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Does the Earth's magnetic field affect human health?

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Welcome to CoreFacts, where we're always short on time and big on science. I'm Brian Campbell. Today's question is ...

Does the Earth's magnetic field affect human health?

Not directly, no. High-altitude pilots can experience enhanced levels of radiation during magnetic storms, but the hazard is due to the radiation, not the magnetic field itself. Direct effects on human health of the magnetic field at the Earth's surface are, quite frankly, insignificant. The primary effects of geomagnetism are on the health of electrically-based technological systems that are critically important to the modern civilization of humanity, not the humans themselves.

And now you know.  Join us again every week for a new CoreFact. For other CoreFacts, or for CoreCast, our in-depth science podcast, go to If you'd like to have a question featured on our show, give us an e-mail at or a phone call at 703-648-5600.  Remember, long distance fees do apply. CoreFacts is a product of the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior.

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Title: Does the Earth's magnetic field affect human health?


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Date Recorded: 3/4/2009

Usage: This audio file is public domain/of free use unless otherwise stated. Please refer to the USGS Copyright section for how to credit this audio.

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Tags: 2009 Earth Mar geomagnetism



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