When electric power is created, transmitted, and utilised, electromagnetic fields (EMF) are generated. Human exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) originates from numerous sources and happens in various everyday circumstances. Epidemiologic research published in the late 1970s aroused initial concerns that EMF could negatively impact human health, and since the 1980s, findings on EMF have been widely reported in the popular press. It includes a discussion on if and how does EMF cause cancer. If you are worried about the impact of high workplace EMF on your health, then here is an article for you.
So, can EMF in the workplace cause cancer and if so, then how does EMF cause cancer? Let’s find out!
What do we know about EMF exposure in the workplace?
Workplace exposure to EMF is quite common but can this EMF cause cancer, and if so, how does EMF cause cancer?
Office workers may be exposed to high magnetic fields in the vicinity of high-power electrical installations (for example, large electric motors, generators, or the power supply or electric cables of a building). There are also high magnetic fields in the vicinity of power saws, drills, photocopiers, electric pencil sharpeners, and other tiny electric appliances.
However, note that the magnetic field intensity is determined by the equipment’s design and current flow and not by the equipment’s size, complexity, or voltage.
What are some common EMF exposures in the workplace?
The EMF exposures of many occupations have not been measured, but the table below illustrates the average magnetic field exposures of workers who utilise electric equipment. Exposures during a work shift are dependent on the strength of the magnetic field, the worker’s distance from the EMF source, and the duration of the worker’s exposure to the field. In comparison, the table also includes worker exposures outside of the workplace.
*Magnetic fields are frequently measured in gauss or milligauss (one milligauss equals one-thousandth of a gauss).
Average magnetic field exposures for workers in an office or factory (in milligauss)
|Type of Worker
|Average Daily Median**
|Clerical workers without computers
|0.2 – 2.0
|Clerical workers with computers
|0.5 – 4.5
|0.6 – 27.6
|Electric line workers
|0.5 – 34.8
|0.8 – 34.0
|1.7 – 96.0
|Workers off the job (home, travel, etc.)
|0.3 – 3.7
**The median is the midpoint value: half of the employees have average daily exposures above the median, while the other half have exposures below the median.
Do electromagnetic fields cause cancer or other health effects?
Some studies were done to understand how does EMF cause cancer by analysing some workers exposed to intense magnetic fields. These works did show elevated cancer rates, according to studies. However, these correlations do not prove that EMF exposure causes cancer. Scientists have thoroughly examined all EMF evidence, yet they disagree on the health consequences of EMFs, with the exception that more research is required.
What do studies reveal about the health consequences of electromagnetic fields on workers?
Numerous studies done to understand how does EMF cause cancer indicate minor increases in the incidence of leukaemia or brain tumours in populations living or working in highly magnetic environments. Other investigations have not discovered these increases.
Six recent studies of workers wearing EMF sensors to measure magnetic fields and understand how does EMF cause cancer provide the most crucial data. As per the study, men with average workday exposures exceeding four milligauss had significantly increased cancer rates in all but one trial. However, the results of these studies differ in significant ways, such as the type of cancer associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields. Therefore, scientists are uncertain as to whether the elevated risks result from EMFs and if and how does emf cause cancer. A few preliminary studies have also linked EMFs in the workplace to breast cancer, and one study has shown a link between occupational EMF exposure and Alzheimer’s disease.
Key Takeaway: How Does EMF Cause Cancer?
More information is needed to understand if and how does EMF cause cancer. However, with continuous research, experts will soon be able to find the appropriate answer to this pressing question.
Till then, all one can do is reduce exposure to EMF by taking the assistance of EMF consultants and specialists. Do you want an EMF expert to help you reduce EMF radiation in your workplace or home? Contact EMF Munster today!