Environmental Health

Zap Your Knowledge of EMFs

EMFs (Electromagnetic fields) are electric and magnetic energy fields that radiate from a source of electricity. Power lines, transformers, electric wiring, household appliances, computers, and even TVs all create electromagnetic fields. EMFs in varying degrees of frequency and energy are around us all the time because of the convenient electronic world we have created. However, EMFs do have natural sources too, including the sun, the earth’s magnetic field which makes compasses work, and even our own bodies.

If EMFs occur naturally, why are they considered an environmental health issue? The answer is because we’ve inundated the world with EMFs in recent history, way above the natural levels. Our entire culture is now built around them, and starting in 1979, true concerns began to arise about the effects they may be having on our health, particularly from a study that linked leukemia to children who lived near large electrical wires.

Since then a multitude of studies about the health effects of EMFs have showed a variety of conflicting results. Some studies claim there is no provable link between EMFs and serious health issues. Other studies have shown links between EMFs and certain cancers such as childhood leukemia and other health effects such as reproductive disorders.

With so many inconclusive studies available, it’s hard to understand the truth. We’ll walk you through this complicated issue by explaining some helpful resources that make sense of the arguments and other resources that can help you make small improvements in your school that will minimize the potential hazards.

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