Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Contact Voltage and Magnetic Fields as Possible Factors in Leukemia-Pilot Study. (Update)

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Contact Voltage and Magnetic Fields as Possible Factors in Leukemia-Pilot Study. (Update)

Article excerpt

A recent Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) study investigated the correlation between magnetic fields and contact voltages measured in a pilot sample of residences. Results of the study appeared in Volume 23 of Bioelectromagnetics (2002) under the title "Contact Voltage Measured in Residences: Implications to the Association Between Magnetic Fields and Childhood Cancer." Researchers Rob Kavet and Lou Zaffanella also considered the extent to which physical contact with voltage sources could lead to measurable amounts of contact current.

The authors concentrated on two possible sources of contact current exposure: 1) the voltage between water fixtures such as faucets and the metallic frames of appliances, and 2) the voltage between water fixtures and the earth. The second kind of voltage, which from a health perspective appears to be the more significant one, could include a voltage between water lines and metallic drainpipes. A bathing child playing with a faucet or spout with a wet hand could complete a circuit driven by this voltage, which may vary from several millivolts to over a volt. …

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