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Magnetic Fields – What Are Safe Levels Of Exposure?

EMFs, what’s the one thing that really matters?

It’s a simple question.

The simple answer is “what’s safe”.

EMFs are invisible so we need to be protected.

So what’s safe?

Or to be more precise, “what are safe levels of exposure?”

Take magnetic fields for instance.

Magnetic Fields

There’s a lot of talk about the dangers of wireless a.k.a. radio frequency radiation but magnetic field exposures tend to get forgotten.

This might make you think that magnetic fields are some how less relevant, less dangerous, “less bad” than other forms of EMF exposures.

Magnetic fields are very relevant because they’re in every home. They’re called “power-frequency magnetic fields” because they’re created by the electrical current that runs through your house wiring.

Any electrical appliance generates a magnetic field and if its got an electrical motor (e.g refrigerator, air-con) chances are it generates a significant magnetic field.

Make no mistake magnetic fields are right up there at the top of the list in terms of ‘potential for harm’.

There’s a big chunk of science pointing to the dangers of magnetic fields.

Of course there are safety guidelines.

safe levels magnetic fields

The Safety Guidelines

The majority of the magnetic field safety guidelines around the world are based on the ICNIRP and/or IEEE [1] recommendations but the most stringent guidelines are the ICNIRP guidelines. They recommend a maximum exposure limit of 2000 milligauss (mG) for the general public.

The problem is these guidelines are too lenient.

How much too lenient?

Far too lenient.

The BioInitiative Report [2] recommended an upper limit of just 1 mG for habitable space.

Now here’s the thing, recent studies carried out by a group of researchers at McGill University in Canada suggest that adverse biological reactions occur at levels below 1mG.

This research also revealed that:

  1. once exposed to magnetic fields, the cells in our body become highly sensitive. Afterwards exposures of just 0.1 mG create bio effects
  2. exposures over very different intensities created the same bio-effects. That’s to say a 1 mG exposure had about the same effect as a 5 mG exposure.

Is this making you scratch your head?

The Gulf

The first thing you need to get your head round is the huge gulf between what ICNIRP are saying and what these studies are saying.

If your electrician follows the ICNIRP guideline, unbeknown to you you may find yourself with exposures of 2000 mG in your home and yet this research shows that there are adverse bio effects at just 0.1 mG.

That’s 20 000 times below the standard.

That’s a huge gulf.

The second point is, until now its been assumed that these bio-effects were based on a dose-response relationship. In other words the higher the magnetic field the bigger the response, the bio-effect. This is not the case.

And if this is not the case, it’s completely different ball game.

Why Is This Important To You?

I’ll assume you already knew about the dangers of magnetic fields. I did. I’ve had this box ticked for a long time.

But did you have any inkling that magnetic field exposures this minute could be having an impact on your health?

Perhaps not. This is not exactly common knowledge.

The reason its not common knowledge is because when this research came out 2 years ago, there wasn’t a single scientific journal that would agree to publish the findings.

And yet this study is extremely important.

Cancer And Electrical Sensitivity

The author of this study, Dr. Paul Heroux, believes that his research may have identified a way to control the growth of cancer, diabetes and other metabolic diseases. The relevance of his research to electrical sensitivity is also clear.

The title of the study paper is: Extra Low Frequency Magnetic Fields Alter Cancer Cells Through Metabolic Restriction.

This study has found that magnetic fields cause changes in water, which in turn impact how enzymes (which are proteins) operate in our cells. These magnetic fields are able to alter the ease with which ionized hydrogen can jump from one molecule to another, and this jump is dependent on a phenomenon, called tunneling.

This effect starts at such low levels that pretty much everyone is now exposed enough in their daily life to suffer the effect of magnetic fields on their cancer cells, if they are present in the body.

This is what the study says in a nutshell. You can read the study in full here [3].

How To Reduce Your Exposure To Magnetic Fields

Here are a few things you should know about magnetic fields:

To deal with magnetic fields effectively you need to take readings with an EMF meter [6], to ensure you are not spending long periods of time in areas with high magnetic fields.