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Title: Interaction of extremely-low-frequency electromagnetic fields with humans

Abstract

At a macroscopic level, the effects of extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields on humans are well understood based on fundamental physical principles, but far less is known about the nature of the interactions at a cellular or molecular level. Current evidence suggests the effects of ELF on cellular biochemistry are due to interactions with the cell membrane. Elucidation of the mechanism that underlies this transmembrane signaling is critical for a molecular-level understanding of ELF field effects. Further research is also required to clarify a possible link between ELF exposure and increased cancer risk, since estimated ELF exposure in occupational or residential settings is much lower that the levels used in laboratory studies. There is a clear need for additional epidemiological research in which qualitative dosimetry is used to characterize ELF exposure and careful attention is given to possible effects of confounding variables. 24 refs.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
5447319
Report Number(s):
PNL-SA-19016; CONF-9107136-4
ON: DE91015779
DOE Contract Number:
AC06-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 9. International Congress of Radiation Research (ICRR) conference, Toronto (Canada), 7-12 Jul 1991
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
63 RADIATION, THERMAL, AND OTHER ENVIRON. POLLUTANT EFFECTS ON LIVING ORGS. AND BIOL. MAT.; ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS; BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS; RISK ASSESSMENT; INFORMATION NEEDS; TISSUES; CURRENT DENSITY; BIOLOGICAL PATHWAYS; CARCINOGENESIS; CELL MEMBRANES; CHRONIC EXPOSURE; DOSIMETRY; ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE PATHWAY; EPIDEMIOLOGY; GENE REGULATION; HEALTH HAZARDS; HZ RANGE; MAN; MEMBRANE TRANSPORT; RECEPTORS; ANIMALS; BODY; CELL CONSTITUENTS; FREQUENCY RANGE; HAZARDS; MAMMALS; MEMBRANE PROTEINS; MEMBRANES; ORGANIC COMPOUNDS; PATHOGENESIS; PRIMATES; PROTEINS; VERTEBRATES; 560400* - Other Environmental Pollutant Effects

Citation Formats

Tenforde, T.S. Interaction of extremely-low-frequency electromagnetic fields with humans. United States: N. p., 1991. Web.
Tenforde, T.S. Interaction of extremely-low-frequency electromagnetic fields with humans. United States.
Tenforde, T.S. 1991. "Interaction of extremely-low-frequency electromagnetic fields with humans". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_5447319,
title = {Interaction of extremely-low-frequency electromagnetic fields with humans},
author = {Tenforde, T.S.},
abstractNote = {At a macroscopic level, the effects of extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields on humans are well understood based on fundamental physical principles, but far less is known about the nature of the interactions at a cellular or molecular level. Current evidence suggests the effects of ELF on cellular biochemistry are due to interactions with the cell membrane. Elucidation of the mechanism that underlies this transmembrane signaling is critical for a molecular-level understanding of ELF field effects. Further research is also required to clarify a possible link between ELF exposure and increased cancer risk, since estimated ELF exposure in occupational or residential settings is much lower that the levels used in laboratory studies. There is a clear need for additional epidemiological research in which qualitative dosimetry is used to characterize ELF exposure and careful attention is given to possible effects of confounding variables. 24 refs.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1991,
month = 7
}

Conference:
Other availability
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  • Public concern has grown in recent years concerning the possible health effects of extremely low-frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields to which we are exposed in all aspects of everyday life. By definition ELF refers to the range of electromagnetic field frequencies below 300 Hz, which includes the power transmission and distribution frequencies used throughout the world. In materials with the electrical and magnetic properties of living tissues, these fields have a long wavelength (5000 m) and skin depth (150 m). As a consequence, in their interactions with humans and other living organisms ELF fields behave as though they are composed ofmore » independent electric and magnetic fields components. This paper discusses ELF fields and their interactions with humans and other living organisms as well as their biological effects.« less
  • The sources and physical properties of extremely-low-frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields are described in this paper. Biological effects and mechanisms through which ELF fields interact with humans and other organisms are discussed, including several aspects of this subject that are presently under active laboratory investigation. Studies on the potential health effects of ELF fields present in the home and workplace are also summarized, including a critical evaluation of evidence for a possible linkage between exposure to ELF fields and cancer risk. 53 refs.
  • The sources and physical properties of extremely-low-frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields are described in this paper. Biological effects and mechanisms through which ELF fields interact with humans and other organisms are discussed, including several aspects of this subject that are presently under active laboratory investigation. Studies on the potential health effects of ELF fields present in the home and workplace are also summarized, including a critical evaluation of evidence for a possible linkage between exposure to ELF fields and cancer risk. 53 refs.
  • Evidence is mounting, that environmental electric and magnetic fields in the extremely-low-frequency (ELF) band below 300 Hz can influence biological functions by mechanisms that are only poorly understood at the present time. The primary objectives of this paper are to review the physical properties of ELF fields, their interactions with living systems at the tissue, cellular, and subcellular levels, and the key role of cell membranes in the transduction of signals from imposed ELF fields. Topics of discussion include signal-to-noise ratios for single cells and cell aggregates, resonance phenomena involving a combination of static and ELF magnetic fields, and themore » possible influence of ELF fields on molecular signaling pathways that involve membrane receptors and cytoplasmic second messengers. The implications of these findings for promotion of tumor growth by ELF fields are also reviewed.« less
  • The dosimetry and physical interaction mechanisms of electromagnetic fields with frequencies in the extremely low frequency (ELF) range (below 300 Hz) are described. The mechanisms through which ELF electric and magnetic fields induce electric currents in living organisms are summarized, with particular emphasis on humans. Topics that are discussed include: (1) sources and measurements of ELF electric and magnetic fields; (2) direct and indirect coupling of these fields to humans; (3) transient discharges and contact currents, and the thresholds for human response to these phenomena; (4) protective measures for the mitigation of potential ELF field effects on humans; and (5)more » mechanisms of interaction of ELF fields with cellular and tissue systems, with emphasis on field transduction mechanisms involving the cell membrane.« less