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Exposure to Low-Level Magnetic Fields may Damage Brain Cells

Researchers suggested that people should do what they can to limit their exposure to low-level magnetic fields like those emitted by blow dryers, razors, electric blankets, ovens, coffee makers and clocks after finding that prolonged exposure can damage brain cell DNA in rats. People should pay special attention to limiting their use of electrical devices that are held close to the body, as the study suggests that damage from brief exposures builds up over time. Exposure to magnetic fields resulted in a marked increase in brain "cell suicide," a process in which a cell self-destructs because it can't repair itself, in the rats. The researchers believe that the fields, rather than causing harm directly, initiate a process within the cells that leads to the damage. Previous studies have also found that magnetic fields may cause cancer.

EurekAlert! February 18, 2004

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