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Subject: Static EM Fields & Cancer FAQs

This article was archived around: Wed, 18 Jun 2003 10:10:49 -0500

All FAQs in Directory: medicine
All FAQs posted in: sci.med.physics, sci.physics.electromag
Source: Usenet Version


Archive-name: medicine/static-fields-cancer-faq Posting-Frequency: monthly Last-modified: 17 June 2003 Version: 3.4.3 URL: http://www.mcw.edu/gcrc/cop/static-fields-cancer-FAQ/toc.html Copyright: (c) 1994-2003 John E. Moulder & The Medical College of Wisconsin Maintainer: John E. Moulder <jmoulder@mcw.edu>
FAQs on Static Electromagnetic Fields and Cancer ** Summary: ** The purpose of this FAQ is to examine the laboratory and epidemiological evidence relevant to the issue of whether static (direct current, DC) magnetic or electric fields cause or contribute to cancer or other health problems in humans. While most public concern about electromagnetic fields and cancer has concentrated on power-frequency, microwave (MW) and radiofrequency (RF) fields, claims have been made that static magnetic fields cause or contribute to cancer. There is very little theoretical reason to suspect that static fields might cause or contribute to cancer or any other human health problems (Question 17), and there is very little laboratory (Questions 11-16, Question 23) or epidemiological evidence (Questions 8-10, Question 23) for a connection between static fields and human health hazards. ---------- The full version of this FAQ is now available only on the web at: http://www.mcw.edu/gcrc/cop/static-fields-cancer-faq/toc.html Note that "-faq" is lower-case; "-FAQ" MAY NOT WORK ----------- El documento "Preguntas y respuestas sobre campos eléctricos y magnéticos estáticos y cáncer" está disponible en español: http://www.mcw.edu/gcrc/cop/campos-estaticos-cancer/toc.html ---------- There are two related FAQs: FAQs about Cell Phone Base Antennas and Human Health http://www.mcw.edu/gcrc/cop/cell-phone-health-faq/toc.html Powerlines & Cancer FAQs http://www.mcw.edu/gcrc/cop/powerlines-cancer-faq/toc.html Note that "-faq" is lower-case; "-FAQ" MAY NOT WORK ---------- * Revision Notes ** In 2003: - Exposure of immune system cells to a 10,000 milliT field caused the loss of some cell types under some conditions [116]. - Exposure of human tumor cells to 1500 or 7050 milliT fields for 1-12 hours had no effect on cell growth [113]. - Exposure of tumor cells to 0.1-7.5 milliT fields had no effect on membrane function [114]. - Exposure of rats to 7000 or 14,000 milliT fields caused behavioral changes within 5 minutes [115]. - A 3570 milliT field had no effect on intracellular calcium, proliferation or immunological function in normal or activated lymphocytes, but proliferation was decreased in leukemic cells [112]. - Static fields from MRI units can effect pacemakers at fields as low as 500 milliT [110]. - A 4000 milliT static field had no effect on apoptosis in brain tumor cells, but inhibited apoptosis induced by heat or cytotoxic drugs. The field also increased intracellular calcium im the same cells [111]. ---------- ** Contents ** 1) Does anyone think that static electric or magnetic fields cause cancer or any other human health problems? 2) When evaluating whether there might be a connection between cancer and static electric or magnetic fields, can all electromagnetic fields be considered the same? 3) When evaluating whether there might be a connection between cancer and static electric or magnetic fields, do we have to consider electromagnetic radiation as well as electromagnetic fields? 4) When evaluating whether there might be a connection between cancer and static electric or magnetic fields, do we have to consider the electric as well as the magnetic component of the field? 5) What units are used to measure static fields? 6) What sort of static magnetic fields are common in residences? 7) What sort of static magnetic fields are common in workplaces? 8) What is known about the relationship between occupational exposure to static magnetic fields and cancer? 9) How do scientists determine whether an environmental agent, such as a static electric or magnetic field causes or contributes to the development of cancer? 10) How does the epidemiological evidence relevant to a connection between static fields and cancer stand up to the Hill criteria? 11) How could laboratory studies be used to help evaluate the possible relationship between static magnetic fields and cancer? 12) Are static magnetic fields genotoxic? 13) Do static magnetic fields enhance the effects of other genotoxic agents? 14) Do laboratory studies indicate that static magnetic fields have an biological effects that might be relevant to cancer or other human health hazards? 15) Do static magnetic fields show any reproducible biological effects in laboratory studies? 16) Do static magnetic fields of the intensity encountered in occupational settings show reproducible biological effects? 17) Are there known mechanisms that would explain how static magnetic fields of the intensity encountered in occupational settings could cause biological effects in people? 18) How does the sum of the laboratory and epidemiological evidence relevant to a connection between static magnetic fields and cancer stand up to the Hill criteria? 19) Have any independent bodies reviewed the research on static electric and magnetic fields and possible human health effects? 20) Do exposure standards for static electric and magnetic fields exist? 21) What is the basis for the safety standards set by Lawrence Livermore, WHO, ACGIH, NRPB, and ICNIRP? 22) Do static fields affect cardiac pacemakers? 23) Do static fields decrease fertility, cause birth defects or increase miscarriage rates? 24) Could static field sources (like DC powerlines) cause health effects by creating or attracting ionized particles or chemicals? 25) Bibliography