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Electromagnetic fields influences on health


#1

Everyone:

Any thoughts/opinions/advice regarding negative influences on health
from electromagnetic fields generated by flex-shaft motors?

Thanks,
Bill


#2
    Any thoughts/opinions/advice regarding negative influences on
health from electromagnetic fields generated by flex-shaft motors? 

Our bench jeweler is 74 years of age and has three flex shafts he
uses regularly. He’s been a bench jeweler his entire life, and is now
semi-retired, working only Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The other five
days he spends playing tennis most of the day. Suddenly, I find
myself considering the purchase of a couple more flexshafts for my
own bench.

James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFl


#3

A brief Google survey on the effects of 60hz magnetic fields will
yield around 14,000 pages, most of which will confirm that there is
indeed a problem.

But, that flex-shaft motor you are concerned about is but one of
many electromagnetic radiation sources found in the home and work
place. If you look around the area in which you live and work you
will find dozens of items that use electricity and radiate 60hz
fields. These also contribute to the problem. Some are really
big-time, like your TV and computer display, and possibly those high
voltage AC lines hanging from towers near you.

An excellent overview of the problems manifest with 60hz fields may
be found at:

http://www.chekinstitute.com/articles.cfm?select=22

On the other hand, testimonials about 74 year old tennis players are
a form of obtuse reasoning that may lead to misinterpreting the
dangers of 60hz magnetic fields.

Individual reasoning, backed up by a few moments of easy to come by
Google research, will yield accurate, timely on the
problems of 60hz electromagnetic radiation.

As to what to do about it, moving to an area devoid of electrical
services seems to be the only likely cure for the 60hz problem, but
I suspect you have no desire to return to 18th century jewelry
manufacturing methods.

Randolph Post


#4

I can’t say anything in regards to how magnetic fields affect human
health, but mag. fields sure reak havoc on quartz watches. Almost
daily, people bring watches to my shop assuming they need batteries
replaced, only to find their problem goes way beyond battery. I am
in a factory town and have found that alot of times, the problem can
be traced to a person working next to large electric coil wound
motors, which put out a strong electromagnetic field. Also, I have
found a direct correlation to watches stopping on the same day that
a person goes to the doctor,and or hospital for tests involving
direct contact with electronic equipement, such as MRIs. In
addition, some watches are greater, or lesser affected by elect mag
fields, as a result of the material that the case is made of. Some
materials, such as gold and stainless steel are considered to be
’nonpermeable’ to magnetic waves, while others such as common base
metals(the majority of average to cheap watches-i.e. Seiko,Citizen,
Bulova, and lesser knowns) are considered to be ‘permeable’ to
magnetic waves. Stainless steel backs are not the answer to the
problem, as the case also must be of steel or gold. The magnetic
waves cause a reversal of polarity(N-S poles) of a permanent magnet
used in quartz movements. This causes the permanent mag to be out of
sequence with the gear train and an electromagnet used on the rotor.
Usually the cheapest, quickest solution is to exchange the complete
movement in the timepiece, rather than labor time to attempt repair
to the individual affected part(s).

Ed in Kokomo


#5
   A brief Google survey on the effects of 60hz magnetic fields
will yield around 14,000 pages, most of which will confirm that
there is indeed a problem. 

…and you will find 290,000 Google hits for the Loch Ness
Monster.

Just because people write about something doesn’t mean that there is
a real problem.

Bill Bedford

…who is convinced that worrying about health problems is much
more dangerous than the problem.


#6

I don’t want to turn this into a flame fest and waste bandwidth
however a few points are in order:

  1. The number of Google hits is not a measure of scientific
    validity, as a matter of fact it rates right up there with" 74 year
    old tennis players" the number of Google hits is a measure of the
    number of websites that is indirectly a measure of Public Interest,
    not scientific Validity For example Scientology yields about
    1,820,000 hits. Does this make it more or less Valid?

  2. Just because a website has Institute in it’s name means nothing
    other than the owner felt like using institute in the name and
    probably wanted it to sound good when they registered the domain.
    Look for .edu as a domain grouping, at least they are registered
    educational institutions.

  3. If you want to use Google to do scientific research I strongly
    suggest you go to http://scholar.google.com/ where a search on “60hz
    magnetic fields” yielded 38 hits and a cursory perusal showed either
    no effect or the researcher is using fields that will be found in
    places like a power generation facility or near a cyclotron, not a
    home or shop.

So in summery from a purely scientific point of view a 74 year old
tennis players obtuse reasoning is as Valid as the beliefs you have
trotted out.

Now if you wish to be shielded from electromagnetic fields a
competent engineer could design you a shielded room ( or House) which
could keep those pesky electromagnetic fields out. For Light one
would have to use fiber optics to conduct the light from a hazardous
containment building where electrical energy would be converted into
light. As to Mechanical devices you could do the same Locate the
motors remotely from where you are working and use shafts of non
magnetic material to conduct the movement into your workshop. So see,
you don’t have to go back to the 18th century you can use modern
methods. The choice is yours, Just as it is my choice to believe
pollution is a worry and problem thousands of time greater than
electromagnetic fields and the risk to humans is laughably low.

If you are working in a shop on Jewelry type materials with common

tools, the far greater danger to your health is air quality, both
from chemical contaminants and plain old dust from grinding and
polishing.

Kay


#7
A brief Google survey on the effects of 60hz magnetic fields will
yield around 14,000 pages, most of which will confirm that there
is indeed a problem. 

I have no idea whether and to what extent electric fields do harm,
but bear in mind that people who put up pages on the web are a
self-selected population that believes that there is, indeed, a
problem; people do not generally put up pages about things that
cause them no concern. People are not losing sleep over, say,
whether wearing gold causes backaches. Hence, no pages saying that
it is not a problem.

Just trying to keep the voice of reason and logic in the discussion.

Noel


#8
    http://www.chekinstitute.com/articles.cfm?select=22 On the
other hand, testimonials about 74 year old tennis players are a
form of obtuse reasoning that may lead to misinterpreting the
dangers of 60hz magnetic fields. 

Obtuse in that I didn’t type the words that conveyed my meaning more
thoroughly. Using your posted URL as an example, the web page you
recommend cites everything from cell phone towers to domestic
electrical wiring and the types of medical equipment that are used
to save lives as sources of electromagnetic fields (EMF). Indeed,
the web site you mention states that their list of sources are
mostly low in power. Personally, I spent 20 years working within
inches of everything from 60Hz to 4800 MHz (at Air traffic Control
RADAR power levels), and I still enjoy good health while “pushing
50”.

I am aware of the small neighborhoods of people who live near high
voltage power lines (I probably watch more educational television
than is good for me). Many of the people who live near HV power
lines experience illness, birth defects and other malaise, but there
is no scientific proof of EMF being the source. This web page cites
pineal glad secretions and circadian rhythm of melatonin and uses
phrases like “it has been suggested…” or “there is also a tendency
to assume…” which is typical of alarmist style, anti EMF
argument, as opposed to proof.

The Conclusion section of the page is the real “meat and bones” of
the issue, which is sleep dysfunction, on the strength of the
previous argument of sleeping near high power lines, domestic
electrical wires, etc. My previously sparse post took all that into
account when the original question of this thread asked for “Any
thoughts/opinions/advice regarding negative influences on health
from electromagnetic fields generated by flex-shaft motors?” What I
mean is that I don’t sleep next to my flex-shaft motor, and
certainly not while using it. The reference to the 74-year-old
tennis player was my way of saying that the effects of EMF from a
flex-shaft is negligible.

    I suspect you have no desire to return to 18th century jewelry
manufacturing methods. 

Well, since I can’t do anything about the wiring in the store or the
three flex-shafts (actually, four…the watchmaker has one too),
I’ll probably keep using them at the bench. After that, I usually
wind up buffing things on a polishing motor that makes the
flex-shaft look tiny. Just wait 'till we get the laser welder this
fall…

Please don’t misunderstand, I do not wish to insult holistic healing
as I practice my own forms of it. It’s that I just don’t agree with
the argument of Direct Current EMF being beneficial, whereas
Alternating Current EMF is detrimental. If one uses any form of
magnetism as a holistic healing tool, one will also recognize that
both types have their own distinct healing properties. But I just
don’t think a flex-shaft is detrimental, compared to high power
lines and MRI machines.

James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFl


#9
Bill Bedford ........who is convinced that worrying about health
problems is much more dangerous than the problem. 

Well, Bill, that attitude suggests that you’re affected by having
basically good health already, which can lead one to a certain sense
of invulnerability and naivety. Younger people in particular are
especially prone to this attitude. As a long term insulin dependent
diabetic (37 years now, since I was 16)), I can assure you that if I
didn’t spend a good deal of time (literally at least a little
attention every hour of every day) being concerned with and worrying
over my health and it’s continuing care, as well as paying attention
to those things I need to do, and those I need to avoid, well, I’d
have been dead at least 25 years ago, several times over. With that
semi constant attention, however, while I’ve got some long term
problems, I’m basically doing OK. Some of us cannot afford to take
our health so much for granted. True indeed, that there is a lot of
misand outright false out there. And one
should not just jump on every new fear or bandwagon out there. But
I’ve also known a couple now deceased metalsmiths who wished, while
on their deathbeds, (and several more who fortunately are not quite
yet at that stage, yet still too far along to undo the past) that
they’d paid a lot more attention during their careers to their
health, and subjects like ventilation, respirators, toxic materials,
and the like.

Peter


#10

Folks,

If you set an old fashion police radar gun in your lap for 20 years,
you will have problems. I work with TIG welders, big ones for a lot
of my work and wear just the basic standard welding clothing to
prevent RF burns I deal with 30 cycles to 400 cycles with my TIG
unit, as well as DC. TIG welders have very few electromagnetic
influence problems, they mainly have the problem of the bright dot
in their eyes that won’t go away after a life time of not wear the
correct type of welders safety goggles. If you are not being
subjected to high energy fields, like seen in lightening labs and
other academic related experimental areas, don’t worry you get more
radiation from your TV set, computer and other house hold appliances
than high tension lines or welding equipment.

If the Americans have 60Hz problems, then do the Europeans have 50Hz
problems? If you live in Minnesota, are you getting EMF from the
Navy’s high gain but very low frequency radio system that talks to
submarines around the planet? If you live in Delaware, are you
getting blasted by the DOD Tropospheric radio system?

I lived in an area of Europe in the early 70s where the American CIA
and the U.S. DOD ran different radio station to broadcast deep into
the former Soviet Union, we had a strange effect there, florescent
lights would never turn off.

Jerry


#11

Peter,

I agree with you 100%. A good friend of mine was a stain glass
artist from Europe, did beautiful work for close to 30 years,
developed blue gums, discolored finger nails with motor control and
many memory problems, he had lead poisoning from all of those years
of handling lead. He died about 3 years ago from the long term
exposure to lead. He never wore gloves or respirators, we said that
people were too worried about the materials he worked with. He
couldn’t remember who he was when he died, he was 57.

Jerry


#12
    and subjects like ventilation, respirators, toxic materials,
and the like. 

And Peter, acknowledging the truth about your post, and knowing what
your concerns are, the effects of electromagnetic fields on the
scale the average person is subjected to them seems like it is not a
major concern. There seems to be no accurate science recognizing what
is or is not safe. I believe in most cities, particulate matter in
the air, air pollution, is a far greater long term threat, which
seems to be basically ignored.

My wife is always nervous about any investment that she sees, a
little on my pants or some transferred from a concrete floor by my
shoe to a carpet. There is probably more danger from vacuuming this
investment, as it gets blown out the vacuum exhaust. I usually do a
wet clean up.

There is more danger of life threatening illness from germs and
bacteria in your kitchen sink and your bathroom then some of the
dangers from our studios. Some studio hazards are cumulative.
Bacteria and germs are not.

Safety yes, speculative peranoia, no.

One of my friends who studied traditionally in Germany 30 years ago
wondered what Europeans think of what they read on this forum. There
are very knowlegable experienced jewelers and metal workers, and
there are some extremely questionable practices expounded.

Richard Hart


#13

My 2 cents. As an electrical engineer, I can tell you there are
studies suggesting both sides of the issue. No one really knows. On
the other hand, as a rational person, I see that people are living
much longer now than they did before the population of electric
fields around the country. We are apparently doing more right than
wrong. As a practicalist, I’m not going to worry (and probably
shorten my life due to stress more than I would due to fields. As a
humanist, I hope they keep trying find and solve or prove untrue any
theories.

Ardell


#14

Hmm=85…

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/emfrapid/extrmurabs/lai.html
http://www.ortho.lsuhsc.edu/Faculty/Marino/Grant/Abstract.html
http://www.magma.ca/~pamelas/emf/BIBLISEL.HTM

Of course, one can find a plethora of websites that claim there is
no effect from exposure to 60 hz fields. View the above, rather
academic sites and see if you get that nervous feeling.

Don=92t worry about your flex-shaft motor; it=92s the long-term,
cumulative effects of all the devices around you that radiate 60 hz
fields. The key here is the frequency.

Our bodies are bathed in natural DC and AC Earth magnetic fields
from the moment we are conceived. They regulate our circadian
rhythms and all manner of other things. 60 hz is not a natural field
frequency, and it adversely affects our bodily processes when we are
constantly exposing our bodies to it.

Listen to Beethoven while your alarm clock is buzzing.

Randolph Post


#15

Continue from:
https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/electromagnetic-fields-influences-on-health

and subjects like ventilation, respirators, toxic materials, and

the like.

   And Peter, acknowledging the truth about your post, and knowing
what your concerns are, the effects of electromagnetic fields on
the scale the average person is subjected to them seems like it is
not a major concern. There seems to be no accurate science
recognizing what is or is not safe. I believe in most cities,
particulate matter in the air, air pollution, is a far greater long
term threat, which seems to be basically ignored. 

Oh, I fully agree with you here. The level of electromagnetic fields
we’re exposed to in our normal studios is very mild, and presents no
risk that anyone has been able to reliably demonstrate. It’s useful
to remember that the earth itself generates such a field, as well as
electromagnetic radiation from the sun and the universe itself. It
may be, however, a question of Intensity. While I’ve no qualms living
around and working with normal levels as usually found, I’d have some
second thoughts about, say, building my home directly under the very
high tension lines leaving a power generating plant, and I don’t
think I’d want to mount a permanently ON large Tesla coil in my
bedroom for the cool effects either. Being able to light a
fluorescent tube just by picking it up, without other electrical
connections is just not high on my list of things I want to do all
the time (grin).

   My wife is always nervous about any investment that she sees, a
little on my pants or some transferred from a concrete floor by my
shoe to a carpet. There is probably more danger from vacuuming
this investment, as it gets blown out the vacuum exhaust. I usually
do a wet clean up. 

If you don’t have a HEPA filter on the vacuum, then likely your
quite correct. And investment before it’s mixed up is less dangerous
that after you’ve fired the flask. I’ve heard (right here on Orchid)
that it’s most dangerous form is such as what’s released when you
quench a flask. The aerosol of steam and powder is too small in
particle size to see floating in the air, but after firing, those
particles are especially dangerous, perhaps more so than the
sometimes larger amounts put into the air when you first mix the
investment. Since Silica in the lungs IS cumulative, I’d say you
simply cannot be too careful with the stuff. But as you’ve also said,
careful is not the same as paranoid. One must live one’s life too,
not spend it in lots of effort worrying. So the answer is to educate
oneself about the materials we use, and their risks, then take the
suitable precautions as best we can, and simply get on with it all.
Obsessing about it won’t improve one’s safety, and is hard on ones
creativity.

   There is more danger of life threatening illness from germs and
bacteria in your kitchen sink and your bathroom then some of the
dangers from our studios. Some studio hazards are cumulative.
Bacteria and germs are not. 

What? When did you see my bathroom? Actually, I’m not sure you’re
completely correct here. We live in an evironment filled with the
germs, and our systems have become exquisitely well capable of
dealing with them. In fact the constant presence of the things may
help keep our immune systems properly tuned up. For germs, I don’t
worry about my own house. I worry about what I come into contact with
out in public, where other people may bring me into contact with a
variety of bugs that I might NOT yet be tuned up for. But again,
common sense rules, not paranoia. And for dangers, back to the
kitchen sink, I’d guess the most dangerous stuff there is in the
bottles of varous cleaning agents stored under that sink, not the
germs and stuff in the area, though some unusual molds may be an
exception to that… Oh, and I’d also point out that there may be
some cases where exposure to certain microbes is indeed a cumulative
risk. Some people believe that some autoimmune disorders (such as
diabetes) are triggered by multiple exposures to some such
sensatizing agent. The first exposure sets up an immune response, the
second or some subsequent exposure cause an over reaction. Some
allergic responses also work this way.

 Safety yes, speculative peranoia, no. 

I fully agree.

Peter


#16
We live in an evironment filled with the germs, and our systems
have become exquisitely well capable of dealing with them. In fact
the constant presence of the things may help keep our immune
systems properly tuned up. 

This SO makes me think of “War of the Worlds” :-). See it if you
haven’t.

Beth