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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Magnetic fields on hybrid cars & cancer

    Has anyone heard of any health hazard applied to Hybrid cars due to magnetic radiation resulting from the high voltage cables and electric motor when in operation.

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  3. #2

    Nobody knows for sure

    willyj, I actually looked into the matter a couple years ago, and once in a while I try to see if anything has changed. There have been no conclusive studies done proving that low levels of EMF from any source cause cancer. The fact is that regular cars have EMF, too, as do a modern houses and office buildings. Even your computer.

    Here's what one expert has to say: "Determining actual health risks from EMF exposure is complex. Not all experts agree about the danger. However a growing body of articles and studies suggests that there may be health risks at EMF levels as low as 2 milligauss, probably depending on many variables including length of exposure in the field, actual field strength during the exposure period, person's age, body mass, general health and perhaps genetic predisposition or vulnerability to cancer. While debate continues, it remains possible that in some instances there are some hazards from EMF."

    He goes on to note that you're more at risk from lawn herbicides than from EMF.

    I guess the safest thing would be to minimize your exposure, but I just heard of study on cell phones that showed no link to cancer.

    For more details, you can read this article.

  4. #3

    I have a Honda Insight,

    I have a Honda Insight, which I love. I have had it for 8 years, because I do a lot of driving for work. I was very concerned to hear that there could be a cancer risk from driving these cars, and would like to know more. I don't want to get rid of the car, but I would like to take whatever precautions might be recommended. I do have an implantable defibrillator, and my cardiologist said that the electrical field in my car would pose no danger to that.

  5. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    There is no appreciable

    There is no appreciable leakage of magentic fields from the Hybrid systems. Lost magnetic energy is LOST POWER to the car. See the "first law of thermodynamics" (loosely, you can't get something for nothing). And Hybrids are designed from the ground up for minimum energy loss.

    If you take a magnetic compass, and check around your car, you WILL find a source of magentic field energy in every car:

    THE SPEAKERS!! They put HUMONGUOS magnets in these car speakers to give them megawatt power output at single digit frequencies.

    The "hybrid" systems are completely shielded, and cause no magentic fields that can be measured in the passenger compartment.

    p.s.: the so called "cancer" risk from magnetic fields is purely urban myth. No cancers have ever been linked to "normal" levels of magnetic energy found in the normal home/work/automotive environment.

    But that never stops the Luddites from claiming that everything man-made causes every disease known to man.

    p.p.s- I am an electronics engineer, but I do not work for the automotive industry, so you can trust me.

  6. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Good answer, gschaut. True

    Good answer, gschaut. True about the JBL speakers used in Toyotas, though the same is also true about many other speaker systems out there. That's why it's a bad idea to store audio or video tapes near (or on top of) a speaker - they get demagnetized and whatever information is stored on them is deteriorated or lost completely.

  7. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Storing magnetic tape "near"

    Storing magnetic tape "near" a speaker should not damage them.

    There is a concept in magnetic tape called coercivity. Basically, there is a minimum magentic field strength needed to erase or record a magnetic tape. Below the critical threashold field strength, and the magnetic tape NEVER erases.

    Think of a 20 amp fuse. You can put 19 amps thru it for years, and it never blows. But put 30 amps thru a 20 amp fuse, and BANG! Blown fuse.

    Coersivity levels vary from tape to tape (that's the reason for the metal/oxide switch on the recorder). But in general, the magnetic fields present 6 inches or more from a speaker will not damage magnetic tape.

    What DOES destroy tape is mechanical abrasion. CLEAN YOUR HEADS!!! You would not believe how many times I have seen tape machines that are CAKED in debris from cheap tape that sheds oxide all over the heads, like a persian cat sheds fur in August.

  8. #7

    I loved your comments. I

    I loved your comments. I just bought a Honda Civic Hybrid and the battery is stored in behind the back seat. My kids sit there. I took my Gaussmeter and the numbers were, in my opinion, high (10 mG). I then realized I have an AC Meter. Does the reading on that device an indication of possible high EMFs?

    Thanks for your help,

  9. #8

    Yes, 10mG is relatively

    Yes, 10mG is relatively high. Your AC meter DOES measure the EMF correctly.

    Prius measures as high as 24mG in the rear seats. You should also test directly under you bum in the drivers seat. I tested a Prius and found it high as well, around 4mG when breaking.

    So every time I break my bum is getting irradiated.

  10. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Electric Range-

    Electric Range- 40mg
    Microwave oven- 80mg
    Electric Blanket- 50mg
    Hair Dryer- 200mg
    Iron- 80mg
    Circular Saw-210mg

  11. #10

    Like anything else in

    Like anything else in science, its not if we can measure it because there are few things we have trouble measuring quite easily (outside of the God particle in astrophysics). The question is does it cause problems? We can measure parts per trillions of PCB's in water, that doesn't mean they are toxic at that level. The question is, at what level/timed exposure is it safe, when are we going past that safe level.

    Maybe we will need a badge we wear and after we reach our maximum annual exposure, its back to the internal combustion machine for the rest of the year! Similar to what the nuclear industry workers and cardiologists do in cath labs. Of course we are talking magnetic fields here vs radioactive particles. Gauss vs Curies/Rads/Becquerels/Sieverts or whatever metric one is using.

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