A Brief History of EMF

Electromagnetic fields (EMF) and Radio Frequency (RF) are a well-documented topic of conversation and concern.

During the last 15 years various scientific electromagnetic field studies in the United States (Wertheimer & Leeper ’79 to Savitz ’95) and in Sweden (Feychting & Ahlbom ’92) have demonstrated a statistically significant association between electromagnetic fields from power lines and certain types of cancers in both children and adults.

An international panel of experts convened by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) reported that extremely low frequency (ELF) electric and magnetic fields should be regarded as a “possible human carcinogen.” Furthermore, the epidemiological studies showed a slight increase in childhood leukemia risk from powerline/residential exposure and an increase in chronic leukemia risk in adults in electricity-intensive industries.

The National Energy Policy Act of 1992 authorized the Department of Energy to jointly fund with the Utility Industry a $65 million five-year research program to ascertain the effects of electromagnetic field power line exposure on human health and provide public information. A final report will be submitted to Congress this year. In 1995 a draft report from the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) proposed a 10mG exposure limit in homes, schools and offices. “A considerable body of observations has documented bio-effects from isolated cells to animals, and in man,” the report stated.

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