Hybrid cars and genetic mutations (like cancer)

Dr. Weeks’ Comment: Seven years ago, I brought world famous public health whistleblower David Stetzer to Whidbey Island to give a workshop on electrical pollution. My daughter’s senior high school project was to measure the electrical pollution at her high school and I offered to fund at no charge the installation of Graham- Stetzer meters to eliminate the toxicity, but the school board sadly was not interested in science and simply took the word of the local power company that there was no  such thing as “electrical pollution”.  However, one topic that arose at our public workshops was the toxicity of riding around in a hybrid car loaded with batteries. David Stetzer described the carcinogenicity of this and recommended that those who owned these hybrids sell them – for the sake of their health.  To say the least, that was a politically incorrect recommendations, nevertheless, numerous people did just that. (The fact that electric cars actually pollute more was beside the point.)  Now more scientists are actually measuring and reporting and not simply pontificating  and indeed, these cars are engineered to kill.  Sorry to say, but good intentions only carry us just so far.  Our conveniences (WIFI, cell phones) always come with hidden costs.  We need to be smart also and study the data.


Hybrid and Electric Automobiles Should Be Re-Designed to Reduce Electromagnetic Radiation Risks

Hybrid and electric cars may be cancer-causing as they emit extremely low frequency electromagnetic radiation.


PRLog (Press Release) – Jul. 1, 2014 – BERKELEY, Calif. — Hybrid and electric cars may be cancer-causing as they emit extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic radiation (EMR) (i.e., magnetic fields). Recent studies of the levels of EMR emitted by these automobiles have claimed either that they pose a cancer risk for the vehicles’ occupants or they are safe.

Unfortunately, the little research conducted on this issue has been industry-funded by companies with vested interests on one side of the issue or the other which makes it difficult to know which studies are trustworthy.

Meanwhile, numerous peer-reviewed laboratory studies conducted over several decades have found biologic effects from very limited exposures to ELF EMR. These studies suggest that the EMR guidelines established by the self-appointed, International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) are inadequate to protect our health. Thus, even if EMR measurements do not exceed the ICNIRP guidelines, occupants of hybrid and electric automobiles may be at increased risk for cancer and other health problems.

Given that magnetic fields have been considered “possibly carcinogenic” in humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization since 2001, the precautionary principle dictates that we should design consumer products to minimize consumers’ exposure to ELF EMR. This especially applies to hybrid and electric automobiles as drivers and passengers spend considerable amounts of time in these vehicles and health risks increase with the duration of exposure.

In January of this year, SINTEF, the largest independent research organization in Scandinavia, proposed manufacturing design guidelines that could reduce the magnetic fields in electric vehicles (see EMR Safety web site).  All automobile manufacturers should follow these guidelines to ensure their customers’ safety.

The public should demand that governments adequately fund high-quality research on the health effects of electromagnetic radiation that is independent of industry to eliminate any potential conflicts of interest. In the U.S., a major national research and education initiative could be funded with as little as a 5 cents a month fee on mobile phone subscribers.

Summaries and links to several news articles on this topic are available on my Electromagnetic Radiation Safety web site at:


Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.
Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley

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