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Electrical EMF Radiation Health Risks - Reproductive, Sleep, Heart Problems, Depression and Impacts

The effect of electrical (“power frequency”) electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure on cancers, nervous system and brain cancers and cellular changes had been investigated in detail in earlier articles. However, several studies on the effect of electrical EMF exposure on other types of illnesses such as reproductive, immunity problems, heart problems, depression, and other problems such as poor sleep have also been performed.

Electrical EMF Radiation Exposure Impacts on Reproductive Health

Men exposed to electrical EMFs of 1.6mG for more than 6 hours a day were likely to suffer from substandard sperm four times more than other men, a study revealed (Li et al., 2010). Another study found compromises in sperm function, resulting in reduced fertilisation rates in boars exposed to low frequency electrical EMFs (Bernabo et al., 2010). A separate study also confirmed that fertilisation outcome was affected in swine when exposed to electrical EMFs (Bernabo et al., 2010). The relationship between exposure to electrical EMFs and risk of poor quality sperm was established by another recent study (Li et al., 2010).

Two researchers found a relationship between being near to power lines and elevated risk of miscarriage during pregnancy (Lee et al., 2002; Li et al., 2002). These studies showed that even ordinary day-to-day activity like travelling in electric trains and passing through or working near anti-theft pillars in malls and shopping centres increase the risk for miscarriage in pregnant women. In men, the sperm quality was diminished when they were exposed to electrical EMFs for more than 6 hours, two studies reported (Zhang et al., 2009; Li et al., 2010). Other studies mentioned adverse impact on reproductive systems, leading to foetal loss, development delay, malformation of the foetus, changes in uterus and ovary, changes in hormone levels in the first trimester, and miscarriage (Hong et al.,, 2003; Aksen et al., 2006: Cao et al., 2006; Sun et al., 2010).

Electrical EMF Radiation Impacts Sleeping Quality

Sleep parameters were altered when exposed to electrical EMFs, resulting in disrupted and poor sleep (Graham & Cook, 1999). Further study showed that the critical regions of the brain, occipital region and parietal region underwent changes in alpha activity after an electrical EMF exposure for just 5 minutes (Cook et al., 2009). Anxiety behaviour in rats was observed when they were exposed to electrical EMF for 4 hours every day (Liu et al., 2008, 2010). An earlier study had revealed that people living near power lines displayed strong psychiatric symptoms (Beale et al., 1997).

Electrical EMF Radiation Can Cause Several Heart Problems

Electrical EMFs were found to lead to certain indicators of effects on human biology, such as arrhythmia and heart rate variability (HRV). Studies on people who were exposed to occupational electrical EMFs revealed significant changes in the above indicators (Borjanovic et al., 2005; Bortkeiwicz et al., 2006). Another study showed that incubators released high levels of electromagnetic fields, significantly influencing the HRV in newborn babies (Bellini et al., 2008). This HRV could seriously hamper the nervous system development in the newborn babies. Since the children are likely to be exposed to the high electrical EMFs released by the incubators for substantial periods, the study suggested further research on this subject for establishing the possibility of long-term consequences on the health of the newborn babies exposed to such electrical EMFs. Whilst these fields are low strengths fields only, they similar to the electrical EMFs generated by the electrical power lines in the residences of the newborn babies or the electrical equipment situated near their beds.

Electrical EMF Radiation Exposure Elevates Risks of Depression

Studies revealed a link between exposure to electrical EMFs and higher level of depression risks, with certain investigations clearly mentioning 3 times increase in the risk and 5 times increase in the risk (Reichmanis et al., 1979; Perry et al., 1981; Dowson et al., 1988; Wilson, 1988; Poole et al., 1993; Verkasalo et al., 1997). Some of the researchers who conducted the above studies mentioned that electrical EMF exposure can affect the pineal gland action and impact the production of melatonin, a hormone and serotonin, a neurotransmitter, thus leading to depression and suicide in certain cases. The production of melatonin is reduced during exposure to electrical EMFs, which may have significant health implications, including cancer, depression and suicide, Parkinson’s disease and general immune system problems (Wilson, 1981; Stevens et al., 1992).

Another researcher focused exclusively on the electrical EMFs generated by power lines and its effects on humans (Henshaw, 2002). The study concluded that electrical EMFs of above 1mG within a distance of 150 metres from power lines resulted in an excess of 9,000 cases of depression and about 60 cases of suicides in adults. The study also showed that the electrical EMFs of power lines within 400 metres enhanced exposures to air pollutions, leading to around higher cases of 200 to 400 lung cancers, 2 to 6 childhood leukaemia cases, 17 non-melanoma skin cancer cases, and between 2000 and 3000 cases of air pollution related other diseases, ailments, and illnesses.

Electrical EMF Radiation Exposure Results in Other Serious Health Issues

A study on exposure of electrical EMFs in the range of 2mG to 6.6mG showed that such exposure seriously impacted the levels of lymphocytes and other parameters of biological immunology, clearly indicating reduction in the functioning of the immune system (Bonhomme-Faivre et al., 2003). The immunity levels increased when the electrical electrical EMF exposure was stopped. This direct relationship of the cause and effect of electrical EMF on immune system revealed that compromising the immune system can lead to several other health issues. Another recent review studied several papers on the effect on biological immune system due to exposure to electrical EMFs (Johansson, 2009). The study concluded that electrical EMFs disturbed the immune function by stimulating several inflammatory and allergic responses and also affected the processes of tissue repairs, increasing risk of different kinds of diseases, including cancers.

Electrical EMF Radiation Protection - All Homes and Workplaces Should Be Tested

Most homes and workplaces will have electrical EMF radiation hot spots that can easily exceed the exposure levels known to impact on you and your family’s health eg. near electrical devices, power meter boxes, wiring behind walls etc. EMF Safe recommends all homes and workplaces be tested for all electrical and wireless EMF radiation exposures. Often simple changes can be made to reduce or avoid elevated exposures when they are found. EMF Safe rents EMF Detection Kits nationwide that are excellent for this purpose and come with easy to follow instructions including safety reference levels.

References

Beale IL et al (1997), Psychological effects of chronic exposure to 50 Hz magnetic fields in humans living near extrahigh-voltage transmission lines Bioelectromagnetics 18(8): 584-94.

Bellieni CV et al (2008), Electromagnetic fields produced by incubators influence heart rate variability in newborns Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed 93(4):F298-301.

Bernabo N et al (2010), Extremely low frequency electromagnetic field exposure affects fertilization outcome in swine animal model Theriogenology 73(9):1293-305.

Bonhomme-Faivre L et al (2003), Effects of electromagnetic fields on the immune systems of occupationally exposed humans and mice Arch Environ Health 58(11):712-7.

Borjanovic SS et al (2005), ECG changes in humans exposed to 50 Hz magnetic fields J Occup Health 47(5):391-96.

Bortkiewicz A et al (2006), Neurovegetative disturbances in workers exposed to 50 Hz electromagnetic fields Int J Occup Med Environ Health 19(1):53-60..

Cao YN et al (2006), Effects of exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields on reproduction of female mice and development of offsprings Zhonghua Lao Dong Wei Sheng Zhi Ye Bing Za Zhi 24(8):468-70.

Cook CM et al (2009), Changes in human EEG alpha activity following exposure to two different pulsed magnetic field sequences Bioelectromagnetics 30(1):9-20.

Dowson DI et al (1988), Overhead high-voltage cables and recurrent headache and depressions Practitioner 232(1447):435-6.

Graham C & MR Cook (1999), Human sleep in 60 Hz magnetic fields Bioelectromagnetics 20(5):277-83.

Henshaw DL (2002), Does our electricity distribution system pose a serious risk to public health? Med Hypotheses 59(1):39-51.

Hong R et al (2003), [Effects of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields on male reproduction in mice – article in Chinese] Zhonghua Lao Dong Wei Sheng Zhi Ye Bing Za Zhi 21(5): 342-5.

Johansson O (2009), Disturbance of the immune system by electromagnetic fields – A potentially underlying cause for cellular damage and tissue repair reduction which could lead to disease and impairment Pathophysiology 16(2-3):157-77.

Lee GM et al (2002), A nested case-control study of residential and personal magnetic field measures and miscarriages Epidemiology 13(1):21-31.

Li DK et al (2002), A population-based prospective cohort study of personal exposure to magnetic fields during pregnancy and the risk of miscarriage Epidemiology 13(1):9-20.

Li DK et al (2010), Exposure to magnetic fields and the risk of poor sperm quality Reprod Toxicol 29(1):86-92.

Liu T et al (2008), Anxiogenic effect of chronic exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic field in rats Neurosci Lett 434(1):12-7.

Liu TT et al (2010), Effects of chronic exposure of power frequency magnetic field on neurobehaviour in rats Beijing Da Xue Xue Bao 42(3):351-5.

Perry F S et al (1981), Environmental power-frequency magnetic fields and suicide Health Physics 41, 267-277.

Poole C et al (1993), Depressive symptoms and headaches in relation to proximity of residence to an alternatingcurrent transmission line right-of-way Am J Epidemiol 137(3): 318-30.

Reichmanis M et al (1979), Relation between suicide and the electromagnetic field of overhead power lines Physiol Chem Phys Med NMR 11: 395-403.

Stevens RG et al (1992), Electric power, pineal function, and the risk of breast cancer The FASEB Journal 6:853-860.

Sun W et al (2010), Effects of 50-Hz magnetic field exposure on hormone secretion and apoptosis-related gene expression in human first trimester villous trophoblasts in vitro Bioelectromagnetics 31(7):566-72.

Verkasalo PK et al (1997), Magnetic fields of transmission lines and depression Am J Epidemiol 146(12): 1037-45.

Wilson BW (1981), Chronic exposure to 60-Hz electric fields: effects on pineal function in the rat Bioelectromagnetics 2(4):371-80.

Wilson BW (1988), Chronic exposure to ELF fields may induce depression Bioelectromagnetics 9(2): 195-205.

Zhang A et al (2009), Study on testicle tissue of rats in extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields Sheng Wu Yi Xue Gong Cheng Xue Za Zhi 26(2):248-52.