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Rev Environ Health. 2008 Apr-Jun;23(2):91-117.

Setting prudent public health policy for electromagnetic field exposures.

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Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany, Rensselaer, NY 12144, USA.


Electromagnetic fields (EMF) permeate our environment, coming both from such natural sources as the sun and from manmade sources like electricity, communication technologies and medical devices. Although life on earth would not be possible without sunlight, increasing evidence indicates that exposures to the magnetic fields associated with electricity and to communication frequencies associated with radio, television, WiFi technology, and mobile cellular phones pose significant hazards to human health. The evidence is strongest for leukemia from electricity-frequency fields and for brain tumors from communication-frequency fields, yet evidence is emerging for an association with other diseases as well, including neurodegenerative diseases. Some uncertainty remains as to the mechanism(s) responsible for these biological effects, and as to which components of the fields are of greatest importance. Nevertheless, regardless of whether the associations are causal, the strengths of the associations are sufficiently strong that in the opinion of the authors, taking action to reduce exposures is imperative, especially for the fetus and children. Inaction is not compatible with the Precautionary Principle, as enunciated by the Rio Declaration. Because of ubiquitous exposure, the rapidly expanding development of new EMF technologies and the long latency for the development of such serious diseases as brain cancers, the failure to take immediate action risks epidemics of potentially fatal diseases in the future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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