Current understanding of the health effects of electromagnetic fields

Tayaba Miah, Deepak Kamat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


There has been an exponential increase in the use of electronic devices over the past few decades. This has led to increased exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF). Electric fields result from differences in voltage, whereas magnetic fields result from the flow of electric current. Higher-frequency waves of EMF have more energy than lower-frequency waves, and thus generally tend to be more harmful. An EMF activates cellular stress response and also causes breaks in DNA strands. There are many methodological barriers to effectively measuring the associations of EMF and childhood cancers. The consensus from multiple studies is that there is no causal role of extremely low-frequency EMFs in childhood cancers, including brain cancer. A recent study showed a link between EMF radiation and the development of malignant tumors in rats. In light of that study, the American Academy of Pediatrics set out new recommendations to decrease the adverse effects of cellphone exposure on children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e172-e173
JournalPediatric annals
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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