Reducing Magnetic Fields and ELF-EMF

          To: Practical Advice

Exposure to Magnetic Fields or Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields (EMFs) increases the risk of cancer. This was first discovered in 1979 with increased rates of leukemia in children living near power cables and distribution boxes and transformers.

  • In 2001 the World Health Organiaztion's IARC classified this ELF as a 2B possible cancer agent. Since then experts say there is enough evidence to classify it as a group 1 certain cancer agent.
  • Long-term exposure to ELF has also been associated with increased risk of neurological illnesses, such as Alzheimer's and dementia.
  • People with ES can often feel ill near ELF from power lines and house wiring, or the domestic appliances listed below.

Ways of reducing exposure to ELF:

  • Live away from power lines: a minimum of 500m and ideally several times that distance.
  • Configure the wiring circuits in your home, school and office so that they give out the smallest possible ELF.
  • Sleep and sit for long periods of time away from all sources of ELF.

Avoid being close to:

  • battery devices worn on your body, such as electric watches, cellphones, headphones, iPods 
  • charging plugs for cellphones and similar devices
  • ​electric blankets switched on
  • electric cars, especially near the battery compartments
  • electric motors for more than a few minutes
  • electric trains and trams for long periods of time if close to the motors
  • fuse boxes and switch boxes
  • hair-dryers for long periods of time
  • old CRT TV monitors and display units, which have high magnetic fields
  • power cables
  • radio alarm clocks
  • storage and underfloor electric heating
  • transformer rooms and substations
  • wireless charging stations

Some useful resources: