Electric and magnetic fields (EMFs), also called radiation, are areas of energy that surround electrical devices. Everyday sources of EMFs include
- Power lines
- Electrical wiring
- Microwave ovens
- Cell phones
Some people worry about EMF exposure and cancer. Some studies have found a link between EMF exposure and a higher risk of childhood leukemia, but other studies have not. Other studies have not found proof that EMF exposure causes other childhood cancers. Studies in adults did not prove that EMF exposure causes cancer.
Some people worry that cell (wireless) phones cause cancer or other health problems. The phones do give off radiofrequency energy (RF), a form of electromagnetic radiation. So far, scientific evidence has not found a link between cell phone use and health problems in humans. However, scientists need to do more research on this before they can say for sure. If you are worried about avoiding any possible risks, you can limit your exposure by
- Reducing the amount of time you spend using your cell phone
- Use speaker mode or a headset to place more distance between your head and the cell phone
NIH: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
- Cell Phones (Food and Drug Administration) - PDF
- Cellular Phone Towers (American Cancer Society)
- Do Cell Phones Pose a Health Hazard? (Food and Drug Administration)
- Electromagnetic Fields and Public Health: Mobile Phones (World Health Organization) Also in Spanish
- Frequently Asked Questions about Cell Phones and Your Health (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Microwave Ovens (Food and Drug Administration)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Electromagnetic Fields (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Methodological limitations in experimental studies on symptom development in individuals with...
- Article: Radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation-induced behavioral changes and their possible basis.
- Article: Comparing DNA damage induced by mobile telephony and other types of...
- Electromagnetic Fields -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- Food and Drug Administration
- International EMF Project (World Health Organization)
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Also in Spanish
- What Are Electric and Magnetic Fields? (EMF) (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences)