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Name: Tommy T Joseph
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Question:
Why are electromagnetic fields supposedly dangerous?



Replies:
I assume you are asking about power line frequency (60 Hz) fields, since they have been in the news lately. No one knows for sure that they are dangerous. There have been a few studies which seem to show an association between how close homes are to power lines, and the incidence of childhood cancer (mostly leukemia) in children living (or who have lived) in those homes. Other similar studies have not found such an association. In all the studies which have found an association, none has actually measured the fields. Studies which actually have measured the fields find no association. There is no known mechanism for 60 Hz fields to cause cancer. Furthermore, the classic "dose-response relationship," that is, the greater the dose, the greater the response, does not seem to work here. Many laboratory studies have found that 60 Hz fields have an effect on organisms under certain conditions, but none of the observed effects can be convincingly related to a hazard. The bottom line is, no one knows for sure. It is important to realize that it is impossible to prove that anything is completely safe. My personal opinion is that, if there is a risk, it must be very small, or it wouldn't be so hard to prove. I can supply some good unbiased references if you are interested.

Gary E Myers



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