Do electric cars cause cancer?
Electric cars have become more common on America's highways, and along with their rise in popularity came an increase in concerns that the cars, which emit electromagnetic fields (EMFs), could increase the risk of several health hazards, including cancer.
EMFs are produced by the flow of electrical current to the motor which moves the car. Numerous studies have linked EMFs with serious health problems, including cancer, and owners of electric cars have reported memory lapses and other problems. But is the fear of electric cars justified?
"I don't see enough data on the electric car EMF to be concerned," former neurosurgeon and wellness expert Dr. Russell Blaylock, tells Newsmax Health.
He points to a Scandinavian study that found the EMFs emitted by electric cars were well below levels considered harmful. The study, which was conducted by The Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research (SINTEF), included seven counties and found the magnetic fields produced by electric cars don't pose a danger to either drivers or passengers.
"There is absolutely no cause for concern," said Kari Schjølberg-Henriksen, a physicist at SINTEF.
Although electric and hybrid cars appear to be safe, other sources of EMFs are a real concern, says Dr. Blaylock.
"Some frequencies are more harmful than others," he says. "Of more concern are cellphones and especially cellphone towers. People can refuse to use cellphones or use them carefully, but there is no way to escape the towers."
Wi-Fi also increases exposure to harmful EMFs. "Some cities are now making Wi-Fi that blankets the entire city, which means exposure to known dangerous EMF fields 24/7 for a lifetime," says Dr. Blaylock. "Also, many of these towers are now being placed in businesses, unknown to those working in these facilities — even churches are renting out their steeples. Of great concern are the huge towers near schools," he says.
People working in the businesses or attending church would be at risk, says Dr. Blaylock, especially those already suffering from leukemia, lymphomas, and brain tumors. "They would be at very high risk because of their impaired immunity and DNA repair ability," he said. "This is also true of people with organ transplants and those having hereditary immune defects and DNA repair defects.
"People living near power substations and high tension lines are at a danger of neurological damage, cancer, and cardiac rhythm problems," he said.
Of course, cellphones themselves have come under fire for increasing cancer risk. A study by the Israeli Weitzmann Institute of Science found cell phones increased the risk of tumors in the salivary glands by 50 percent. The risk was even higher if the caller always used the same ear, didn’t use a hands-free gadget, or used the phone while in a rural area where reception was poor. The researchers found that a call lasting just 10 minutes can trigger changes in brain cells that are associated with cancer.
In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer reviewed dozens of cell phone studies and issued a statement warning that cell phones may cause cancer in humans. They based their statement on findings that using a cell phone for 10 years doubles the risk of developing a form of cancerous brain tumor called a glioma, the same type that killed Ted Kennedy. In addition, a French study released this week found that heavy cell phone use increased the risk of glioma and other types of brain tumors.
The bottom line? Even though you may be bombarded by EMFs from your cellphone, cell towers, and Wi-Fi, there's little evidence that an electric car will increase your risk for cancer.