- The fertility of women may be affected by electromagnetic
fields in the modern home, scientists claim in a study published today.
- Women are exposed to low frequency electromagnetic fields
daily in the home or at work through power lines and the use of appliances
such as refrigerators, washing machines and kettles. The egg-containing
sacs (follicles) in the ovaries of mice exposed to realistic levels of
extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) fail to develop
properly in many cases, Italian scientists report in the journal Human
- Exposure significantly reduced the development of the
follicles' central cavity, a structure called the antrum, report Prof Rita
Canipari and colleagues from the University of L'Aquilia and University
La Sapienza in Rome. Dr Sandra Cecconi, from the University of L'Aquilia,
said: "Our results raise concerns that ELF-EMF exposure might impair
female reproductive potential."
- The team would like to see similar research on human
ovarian follicles. The members admit that in humans this is currently very
difficult, technically. However, studies in animals could be extended.
- Dr Cecconi said the team had no idea whether the same
effect would be found in women, "but it would seem prudent to investigate.
However, human infertility is very complex and many factors can combine
to reduce fertility, and in every woman these factors are likely to be
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