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Is Electromagnetic Radiation Dangerous?

There are many rumors and claims about electromagnetic radiation’s risk. So investigation about some rumors about electromagnetic radiation’s risk is gathered to this paper. As a result, we got information (1) non-ionizing radiation from home electronics is not severely harmful for us, (2) strong electromagnetic radiation will cause machine error to generate sparks and electrical currents, (3) electromagnetic hypersensitivity is not regarded as a medical condition, and (4) electronic harassment may exist. These results means electromagnetic radiation has risk of machine errors and misuse. But machine errors caused by electromagnetic radiation are taken measures. So we should take measure to misuse of electromagnetic radiation.

Index Terms--- electromagnetic radiation, risks of electromagnetic radiation, machine errors, electronic harassment

I. INTRODUCTION

Electromagnetic wave is dangerous, electromagnetic radiation makes us leukemia, cancer, and cataract. Such rumors about electromagnetic radiation’s risk are in many websites and books. Electromagnetic wave and electromagnetic radiation are invisible, odorless, and of course, vapidly. So we can not where electromagnetic waves exist and we tend to think insensible things are false or very dangerous. What is electromagnetic wave and electromagnetic radiation?

Electromagnetic wave is wave, of course. Electromagnetic wave can propagate in a vacuum and matter independently [1]. Also, electromagnetic wave is made from electric fields and magnetic fields [1]. So electromagnetic waves are generated from electric currents.

On the other hand, electromagnetic radiation is a phenomenon which electromagnetic waves carry energy and spread [1]. It is often called EMR. Also, there are many kinds of EMR. For example, x-rays, microwaves, and light. EMR is classified by its wave’s frequency or wavelength [1]. High frequency electromagnetic waves have short wavelength and high energy, and low frequency electromagnetic waves have long wavelength and low energy. If frequency of electromagnetic wave changes, EMR’s characteristic and behavior also changes [1]. For example, EMR such as ultraviolet, x-rays, and gamma rays have high frequency and high energy enough to ionize atoms and molecules [2]. They are called ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation is contributing to medical treatment, industry, and power generation. But because of its high energy, it causes DNA damage and radiation poisoning when it is misused [2]. On the other hand, EMR such as visible light, infrared, microwaves, and radio waves have low frequency and low energy not enough to ionize atoms and molecules [3]. So they are called non-ionizing radiation. Risks of ionizing radiation are easy to show and easy to understand whereas risks of non-ionizing radiation are very difficult to study. So there are many rumors about non-ionizing radiation’s risks in many websites and books. For more arranged information about EMR, to use diagrams of the electromagnetic spectrum like Fig 1. are good ways. The electromagnetic spectrum means possible frequency of electromagnetic waves and the electromagnetic spectrum is often expressed as a diagram with useful information. So you can understand relationship between frequency and EMR’s characteristics easily to use diagrams of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Ⅱ. METHOD

Figure 1. An example of electromagnetic spectrum’s diagram. Figure reproduced from [4].

Today, Scientists have enormous knowledge about electromagnetic radiation. But in fact, there are many rumors about electromagnetic radiation. Risks of electromagnetic radiation are ambiguous and we do not know clearly about risks of electromagnetic radiation especially non-ionizing radiation. So the study investigated about some common rumors about electromagnetic radiation, (1) electromagnetic radiations from power lines, power plants, TVs, and mobile phones are bad for our body and they cause leukemia and cancer, (2) Electromagnetic radiation causes machine errors, (3) Electromagnetic radiation cause electromagnetic hypersensitivity, (4) Some people are misusing electromagnetic radiation for electronic harassment. To clarify risks of electromagnetic radiation is important for proper measure, proper regulation, and safer society.

Ⅱ. METHOD

To do these investigations, online resources were used. In this paper, Wikipedia and WHO’s factsheets were mainly used, and some websites about electronic harassment were used. Also, to find these online resources, Google was used.

Keyword “electromagnetic wave” was used in Google to find [1], and [2], [3], [4] were found as link in [1]. Also, keywords “electromagnetic radiation health” were used in Google to find [5], and [6] was found as link in [5].

In addition, keywords “WHO electromagnetic wave health” were used in Google to find [7], and [8] were found as link in [7].

Finally, keywords “電磁波 犯罪(electromagnetic wave crime)” were used in Google to find [10], and [9] were found as link in [10].

Ⅲ. RESULTS

First, according to Wikipedia and WHO’s factsheets, electromagnetic radiations from power lines, power plants, TVs, and mobile phones are not severely harmful for us [5,6,7]. Electromagnetic radiations from power lines, power plants, TVs, and mobile phones have extremely low frequency electromagnetic waves. So they do not have energy enough to destroy or burn cells and DNA. Also, according to WHO’s research, there are no evidences that show extremely low frequency electromagnetic waves are harmful for cells and DNA [8]. In other words, non-ionizing radiations from home electronics are safe if they are not too strong.

Also, these online resources refer to electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity is a disease which causes self-described headaches, nauseas, and lassitude. People who have Electromagnetic hypersensitivity claim we feel sick where electromagnetic radiations exist and electrical devices which generate electromagnetic radiation such as mobile phones, TVs, and computers make us sick. But these online resources also say electromagnetic radiation is not responsible for electromagnetic hypersensitivity [5,6,7,]. In addition, electromagnetic hypersensitivity is not regarded as a medical condition. It may come from a fear of electromagnetic radiations or placebo effects.

Second, strong electromagnetic radiation cause electrical currents and electrical arcs (sparks) and electrical currents and electrical arcs from strong electromagnetic radiation cause machines overloads and errors. Also, strong electromagnetic radiation cause explosion to ignite flammable objects and gases to cause sparks. Like this, it often causes severe accidents [5].

Especially, army must think of this risk because strong electromagnetic radiation can make errors weapons such as missiles and bombers. For example, US Army defines electromagnetic radiation hazards (RADHAZ or EMR hazards): Hazards caused by electrical equipments such as radars and antennas that generates strong electromagnetic radiation near weapons, fuels, and people. Of course, if the accidents cause, they will be big and dangerous. So, for example, MIL-STD-464A shows electromagnetic radiation assessment.

Third, electronic harassment may exist [9,10]. Electronic harassment is a severe harassment using electromagnetic radiation to torture and damage target parson from far places. This harassment leaves very few evidences, so electronic harassment is considered as an urban myth. But there are many groups and networks of victims of electronic harassment and most victims are reporting harassments and damages specifically, gathering evidences, and revealing severe harassment. Some people claim they have schizophrenia and obsession. But many victims of electronic harassment can think logically and they leave their consideration. Some victims study electromagnetism hard and do experiments. Also, many documents imply electronic harassment is executable today’s technology [9,10].

Ⅳ. DISCUSSION

These results means electromagnetic radiation is not dangerous if it is controlled or in ordinary environments. Of course, ionizing radiation is dangerous if it is not controlled, but non-ionizing radiation do not cause severe health problems. So extremely low frequency wave from power lines, power plants, TVs, and mobile phones is not very dangerous for us. In addition, if the risk of leukemia and cancer doubles, the number of patient of leukemia and cancer will increase very little because the risk of leukemia and cancer is very little.

But these results also mean electromagnetic radiation has risk of machine errors and misuse. We must control electromagnetic radiation, especially strong electromagnetic radiation properly, to prevent terrible accidents such as explosion. Also, machine errors caused by electromagnetic radiation are taken measures, but misuse of electromagnetic radiation is not taken measures. So we should think of take measures to misuse of electromagnetic radiation such as electronic harassment. If misuses of electromagnetic radiation such as electronic harassment are not taken measured, our society will be horrible, and oppressed.

Thus, electromagnetic radiations have the risk of machine error and misuse such as electronic harassment. So we should make new regulation about electromagnetic radiation as soon as possible.

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