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Are low-frequency electric and magnetic fields dangerous to humans?

High-frequency electromagnetic radiation and low-frequency electric and magnetic fields, also known as electrosmog, are virtually ubiquitous. Humans have always been exposed to various natural frequencies. In the last 120 years, however, exposure to a wide variety of technical frequencies has increased dramatically. Newly added technical radiation and fields today practically completely fill the original "gaps" in the natural frequency spectrum. Of course, the question arises whether this poses a risk to humans. Science and research are investigating this question.  


How do low-frequency electric fields affect the human body? 

 
When low-frequency electric fields strike a surface, they generate charge shifts on that surface. These charge shifts, in turn, generate an electric field strength - depending on the shape and size of the surface, and in the case of a human being, also on the body region and grounding. As with static electric fields, this leads to an electric charge on the surface. Depending on how strong this electrical charge is, it can even be felt: Electrically charged hairs repel or straighten each other, creating a tactile stimulus that we can perceive with our senses.  

When low-frequency electric fields act on the body, there is also a spatial displacement of electric charges inside the body, which in turn leads to spatially different charge densities in the body. This process is referred to as influenza. The externally acting electric fields generate a current density in the range of up to a few µA/m2. This current density is too low to cause excitation of the nervous system or muscles. In general, this influence is therefore currently classified as harmless to humans. (Source: ICNIRP, LUBW

When the body surface is charged, so-called microshocks - spontaneous electrical discharges - can occur. In the case of electrostatic charging, these discharges are sometimes very strong, and we perceive them as a sometimes painful "electric shock". Microshocks are partly perceptible, partly we do not feel them. Prolonged exposure to microshocks can cause stress to the body, which can have an indirect negative effect on humans. (Source: Fachverband für Strahlenschutz e. V.
 

How do low-frequency magnetic fields affect the human body?  
 

In contrast to low-frequency electric charge, which to a large extent only acts on the surface of the body, low-frequency magnetic radiation penetrates the body practically unhindered. An irritant effect is produced by magnetically induced electric fields as well as by eddy currents (also known as body currents) within a tissue. If certain threshold values are exceeded during this process, the effect of magnetic fields becomes noticeable through the stimulation of sensory receptors as well as the irritation of nerve and muscle cells. However, these threshold values, above which an effect of low-frequency magnetic fields becomes perceptible to humans, are very high and significantly above the values to which people are exposed in normal everyday life.  

But even at field strengths that have no consciously perceptible influence on the human body, magnetic radiation naturally penetrates the body. The influences on human health are controversial. However, studies and meta-analyses from 1979 - 2021 suggest that these low-frequency magnetic fields have an effect on humans. For example, a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis of a total of 30 case-control studies suggests the existence of significant associations between low-frequency magnetic fields and childhood leukemia. The authors are also convinced that a dose-response relationship exists between exposure and the development of childhood leukemia (Source: Seomun G, Lee J, Park J, PLoS One 2021; 16 (5)). The published dose is significantly below all legal limits: according to the study, at a field strength of 300 - 400 nT (nanoTesla), the risk for children to develop leukemia is increased by a factor of 2.5 - 4.6. 

Low-frequency alternating magnetic fields have a further influence on the pineal gland. In this gland serotonin is converted into melatonin. These two hormones are responsible for the human day and night rhythm. Put simply, if too little serotonin is converted into melatonin, we have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. If, on the other hand, too little serotonin is present, we also feel tired during the day. The process in the pineal gland is stimulated by light. That's why even many cell phone manufacturers recommend putting the smartphone aside before going to bed, or at least using a blue filter. But low-frequency magnetic fields also fool the pineal gland into thinking that serotonin is still needed.  
 

Conclusion 
 

Overall, there is still a great deal of knowledge missing about the exact effects of low-frequency electric and magnetic fields on human health. The length of studies needs to be significantly expanded. The WHO also calls for further studies.  

However, the findings to date suggest that precautionary protection against low-frequency electric and magnetic exposure is sensible. With the precise measuring devices of Gigahertz-Solutions you can get an idea of your individual exposure and take appropriate measures - for your safety, without having to give up the comfort of modern technology! 

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Editorial office gigahertz-solutions.de (DG)

Picture source: #350138404, #359393411 stock.adobe.com

Do you need help?
We will be glad to help you.

We will be happy to assist you in selecting the appropriate measuring device and also advise you on possible protection solutions.
Just contact us!

Mo-Thu 08:00 am – 5:00 pm / Fr 08:00 am – 1:00 pm

  Phone: 0049 9101 / 90 93 - 0
  Email: info@gigahertz-solutions.de

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