Are Electromagnetic Fields a Threat?
Beginning in 1979, a few studies reported that children who are exposed to high levels of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) -- produced by power lines and electrical appliances -- may be at an increased risk of childhood leukemia. While other studies refute this, further research into health risks possibly associated with exposure to EMFs continues. Researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) reported in 1998 that mothers of children with the most common form of leukemia were slightly more likely than the mothers of unaffected children to have used electric blankets, mattress pads, or heating pads during pregnancy. While studies of EMFs continue, you might want to avoid using electric blankets while pregnant.
The NCI researchers didn't find any increased risk of childhood leukemia associated with the use of other common household appliances during pregnancy, including television sets (they also looked at the number of hours watched and how close the women usually sat to the TV), water beds, hair dryers, electric clocks, microwave ovens, sound systems with headphones, and electric stoves.
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