Exposure To Low-level Magnetic Fields Causes DNA Damage In Rat Brain Cells, Researchers Find
Prolonged exposure to low-level magnetic fields, similar to those emitted by such common household devices as blow dryers, electric blankets and razors, can damage brain cell DNA, according to researchers in the University of Washington’s Department of Bioengineering.
This is an older article from 2004.The research performed by these researchers at the University of Washington are very profound because most scientists hold the view that electromagnetic radiation does not break chemical bonds and therefore do not cause DNA damage which can cause cancer.
Here is what they had to say about it:
Traditionally, scientists have held that low-level electromagnetic fields couldn’t be harmful because they weren’t potent enough to break chemical bonds in a living organism. Lai doesn’t disagree – he simply suspects a more subtle mechanism is at work. He believes that the fields, rather than causing harm directly, initiate a process within the cells that leads to the damage.
Lai and Singh hypothesize that exposure to magnetic fields affects the balance of iron in certain cells, leading to an increase in free iron within the cell. That free iron undergoes a chemical reaction, which releases “free radicals,” or charged atoms that attack cell structures, including DNA, lipids and proteins.
To test the idea, the researchers gave some of the rats drugs that either neutralize free radicals or decrease free iron before exposing the animals to the magnetic field. The treatments supported the hypothesis, effectively blocking the effects of the fields and protecting the rats’ brain cell DNA from damage.
It is known that high levels of Iron in the body can increase the risk of cancer due to free radicals..Here is a study which explains this:
Increased iron content of cells and tissue may increase the risk of cancer. In particular, high available iron status may increase the risk of a radiation-induced cancer. There are two possible mechanisms for this effect: iron can catalyze the production of oxygen radicals, and it may be a limiting nutrient to the growth and development of a transformed cell in vivo. Given the high available iron content of the western diet and the fact that the world is changing to the western model, it is important to determine if high iron increases the risk of cancer.
Many cereals and breads are fortified with Iron.
Iron encourages the formation of cancer-causing free radicals. Of course, the body needs a certain amount of iron for healthy blood cells. But beyond this rather small amount, iron becomes a dangerous substance, acting as a catalyst for the formation of free radicals. Because of this, research studies have shown that higher amounts of iron in the blood mean higher cancer risk.
Now I find it interesting that the World Health Organisation has labeled cell phones as a possible carcinogenic in the same category as lead.Here is a link to a summary of the report.
Lyon, France, May 31, 2011 ‐‐ The WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has
classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B),
based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use.
The type of radiation coming out of a cell phone is called non-ionizing. It is not like an X-ray, but more like a very low-powered microwave oven.
“What microwave radiation does in most simplistic terms is similar to what happens to food in microwaves, essentially cooking the brain,” Black said. “So in addition to leading to a development of cancer and tumors, there could be a whole host of other effects like cognitive memory function, since the memory temporal lobes are where we hold our cell phones.”
Perhaps the mechanism for cellphones increased brain cancer risk is similar to that of low level electromagnetic fields emitted by home appliances?