Environmental Health Criteria Series Series 137

Electromagnetic Fields (300Hz to 300GHz)

April 1993
More details
  • Publisher
    World Health Organization
  • Published
    1st April 1993
  • ISBN 9789241571371
  • Language English
  • Pages 290 pp.
  • Size 5.75" x 7.5"

A critical review of all data relevant to the assessment of human health effects associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields in the frequency range of 300 Hz to 300 GHz. Emphasis is placed on new data that shed light on the interactions of electromagnetic fields with biological systems and on the specific biological effects and responses that result. Over 500 recent studies were rigorously assessed. Sources of exposure considered include broadcasting systems, microwave ovens, induction heating stoves, visual display units, television receivers, dielectric heaters for industrial use, radar installations, and medical devices and procedures. A chapter devoted to interaction mechanisms reviews the electrical properties of tissues and discusses direct and indirect interaction mechanisms, including the interaction of biological bodies with electrical charges induced on ungrounded or poorly grounded metallic objects such as cars, cranes, wires and fences. A review of the large body of data from cellular and animal studies considers the strength of evidence pointing to effects on the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems, on reproduction and on pre- and post-natal development. The report concludes that most of the biological effects of acute exposure are consistent with responses to induced heating. Data on human responses are assessed in the next chapter which addresses concern about the effects of locally elevated temperatures resulting from the deposition of radio frequency energy and the possible dangers, particularly for pregnancy outcome linked to the use of visual display units. The report concludes that current data provide no clear evidence of detrimental health effects in humans exposed to radiofrequency fields. The remaining chapters provide guidelines for health hazard assessment and standards for protection.

World Health Organization

World Health Organization is a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, charged to act as the world's directing and coordinating authority on questions of human health. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries, and monitoring and assessing health trends.