Extremely low frequency (ELF) radiation has even lower energy than other types
of non-ionizing radiation like radiofrequency radiation, visible light, and infrared.
Generating, transmitting, distributing, and using electricity all expose people to
ELF radiation. Some sources include power lines, household wiring, and anything
using electricity. This can include anything from refrigerators and vacuum cleaners
to television sets and computer monitors.
The possible link between ELF radiation and cancer has been studied both in lab
animals (exposed to strong magnetic fields) and in people. Studies in rats and mice
have found no increase in the risk of any type of cancer, and most human studies of
adults have not found links between ELF magnetic fields and cancer. Some studies
that looked at the effect of ELF electric fields on childhood leukemia did not find a
link, but others suggest a small increase in risk for children at the highest exposure
levels compared to those with the lowest exposure levels. One estimate is that 1%
to 4% of childhood leukemia cases could be attributed to exposure to ELF radiation.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has said radiofrequency
emissions from antennas used for cellular transmissions result in exposure levels
on the ground that are typically thousands of times below safety limits. Therefore,
there is no reason to believe that such towers could constitute a potential health hazard
to nearby residents. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
has classified ELF magnetic fields as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” It also
has stated that ELF electric fields are “not classifiable as to their carcinogenicity to
In 1999, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) described
the scientific evidence suggesting that electromagnetic field (EMF) exposures
pose a health risk as “weak,” but stated that it was enough to “warrant limited
concern.” The NIEHS recommends that people concerned about their EMF (and
ELF radiation) exposure find out where their major EMF sources are and move
away from them or limit the time spent near them. Moving even an arm’s length
away from a source will dramatically lower exposure. For example, although being
directly under a power line exposes you to its highest strength field, that exposure is
often only in the range of what you could be exposed to when using certain household
The amount of energy given off by both CRT and flat screens is far below government
exposure thresholds. No evidence supports a link between ELF radiation from
television and computer screens and health problems. Still, some displays are designed
to minimize the magnetic fields that they give off. These are labeled as being
“TCO 99” or “TCO 03” compliant.
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel.