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4) When evaluating whether there might be a connection between static EM fields and cancer, do we have to consider the electric as well as the magnetic component of the field?




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This article is from the Static Electromagnetic Fields and Cancer FAQ, by John Moulder jmoulder@its.mcw.edu and the Medical College of Wisconsin with numerous contributions by others.

4) When evaluating whether there might be a connection between static EM fields and cancer, do we have to consider the electric as well as the magnetic component of the field?

No. Only the magnetic field component is relevant to possible health
effects.

The magnetic fields associated with static EM sources exists only when
current is flowing. These magnetic fields are difficult to shield, and
easily penetrate buildings and people. The electrical fields associated
static EM sources exist whenever voltage is present, and regardless of
whether current is flowing. In contrast to magnetic fields, these
electrical fields have very little ability to penetrate skin or
buildings. Because static electric fields do not penetrate the body, it
is generally assumed that any biologic effect from routine exposure to
static fields must be due to the magnetic component of the field, or to
the electric fields and currents that these magnetic fields induce in
the body [1,54].

 

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previous page: 3) When evaluating whether there might be a connection between static EM fields and cancer, do we have to consider EM radiation as well as EM fields?
  
page up: Static Electromagnetic Fields and Cancer FAQ
  
next page: 5) What units are used to measure static magnetic fields?