DOCTOR'S VIEW ARCHIVE

Power Lines Powerless Against Health

WASHINGTON--According to a panel of scientists serving on a committee of the National Research Council (NRC), the public need not be concerned about possible health risks of electromagnetic fields from power lines or household appliances.

In 1993, the Department of Energy, at the request of the U.S. Congress, commissioned the NRC to report on the health affects of electromagnetic fields. The results of this exhaustive 3-year report were recently reviewed in the journal Science (274;1996, p.910).

After reviewing over 500 studies from the past 17 years the panel, which was chaired by Charles Stevens of the Salk Institute in LaJolla, California, concluded, "The current body of evidence does not show that exposure to these fields presents a human health hazard."

MedicineNet viewers should also be aware that two other groups are still evaluating this issue. The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences are to report results of their evaluations within the next 2 years.
Last Editorial Review: 12/31/1997