I organic air pollutants I 1 Volatile Organic Compounds (vocs)

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Adverse Health Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation

Very small electric currents exist in the human body even in the absence of external man-made EM fields due to the chemical reactions that occur as part of the normal body function. Although in recent years the number of publications regarding the adverse effects of EM radiation on human health has increased, not all frequencies have been fully researched and not all questions have been fully answered. However, it is known that EM fields act on the human body in a different manner according to their intensity and their frequency. For example, ELF fields, if sufficiently intense, induce circulating currents in the body stimulating the nerves or muscles. Also, the heart, which is known to be electrically active, may be affected by such interference.

Biological tissues behave as efficient absorbers of EM energy with the result of local heating. Moreover, the depth of penetration depends on the type of tissue and decreases with the increase of EM wave frequency. Usually, the thermal and the non-thermal effects of radiation on humans are hard to separate. Nevertheless, the non-thermal effects are non-linear unlike the thermal ones. In case of mobile phone calls, for example, the brain’s temperature may rise with even a degree Celsius or more. In parallel, the epiphysis gland subjected to the repeated microwave vibrations has its capabilities diminished in the same alarming manner.

Recent publications consider however that the biological human response is likely to be a function of the fields within our bodies rather than the external fields of exposure, a theory that may be difficult to approach and assess. Nevertheless, it is believed that EM fields in excess have harmful effects on humans (children in residential settings and adults in occupational settings) raging from depression and fatigue to cancer. Other associated diseases may be headaches, Alzheimer’s disease, reproduction dysfunctions, cataracts, etc. The main cancers believed to relate to EM fields exposure are leukemia (power lines), nervous system tumors and, to a lesser extent, lymphoma among children, leukemia, nervous system tumors and breast cancer among adults. The entire landscape of EM interactions with us is complex and with certainty needs to be further researched.


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