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Electromagnetic And Health Risk Essay

2415 words - 10 pages


Are Electromagnetic Fields a Risk for Human Health?
Power lines allow the transmission of electricity. These exist all over the world, but are more predominant in some places, depending on the energy consumption. Although they all work for the same purpose, there are different types of power lines systems, and some have higher voltages than the others. Electromagnetic fields are created with the conduction of electricity, “because of the movement and existence of the charges.

During the 1970’s, an examination was made on childhood leukemia and the results found a possible relationship between an increase in the disease and exposure to electromagnetic fields. From that ...view middle of the document...

EMF signals are identified mainly as three categories. These categories classify EMFs as static, electric and magnetic fields (as direct current, DC, 0Hz), Extremely Low Frequency fields (ELF, between 1 Hz up to 100 kHz) and high frequency (HF) fields, in the band of the Radio Frequency fields (RF, 100 kHz–3 GHz), and of the microwaves (MW, above 3 GHz). In the low frequencies, DC and ELF, and in the high frequencies RF and MW are believed to have mechanisms of interaction with biological system.

The magnetic field of ELF-EMFs appears to interact with the balance of mechanisms forming free radicals in biological systems that are associated with oxidative stress.
“It is well established that free radicals can interact with DNA, leading to mutation, and interfere with gene regulation to eventually promote carcinogenesis. But an additional aspect of free radicals is their potentiality to affect neuropathological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the oxidative stress being a molecular hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases”(Consales, Merla, Marino & Benassi, 2012).

Categories of wire codes and how they relate to the high-voltage transmission and distribution lines are illustrated in Figure below. The use of the wire code illustrated in Figure below and its modifications has a qualitative physical rationale but also significant quantitative limitations. Its use in previous epidemiologic studies was based on the assumption that the wire code reflects the average exposure to 60-Hz magnetic fields. The rationale of this assumption is that larger power lines with thicker wires, which serve more residences and other consumers of electricity, carry more current and therefore provide a measure of exposure in the past and over a prolonged period. The merit of this rationale is that it considers (albeit in a qualitative manner) several of the factors used to calculate power-line magnetic fields; however, the reliability of the wire codes as a quantitative measure of exposure to 60-Hz magnetic fields is very limited. The following is a summary of some of the findings in a review of the characteristics of the wire codes as used in the epidemiologic studies:

A simplified schematic of the basic features of the differences in the wire codes as defined to support epidemiologic studies. VHCC, OHCC, OLCC, and VLCC stand for very high, ordinary high, ordinary low, and very low current configurations.

Despite the increase of interest relating this field of research of EMF potentially induces disease and the epidemiological data suggesting a potential association between EMFs and neurodegeneration, the experimental findings are controversial (Consales, Merla, Marino & Benassi, 2012). Electromagnetic fields have been majorly linked to cancer, heart disease, pregnancy-related diseases, migraine and depression. Although EMFs are said to have so many health effects, the one disease that has caused major...

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