ELECTRIC POWER FREQUENCY (60 Hz)
ELECTRIC AND MAGNETIC FIELDS (EMFs)
WHAT ARE EMFs?
Electrical power lines, wiring, transformers and appliances (computers, coffeemakers, shavers, telephones, hair
dryers, etc.) all produce electric and magnetic fields (EMFs). EMFs are invisible lines of force which surround
any electrical wire or electronic device. Both fields weaken rapidly with increasing distance from the source of
WHAT IS MEANT BY ELECTRIC POWER EMFs?
Electric power fields in the U.S. are in the extremely-low-frequency (ELF) range (at 60 cycles per second = 60
Hz). That means that the power for your electrical appliances has alternating current (AC) at 60 Hz. The lower
the frequency of the electromagnetic waves, the greater the wavelength (the distance between one
electromagnetic “wave” and the next), and the lower the amount of energy.
Microwave ovens produce electromagnetic energy with a wavelength of about 5 inches; microwaves have
enough energy to cause heating in foods. X-rays, which have wavelengths on the order of one-billionth of an
inch, have enough energy to break atomic and molecular bonds. In comparison, a power frequency field at 60
Hz has a wavelength of more than 3000 miles – about the distance from Los Angeles to New York! These fields
are of such low energy that they are incapable of producing heating effects or breaking atomic or molecular
bonds. They can generate very weak electric currents in the bodies of humans and animals. That is why they
have the potential of producing health effects.
CAN I AVOID EXPOSURE TO EMFs?
This would be nearly impossible. Even if you moved as far away as you could from electric appliances and
power lines, you would still be exposed to EMFs from cellular telephone, radio and television signal
transmissions. These sources produce higher frequency fields than do electric power sources.
WHAT TYPES OF APPLIANCES PRODUCE LARGE EMF EXPOSURES?
Electric shavers, blenders, hair dryers, and oth