Dr. Alex Jones: Exposure to weak, man-made magnetic fields unlikely to harm human health

Since the 1970s, associations have been made between weak magnetic field (WMF) exposure from high voltage power-lines and an increased risk of childhood leukaemia. However, to date no biophysical mechanism for this, or any other association between man-made magnetic fields and ill-health, has been identified.

The team from the School of Chemistry and FLS looked at how WMFs affected a protein class called flavoproteins, which are key to processes vital for healthy human function, such as the nervous system, DNA repair and the biological clock. However, after subjecting them to WMFs in the lab it became clear that there was no detectable impact on flavoprotein function.
School of Chemistry’s Alex Jones, co-lead author on the paper was reported in the Telegraph as saying: “There is still some concern among the public about this potential link, which has been found in some studies into cases of childhood leukaemia, but without any clear mechanism for why. Flavoproteins transfer electrons from one place to another. Along the path the electrons take, very short lived chemical species known as radical pairs are often created. Biochemical reactions involving radical pairs are considered the most plausible candidates for sensitivity to WMFs, but for them to be so the reaction conditions have to be right. This research suggests that the correct conditions for biochemical effects of WMFs are likely to be rare in human biology.”

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