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Electromagnetic fields: the jury's still out. 3. Managing the risks

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2 Author(s)
Morgan, M.G. ; Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA, USA ; Nair, I.

The debate over the effects of power-frequency electric and magnetic fields on biological systems is examined from the viewpoint of what, if anything, should be done to minimize the risk to individuals. It is argued that as the social and economic costs of this uncertain state of affairs are growing, additional research is urgently needed yet the urgency is not being met by the modest or on-again, off-again levels of federal research support. Steps that can be taken by electric power system designers and operators, appliance manufacturers, the building industry, and individual citizens are outlined. It is stressed that if it is eventually found that fields adversely affect our health , a rush to manage the risks could result in inappropriate and inefficient actions unless utilities, appliance manufacturers, and the building industry start doing careful engineering/economic homework now. Some engineering problems entailed in redesigning electrical systems are indicated.<>

Published in:

Spectrum, IEEE  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 8 )