Wi-Fi etc have a more aggravating waveform

fm waveformThe electromagnetic waves from cell phone masts, cordless phones, wireless modems, etc. have a digital modulation (see photo below), while those of the older broadcasting antennas had analog modulation (see above photo).

pulsed waveformThe digital square waveform comprising of high intensity pulses is considered biologically more powerful than the older analog sinusoidal waveform.

The conclusion of the Panel BioInitiative Working Group [12], which took into account more than 2000 surveys on the subject of electromagnetic radiation was that:

“There is substantial scientific evidence that some modulated fields (pulsed or repeated signals) are bioactive, which increases the likelihood that they could have health impacts with chronic exposure even at very low exposure levels. Modulation signals may interfere with normal, non-linear biological processes. Modulation is a fundamental factor that should be taken into account in new public safety standards; at present it is not even a contributing factor. To properly evaluate the biological and health impacts of exposure to modulated RF (carrier waves), it is also essential to study the impact of the modulating signal (lower frequency fields or ELF-modulated RF). Current standards have ignored modulation as a factor in human health impacts, and thus are inadequate in the protection of the public in terms of chronic exposure to some forms of ELF-modulated RF signals. The current IEEE and ICNIRP standards are not sufficiently protective of public health with respect to chronic exposure to modulated fields (particularly new technologies that are pulse-modulated and heavily used in cellular telephony).”

3. TV and radio broadcasting antennas can also cause damage

Research has linked proximity to them with childhood leukemia, brain cancer and melanoma (Merzenich [14] , Ha [15] , Hallberg [16] , Hocking [17].

“Scientific studies at the cellular level, whole animal level and involving human populations, shows compelling and comprehensive evidence that RF/MW exposure down to very low residential exposure levels, levels which are a minute fraction of present “safety standards”, results in altered brain function, sleep disruption, depression, chronic fatigue, headache, impaired memory and learning, adverse reproductive outcomes including miscarriage, still birth, cot death, prematurely and birth deformities. Many other adverse health effects have been found, predominantly cancer of many organs, especially brain cancer, leukaemia, breast cancer and testicular cancer. Studies have also found that RF/MW exposed parents have more children with CNS cancers and other health defects. (…) Hence there is strong evidence that ELF and RF/MW is associated with accelerated aging (enhanced cell death and cancer) and moods, depression, suicide, anger, rage and violence, primarily through genotoxic damage, alteration of cellular calcium ions and the melatonin/serotonin balance.” Dr.Neil Cherry, Lincoln University in New Zealand [2]

Why are research results contradictory?

  • research does not take into account the simultaneous exposure of the population to multiple radiation sources
  • there is no population not exposed to radiation, in order to make correct comparisons
  • some studies exclude sensitive population groups (eg children from the Interphone study)
  • some studies do not last long enough to show differences in the development of diseases such as cancer (required time > 10 years)
  • the separation of those exposed to a radiation source is not realistic (eg in the Interphone study, mobile phone users were considered to be also those who spoke only once a week in the mobile… Could they be in the same group of people that spoke three hours every day?)
  • the exposure assessment is often simplified based on the distance from the sources which frequently does not correspond to the actual exposure (eg near mobile phone masts we record totally different radiation values in residencies facing the mast compared to those that don’t, even if the distance is the same).
  • research results are significantly influenced by the source of funding (according to the study by Professor Henry Lai in total 221 studies on the effects of radiation from mobile phones, adverse effects were recorded in 70% of independent research and only 32% on the studies funded be the mobile phone industry [19] )

When I run up against a brick wall all of ten times and develop a blue bruise each single time, this would be an accurately observed and easily reproducible fact. If I am concerned about it, trying to tell my story or even publish it because I wish to stop this type of wall running, such action will be regarded as premature and unscientific, even as downright fear mongering. And that because there were simply not enough others before or after me who would have done the same thing, thus replication did not take place. Or if it did, the bruising in other people, age groups, skin colors, and with different momenta did not turn quite as blue but rather a shade of green. Anyhow, something is still missing, that is the conclusive explanation of the effect: Why does the bruise develop? And why in this way and no other, why this color, pain, dizziness? What is going on here? Without clear answers to these questions (and a lot more), it will remain scientifically untenable – by a long shot – despite the bruise, despite the pain and dizziness. Wolfgang Maes, German Institute for Building Biology [20]

If indeed there was a risk, wouldn’t our government alert us?

Although the European Union has adopted the ‘precautionary principle’, which means taking preventive measures before there is certainty about the harmfulness of a substance or product, in the case of artificial electromagnetic fields this declaration has remained on paper.

Given the changes that will be required, the loss of revenue (taxes on mobile phones have become a huge source of revenue for governments) and the interests that will be affected, the authorities wait until there is undeniable health effect in order to react.

To be considered a health effect “proven”, it is necessary to reproduce the same each time the same result of study by different universities, institutes and laboratories.

It is not enough when 50 out of the 100 studies show health effects, we need to have all them show the same effects.

The difficulty of reproducing the same results in studies combined with economic pressures delays the goverments taking action.

In the past, however, similar delays have adversely affected the health of the population, as shown by the report of the European Environment Agency about the delayed reactions of the authorities on issues such as asbestos, PCB, X-rays, etc.

“There are reports of biological effects of EMF at levels below the well recognized standards and guidelines. WHO would now like to develop a framework and guidelines that would allow the application of the PP not only for EMF but also for WHO policy generally. It is not question of whether we apply it. It is a question of how we apply it.”World Health Organization [21]

Insurance companies, however, do not wait for the legislation to change. Anticipating future massive compensation claims by citizens (as it had happened in the past and the case of asbestos) they already exclude coverage for the risks associated with electromagnetic fields from the insurance liability.


[1]G.J. Hyland, University of Warwick, International Institute of Biophysics, The Physiological and Environmental Effects of Non-ionising Electromagnetic Radiation’

[2] Actual Or Potential Effects of ELF and RF / MW Radiation on Enhancing Violence and Homicide, and accelerating Aging of Human, Animal Or Plant Cells. Dr Neil Cherry Associate Professor of Environmental Health Lincoln University New Zealand,

[3] Mayo Clinic, How Stress Affects Health,

[4] Stress Proteins in Medicine,


[6] Havas M, (2006) Electromagnetic hypersensitivity: Biological Effects of Dirty Electricity with emphasis on diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis.

[7] James Oschman, Energy Medicine in Therapeutics and Human Performance

[10] Camilla Rees- Magda Havas, Public Health SOS – The Shadow Side of The Wireless Revolution

[11] Hamnerius, Y. & Uddmar, T. (2000). Microwave exposure from mobile phones and base stations in Sweden

[14] Merzenich, Childhood Leukemia in Relation to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields in The Vicinity of TV and Radio Broadcast Transmitters, Am J Epidemiol. 2008 Oct 3.

[15] Ha, Radio-frequency Radiation Exposure from AM Radio transmitters and CHILDHOOD leukemia and Brain Cancer, Am J Epidemiol. 2007 Aug 1; 166 (3): 270-9

[16] Hallberg, Johansson, (2005) FM Broadcasting Exposure Time and malignant melanoma incidence, Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine twenty-four? 1-8

[17] Hocking, Cancer incidence and Mortality and Proximity to TV Towers, Med J Aust. 1996 Dec 2-16; 165 (11-12): 601-5

[19] Dr. Martin Blank – Electromagnetic Fields and Cancer –

[20] Wolfgang Maes, Science – Really?, Conference 2006 «Building Biology – Architecture – Environmental Medicine»

[21] World Health Organization Conference on “Application of the Precautionary Principle in Electromagnetic Fields”, February 2003

9 things you need to know about the electromagnetic fields that surround you

Why has your exposure to artificial electromagnetic fields has significantly increased in recent years? Why is artificial radiation now more aggravating than in the past? Are there any health effects? Why do insurance companies exclude the coverage for the risks associated with electromagnetic fields? Do the legal safety limits protect you? Why do many scientists and organizations warn about the dangers from uncontrolled use of technology, particularly by pregnant women and children?

house with wireless antennas around


Electromagnetic radiation levels are increasing

The current unprecedented levels of high frequency wireless radiation are constantly increasing due to the proliferation of existing sources and the continuous addition of new wireless applications. Today we are exposed all to wireless radiation from:

  • mobile phones and cell phone masts
  • wireless Internet (WI-FI)
  • cordless phones and their bases (DECT)
  • tv and radio broadcasting antennas
  • wireless alarm systems, fire detection and temperature control systems
  • radio networks for police, private security companies, transport companies, taxi etc.
  • Baby Monitors
  • cordless keyboards
  • devices that work with Bluetooth continuously activated
  • wireless games consoles
  • WIMAX networks
  • antennas for ministries embassies, the Armed Forces, Security Forces, coast Guard, Civil Aviation Authority, etc.
  • radars military, airports, ports, meteorological services etc.
  • satellites
  • antennas within industrial plants, stadiums, etc
  • interactive school boards
  • wireless speakers
  • microwave ovens
  • the HAARP (= High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program)
  • smart electricity meters

various wireless radiation sources

“Thus in the frequency range 100 kHz to 300 GHz, 50 years ago it was scarcely possible to measure 10 pW/cm2 on the ground in our countries. Today, depending on the location, values one million to one thousand million times higher are recorded because of the explosion of telecommunications.” European Parliament Resolution B3-0280/92 [1]

At the same time, our exposure to low frequency radiation due to electricity has increased significantly due to:

  • greater use of electric and electronic devices
  • greater power consumption
  • turn to electrical solutions for cooling and heating (eg instead of oil, natural gas)
  • use of plastic cables in homes instead of grounded steel cables

various low frequency radiation sources

“…whereas electromagnetic fields (EMFs) exist in nature and have consequently always been present on earth; whereas, however, in recent decades, environmental exposure to man-made sources of EMFs has risen constantly, driven by demand for electricity, increasingly more specialized wireless technologies, and changes in the organization of society; whereas the end effect is that every individual is now being exposed to a complex mixture of electric and magnetic fields of different frequencies, both at home and at work,…” European Parliament resolution 2008/2211 [2]


Today artificial radiation is more aggravating waveform than in the past

The previously simple sinusoidal signal of the electric network (50-60Hz) is now distorted by higher harmonic frequencies (KHz = thousands Hz) due to the extensive use of electronic non-linear load devices such as fluorescent lamps, AC adapters, dimmer electronic switches, inverter air conditioners, plasma TVs, photovoltaic systems etc.

This phenomenon is called “Dirty Electricity” because it causes overheating of neutral conductor and premature aging of equipment. Scientists believe that the new waveform of power grid is particularly burdensome for the man.

Also the latest wireless radiation sources (cell phone antennas, mobile and cordless phones, wi-fi wireless modems, etc.) emit electromagnetic waves with digital modulation in contrast to older analogue sources (eg radio and tv antennas).

The most unnatural digital square waveform which contains high intensity pulses is considered by many scientists biologically more powerful than the older analog sinusoidal waveform.

“There is substantial scientific evidence that some modulated fields (pulsed or repeated signals) are bioactive, which increases the likelihood that they could have health impacts with chronic exposure even at very low exposure levels. Modulation signals may interfere with normal, non-linear biological processes. Modulation is a fundamental factor that should be taken into account in new public safety standards; at present it is not even a contributing factor. To properly evaluate the biological and health impacts of exposure to modulated RF (carrier waves), it is also essential to study the impact of the modulating signal (lower frequency fields or ELF-modulated RF). Current standards have ignored modulation as a factor in human health impacts, and thus are inadequate in the protection of the public in terms of chronic exposure to some forms of ELF-modulated RF signals. The current IEEE and ICNIRP standards are not sufficiently protective of public health with respect to chronic exposure to modulated fields (particularly new technologies that are pulse-modulated and heavily used in cellular telephony).” BioInitiative Report [3]



Radiation emissions allowed by the legislation are too high

person graphic holding a radiation danger sign

The legal exposure limits to non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation today are aligned with the limits set by the International Commission for the Protection against Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), which:

  • are “based on short-term direct health effects such as stimulation of peripheral nerves and muscles, electrocution and burns on contact with conductive objects and warming of the tissues caused by the absorption of energy during exposure to electromagnetic fields” (exact transfer in the ICNIRP guide [i])
  • recognize only the thermal effect of radiation and do not take into consideration other non thermal, effects such as the production of stress proteins, increased activity of free radicals, calcium outflow, increased permeability of blood-brain barrier, platelet aggregation, increased production of histamine etc.
  • have changed little in recent years, despite the rapid increase of electromagnetic pollution and the existence of new studies showing that these non-thermal action mechanisms can lead to long term health effects such as leukemia, breast cancer, brain and the acoustic nerve cancer, Alzheimer, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, depression, allergies, etc.
  • do not take into account the continuous and simultaneous exposure of the population to multiple radiation sources
  • ignore the increased absorption of radiation by infants and children
  • do not take into account the waveform of each radiation signal (digital vs analogue) shown to be a potent biological agent

“The limits on exposure to electromagnetic fields which have been set for the general public are obsolete. They do not take account of developments in information and communication technologies or vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, newborn babies and children. “ European Parliament, Resolution 2007/2252 [4]


Many scientific bodies have warned about the long term effects of artificial radiation

pregnant woman with a cell phone next to belly

In recent years, many organizations have issued statements on the effects of artificial electromagnetic fields, with an emphasis vulnerable population groups such as children and pregnant women:

The need for measures to protect public health has been highlighted in dozens of scientific resolutions:

  • Resolution 1998 Vienna, Salzburg Resolution 2000, Declaration of Alcalá 2002, Catania Resolution 2002 , Freiburger Appeal 2002, Bamberger Appeal 2004, Maintaler Appeal 2004, Coburger Appeal 2005, Oberammergauer Appeal 2005, Haibacher Appeal 2005, Pfarrkirchener Appeal 2005, Freienbacher Appeal 2005, Lichtenfelser Appeal 2005, Hofer Appeal 2005, Stockacher Appeal 2005, Helsinki Appeal 2005, Benevento Resolution 2006 , Allgäuer Appeal 2006, WiMax Appeal 2006, Brussels Appeal 2007, London Resolution 2007 , Resolution 2008 Venice , Porto Alegre Resolution 2009

More about the shocking warmings of scientists..

“The Assembly recommends that the member states of the Council of Europe take all reasonable measures to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields, especially to radio frequencies from mobile phones, and particularly the exposure to children and young people who seem to be most at risk from head tumours, reconsider the scientific basis for the present standards on exposure to electromagnetic fields set by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection, which have serious limitations, and apply ALARA principles, covering both thermal effects and the athermic or biological effects of electromagnetic emissions or radiation, put in place information and awareness-raising campaigns on the risks of potentially harmful long-term biological effects on the environment and on human health, especially targeting children, teenagers and young people of reproductive age,pay particular attention to “electrosensitive” people who suffer from a syndrome of intolerance to electromagnetic fields and introduce special measures to protect them, including the reation of wave-free areas not covered by the wireless network (…)” Council of Europe, Resolution 1815/2011 [5]


Increased and lifetime exposure of children to artificial radiation can have irreversible effects on their mental development

child focused on tablet

According to some scientists, wireless radiation detunes the initial calibration of brain networks in newborns, prevents the formation of normal electromagnetic activity of the brain, which is stabilized at around the age of 12 years and may be related to the large increase in cases of hyperactivity, autism and epilepsy recent years.

Read more about the effects of radiation in children and pregnant women..

“The adverse effects of electrosmog may take decades to be appreciated, although some, like carcinogenicity, are already starting to surface. This gigantic experiment on our children and grandchildren could result in massive damage to mind and body with the potential to produce a disaster of unprecedented proportions, unless proper precautions are immediately implemented.” Paul Rosch, professor of medicine at New York Medical School [6]


The continuous and long-term exposure to a variety of artificial radiation sources may be associated with the development of a range of health symptoms in a significant portion of the population

man with glasses having headache

The occurrence of allergic reactions such as nausea, ringing in the ears, numbness in the face, dry eyes, tachycardia, redness and rashes, swollen sinuses, etc. in areas with high electromagnetic fields, is called electrohypersensitivity (EHS).

Researchers Hallberg and Oberfeld studying the growth rates of cases, predicted that by 2017 allergic reactions to artificial radiation will display 50% of the population [7]

Electrohypersensitivity is already recognized as a disability in Sweden and to this direction are also moving other countries, due to fact that those affected find it difficult to work and move in public places because of excessive levels of artificial radiation.

More about the allergy of the 21st century..

“Sensitivity to EMF has been given the general name “Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity” or EHS. It comprises nervous system symptoms like headache, fatigue, stress, sleep disturbances, skin symptoms like prickling, burning sensations and rashes, pain and ache in muscles and many other health problems. Whatever its cause, EHS is a real and sometimes a disabling problem for the affected persons. Their EMF exposure is generally several orders of magnitude under the limits of internationally accepted standards.” World Health Organization [8]

“The European Parliament calls on Member States to follow the example of Sweden and to recognise persons that suffer from electrohypersensitivity as being disabled so as to grant them adequate protection as well as equal opportunities.” European Parliament resolution on the health problems associated with electromagnetic fields (2008/2211) [2]


Many insurance companies already exclude coverage for the risks associated with electromagnetic fields

Insurance companies do not “close their eyes” to the issue of radiation as most people do. Already they take precautions, since potential claims for damage from artificial radiation can cost them dearly.

Especially on the effects of mobile phones, Guy Malyon, head broker insurance of Aon Global, notes that “The concern is that it could be the next big thing” while the insurance giant Lloyd’s of London notes that the number of reports on mobile telecommunications and its impact on health is immense, and the study findings are often conflicting” [9] .

Read the following interesting quote from the relevant article of the magazine “The Observer” [10] :

“Concern about the safety of mobile phones has prompted a leading Lloyd’s underwriter to refuse to insure phone manufacturers against the risk of damage to users’ health.

The move comes amid mounting concern about the industry’s influence on research into the long-term effects of using a mobile.

The London market provides insurance for everything from aircraft to footballers’ legs. But fears that mobile phones will be linked to illnesses such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease have prompted John Fenn, of underwriting group Stirling, to refuse to cover manufacturers against the risk of being sued if mobiles turn out to cause long-term damage.

Fenn said: ‘There are people in the insurance market who close their eyes to the issue because they say there is no scientific proof of a problem. If you go back to asbestos, it “wasn’t a problem” at one time either.’ Asbestos claims helped bring the Lloyd’s market to its knees in the early 1990s.”

“The European Parliament is greatly concerned about the fact that insurance companies are tending to exclude coverage for the risks associated with EMFs from the scope of liability insurance policies, the implication clearly being that European insurers are already enforcing their version of the precautionary principle.” European Parliament resolution 2008/2211 [2]


You can not rely on the goverment to protect you from the growing electromagnetic pollution

Today most governments refuse to warn people about the potential dangers despite repeated warnings by the European Parliament and many scientific organizations.

Given the changes that will be required, the losses of revenue (eg taxes on mobile phones talk time and telecommunication companies have become a huge source of revenue for governments), the authorities wait until there is undeniable “proven” health to apply new legislation.

Nowadays new wireless applications that emit radiation with new waveforms are permitted without prior research on the effects on human health.

In the past, however, a corresponding delay in taking measures has adversely affected the health of the population, as shown by the report of the European Environment Agency in the course of the delayed reactions of the authorities on issues such as asbestos, PCB, X-rays, etc.

“Waiting for high levels of scientific and clinical proof before taking action to prevent well-known risks can lead to very high health and economic costs, as was the case with asbestos, leaded petrol and tobacco.” Council of Europe, Resolution 1815/2011 [11]


It’s easy to reduce your daily burden from artificial electromagnetic radiation!

Reducing your daily exposure to radiation does not depend only on avoiding mobile phone use or some electrical appliances, the use of which is usually transient and not continuous.

Deviations from the recommended limits for safe exposure might be due to a variety of hidden and obvious radiation sources such as cell phone towers (there are now in every neighborhood – often camouflaged), cordless phones and wireless modems (from own your or from neighboring homes), transformers, electricity cables, ungrounded electrical appliances, problems in electrical wiring (damaged insulation, errors in connections) etc.

What can you do?

“A major contemporary threat to the health of Society is man-made ‘electrosmog’. This non-ionising electromagnetic pollution of technological origin is particularly insidious, in that it escapes detection by the senses – a circumstance that, in general, tends to promote a rather cavalier attitude, particularly with respect to the necessity of ensuring an adequate degree of personal protection. Yet the nature of the pollution is such that there is literally ‘nowhere to hide’.” Dr. Gerard Hyland, Biophysics, University of Warwick, 2 times Nobel Prize contender Medicine [12]


[1] Actual Or Potential Effects of ELF and RF / MW Radiation on Enhancing Violence and Homicide, and accelerating Aging of Human, Animal Or Plant Cells. Dr Neil Cherry Associate Professor of Environmental Health Lincoln University New

[2] European Parliament resolution of 2 April 2009 on health concerns associated with electromagnetic fields (2008/2211(INI))



[5] Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Resolution 1815 (2011), The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment

[6] Camilla Rees- Magda Havas, Public Health SOS – The Shadow Side of The Wireless Revolution

[7] Hallberg O., G. Oberfeld (2006), we Will All Become electrosensitive; Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine 25: 189-191

[8] WHO International Seminar and Working Group meeting on EMF Hypersensitivity (Prague, October 25-27, 2004)

[9] Lloyd’s preparing for personal injury related to cell phone use, Canadian Underwriter

[10] Insurers Balk at Risks of Phones, Sarah Ryle, The Observer,

[11] Parliamentary Assembly, Resolution 1815 (2011), The Potential dangers of Electromagnetic Fields and Their Effect on The Environment

[12]G.J. Hyland, University of Warwick, International Institute of Biophysics, The Physiological and Environmental Effects of Non-ionising Electromagnetic Radiation’

What is EMF (Electromagnetic Fields)?

This report is an overview on what is EMF (electromagnetic fields), what are the sources, how do we test for EMF, what do the measured values mean and what are the recommendations from governmental agencies.


Without electricity, our world would stop. Electricity has great benefits and makes our lives so much more convenient. The electrical power system produces the lighting, heating, cooling and power we all need for our appliances and electronic devices. Electrical power distribution systems use alternating currents (AC) to provide electricity to residential, commercial and institutional buildings. The current is generated in power stations, transformed to specific voltages, transported via transmission and distribution lines and building wiring to the user. Step down transformers provide the required voltage and bring the three phase electricity to one phase currents which our internal wiring systems can utilize.

emf radiation exposure

Power Frequency

Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit time. For example, if our heart rate is 80 beats per minute, the frequency is 80 per minute. In electromagnetics, we use the unit of hertz (Hz).

Power line frequency

One (1) hertz is one repetition of the sinusoidal wave per second. The frequency (f) is the frequency in hertz (Hz), meaning the number of cycles per second. One hertz simply means “one cycle per second”. 100Hz means “one hundred cycles per second”. The power line frequency is the frequency of the oscillations of alternating current (AC) in an electric power grid transmitted from a power plant to the end-user.

In our power system, the electrical current changes its polarity from positive to negative and back to positive sixty times per second or 60 Hertz. In most parts of the world the power frequency is 50 Hz, although in the Americas it is typically 60Hz. The electrical system in airplanes uses a 400Hz frequency.

Electric and Magnetic Fields

electric and magnetic fieldsConductors are wires which transport the electrical current. Electrical power systems generate magnetic and electric fields extending from the conductors. Magnetic fields are produced by the current flow in a conductor. Electric fields are produced by the voltage present on a conductor even without a current flow. The AC magnetic field is scientifically referred to as the magnetic flux density and is measured in units of milliGauss (mG) in the United States and in Tesla (T) in Europe. Electric fields are measured in units of Volts per meter (V/m).

magnetic field extensionMagnetic fields are relatively easily measured with direct reading instruments. Magnetic fields extend in a quasi concentric circular pattern from the conductor (wire). Electric fields are significantly more difficult to measure. The field emitted from the source wants to reach the ground. The person conducting the measurements becomes part of this pathway and alters the electric field lines and results.

Almost all of the research, health effects studies, power design guidelines and EMF reduction methods common in the U.S. only address the magnetic component. In Europe and in the computer chip manufacturing and assembly industries, electric fields are an important component of field management.

electric field linesThe terms “line” and “point” sources are used to define the sources for the magnetic fields. Line sources are transmission and distribution lines, electrical feeders and internal building wiring systems. Point sources are electrical transformers and motors. In a point source the conductors (wires) are wound up to create a coil.

The magnetic flux density is commonly referred to as magnetic field levels or EMF levels. We will use these terms interchangeably.

AC Magnetic Fields

AC Electric Fields

Measured in milliGauss (mG), nT, µT, A/m

V/m, kV/m

Magnetic fields are created by current flow.

Electric fields are created by the voltage present.

Magnetic fields penetrate buildings and bodies.

Electric fields are directed towards the ground.

Background in nature is zero (0) mG

H or B field

E -field

The magnetic flux density at any location is a result of the interaction of the following factors:

  • Distance to the field source (conductor)

  • Current flow “load on the line”

  • Distance between the conductors (lines, wires)

  • Conductor configuration
  • Point or line source

  • Presence of net current flow (stray currents)

All factors being equal, the higher the current flow, the higher the magnetic field. This is a linear correlation. The further one moves away from any source the lower the magnetic field.

The magnetic field level in the space between separated conductors is much higher than the field on either side of these conductors. When such conductors are relocated to be directly next to one another (as in a cable), the surrounding field drops dramatically because the opposite but equal fields nearly cancel each other. Opposite and equal fields cancel themselves out. The distance between the conductors in a circuit is usually unimportant in internal building wiring, but is very significant for power transmission and distributions lines due to the large distance between the conductors.

Single Conductor

Fields decrease with the inverse of the distance

Multiple Conductors

Fields decrease with the square of the distance

Coils and Loops

Fields decrease with the cube of the distance

Measuring Magnetic Fields

The magnetic flux density (EMF levels) can be measured with direct reading instruments. A direct reading measurement at one point in time at one location is referred to as a spot measurement. Due to the inherent fluctuation in the power supply on transmission and distribution lines EMF levels will change over time. To assess these fluctuations, data logging devices are used to obtain long-term measurement data.

Magnetic Field Monitoring Results in mG







John Doe Property






Furthermore, data logging can provide information on the maximum, minimum and average field strength present at a location. This may provide useful information when trouble shooting for sources of high magnetic field levels.

measure magnetic flux densitymeasure magnetic field of coilsCoils are used to measure the magnetic flux density. The magnetic field induces a current flow in the coil which is measured and calibrated to express the magnetic field strength. Since magnetic fields are directional, the coil needs to be oriented in space so that the magnetic field lines flow through the center of the coil. An instrument with a single coil is referred to as a single axis meter. It needs to be oriented around the x, y and z axis in space to obtain the maximum field strength reading. This can be cumbersome and time consuming. Therefore, today’s professional instruments contain three coils to measure the three axes at the same time and provide a measurement result without having to rotate the instrument. Single axis measurements are the tool of choice when trying to determine the EMF source. A professional instrument with a 3 axis sensor array should also have linear frequency response. That means that the EMF testing instrument measures correctly at different frequencies, such as frequencies between 30 -2000 Hz. The following formula is used to ascertain the actual magnetic field level of the different coils (x, y, and z).

magnetic field level formula

emf measuring instrumentThis calculation is performed electronically internal inside the instrument. Consumer instruments may not have a linear frequency response, resulting in erroneous results when other 60 Hz frequency fields are present.

Measurements should be conducted at the outside of the building or structure to obtain ambient back ground levels. We conduct measurements at all for corners of the property. Secondly, we circle the building identifying pot spots such as power feeds into the building, step down transformers and service drops (circuit breaker box). EMF levels inside at room or area are commonly recorded at its central location in the room. However, surveys should include a sweep through the room, its floor, ceilings and wall. This can identify underline wiring errors causing elevated magnetic fields.

high level of emfHigh field out light switch high emf levels from ceiling lightElevated field at ceiling light
low emf level from computerLow field at computer


air filtration device gives off high emf levelsHigh field next to an air filtration device high emf devices on wallService drops will create high field on opposing wall


There are currently no Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) for EMF levels published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or the EPA. Therefore, we are providing you with a chart of reference data of published studies, national and international suggested guidelines, recommendations by unions, working groups or governmental entities.

Table 1: EMF Reference Data in milliGauss (mG)



1000 mG

World Health Organization (WHO) and International Radiation Protection Agency (IRPA)

1000 mG

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) for industrial workplaces

<4.0 mG

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 2001

<2.5 mG

MPR 2 Swedish governmental standard for acceptable magnetic field emission for computer operator

<2.0 mG

TCO – Swedish labor union standard for acceptable magnetic field emission for computer operator

<2.0 mG

BioInitiative Report – Commercial buildings – EMF Working Group (US)

1.25 mG

Average EMF levels in US schools (L. Zaffanella study, 1998)

1.25 mG

California Department of Education’s (CDE) design goal for new school construction not to exceed 1.2 milliGauss

<1.0 mG

National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) 2006 – Precautionary Principle

<1.0 mG

BioInitiative Report – Residential environments – EMF Working Group (US)

0.9 mG

Average background level in residential buildings in a nationwide residential measurement survey of 1000 US homes (Luciano Zaffanella, 1994). Includes homes next to power lines and with wiring problems.

0.1-0.5 mG

Common background levels in residential not close to power lines and without wiring problems causing high fields (ET&T data)

Power Lines and EMF levels

emf caused by electrical transmission linesElectrical transmission lines create magnetic fields due to current flow and electric fields due to the voltage present. Power lines usually create relatively high magnetic field levels. This is related to the fact that the conductors (wires) are separated by large distances and therefore largely eliminating the cancelation effect of opposite and equal forces. Furthermore, large current flow contributes to the large magnetic flux density.

The power distribution system is divided into transmission lines, sub-transmission lines and distribution lines. The voltages on these lines are different. This voltage is reduced by step down transformers in substations. The following are the most common voltages present on power lines:

Transmission Lines

220kV and 500kV

Sub-Transmission Lines

66kV and 115kV

Distribution Lines

4kV, 12kV, 16kV and 33kV

Secondary Lines

120, 240, 208 and 480 Volt (Customer Service Voltages)

emf radiation produced from power linesUtility transmission lines carry three (3) electrical conductors (wires) for each circuit. Therefore, it is referred to as a 3-phase circuit. The configuration of the individual conductors on the towers has a significant effect on the strength of the resulting magnetic field.

In the graphs, we compare the most common conductor arrangement with thelow EMF conductor configuration. The three different phases are depicted by the colors of blue, yellow and red. The most common configuration is termed “Untransposed” and the low EMF configuration as “Transposed”.

The second graph shows a more rapid drop off in the magnetic field levels in the transposed configuration. An optimized wire configuration creates the lowest magnetic field levels.

emf reduction methods

Power Line Set Back Requirements

Since 2004, the California Department of Education (CDE) as part of the California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 14010(c) implemented setbacks requirements from power line easements for new school construction. The California Department of Education (CDE) had a design goal that AC magnetic field levels in new construction school environments are not to exceed 1.2 milliGauss (Zaffanella study 1998).

The following set backs are required:

  • 100 feet for 50-133kV line (interpreted by CDE up to <200kV)
  • 150 feet for 220-230 kV line
  • 350 feet for 500-550 kV line

Exemptions are permissible if areas close to the power lines are used for parking areas and green belts.

Net Currents

At point sources, such as motors and transformers the EMF fields are very high its proximity. However, the field drops off very rapidly with distance, within 3 – 5 feet to back ground levels. In building wiring systems, the “hot and “neutral” conductor should be positioned right next to each other and have the same current load. Therefore, the magnetic field is relatively and drops off rapidly.

In a Net Current or stray current situation, the hot and natural conductors are physically separated or have different current load condition. This causes current to travel an alternative pathway on other conductive materials. The magnetic field significantly increases around a single conductor or wire with a net current. If current flows on the grounding system, water pipes, and metal structural components such as beams, studs, and drop ceiling rails or a net current is present, the magnetic field can extend far into a building space. Net currents in wiring systems are a significant cause of elevated magnetic fields and are affecting large areas in buildings.

net currents in wiring systems

EMF Health Effects Research

EMF issues have reached a high level of concern among the general public and workers. This needs to be addressed at the international level since the problem is truly global in nature. Research objectives are needed with a clear focus on improving our database of scientific information used for health risk assessments.

EMF Health Summary

  • Scientific studies have been conducted for about 30 year.
  • Adverse health effects are still controversial.
  • Most commonly suggested health effects of EMF are:
    • Childhood leukemia
    • Lymphoma
    • Brain tumors
    • Breast cancer
  • Most entities call for Prudent Avoidance

epa badge1979, serious research about electromagnetic fields (EMF) and potential adverse health effects started with the publication of a study by Mrs. Nancy Wertheimer and Mr. Ed Leeper. Their epidemiological study was conducted in the Denver area and reported a higher occurrence of childhood cancer in residences located near high voltage power lines and step down transformers. The study was based on visual observations and distances but without measurements for EMF levels. Positive health effects of electromagnetic field are well known in the medical field for bone healing.

In the 1980’s and 90’s, a flurry of studies followed without providing a clear and unequivocal answer. Sparked by increasing public concerns, devaluation of homes near power lines, and litigation cases, the EMF issue was temporarily put to rest by a public announcement by three Nobel Laureates stating that there are no possible causative mechanisms for these alleged adverse health effects.

In 1990, the EPA produced a report entitled “Evaluation of the Potential Carcinogenicity of Electromagnetic Fields.” which was released only in draft form and was withdrawn under some controversy as it classified EMF exposure as a potential human carcinogen. Another report, requested by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, produced by the Committee on Interagency Radiation Research and Policy Coordination (CIRRPC) of Oak Ridge Associated Universities, reached the opposite conclusion. This report, released in 1992, found no convincing evidence of health hazards from electromagnetic fields.

In 1991, Congress asked the National Academy of Sciences to review the available literature and provide information on the possible biological effects of EMFs and to perform a risk assessment. In 1996, the National Academy of Sciences report was released. It concluded that the current body of scientific data is insufficient to show that exposure to electromagnetic fields constitute a health hazard, primarily because no mechanism of action has been identified. However, the report recognizes that a clear association exists between residences near certain types of power lines and the incidence of childhood leukemia, although fields from the lines cannot be proven as the cause.

In late 1992 a widely reported Swedish study (Feychting & Ahlbom) demonstrated a statistically significant association betweenEMF radiation exposure & certain types of cancers. The study found that “children exposed to average fields of 3 mG or more in their homes had close to four times the expected rate of leukemia.” This was the first study that showed correlation of a dose-response gradient with the number of cases of childhood leukemia increasing in the presence of presumed higher exposure categories.

NIEHSIn 1992, Congress, as a part of the Energy Policy Act of 1992, mandated a $65 million, five year study to determine if exposure to low level, low frequency electromagnetic fields is detrimental to health and if so, to provide an assessment of risk. This full funding was never forthcoming. The Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) were charged with directing this research. Most of the work is known as the Research and Public Information Dissemination (RAPID) Program.

CPUCIn 1993, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Decision 93-11-013 created the California Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF) Program to research and provide education and technical assistance on the possible health effects of exposure to electric and magnetic fields from power lines and other uses of electricity. This program was funded by money provided by the state’s investor-owned utilities, and is based in the California Department of Health Services (CDHS). A number of studies on health effect related to magnetic fields were conducted.

In 1996, the International EMF Project was established by the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide a forum for a coordinated international response to health concerns raised by exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF).

In 1999, NIESH issued the final report on the EMF RAPID program.

In 2002, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies ELF (extremely low frequency) magnetic fields as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”). EMFs were identified as a potential risk factor for breast cancer. Since 1987 evidence has been rapidly growing indicating an association between magnetic field exposure and breast cancer with a plausible mechanism via modulation of melatonin. An association between cancers and EMF exposure has been reported in over 110 epidemiological studies. However, follow-up studies were not able to replicate these results.

In 2007, The BioInitiative Report was published by the BioInitiative Working Group. This working group is comprised of international scientists, researchers and public health policy professionals. They conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis of existing research and found a significant number of studies have shown potential EMF associated health effects such as increased and altered cell proliferation, influences on hormones, heart, circulatory, and nervous systems. Reported symptoms range from irritability, insomnia, heart palpitations, and arrhythmia. This raises serious concerns about the safety of existing public regulations that limit how much EMF is allowable from power lines, cell phones, and many other sources of EMF exposure in daily life.

Quotes From Selected Studies

The quotes selected in the report are not representative of the entire findings of the studies. For more information on these studies, please follow the provided links.

World Health Organization (WHO)1

Reports were first published in 1979 that childhood cancer might be associated with exposures to residential ELF (extremely low frequency) fields. Numerous studies in many countries have been undertaken since then of possible increased cancer risks in children and adults from ELF magnetic field exposures. Special attention has focused on leukemia and on brain tumors, which early reports had suggested might be increased.

IARC has now concluded that ELF magnetic fields are possibly carcinogenic to humans, based on consistent statistical associations of high level residential magnetic fields with a doubling of risk of childhood leukemia. Children who are exposed to residential ELF magnetic fields less than 0.4 microTesla (4 mG) have no increased risk for leukemia. Because of insufficient data, static magnetic fields and static and extremely low frequency electric fields could not be classified as to carcinogenic risk to humans.”

CDHS – California Electric and Magnetic Fields Program2

First, these studies do not show a clear pattern of health hazards. Some but not all animal and cell studies have shown biological changes linked with magnetic field exposure. However, it is not clear whether these biological changes would be the same in humans. Second, it is not clear which component (frequency, strength, harmonics, etc.) of magnetic field exposure might be hazardous.”Concern about possible health hazards from electric power use is supported by results of some scientific studies, but the evidence they provide is still incomplete and inconclusive and even, in some cases, contradictory. A good deal of research is underway to help resolve these questions and uncertainties.”

Most but not all epidemiological studies show an association between leukemia (a type of cancer) and an “indirect” estimate of high magnetic field exposure such as living very near a type of powerline that could cause of high magnetic fields or working where there is high electrical exposure. These estimates may not really represent a person’s true exposure at the critical time period when they may have started developing an illness. Also, these studies show that some estimates of magnetic field exposure might be related to cancer, but this does not necessarily mean that magnetic fields cause cancer. Indirect ways of estimating exposure may unintentionally include other risk factors like chemicals used at work or living in a particular neighborhood.”


The scientific evidence suggesting ELF-EMF exposures pose any health risks is weak” “Although each of these studies has its limitations, the limitations are different across studies, as are the designs and exposure assessment methods. Taken together, the studies suggest an association between exposure to magnetic fields and brain cancer, although the results are somewhat inconsistent.” “Although each of these studies has its limitations, the limitations are different across studies, as are the designs and exposure assessment methods. Taken together, the studies of incidence suggest an association between exposure to magnetic fields and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). “The NIEHS concludes that ELF-EMF cannot be recognized as entirely safe because of weak scientific evidence may pose a leukemia hazard.”The NIEHS suggests that the level and strength of evidence supporting ELF-EMF exposure as a human health hazard. Are insufficient to warrant aggressive regulatory actions; thus, we do not recommend actions such as stringent standards on electric appliances and national program to bury all transmission and distribution lines. Instead, the evidence suggests passive measures such as a continued emphasis on educating both the public and the regulated community on means aimed at reducing exposures.”

NIEHS suggests that the power industry continue its current practice of siting power lines to reduce exposures and continue to explore ways to reduce the creation of magnetic fields around transmission and distribution lines without creating new hazards.”

Bioinitiative Report4

“New regulatory limits for ELF are warranted. ELF limits should be set below those exposure levels that have been linked in childhood leukemia studies to increased risk of disease, plus an additional safety factor. It is no longer acceptable to build new power lines and electrical facilities that place people in ELF environments that have been determined to be risky (at levels generally at 2 mG and above).

While new ELF limits are being developed and implemented, a reasonable approach would be a 1 mG planning limit for habitable space adjacent to all new or upgraded power lines and a 2 mG limit for all other new construction, It is also recommended for that a 1 mG limit be established for existing habitable space for children and/or women who are pregnant . This recommendation is based on the assumption that a higher burden of protection is required for children who cannot protect themselves, and who are at risk for childhood leukemia at rates that are traditionally high enough to trigger regulatory action. This situation in particular warrants extending the 1 mG limit to existing occupied space. “Establish” in this case probably means formal public advisories from relevant health agencies.”

This report stands as a wake-up call that long-term exposure to some kinds of EMF may cause serious health effects. Good public health planning is needed now to prevent cancers and neurological diseases linked to exposure to power lines and other sources of EMF. We need to educate people and our decision-makers that, business as usual, is unacceptable” states public health expert and co-editor of the report, Dr. David Carpenter, Director, Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany, New York.

After many decades of scientific research, the controversy about potential health effect still exists. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has not established permissible exposure limits (PEL) for work places. However, a number of scientific studies and professional organizations advocate the principle of prudent avoidance and some have recommended guideline values. See the next section Reference Data.

Examples of proposed exposure metrics include: the average field intensity over a period of time, time spent in the field over some threshold value, field variability, the presence of switching transients on the field waveform, time in the day-night cycle when exposure is received, and the strength and direction of the earth’s geomagnetic field in relation to the power frequency field. Until the mechanisms by which electromagnetic fields interact with biologic systems are better understood, these questions cannot be answered, and a fully valid risk assessment will not be possible.

Conversion Tables

The following are conversions for commonly used measurement units.

Magnetic Field Electric Field
1 Milligauss [mG] = 100 Nanotesla [nT]

1 Milligauss [mG] = 0.1 Microtesla [µT]

1 mG = 0.0796 A/m

1 nT = 0.01 mG

1 µT = 10 mG

1 nT = 0.001 μT = 100,000 mT = 1,000,000 T

1 A/m = 1,257 μT

1 T (Tesla) = 10 000 G (Gauss)

1 G = 100 μT

1 kV/m = 1,000 V/m = 103 V/m
Frequency Power Density
1 kHz = 1,000 Hz = 103 Hz

1 MHz = 1,000 kHz = 1,000,000 Hz

1 GHz = 1,000 MHz = 1,000,000 kHz = 109 Hz

1 mW/cm2 = 10 W/m2

1 mW/cm2 = 0 dBm

1 μV/m = 0 dBμV/m

1 W/m2 = 19,42 V/m = 0,052 A/m

[S = Z H²; S = E²/Z ; Z = 377 6 (in space and far field)

Conversion Factors for Various Magnetic Field Strength Units







1 μT







1 mT







1 mA/m







1 A/m







1 mG







1 G







1 International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Press Release No.136, 27 June 2001

2 California Department of Health Services, California Electric and Magnetic Fields Program, Short Fact Sheet on EMF, 1999

3 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Report on Health Effects from Exposures to Power-Frequency Electric and Magnetic Fields, NIH Publication No. 99-4493, 1999

4 BioInitiative Report: A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF), 2007