A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Weak Magnetic Fields Lower Blood Pressure

February 11, 2011

One of the many disconnects in the EMF world is the difference in outlook between those concerned about hazards and those devising medical applications. Low-level effects, though routinely dismissed by those writing safety standards, are the bread and butter of biomedical innovators. A new paper from Japan provides a good example. Tsutomu Nishimura at the Kyoto University medical school reports in Hypertension Research that a 10-to-15-minute exposure to a 6-8 Hz magnetic field with a peak intensity of only 1 µT (10 mG) and a peak electric field of 10 V/m, once a week for four weeks, significantly lowered systolic blood pressure in human volunteers with mild-to-moderate hypertension. For comparison, the ICNIRP guidelines allow exposures that are more than a thousand times higher: up to 2500 µT (25,000 mG) and 20,000 V/m. To be sure, the Japanese results are preliminary and are based on a very small number of subjects, but the study had a randomized, double-blind design, the gold standard for these types of studies. Nishimura would like to see larger clinical trial to find out whether the effect holds up. If so, such EMF therapy could replace blood pressure-lowering drugs —and it would no doubt be safe because, as Nishimura points out, the field exposure "meets" the ICNIRP guidelines.