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Prolonged exposure to magnetic fields – high voltage power lines, electric blankets and other devices – linked to a type of childhood leukemia: study


A recent study found that prolonged exposure to magnetic fields is linked to childhood leukemia. Examples of sources of magnetic electromagnetic fields include high voltage power lines, electric blankets and other devices.

The Environmental Health Trust, a scientific think tank focused on public health and prevention, highlighted a recent systematic review and meta-analysis Posted in Environmental Health Notice. The article concludes that prolonged exposure to electromagnetic fields from the magnetic field is linked to a type of childhood leukemia.

Children can be exposed to magnetic fields at the levels studied in the document when they sleep near sources such as electric blankets, appliances and electric alarm clocks or live in homes near high voltage power lines.

The researchers found that extremely low frequency magnetic field levels above 0.4 microtesla (4 milligauss) “may increase the risk of developing leukemia in children, possibly acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Prolonged exposure to electrical devices that generate magnetic fields greater than 0.4 µT such as electric blankets is associated with an increased risk of childhood leukemia.

“Decades of research have accumulated to link exposure to magnetic fields to childhood leukemia and other health effects,” said David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and environment from the University of Albany. “However, industry has been heavily involved in health effects research.”

Carpenter has many publications in the field and noted that his research published in 2019 found that the source of funding impacted study results and when biases were corrected, “the evidence that magnetic fields increase cancer risk is neither inconsistent nor inconclusive. Additionally, adults are also at risk, not just children, and there is strong evidence of cancers in addition to leukemia, particularly brain and breast cancers.

“Pregnant women should reduce their exposure to magnetic fields as well as wireless, two types of non-ionizing radiation,” Devra Davis said. Ph.D., MPH and president of the Environmental Health Trust, which has long advised pregnant women to be especially careful. She pointed to Kaiser Permanente research that has linked magnetic fields to increased miscarriage as well as increased obesity and asthma in children of women exposed before birth.

“This study should be a wake-up call for the United States. Like wireless radiation, this problem has slipped through the cracks. Currently, there are no U.S. federal safety limits for magnetic field exposures,” said Theodora Scarato, executive director of the Environmental Health Trust.

“However, many countries have policies that ensure homes are not built on land with magnetic fields at levels linked to childhood leukemia. The U.S. federal government needs to create safety limits and regulations to protect people from this type of EMF exposure,” she added.

Environmental Health Trust has a database indicating that more than a dozen countries already have some level of protection policy in place, including the following countries: Croatia, Finland, France, Israel, Italy, Netherlands , Norway, Slovenia, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Belgium (Wallonia, Flanders) Denmark, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Lithuania and Poland. All have a magnetic field radiation limit for “sensitive areas” well below that of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. Sensitive areas are generally defined as areas where children live and play, such as schools, kindergartens or recreation areas.

“Magnetic fields decrease rapidly with distance. If the sources are from electronic devices in your home, it is very easy to nearly eliminate these exposures. Families can reduce their exposure to magnetic fields by taking simple steps,” Scarato said.

Scarato shared the following tips for reducing the EMFS magnetic field in children’s sleeping areas:

  • Use regular blankets, not electric blankets.
  • Use a battery-operated alarm clock instead of an electric alarm clock.
  • Do not charge electronic devices, cell phones, or devices in the bedroom.
  • Always charge devices away from sleeping/living areas and preferably during the day.
  • Clear electrical cords under and near cribs and beds.
  • Remove televisions, screens and electronics from the nursery and bedroom.
  • A child’s bed or crib should not be near an electrical panel, meter or appliance. Be sure to check the other side of the wall. (i.e. crib against the wall with electricity meter on the opposite side.)
  • Make sure your child’s play area is not near electronics or appliances.
  • Use laptops, cell phones, and electronic devices on a table, not on a child’s lap.
  • Use a power strip so you can easily turn off electronic devices.
  • Measure magnetic field levels in your home, especially if you live near high voltage power lines.

About the Environmental Health Trust

Founded in 2007, Environmental Health Trust, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is a think tank that promotes a healthier environment through research, education and policy. EHT conducts cutting-edge research on environmental health risks and works with communities, health, education professionals and policy makers to understand and mitigate these risks. Currently, EHT works with scientists, policy makers, teachers, parents and students to promote awareness of practicing safe technology.

the Environmental Health Trust worked on the issue of wireless radiation for more than a decade submitting thousands of pages of evidence to the FCC in the years leading up to the court’s decision. EHT scientists testified in 2009 Senate hearings and 2008 Congressional Hearing on Cell Phone Radiation – the last one ever.

EHT scientists continued to the health effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation and has organized numerous national and international meetings scientific conferences On the question. To visit for more information.

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