Encyclopedia of Cancer

2011 Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Electromagnetic Fields

  • Stefano Aterini
  • Marco RuggieroEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_1843


Magnetic fields are generated by the movement of any electrical charge. A continuous electric current passing through a conductor creates a static magnetic field, while an electric current changing in time creates a variable magnetic field, which radiates electromagnetic waves spreading around the surrounding space at light speed. These electromagnetic fields enter living tissue but are known as nonionizing radiation since they are weak and unable to break molecular bonds. Metals such as iron, zinc, manganese, and cobalt are sensitive to electromagnetic fields that may exert their effects on proteins and cellular components containing these metallic elements.


Few environmental issues are as contentious as the question of whether exposure to electromagnetic fields affects biological systems. Considering the exponentially increasing widespread use of electromagnetic radiation–generating applications such as radio, television, wireless devices, and cell phones,...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Experimental Pathology and OncologyUniversity of FirenzeFlorenceItaly