ELF and Cancer from Pub Med “bioelectric”

ELF and Cancer  from Pub Med  “bioelectric”

DR. WEEKS’ COMMENT:

These abstracts (see below!) are the result of searching the terms: “extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields” and “cancer” on PubMed, a free medical scientific data base located at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?BD=pubmed .

Note that these articles below are…. published articles.

What does that imply?

That implies, at its essence, that the funding source approved of the scientific conclusion and was willing to publicize the data.

Why do I make this point?

I stress this point because it is a shameful fact that “scientists for hire” perform their work, bought and paid for by corporate (vested) interests, and if the conclusions are critical or financially damaging to the funding source, then the scientists don’t publish. No one hears about it. Ever. Even if humanitarian or moral concerns compel the scientists to speak out, they can’t. Or they face career ending litigation.

Therefore, since scientists are actually legally gagged and prohibited from talking abothe negative findings, imagine if a certain industry leading cell phone company were to spend, say…. 10 years and $20 million studying the effects of their product as regards to causing cancer, and if the conslusion was “Yup. These gadgets certainly do cause cancer…” then that study would never see the light of day and never make it into this data base…

Therefore, I commend you to a rigorous perusal of the following peer-reviewed, scientific literature with the sole caveat that, just as in every other aspect of life, one is well advised to follow the money trail in science, if you want to understand why things are presented as they are, for all the following research is a professional product: bought and paid for.

Which other scientific articles, with more damning conclusions regarding bioelectric or other health concerns, you might ask, are we not reading about?

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Biological effects from electromagnetic field exposure and public exposure standards.Hardell L, Sage C.Department of Oncology, University Hospital, SE-701 85 Orebro, Sweden. lennart.hardell@orebroll.seDuring recent years there has been increasing public concern on potential health risks from power-frequency fields (extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields; ELF) and from radiofrequency/microwave radiation emissions (RF) from wireless communications. Non-thermal (low-intensity) biological effects have not been considered for regulation of microwave exposure, although numerous scientific reports indicate such effects. The BioInitiative Report is based on an international research and public policy initiative to give an overview of what is known of biological effects that occur at low-intensity electromagnetic fields (EMFs) exposure. Health endpoints reported to be associated with ELF and/or RF include childhood leukaemia, brain tumours, genotoxic effects, neurological effects and neurodegenerative diseases, immune system deregulation, allergic and inflammatory responses, breast cancer, miscarriage and some cardiovascular effects. The BioInitiative Report concluded that a reasonable suspicion of risk exists based on clear evidence of bioeffects at environmentally relevant levels, which, with prolonged exposures may reasonably be presumed to result in health impacts. Regarding ELF a new lower public safety limit for habitable space adjacent to all new or upgraded power lines and for all other new constructions should be applied. A new lower limit should also be used for existing habitable space for children and/or women who are pregnant. A precautionary limit should be adopted for outdoor, cumulative RF exposure and for cumulative indoor RF fields with considerably lower limits than existing guidelines, see the BioInitiative Report. The current guidelines for the US and European microwave exposure from mobile phones, for the brain are 1.6 W/Kg and 2 W/Kg, respectively. Since use of mobile phones is associated with an increased risk for brain tumour after 10 years, a new biologically based guideline is warranted. Other health impacts associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields not summarized here may be found in the BioInitiative Report at www.bioinitiative.org.Publication Types:

PMID: 18242044 [PubMed – in process]


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Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields prevent chemotherapy induced myelotoxicity.Rossi E, Corsetti MT, Sukkar S, Poggi C.Department of Haematology, University-Hospital San Martino, Genoa, Italy. edoardo.rossi@hsanmartino.itSide effects of chemo-radiotherapy reduce the quality and also the survivability of patients. The consequent fatigue and infections, related to myelodepression, act to reduce the dose-intensity of the protocol. Late side effects of chemo-radiotherapy include secondary tumours, acute myeloid leukemias and cardiotoxicity. Side effects of chemotherapy are related to oxidative stress produced by the treatment. Oxidative stress also reduces the efficacy of the treatment. Antioxidative treatment with natural (dietetic) or chemical agents has been reported to reduce the toxicity of chemo-radiotherapy and improve the efficacy of treatment. We here report our experience with SEQEX, an electromedical device that generates Extremely Low Frequency ElectroMagnetic Fields (ELF-EMF) to produce endogenic cyclotronic ionic resonance, to reduce myelotoxicity consequent to ABVD protocol in patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.Publication Types:

PMID: 18097813 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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[Cell Phones and Risk of brain and acoustic nerve tumours: the French INTERPHONE case-control study][Article in French]Hours M, Bernard M, Montestrucq L, Arslan M, Bergeret A, Deltour I, Cardis E.Unité mixte de recherche épidémiologique et de surveillance transport travail environnement (INRETS/UCBL/InVS), faculté de médecine, domaine Rockefeller, 8, avenue Rockefeller, 69373 Lyon cedex 08, France. martine.hours@inrets.frBACKGROUND: Use of cell phones has increased dramatically since 1992 when they were first introduced in France. Certain electromagnetic fields (at extremely low frequency) have been recognized as possibly carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Given the use of radiofrequency technology in cell phones, the rapid increase in the number of cell phones has generated concerns about the existence of a potential health hazard. To evaluate the relationship between the use of cell phones and the development of tumors of the head, a multicentric international study (INTERPHONE), coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, was carried out in 13 countries. This publication reports the results of the French part of the INTERPHONE study. METHODS: INTERPHONE is a case-control study focused on tumors of the brain and central nervous system: gliomas, meningiomas and neuromas of cranial nerves. Eligible cases were men and women, residents of Paris or Lyon, aged 30-59, newly diagnosed with a first primary tumor between February 2001 and August 2003. The diagnoses were all either histologically confirmed or based upon unequivocal radiological images. Controls were matched for gender, age (+/-5 years) and place of residence. They were randomly drawn from electoral rolls. Detailed information was collected for all subjects during a computer-assisted face-to-face interview. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) for an association between the use of cell phones and risk of each type of cancer. RESULTS: Regular cell phone use was not associated with an increased risk of neuroma (OR=0,92; 95% confidence interval=[0.53-1.59]), meningioma (OR=0,74; 95% confidence interval=[0.43-1.28]) or glioma (OR=1.15; 95% confidence interval=[0.65-2.05]). Although these results are not statistically significant, a general tendency was observed for an increased risk of glioma among the heaviest users: long-term users, heavy users, users with the largest numbers of telephones. CONCLUSION: No significant increased risk for glioma, meningioma or neuroma was observed among cell phone users participating in Interphone. The statistical power of the study is limited, however. Our results, suggesting the possibility of an increased risk among the heaviest users, therefore need to be verified in the international INTERPHONE analyses.Publication Types:

PMID: 17851009 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Electromagnetic fields (EMF): do they play a role in children’s environmental health (CEH)?Otto M, von Mühlendahl KE.Kinderumwelt gGmbH of the German Academy of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Westerbreite 7, 49084 Osnabrück, Germany. motto@uminfo.dePossible adverse health effects of exposure to electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields (EMF), and especially the question of whether there exists a special vulnerability of children, have been a much discussed topic during the last two decades. Static fields produce health effects only in very rare and exceptional circumstances at extremely high field intensities. As for low-frequency EMF, the results of epidemiological research with respect to childhood leukaemia prompted the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2001 to classify these fields as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”. Current hypotheses on the mechanism of such action are presented. The effect, if existent, appears to be not very important in relation to established other causes of childhood leukaemia. High-frequency EMF, as used in mobile and wireless communication (mobile telephony according to the GSM and UMTS standard, cordless DECT phones, wireless local area networks (WLAN), Bluetooth) and since many decades also in radio and television technology, are practically omnipresent. At high intensities, the generation of heat is the principal effect. Current guidelines, limits and regulations prevent any such effect. Mobile phone calls may, in certain circumstances, lead to local exposures close to limit values. Base stations typically produce exposures lower by 2-5 magnitudes. The discussion centres on the so-called non-thermal effects, which are supposedly occurring at field intensities, which are by orders of magnitude lower than those responsible for thermal effects. The reproducibility of these effects is usually poor, and no physiologic or pathogenic mechanism, so far, has been found to explain the alleged effects. Equally, epidemiologic studies have not furnished clear and reproducible data as arguments for negative health effects. Final results of the INTERPHONE study on the risk of brain tumours, acoustic neurinoma and parotid gland tumours associated with the use of mobile phones will be soon available. Preliminary results do not seem to indicate a substantial increase in risk. There are presently no scientific data supporting the concept of a special vulnerability of children and adolescents to high-frequency EMF, even if the usual caveats (developing organisms and structures may be more vulnerable, decades of life to come) are considered. The concept of precautionary measures adapted to such concerns is critically discussed.Publication Types:

PMID: 17765660 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Fifty hertz extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field causes changes in redox and differentiative status in neuroblastoma cells.Falone S, Grossi MR, Cinque B, D’Angelo B, Tettamanti E, Cimini A, Di Ilio C, Amicarelli F.Department of Biomedical Sciences, Excellent Center on Aging Studies, Faculty of Medicine G. d’Annunzio, Via dei Vestini, 66013 Chieti, Italy.The current study was designed to establish whether extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields might affect neuronal homeostasis through redox-sensitive mechanisms. To this end, intracellular reactive oxygen species production, antioxidant and glutathione-based detoxifying capability and genomic integrity after extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields exposure were investigated. Moreover, we also studied potential extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields-dependent changes in the proliferative and differentiative cellular status. Results seem to support redox-mediated extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields effects on biological models as, although no major oxidative damage was detected, after exposure we observed a positive modulation of antioxidant enzymatic expression, as well as a significant increase in reduced glutathione level, indicating a shift of cellular environment towards a more reduced state. In addition, extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields treatment induced a more differentiated phenotype as well as an increased expression in peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor isotype beta, a class of transcription factors related to neuronal differentiation and cellular stress response. As second point, to deepen how extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields treatment could affect neuroblastoma cell antioxidant capacity, we examined the extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields-dependent modifications of cell susceptibility to pro-oxidants. Results clearly showed that 50 Hz extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields exposure reduces cell tolerance towards oxidative attacks.Publication Types:

PMID: 17662640 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Leukaemia, brain tumours and exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields: cohort study of Swiss railway employees.Röösli M, Lörtscher M, Egger M, Pfluger D, Schreier N, Lörtscher E, Locher P, Spoerri A, Minder C.Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Berne, Switzerland. Roeoesli@ispm.unibe.chAIMS: To investigate the relationship between extremely low frequency magnetic field (ELF-MF) exposure and mortality from leukaemia and brain tumour in a cohort of Swiss railway workers. METHODS: 20,141 Swiss railway employees with 464,129 person-years of follow-up between 1972 and 2002 were studied. Mortality rates for leukaemia and brain tumour of highly exposed train drivers (21 muT average annual exposure) were compared with medium and low exposed occupational groups (i.e. station masters with an average exposure of 1 muT). In addition, individual cumulative exposure was calculated from on-site measurements and modelling of past exposures. RESULTS: The hazard ratio (HR) for leukaemia mortality of train drivers was 1.43 (95% CI 0.74 to 2.77) compared with station masters. For myeloid leukaemia the HR of train drivers was 4.74 (95% CI 1.04 to 21.60) and for Hodgkin’s disease 3.29 (95% CI 0.69 to 15.63). Lymphoid leukaemia, non-Hodgkin’s disease and brain tumour mortality were not associated with magnetic field exposure. Concordant results were obtained from analyses based on individual cumulative exposure. CONCLUSIONS: Some evidence of an exposure-response association was found for myeloid leukaemia and Hodgkin’s disease, but not for other haematopoietic and lymphatic malignancies and brain tumours.Publication Types:

PMID: 17525094 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Implications from epidemiologic studies on magnetic fields and the risk of childhood leukemia on protection guidelines.Schüz J.Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, The Danish Cancer Society, Strandboulevarden 49, Copenhagen, Denmark. joachim@cancer.dkThe objective of this review is to discuss the impact of findings in epidemiological studies on magnetic fields and the risk of childhood leukemia on the definition of exposure limits. A large number of epidemiological studies have consistently shown an association between the risk of childhood leukemia and residential extremely low-frequency magnetic field exposures. There is virtually no supportive data from experimental research and, so far, no proposed explanation has reached a level beyond speculation. The contradictory results from epidemiological and experimental research may either be due to methodological limitations creating a spurious association in the epidemiological studies or to a failure of experimental research to examine mechanisms relevant in the complex origin of childhood leukemia. Taking this together, the overall evidence is not strong enough to demand a revision of the current guidelines for public protection. Application of precautionary measures may be an option; however, decision-makers should be advised that these measures are often not straightforward and a careful evaluation of a possible benefit needs to be performed for each individual situation. Undoubtedly there are gaps in research, and no substantial contribution for clarification of the apparent inconsistencies emerges from recent studies. However, there are important lessons to learn, either with respect to the etiology of childhood leukemia or with respect to the need for improving epidemiological methods for the identification of presumably weak associations.Publication Types:

PMID: 17495667 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Comment in:

Nighttime exposure to electromagnetic fields and childhood leukemia: an extended pooled analysis.

Schüz J, Svendsen AL, Linet MS, McBride ML, Roman E, Feychting M, Kheifets L, Lightfoot T, Mezei G, Simpson J, Ahlbom A.

Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark. joachim@cancer.dk

It has been hypothesized that nighttime bedroom measurements of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF EMF) may represent a more accurate reflection of exposure and have greater biologic relevance than previously used 24-/48-hour measurements. Accordingly, the authors extended a pooled analysis of case-control studies on ELF EMF exposure and risk of childhood leukemia to examine nighttime residential exposures. Data from four countries (Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States) were included in the analysis, comprising 1,842 children diagnosed with leukemia and 3,099 controls (diagnosis dates ranged from 1988 to 1996). The odds ratios for nighttime ELF EMF exposure for categories of 0.1-<0.2 microT, 0.2-<0.4 microT, and >or=0.4 microT as compared with <0.1 microT were 1.11 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.91, 1.36), 1.37 (95% CI: 0.99, 1.90), and 1.93 (95% CI: 1.11, 3.35), respectively. The fact that these estimates were similar to those derived using 24-/48-hour geometric mean values (odds ratios of 1.09, 1.20, and 1.98, respectively) indicates that the nighttime component cannot, on its own, account for the pattern observed. These results do not support the hypotheses that nighttime measures are more appropriate; hence, the observed association between ELF EMF and childhood leukemia still lacks a plausible explanation.

Publication Types:

PMID: 17485729 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Acute childhood leukemias and exposure to magnetic fields generated by high voltage overhead power lines – a risk factor in Iran.Feizi AA, Arabi MA.The Department of Haematology/ Oncology, Children’s Hospital, Tabriz Medical Sciences University, Tabriz, Iran. hpourfeizi@tbzmed.ac.irMany investigators have studied the effects of Extremely Low Frequency-Magnetic Fields generated by ordinary and domestic power lines, as a risk factor in acute leukaemias of children, but there are limited information available regarding very high voltage overhead power lines. Children in developing countries sometimes live very close to such structures and we have registered several patients with acute leukaemias appearing in clusters. In the present study we have analyzed 60 consecutively diagnosed patients with acute leukaemias, and 59 matched controls in a provincial capital city in North-Western Iran. After provision of consent, a detailed form was filled in, and a visit to the present (or previous) residential areas of both groups was arranged. The locations of the very high voltage power lines (123, 230, 400 kilo volts), were noted in each area, if present, and their distances from the houses under study were detected. The expected intensities of the Magnetic Fields (B) were calculated having the mean intensity of the electrical current and other line characteristics, by means of relevant equations. Fourteen patients in the case group (23.5%) were living near the high voltage power lines in distances < or = 500 meters. (Mean B = 0.6 microTeslas, microT). In the control group at the same distance, the figure was 2 children (3.3%) (Mean B = 0.35 microT). Statistically, the likelihood of leukaemia was increased considerably in this distance (Odds ratio (OR) = 8.67, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 1.74- 58.4, P value= 0.001). On the other hand 15 pts (25 %) in the leukaemia group were experiencing Magnetic fields above 0.45 microT in comparison to 5 in the control group ( 8.5% )(OR = 3.60, 95% CI = 1.11-12.39, P = 0.01). More children in developing countries like Iran live close to very high voltage lines, and they experience relatively more harmful effects from the Magnetic Fields, in comparison with children in developed countries. Residence near very high voltage overhead power lines, in distances < or = 500 meters, and Magnetic Fields >0.45 microT, should be considered a risk factor for the pathogenesis of acute leukaemias in children.Publication Types:

PMID: 17477775 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Cell type specific redox status is responsible for diverse electromagnetic field effects.Simkó M.Division of Environmental Physiology, Department of Cell Biology and Biosystems Technology, University of Rostock, D-18059 Rostock, Germany. myrtill.simko@uni-rostock.deEpidemiologic and experimental research on the potential carcinogenic effects of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) has been performed for a long time. Epidemiologic studies regarding ELF-EMF-exposure have focused primarily on leukaemia development due to residential sources in children and adults, and from occupational exposure in adults, but also on other kinds of cancer. Genotoxic investigations of EMF have shown contradictory results, a biological mechanism is still lacking that can explain the link between cancer development and ELF-EMF-exposure. Recent laboratory research has attempted to show general biological effects, and such that could be related to cancer development and/or promotion. Metabolic processes which generate oxidants and antioxidants can be influenced by environmental factors, such as ELF-EMF. Increased ELF-EMF exposure can modify the activity of the organism by reactive oxygen species leading to oxidative stress. It is well established that free radicals can interact with DNA resulting in single strand breaks. DNA damage could become a site of mutation, a key step to carcinogenesis. Furthermore, different cell types react differently to the same stimulus, because of their cell type specific redox status. The modulation of cellular redox balance by the enhancement of oxidative intermediates, or the inhibition or reduction of antioxidants, is discussed in this review. An additional aspect of free radicals is their function to influence other illnesses such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. On the other hand, modulation of antioxidants by ELF-EMF can lower the intracellular defence activity promoting the development of DNA damage. It has also been demonstrated that low levels of reactive oxygen species trigger intracellular signals that involve the transcription of genes and leading to responses including cell proliferation and apoptosis. In this review, a general overview is given about oxidative stress, as well as experimental studies are reviewed as they are related to changes in oxidant and antioxidant content after ELF-EMF exposure inducing different biological effects. Finally, we conclude from our review that modulations on the oxidant and antioxidant level through ELF-EMF exposure can play a causal role in cancer development.Publication Types:

PMID: 17456027 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Biomarkers of induced electromagnetic field and cancer.Behari J, Paulraj R.School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067, India. jbehari@hotmail.comThe present article delineates the epidemiological and experimental studies of electromagnetic field which affects various tissues of human body. These affects lead to cell proliferation, which may lead to cancer formation. Certain biomarkers have been identified which are one way or the other responsible for tumor promotion or co-promotion. These are (i) melatonin, a hormone secreted by pineal gland, (ii) Ca2+, which is essential in the regulation of the resting membrane potential and in the sequence of events in synaptic excitation and neurotransmitter, release are affected by electromagnetic field, (iii) ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), a rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of polyamines, considered as a useful biological marker; over expression of ODC can cause cell transformation and enhancement of tumor promotion. (iv) protein kinase is an enzyme, which transfers phosphate groups from ATP to hydroxyl groups in the amino acid chains of acceptor proteins, and (v) Na+-K+ ATPase, which transports sodium and potassium ions across the membrane has a critical role in living cells. The various possible mechanisms depending upon non equilibrium thermodynamics, co-operativism, stochastic and resonance are discussed as possible models of signal transduction in cytosol, thereby controlling the transcription phenomena. Finally a mechanism comprising the extremely low frequency and radio frequency (RF)/microwave (MW) modulated field is compared.Publication Types:

PMID: 17249331 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Effect of ELF magnetic fields on lipid peroxidation, sperm count, p53, and trace elements.Akdag MZ, Dasdag S, Aksen F, Isik B, Yilmaz F.Department of Biophysics, Medical Faculty of Dicle University, Diyarbakir, Turkey.BACKGROUND: Some epidemiological and laboratory studies suggest a possible connection between extremely low-frequency (ELF) magnetic fields and certain illnesses, such as cancer, immune suppression, as well as reproductive toxic effects and abnormalities. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of ELF magnetic fields (1.35 mT) on sperm count, malondialdehyde concentration, the histology of such organs as the testes, brain, liver, and kidney tissues, p53 immunoreactivity of bone marrow, and the serum concentrations of Cu2+, Zn2+, Mn2+, and Fe3+ in rats. MATERIAL/METHODS: Sixteen Sprague-Dawley male rats were divided into two groups. The rats in the experimental group were exposed to an ELF magnetic field 2 hr/day for 2 months (7 days a week). The rats in the control group were not exposed to the ELF magnetic field. The exposure was performed in a Faraday cage (130 x 65 x 80 cm) with grounded shielding against the electric component. The Mann-Whitney U-test was used for the statistical analysis of the data. RESULTS: Magnetic field measurements showed that, under the experimental conditions, the magnetic field-exposure system produced a stable flux density of 1.35+/-0.018 mT and a stable frequency of 50 Hz, with negligible harmonics and no transients. However, no statistically significant alteration was observed in the parameters measured in this study except in Mn2+ concentrations (p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The present study found no evidence of an adverse effect of ELF magnetic fields on the measured parameters except for significantly increased Mn2+ concentrations (p<0.001).PMID: 17072266 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Public health impact of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields.Kheifets L, Afifi AA, Shimkhada R.Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095-1772, USA.INTRODUCTION: The association between exposure to extremely low-frequency electric and magnetic fields (ELF) and childhood leukemia has led to the classification of magnetic fields by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a “possible human carcinogen.” This association is regarded as the critical effect in risk assessment. Creating effective policy in light of widespread exposure and the undisputed value of safe, reliable, and economic electricity to society is difficult and requires estimates of the potential public health impact and associated uncertainties. OBJECTIVES: Although a causal relationship between magnetic fields and childhood leukemia has not been established, we present estimates of the possible pubic health impact using attributable fractions to provide a potentially useful input into policy analysis under different scenarios. METHODS: Using ELF exposure distributions from various countries and dose-response functions from two pooled analyses, we calculate country-specific and worldwide estimates of attributable fractions (AFs) and attributable cases. RESULTS: Even given a wide range of assumptions, we find that the AF remains < 10%, with point estimates ranging from < 1% to about 4%. For small countries with low exposure, the number of attributable cases is less than one extra case per year. Worldwide the range is from 100 to 2,400 cases possibly attributable to ELF exposure. CONCLUSION: The fraction of childhood leukemia cases possibly attributable to ELF exposure across the globe appears to be small. There remain, however, a number of uncertainties in these AF estimates, particularly in the exposure distributions.Publication Types:

PMID: 17035138 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Occupational exposure to ionizing radiation and electromagnetic fields in relation to the risk of thyroid cancer in Sweden.Lope V, Pérez-Gómez B, Aragonés N, López-Abente G, Gustavsson P, Floderus B, Dosemeci M, Silva A, Pollán M.Cancer and Environmental Epidemiology Section, National Center for Epidemiology, Carlos III Institute of Health, C/Sinesio Delgado, 6, ES-28029 Madrid, Spain. vicarvajal@isciii.esOBJECTIVES: This study sought to ascertain the risk of thyroid cancer in relation to occupational exposure to ionizing radiation and extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELFMF) in a cohort representative of Sweden’s gainfully employed population. METHODS: A historical cohort of 2 992 166 gainfully employed Swedish male and female workers was followed up from 1971 through 1989. Exposure to ELFMF and ionizing radiation was assessed using three job exposure matrices based on industrial branch or occupational codes. Relative risks (RR) for male and female workers, adjusted for age and geographic area, were computed using log-linear Poisson models. RESULTS: Occupational ELFMF exposure showed no effect on the risk of thyroid cancer in the study. However, female workers exposed to high intensities of ionizing radiation registered a marked excess risk (RR 1.85, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.02-3.35]. This trend was not in evidence among the men. CONCLUSIONS: While the study confirms the etiologic role of ionizing radiation, with a higher incidence of thyroid cancer being recorded for the most-exposed female workers, our results do not support the possibility of occupational exposure to ELFMF being a risk factor for the development of thyroid cancer.Publication Types:

PMID: 16932825 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Evaluation of residential exposure to intermediate frequency magnetic fields.Kurokawa Y, Nitta H, Kabuto M.Regional Environment Division, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan. kurokawa@nies.go.jpThe authors measured the exposure to intermediate-frequency (IF: 10 kHz to 30 MHz) electromagnetic fields (EMF) in residential environments. They developed a system to acquire and record waveforms of IF magnetic fields (MFs) and set 5 nanotesla (nT) for the trigger level of acquisition. They operated the system near power lines, railroads, and electrical appliances as possible sources of IF-MFs. Most of the maximum values of magnetic flux density and the time derivative for each wave were below the upper limit of the measurable range of our system (i.e., 53 nT and 10 T/s); these values were much lower than the minimum amplitudes that can theoretically induce heating or membrane excitation within biological systems. Moreover, the amplitudes of the IF-MFs were not related to those of extremely low frequency (ELF) MF measured simultaneously, indicating that IF-MFs do not underlie the associations, observed in several epidemiological studies, between residential exposure to ELF-EMF and childhood cancer.Publication Types:

PMID: 16789479 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Suppression of natural killer cell activity on Candida stellatoidea by a 50 Hz magnetic field.Canseven AG, Seyhan N, Mirshahidi S, Imir T.Department of Biophysics, Gazi University Medical Faculty, Ankara, Turkey. canseven@gazi.edu.trExposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) is ubiquitous for almost all individuals living in industrialized countries. Epidemiological and laboratory studies suggest that exposure to Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) EMF increase cancer risk. The immune system functions as one of the body’s main protective mechanisms, and Natural Killer (NK) cells are a subset of lymphocytes that can destroy several types of tumor cells. In this study, we investigated, NK cell activity after exposure to a 50 Hertz (Hz), 2 mT magnetic field generated by a Helmholtz Coil. Nineteen male, 10-12 week old guinea pigs were used, and NK cytotoxic activity of splenocytes was measured in vitro by natural anticandidial colorimetric index. The Mann-Whitney U test was applied for statistical analysis. NK cell cytotoxic activity was decreased in exposed compared to controls. Our data suggests that part of the immune system, the NK cell, can be suppressed by a 50 Hz magnetic field.PMID: 16771296 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Childhood leukemia, electric and magnetic fields, and temporal trends.Kheifets L, Swanson J, Greenland S.Department of Epidemiology, UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles, California 90095-1772, USA. kheifets@ucla.eduDuring the past 25 years concern has been raised about the possible health effects of extremely low frequency (ELF) electric and magnetic fields (EMFs), particularly regarding childhood leukemia. Comparison of changes in electricity consumption (a surrogate for exposure) to changes in childhood-leukemia rates, known as ecologic correlation, have been used to argue both for and against the association between magnetic fields and childhood leukemia. In this paper we explore what can be learned from such an ecologic approach. We first examine separately the evidence on trends in exposure to EMFs and on trends in leukemia rates, and then compare the two. Both incidence rates and exposures have increased, but there are so many approximations and assumptions involved in connecting the two trends that we cannot regard the ecologic evidence as providing any meaningful evidence for or against a causal link.PMID: 16724316 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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[Suppression of tumor immunity by electromagnetic fields and glucocorticoids in mice with implanted Ehrlich carcinoma][Article in Serbian]Knezević D.Medicinski fakultet Novi Sad.INTRODUCTION: The immune system plays a major role in the origin, growth and evolution of tumors; factors that decrease the immune response in any way can cause higher tumor incidence and its faster or uncontrolled growth and evolution. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The research included 18 healthy male Han: NMRI mice, weighing between 25 and 30g, with ten-day-old tumor deposits, divided into three groups consisting of six mice each. The first group was continuously exposed to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (intensity 70-320 microT). The second group was treated with high doses of corticosteroids (dexamethasone). The control group was not treated with corticosteroids, nor was exposed to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields. The exposure period lasted for ten days. The criteria used to evaluate tumor immunity were: histological findings of leukocyte infiltration around the tumor cells and white blood cell count. RESULTS: The control group presented with excellent immune response to tumor cells. Lymphoplasmacytic infiltrates widely surrounded the tumor. Numerous tumor cells showed signs of cell death. The results showed that exposure of animals to high doses of glucocorticoids resulted in extremely decreased leukocyte infiltration in the tumor tissue (single lymphocytes), while exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields significantly decreased leukocyte infiltration in comparison to the control group. Comparison of white blood cell count in treated groups revealed that the white blood cell count in both treated groups was decreased, compared with the control group. CONCLUSION: Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields significantly suppress the immune response to tumor cells. Dexamethasone treatment resulted in almost complete absence of immune response to tumor cells. Electromagnetic fields and dexamethasone both decrease the white blood cell count.Publication Types:

PMID: 16673867 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Do extremely low frequency magnetic fields enhance the effects of environmental carcinogens? A meta-analysis of experimental studies.Juutilainen J, Kumlin T, Naarala J.University of Kuopio, Department of Environmental Sciences, Kuopio, Finland. jukka.juutilainen@uku.fiPURPOSE: This paper is a meta-analysis of data from in vitro studies and short-term animal studies that have combined extremely low frequency magnetic fields with known carcinogens or other toxic physical or chemical agents. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The data was analyzed by systematic comparison of study characteristics between positive and negative studies to reveal possible consistent patterns. RESULTS: The majority of the studies reviewed were positive, suggesting that magnetic fields do interact with other chemical and physical exposures. Publication bias is unlikely to explain the findings. Interestingly, a nonlinear ‘dose-response’ was found, showing a minimum percentage of positive studies at fields between 1 and 3 mT. The radical pair mechanism (magnetic field effects on recombination of radical pairs) is a good candidate mechanism for explaining the biphasic dose-response seen in the present analysis. CONCLUSIONS: Most of the studies reviewed used magnetic fields of 100 microT or higher, so the findings are not directly relevant for explaining the epidemiological findings suggesting increased risk of childhood leukemia above 0.4 microT. However, confirmed adverse effects even at 100 microT would have implications for risk assessment and management, including the need to reconsider the exposure limits for magnetic fields. There is an obvious need for further studies on combined effects with magnetic fields.Publication Types:

PMID: 16546898 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF) does not affect the expression of alpha3, alpha5 and alpha7 nicotinic receptor subunit genes in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell line.Antonini RA, Benfante R, Gotti C, Moretti M, Kuster N, Schuderer J, Clementi F, Fornasari D.Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Milan, via Vanvitelli 32, 20129 Milan, Italy.Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are involved in a number of functional processes, including cognition, learning and memory, and alterations in their expression and/or activity have been implicated in various neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia. Epidemiological studies have shown that exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) may contribute to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Given the role of nAChRs in physiological and pathological conditions, we wondered whether an extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF) may affect the expression of the molecules involved in neurodegenerative processes. In order to investigate this possibility, we studied the expression of alpha3, alpha5 and alpha7 nicotinic subunits upon exposure of the SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cell line to a 50 Hz power-line magnetic field in a “blind trial” system; various magnetic flux densities and exposure times were applied. Our studies show that the expression of some relevant components of the cholinergic nicotinic system, which is one of the most affected neurotransmission systems in AD, did not undergo any change at molecular level by environmental exposure to ELF-EMF.Publication Types:

PMID: 16513298 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Occupational magnetic field exposure and the risk of acoustic neuroma.Forssén UM, Lönn S, Ahlbom A, Savitz DA, Feychting M.Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA. forssen@email.unc.eduBACKGROUND: Acoustic neuroma is the intracranial tumor subtype showing the highest relative risk in relation to ionizing radiation but other environmental risk factors are largely unknown. This study was performed to investigate the effect of power frequency magnetic fields. METHOD: A total of 793 cases between 1987 and 1999 were identified through the Swedish cancer registry and 101,762 controls were randomly selected from the total population. Information about occupation was obtained from censuses and linked to gender specific job-exposure matrices based on actual measurements of 50 Hz magnetic field exposure. RESULT: We investigated time-weighted average, peak values, and rate of change of magnetic field exposure considering several different time windows in relation to cancer diagnosis. We found no increases in risks regardless of exposure metric or time window of exposure. CONCLUSION: This study is the largest ever on acoustic neuroma and the first study to evaluate this tumor subtype specifically in relation to extremely low frequency magnetic fields. The results do not support the hypothesis that 50 Hz magnetic fields increase the risk of acoustic neuroma. Copyright (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.PMID: 16374820 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Effect of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) on Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpes virus in BCBL-1 cells.Pica F, Serafino A, Divizia M, Donia D, Fraschetti M, Sinibaldi-Salimei P, Giganti MG, Volpi A.Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy. pica@uniroma2.itAssociation between extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) and human cancers is controversial, and few studies have been conducted on their influence on oncogenic viruses. We studied the effects of 1 mT, 50 Hz sine waves, applied for 24-72 h, on Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS)-associated herpesvirus (KSHV or HHV-8) in BCBL-1, a latently infected primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) cell line. ELF-EMF exposure did not affect the growth and viability of BCBL-1 cells, either stimulated or not with TPA. The total amount of KSHV DNA detected in ELF-EMF exposed cultures not stimulated with TPA did not differ from that of the unexposed controls (P = ns). However, in the presence of TPA stimulation, total KSHV DNA content was found higher in ELF-EMF exposed than in control BCBL-1 cultures (P = .024) at 72 h exposure, but not earlier. Viral DNA increase significantly correlated with increased mean fluorescence intensity/cell for the lytic antigen gp K8.1A/B (P < .01), but not with percentage of gp K8.1A/B-positive cells or of cells containing virions. Viral progeny produced under ELF-EMF exposure consisted mainly of defective viral particles. (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.Publication Types:

PMID: 16342195 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Effects of ELF magnetic fields on protein expression profile of human breast cancer cell MCF7.Li H, Zeng Q, Weng Y, Lu D, Jiang H, Xu Z.Bioelectromagnetics Laboratory, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310031, China.Extremely Low Frequency Magnetic Fields (ELF MF) has been considered as a “possible human carcinogen” by International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) while credible mechanisms of its carcinogenicity remain unknown. In this study, a proteomics approach was employed to investigate the changes of protein expression profile induced by ELF MF in human breast cancer cell line MCF7, in order to determine ELF MF-responsive proteins. MCF7 cells were exposed to 50 Hz, 0.4 mT ELF MF for 24 h and the changes of protein profile were examined using two dimensional electrophoresis. Up to 6 spots have been statistically significantly altered (their expression levels were changed at least 5 fold up or down) compared with sham-exposed group. 19 ones were only detected in exposure group while 19 ones were missing. Three proteins were identified by LC-IT Tandem MS as RNA binding protein regulatory subunit, Proteasome subunit beta type 7 precursor and Translationally Controlled Tumor Protein. Our finding showed that 50 Hz, 0.4 mT ELF MF alternates the protein profile of MCF7 cell and may affect many physiological functions of normal cell and 2-DE coupled with MS is a promising approach to elucidating cellular effects of electromagnetic fields.Publication Types:

PMID: 16315602 [PubMed – in process]


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Comment in:

Selection bias and its implications for case-control studies: a case study of magnetic field exposure and childhood leukaemia.

Mezei G, Kheifets L.

Environment Department, Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA 94303, USA. gmezei@epri.com

Based on the epidemiological association between residential exposure to extremely low frequency-magnetic fields (ELF-MF) and childhood leukaemia, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified ELF-MF as a possible human carcinogen. Since clear supportive laboratory evidence is lacking and biophysical plausibility of carcinogenicity of MFs is questioned, a causal relationship between childhood leukaemia and magnetic field exposure is not established. Among the alternative explanations, selection bias in epidemiological studies of MFs seems to be the most plausible hypothesis. In reviewing the epidemiological literature on ELF-MF exposure and childhood leukaemia, we found evidence both for and against the existence of selection bias. To evaluate the potential for selection bias, we examined the relationship of socioeconomic status to subject participation and exposure to MFs. We find that, often, reporting of selection processes in itself is biased and incomplete, making the interpretation and evaluation of a potential for bias difficult. However, if present, such a bias would have wide implications for case-control studies in general. We call for better reporting and for evaluation of the potential for selection bias in all case-control studies, as well as, for the development of novel methods in control selection and recruitment.

Publication Types:

PMID: 16303812 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Genotoxic effects of extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields (MF) evaluated by the Tradescantia-micronucleus assay.Fatigoni C, Dominici L, Moretti M, Villarini M, Monarca S.Department of Medical-Surgical Specialities and Public Health, University of Perugia, Via del Giochetto, I-06126 Perugia, Italy.Extremely low frequency (ELF) electric fields (EF) and magnetic fields (MF) are generated during the production, transmission, and use of electrical energy. Although epidemiology studies suggest that there is a cancer risk associated with exposure to ELF-MF, short-term genotoxicity assays with bacteria and mammalian cells have produced inconsistent results. In the present study, we investigated the possible genotoxicity of ELF-MF by using the Tradescantia-micronucleus (Trad-MN) assay, a sensitive, reproducible, well-standardized assay for genotoxicity testing. A 50 Hz ELF-MF was generated by a laboratory exposure system consisting of a pair of parallel coils in a Helmholtz configuration. Exposure of Tradescantia (clone # 4430) inflorescences to the ELF-MF, at a flux density (B) corresponding to 1 mT, for 1, 6, and 24 h resulted in a time-dependent increase in MN frequency. The results indicate that a 50 Hz MF of 1 mT field strength is genotoxic in the Trad-MN bioassay and suggest that this assay may be suitable as a biomonitor for detecting the genotoxicity of ELF-MF in the field. Copyright (c) 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Publication Types:

PMID: 16302171 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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The Bernal Lecture 2004 Are low-frequency electromagnetic fields a health hazard?Crumpton MJ.Scientific Advisory Committee, The EMF Biological Research Trust, South Croydon, UK. brt@emfields.demon.co.ukElectric power is an essential commodity of the developed world, and is critical to the continuing progress of our technology-based society, as well as to the growth of less privileged societies. In contrast to its overwhelming benefits, there is a suspicion that the magnetic component of the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) associated with power distribution and electrical appliances has adverse health effects, especially a small increased incidence of childhood leukaemia. The possibility that environmental EMFs represent a health hazard has serious economic implications for government, the electricity industry and society, as well as raising several profound scientific challenges, including, in particular, biophysical mechanisms, experimental replication and scientific uncertainty. These challenges are explored in relation to the experiences of the EMF Biological Research Trust, a UK medical research charity which funds basic research on the biological effects of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs). As judged from these experiences, at the present time there is no compelling experimental evidence that environmental ELF-EMFs induce biological responses.Publication Types:

PMID: 16147518 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Non-cancer EMF effects related to children.Feychting M.Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Maria.Feychting@imm.ki.sePotential adverse effects of electromagnetic field exposure on the developing child have been discussed during the last decades. Effects during fetal development could have major consequences and possibly lead to various adverse pregnancy outcomes. This study summarizes the evidence on adverse pregnancy outcomes in relation to extremely low frequency (ELF) and radiofrequency (RF) exposures and briefly discusses other potential health effects, excluding cancer, following childhood exposures to these fields. Most studies of ELF exposures have not demonstrated any consistent risk increases for adverse pregnancy outcomes, but limitations in the exposure assessment methods and very limited power to study high exposure levels prevents any conclusions. Findings of an increased risk of spontaneous abortion in relation to maximum magnetic field exposures in two studies need to be confirmed. Studies of RF exposure have mostly been limited to physiotherapists and although some positive findings have been reported, no specific type of malformation or other adverse outcome has been consistently reported. Different types of symptoms and effects on cognitive function in relation to both ELF and RF fields have been reported in adults, but scientific studies have not confirmed that these symptoms are caused by the electromagnetic fields. No information is available for children. Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, IncPublication Types:

PMID: 16142774 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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The sensitivity of children to electromagnetic fields.Kheifets L, Repacholi M, Saunders R, van Deventer E.Department of Epidemiology, University of California School of Public Health, Los Angeles, California 90095-1772, USA. kheifets@ucla.eduIn today’s world, technologic developments bring social and economic benefits to large sections of society; however, the health consequences of these developments can be difficult to predict and manage. With rapid advances in electromagnetic field (EMF) technologies and communications, children are increasingly exposed to EMFs at earlier and earlier ages. Consistent epidemiologic evidence of an association between childhood leukemia and exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields has led to their classification by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a “possible human carcinogen.” Concerns about the potential vulnerability of children to radio frequency (RF) fields have been raised because of the potentially greater susceptibility of their developing nervous systems; in addition, their brain tissue is more conductive, RF penetration is greater relative to head size, and they will have a longer lifetime of exposure than adults. To evaluate information relevant to children’s sensitivity to both ELF and RF EMFs and to identify research needs, the World Health Organization held an expert workshop in Istanbul, Turkey, in June 2004. This article is based on discussions from the workshop and provides background information on the development of the embryo, fetus, and child, with particular attention to the developing brain; an outline of childhood susceptibility to environmental toxicants and childhood diseases implicated in EMF studies; and a review of childhood exposure to EMFs. It also includes an assessment of the potential susceptibility of children to EMFs and concludes with a recommendation for additional research and the development of precautionary policies in the face of scientific uncertainty.Publication Types:

PMID: 16061584 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Childhood leukemia and EMF: review of the epidemiologic evidence.Kheifets L, Shimkhada R.Department of Epidemiology, UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles, California 90095-1772, USA. kheifets@ucla.eduAll populations are exposed to varying degrees of electromagnetic fields (EMF); in this study we consider only extremely low frequency (ELF) and radio frequency (RF) fields. After the first study of ELF and childhood leukemia in 1979, intensive epidemiologic investigation has sought to shed light on the potential relation between EMF and childhood leukemia. Consistent associations from epidemiologic studies and two pooled analyses have been the basis for the classification of ELF as a possible carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The study of RF is still in its infancy and little is known about residential RF exposure or its potential effects on childhood leukemia. The purpose of this study, presented at the WHO Workshop on Sensitivity of Children to EMF in Istanbul, Turkey in June 2004, is to review and critically assess the epidemiologic evidence on EMF and childhood leukemia. Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, IncPublication Types:

PMID: 16059924 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Chromosomal damage in human diploid fibroblasts by intermittent exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields.Winker R, Ivancsits S, Pilger A, Adlkofer F, Rüdiger HW.Division of Occupational Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, Vienna A-1090, Austria. robert.winker@meduniwien.ac.atEnvironmental exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) has been implicated in the development of cancer in humans. An important basis for assessing a potential cancer risk due to ELF-EMF exposure is knowledge of biological effects on human cells at the chromosomal level. Therefore, we investigated in the present study the effect of intermittent ELF electromagnetic fields (50 Hz, sinusoidal, 5’field-on/10’field-off, 2-24 h, 1 mT) on the induction of micronuclei (MN) and chromosomal aberrations in cultured human fibroblasts. ELF-EMF radiation resulted in a time-dependent increase of micronuclei, which became significant after 10 h of intermittent exposure at a flux density of 1 mT. After approximately 15 h a constant level of micronuclei of about three times the basal level was reached. In addition, chromosomal aberrations were increased up to 10-fold above basal levels. Our data strongly indicate a clastogenic potential of intermittent low-frequency electromagnetic fields, which may lead to considerable chromosomal damage in dividing cells.Publication Types:

PMID: 16009595 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Decrease in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion following exposure to magnetic fields.Sakurai T, Koyama S, Komatsubara Y, Jin W, Miyakoshi J.Department of Radiological Technology, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Hirosaki University, Hirosaki, Japan.We evaluated the effects of extremely low frequency magnetic field (ELFMF) on glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from HIT-T15 cells and investigated the mechanisms of these effects. We demonstrated that exposure to ELFMF at 5mT decreased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion by preventing the increases in cellular adenosine 5′-triphosphate/adenosine 5′-diphosphate, membrane depolarization, and cytosolic free calcium ion concentration. The glucose-induced upregulation of insulin mRNA expression was also attenuated by exposure to ELFMF, although cell viability was not affected. These findings demonstrate the potential of exposure to ELFMF for clinical use as a novel inhibitory method of insulin secretion.Publication Types:

PMID: 15896294 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin excretion in humans during domestic exposure to 50 hertz electromagnetic fields.Cocco P, Cocco ME, Paghi L, Avataneo G, Salis A, Meloni M, Atzeri S, Broccia G, Ennas MG, Erren TC, Reiter RJ.Department of Public Health, Occupational Health Section, University of Cagliari, Italy. coccop@pacs.unica.itOBJECTIVES: Exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) has been suggested to suppress melatonin secretion, which might result in higher cancer risks because of its missing oncostatic action. We investigated the effects of residential exposure to ELF-EMF on the excretion of urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin (6-OHMS), the major melatonin metabolite, as an indicator of nocturnal melatonin secretion. METHODS: 6-OHMS was measured in two spot urine samples, collected at 22.00 h and 08.00 h, in 29 men and 22 women. Spot ELF-EMF measurements were conducted at the centre and the four angles of the living room, the bedroom, and the kitchen of study subjects at low current configuration (all lights and appliances turned off), and they were repeated immediately at high current configuration (all lights and appliances turned on). RESULTS: Risk of a reduced 6-OMHS nocturnal secretion was elevated for daily alcohol intake (OR = 6.4; 95%C.I. 1.4,33.1), and body mass index (BMI) above the median (OR = 2.2; 95%C.I. 0.5,9.6). Risk of disrupted rhythm of 6-OHMS excretion was moderately elevated for domestic ELF-EMF exposure above the upper tertile at low current configuration (OR = 2.6; 95%C.I. 0.4,15.7). CONCLUSION: Alcohol consumption, BMI, and gender seem to affect nocturnal melatonin secretion, while an effect of residential exposure to ELF-EMF is uncertain. Future studies should properly account for the effect of such variables, when addressing the hypothesis of disturbances in melatonin secretion as a plausible explanation for the reported excess risk of several tumoral diseases associated with low level ELF-EMF exposure.Publication Types:

PMID: 15855885 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Lack of effect of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields on cyclin-dependent kinase 4 inhibitor gene p18(INK4C) in electric energy workers.Erdal N, Erdal ME, Gürgül S.Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Mersin, Mersin, Turkey. nerdal@mersin.edu.trBACKGROUND: Long-term exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) may be a risk factor for human cancer. One mechanism through which ELF-MFs could influence neoplastic development is the deletion/mutation of cancer-related genes. Cellular proliferation follows an orderly progression through the cell cycle, which is governed by different cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CDKIs). The putative tumor suppressor gene p18(INK4C) encodes a specific inhibitor of cyclin D-cyclin-dependent kinase 4 inhibitor complexes having an important role in cell-cyclin regulation. It has been found to be deleted/mutated in a variety of human cancers. Therefore, this study is to investigate whether or not long-term extremely low frequency electromagnetic field exposure may be a risk factor for human cancer due to the gene p18(INK4C) deletion/mutation. METHODS: The study was carried out on 31 male electric workers and 30 healthy males between 30 and 40 years of age from the same geographic area and with similar lifestyles. We studied both groups by polymerase chain reaction-single strand conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP). RESULTS: In comparison to the controls, band migration of exon 1 was found to be indifferent in all the subjects tested. However, only exon 2 of two electric workers was slow in migration with respect to both control and other subjects in the same class. This slow migration suggests that point mutations or polymorphisms may exist in this region of the p18(INK4C) gene. The relative risk (RR) for the unmatched analysis was 1,069 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.975-1.172). CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that long-term ELF-MFs exposure does not significantly increase the risk of cancer.PMID: 15847943 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Oxidative DNA damage in rats exposed to extremely low frequency electro magnetic fields.Yokus B, Cakir DU, Akdag MZ, Sert C, Mete N.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary, Dicle University, 21280 Diyarbakir, Turkey. beyokus@dicle.edu.trExtremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic field (EMF) is thought to prolong the life of free radicals and can act as a promoter or co-promoter of cancer. 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8OHdG) is one of the predominant forms of radical-induced lesions to DNA and is a potential tool to asses the cancer risk. We examined the effects of extremely low frequency electro magnetic field (ELF-EMF) (50 Hz, 0.97 mT) on 8OHdG levels in DNA and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) in plasma. To examine the possible time-dependent changes resulting from magnetic field, 8OHdG and TBARS were quantitated at 50 and 100 days. Our results showed that the exposure to ELF-EMF induced oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation (LPO). The 8OHdG levels of exposed group (4.39+/-0.88 and 5.29+/-1.16 8OHdG/dG.10(5), respectively) were significantly higher than sham group at 50 and 100 days (3.02+/-0.63 and 3.46+/-0.38 8OHdG/dG.10(5)) (p<0.001, p<0.001). The higher TBARS levels were also detected in the exposure group both on 50 and 100 days (p<0.001, p<0.001). In addition, the extent of DNA damage and LPO would depend on the exposure time (p<0.05 and p<0.05). Our data may have important implications for the long-term exposure to ELF-EMF which may cause oxidative DNA damage.PMID: 15788236 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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EMF and health.Feychting M, Ahlbom A, Kheifets L.Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Maria.Feychting@imm.ki.seElectric and magnetic fields are ubiquitous in the modern society, and concerns have been expressed regarding possible adverse effects of these exposures. This review covers epidemiologic research on health effects of exposures to static, extremely low-frequency (ELF), and radio frequency (RF) fields. Research on ELF fields has been performed for more than two decades, and the methodology and quality of studies have improved over time. Studies have consistently shown increased risk for childhood leukemia associated with ELF magnetic fields, whereas ELF fields most likely are not a risk factor for breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. There are still inadequate data for other outcomes. More recently, focus has shifted toward RF exposures from mobile telephony. There are no persuasive data suggesting a health risk, but this research field is still immature with regard to the quantity and quality of available data. This technology is constantly changing and there is a need for continued research on this issue. Almost no epidemiologic data are available for static fields.Publication Types:

PMID: 15760285 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Self-reported electrical appliance use and risk of adult brain tumors.Kleinerman RA, Linet MS, Hatch EE, Tarone RE, Black PM, Selker RG, Shapiro WR, Fine HA, Inskip PD.Radiation Epidemiology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 6120 Executive Boulevard, EPS 7044, Rockville, MD 20852-7238, USA. kleinerr@mail.nih.govElectrical appliances produce the highest intensity exposures to residential extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields. The authors investigated whether appliances may be associated with adult brain tumors in a hospital-based case-control study at three centers in the United States from 1994 to 1998. A total of 410 glioma, 178 meningioma, and 90 acoustic neuroma cases and 686 controls responded to a self-administered questionnaire about 14 electrical appliances. There was little evidence of association between brain tumors and curling iron, heating pad, vibrating massager, electric blanket, heated water bed, sound system, computer, television, humidifier, microwave oven, and electric stove. Ever use of hair dryers was associated with glioma (odds ratio = 1.7, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 2.5), but there was no evidence of increasing risk with increasing amount of use. In men, meningioma was associated with electric shaver use (odds ratio = 10.9, 95% confidence interval: 2.3, 50), and odds ratios increased with cumulative minutes of use, although they were based on only two nonexposed cases. Recall bias for appliances used regularly near the head or chance may provide an alternative explanation for the observed associations. Overall, results indicate that extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields from commonly used household appliances are unlikely to increase the risk of brain tumors.Publication Types:

PMID: 15632263 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Influence of extremely-low-frequency magnetic field on antioxidative melatonin properties in AT478 murine squamous cell carcinoma culture.Zwirska-Korczala K, Adamczyk-Sowa M, Polaniak R, Sowa P, Birkner E, Drzazga Z, Brzozowski T, Konturek SJ.Department of Physiology, Silesian University School of Medicine, Zabrze, Poland.Effects of melatonin, extremely-low-frequency magnetic field (ELF-MF), and their combination on AT478 murine squamous cell carcinoma line were studied. Manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (Cu/ZnSOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) were used as markers of cells antioxidative status, and malondialdehyde (MDA) level was used as a marker of lipid peroxidation. After melatonin treatment, antioxidative enzyme activities were increased and MDA level was decreased. Application of ELF-MF on treated cells caused an increase of both superoxide dismutases activity and MDA level, but influence of ELF-MF on GSH-Px activity was negligible. All enzyme activity in culture medium containing melatonin (10(-3), 10(-4), 10(-5) M) after exposure to ELF-MF were significantly diminished compared to cells treated only with melatonin. Also MDA levels after combined treatment with melatonin and ELF-MF were significantly decreased. Observed changes were statistically significant (p<0.05). These results strongly suggest that ELF-MF attenuates antioxidative actions of melatonin on cellular level.PMID: 15621941 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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[Evaluation of genotoxic and/or co-genotoxic effects in cells exposed in vitro to extremely-low frequency electromagnetic fields][Article in Italian]Scassellati Sforzolini G, Moretti M, Villarini M, Fatigoni C, Pasquini R.Dipartimento di Igiene e Sanità Pubblica, Università degli Studi di Perugia.During the last two decades, concerns have arisen regarding a possible association between extremely-low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields (EMF) exposure and cancer incidence (e.g. childhood acute leukaemia, cancer of the nervous system, and lymphomas). In 1979, Wertheimer and Leeper firstly reported an excess of cancer mortality among children living in homes located near power lines and presumably exposed to elevated magnetic fields. Subsequently, a large number of epidemiological studies investigated the possible association between residential or occupational exposure to ELF-EMF and cancer. Several in vivo and in vitro models have been investigated with the effort to determine a link, if any, between such fields and mutagenesis and to determine the possible mechanism of cancer risk. However, a causal relationship between exposure to ELF-EMF and cancer has been suggested but has not been unequivocally demonstrated. In 1998, following an analysis of the results retrieved in the literature, the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences proposed to apply a “possible human carcinogen” category (Group 2B) to ELF-EMF. More recently, in 2002, the same classification for ELF-MF was proposed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. In this in vitro approach, to test the genotoxic and/or co-genotoxic potency of ELF-MF, we used the alkaline single-cell microgel-electrophoresis (comet) assay and the cytokinesis block micronucleus test. Co-exposure assays were performed in the presence of N-methyl-N’-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG), 4-nitroquinoline N-oxide (4NQO), benzene, 1,4-benzenediol (1,4-BD), or 1,2,4-benzenetriol (1,2,4-BT). An ELF-MF (50 Hz, 5 mT) was obtained by a system composed of capsulated induction coils. ELF-MF alone was unable to cause direct primary DNA damage. Whereas, an increased extent of DNA damage was observed in cells co-exposed to ELF-MF and MNNG, 1,4-BD, or 1,2,4-BT. An opposite trend was observed in cells treated with 4NQO and co-exposed to ELF-MF. Moreover, the frequency of micronucleated cells in ELF-MF-exposed cells was higher than in control cultures. Our findings suggest that the tested ELF-MF (50 Hz, 5 mT) possess genotoxic (micronucleus test) and co-genotoxic (comet assay) capabilities. The possibility that ELF-MF might interfere with the genotoxic activity of xenobiotics has important implications, since human populations are likely to be exposed to a variety of genotoxic agents concomitantly with exposure to this type of physical agent.Publication Types:

PMID: 15554538 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Extremely low frequency-modulated static magnetic fields to treat cancer: A pilot study on patients with advanced neoplasm to assess safety and acute toxicity.Ronchetto F, Barone D, Cintorino M, Berardelli M, Lissolo S, Orlassino R, Ossola P, Tofani S.Division of Medicine and Geriatric Oncology, Ivrea-Cuorgnè Hospital ASL 9, Cuorgnè, Italy. resp.med.cas@asl.ivrea.to.itResults of a toxicity pilot human study approved by the competent ethical Committee are reported. Eleven patients with heavily pre-treated advanced cancer were enrolled in a pilot study with different schedules of time exposure to static magnetic fields (MF), amplitude modulated by ELF. An area including the neck, thoracic and abdomen was MF exposed daily, 5 days/week for 4 weeks according to two different schedules: 20 min daily (4 patients) and 70 min daily (7 patients). ECOG performance status was 1 (2 patients), 2 (8 patients), 3 (1 patient). Toxicity was assessed according to WHO criteria. ECG, Chest X-ray, physical examination, blood cell count and complete blood chemistry were performed before and at the end of the treatment. Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) elevation (grade 2 toxicity) in 1 patient and microscopic urinary abnormalities in 5 patients were the only negative effects observed. We conclude that MF can be safely administrated according to the MF exposure schedules. 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.Publication Types:

PMID: 15515038 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Recent experimental data on Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) magnetic field carcinogenic risk: open questions.Zapponi GA, Marcello I.Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy. alfredo.zapponi@iss.itThe NTP experimental studies on Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) magnetic fields (two-year studies in rats and mice and magnetic field promotion/DMBA initiation in female rats studies, NTP 1999) are of main interest because of the value and completeness of the information produced on neoplastic and non-neoplastic effects. Ajoint evaluation of the two-year study data indicates a thyroid C-cell focal hyperplasia increase in female rats at the same exposures at which the neoplasm increment of the same cells has been observed only in male rats (on which the “equivocal evidence” NTP classification is based). The significant exposure-related trichoepithelioma and trichoepithelioma plus other skin neoplasms reported for male rats in the two year studies finds some support in the female rat data relative to trichoepithelioma reported in incidence summary of the NTP 26-week initiation/promotion study, even if the experimental designs of the two studies are different. An indication of exposure-related increase of single mammary carcinomas emerges from the summary of neoplasm incidence, together with a dose-related decrease of mammary gland multiple carcinomas. A significant decrease of lung alveolar/bronchiolar adenoma incidence was observed in exposed groups in both mouse genders. It seems improbable to attribute the above effects only to chance. The present debate, dividing science in two opposite fields: one of them denying any appreciable carcinogenic effect of magnetic fields, and the other one hypothesising their dramatic effects, are presently devoid of reliable and exhaustive scientific support, which could only be provided by further research.PMID: 15354424 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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The cancer epidemiology of radiation.Wakeford R.BNFL, 1100 Daresbury Park, Daresbury, Warrington WA4 4BG, UK. R.Wakeford@bnfl.comIonizing radiation has been the subject of intense epidemiological investigation. Studies have demonstrated that exposure to moderate-to-high levels can cause most forms of cancer, leukaemia and cancers of the breast, lung and thyroid being particularly sensitive to induction by radiation, especially at young ages at exposure. Predominant among these studies is the Life Span Study of the cohort of survivors of the atomic bombings of Japan in 1945, but substantial evidence is derived from groups exposed for medical reasons, occupationally or environmentally. Notable among these other groups are underground hard rock miners who inhaled radioactive radon gas and its decay products, large numbers of patients irradiated therapeutically and workers who received high doses in the nuclear weapons programme of the former USSR. The degree of carcinogenic risk arising from low levels of exposure is more contentious, but the available evidence points to an increased risk that is approximately proportional to the dose received. Epidemiological investigations of nonionizing radiation have established ultraviolet radiation as a cause of skin cancer. However, the evidence for a carcinogenic effect of other forms of nonionizing radiation, such as those associated with mobile telephones or electricity transmission lines, is not convincing, although the possibility of a link between childhood leukaemia and extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields cannot be dismissed entirely.Publication Types:

PMID: 15322514 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Electromagnetic fields and health effects–epidemiologic studies of cancer, diseases of the central nervous system and arrhythmia-related heart disease.Johansen C.Department of Psychosocial Cancer Research, Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, The Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark. christof@cancer.dkThis epidemiologic investigation comprised separate studies of the risk of cancer, cause-specific mortality rates, risks for neurodegenerative diseases, and the risk of arrhythmia-related heart disease among employees exposed to extremely low-frequency (50-Hz) electromagnetic fields (EMF) in the Danish utility industry. All the employees in this industry were followed-up in several registers. The risk of disease was analyzed in relation to occupational exposure to EMF, latency, and duration of employment. A specific job-exposure matrix was developed and validated by comparison with direct measurements of EMF during a workday. Linkage with the Danish Cancer Register did not identify increased risks for the cancers suggested a priori to be associated with exposure to EMF, including leukemia, brain tumors, and breast cancer. Significantly increased risks for lung cancer and mesothelioma were identified for workers highly exposed to asbestos. Linkage with the National Mortality Register revealed a significantly increased overall mortality rate from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), with an increasing trend with duration of employment and EMF exposure. In addition, a significantly increased mortality rate from electric accidents was observed. It was hypothesized that the observation of increased mortality from ALS was associated with exposure to EMF or electric shocks. No increased mortality rate from cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease was observed. Linkage with the National Hospital Register also revealed an increased risk of ALS and, thereby confirmed the finding of an increased mortality rate for this disease in the previous study. Linkage of the cohort with the Multiple Sclerosis Register revealed an increased risk of multiple sclerosis, which was not, however, significant. Linkage with the Pacemaker Register showed no increased risk of severe arrhythmia-related heart disease. The second part of the study included the establishment of a large, nationwide cohort of mobile phone subscribers comprising some 420 000 persons. No increased risk was observed for the cancers considered a priori to be possibly associated with the radiofrequency fields emitted by mobile phones, which were brain tumors, including acoustic neuroma, salivary gland tumors, and leukemia. The data were analyzed by duration of phone use, latency, system used (NMT, GSM or both) and age at first subscription. A study of the incidence of ocular malignant melanoma in comparison with the annual increase among the mobile phone subscribers showed a highly stable incidence rate for this rare cancer in Denmark over close to 50 years of registration. On the basis of these studies and the scientific literature, it is concluded that occupational exposure to 50-Hz EMF is not associated with an increased risk of cancer, but that these fields, electric shocks, or some other unknown factor related to alternating current electricity may be associated with the risk of ALS. There is no clear evidence that 50-Hz EMF is associated with other neurodegenerative or cardiovascular diseases. At present, there is little, if any, evidence that the use of mobile phones is associated with cancer in adults, including brain tumors, acoustic neuroma, cancer of the salivary glands, leukemia, or malignant melanoma of the eye.Publication Types:

PMID: 15255560 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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[Evaluation of the effects of electric and magnetic fields in humans][Article in French]Touitou Y.Service de Biochimie médicale et biologie moléculaire, Faculté de Médecine Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris. touitou@ccr.jussieu.frDuring the twentieth century, environmental exposure to electromagnetic fields generated by human activity has increased regularly, at the same time as the quest for electrical energy. Therefore we are all exposed to a complex set of electric and magnetic fields of weak intensity. The levels of exposure of the general population range from 5 to 50 V/m for electric fields and from 0.01 to 0.2 micro T for magnetic fields. Fields in cause are essentially those associated to the use of the electric current (extremely low frequency, ELF: 50 Hz in France, 60 Hz in the United States) and those related to the use of cell phones (radio frequency: 900 and 1,800 MHz). The question of the possible risk on health by exposure to electric and/or magnetic fields became a concern to scientists and is now an important public debate. A number of expertises, led in particular by the WHO, leaning on the careful inspection of scientific publications from numerous countries, conclude that current data do not allow to assert the existence of sanitary effects; however our knowledge of the biologic effects of electromagnetic fields still contains certain gaps which should be filled. Indeed, the numerous epidemiological studies relative to the occurrence of cancer by exposure to electromagnetic fields are conflicting. In every case the increase of the risk, when described, is always weak. The measure of the Relative Risk (RR) which establishes the relation is approximately 2-3. At present, some data concerning the risk of childhood leukemia in the event of exposure of ELF generated in the home indicate that this risk can exist when children are chronically exposed to more than 0.4 micro T (the relative risk is in the order of 2). In the field of radio frequencies, the increasing use of cell phones (38 million users in France) and their antennae – basis are another subject of concern for the effects on health they are susceptible to produce. Large-scale studies, implying numerous countries, carried on at present within the framework of the WHO should bring elements of answer to the unresolved questions.Publication Types:

PMID: 15243340 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Assessing occupational and domestic ELF magnetic field exposure in the uk adult brain tumour study: results of a feasibility study.van Tongeren M, Mee T, Whatmough P, Broad L, Maslanyj M, Allen S, Muir K, McKinney P.Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Humanities Building, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. martie.van-tongeren@man.ac.ukThe feasibility of measuring exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF MF) in the UK Adult Brain Tumour Study (UKABTS) was examined. During the study, 81 individuals and 30 companies were approached with 79 individuals and 25 companies agreeing to participate. Exposure data were collected using EMDEX II dosemeters worn by the participants for 3-4 consecutive days. Data were collected over a total of 321 d, including non-occupational periods. The results showed occupational exposure to be the main determinant of overall exposure. Moderate to strong correlations were found between arithmetic mean exposure and all other metrics with the possible exception of maximum exposure. Significant differences in exposure were found between job categories with large variability in certain categories. Highest average exposures were found for security officers (arithmetic mean, AM: 0.78 micro T), secretaries (AM: 0.48 micro T) and dentists (AM: 0.42 micro T). Welding and working near high-voltage power lines were associated with elevated exposure. In summary, acceptably precise measures of ELF MF exposure are feasible at relatively moderate cost. The results were used to develop a protocol for data collection from subjects in the UKABTS.Publication Types:

PMID: 15031444 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Weak electromagnetic fields (50 Hz) elicit a stress response in human cells.Tokalov SV, Gutzeit HO.Institut für Zoologie, Technische Universität Dresden, Mommsenstr. 13, D-01062 Dresden, Germany.The aim of this study was to demonstrate the expression of heat shock (HS) genes in human cells in response to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) alone and in combination with thermal stress. After exposing human myeloid leukemia (HL-60) cells to the stressor(s) for 30 min we quantified the expression of the HS genes HSP27, HSP60, HSP70 (A, B, and C), HSC70, HSP75, HSP78, and HSP90 (alpha and beta) by RT-PCR. The results clearly show that HS genes, in particular the three HSP70 genes (A, B, and C), are induced by ELF-EMF, a reaction that is enhanced by simultaneous HS (43 degrees C for 30 min). The results show similarities and some significant differences to previous experiments in which transgenic nematodes were used to monitor the induction of the HSP70 gene under similar stress conditions. We also studied the effect of different flux densities on gene expression in the range of 10-140 microT. Even the lowest dose tested (10 microT) resulted in a significant induction of the genes HSP70A, HSP70B, and HSP70C. The reaction to ELF-EMF shows a maximum at a flux density of 60-80 microT. The unusual dose-response relation reveals an interesting difference to other stressors that elicit the HS response.Publication Types:

PMID: 14757377 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Absence of genotoxicity in human blood cells exposed to 50 Hz magnetic fields as assessed by comet assay, chromosome aberration, micronucleus, and sister chromatid exchange analyses.Stronati L, Testa A, Villani P, Marino C, Lovisolo GA, Conti D, Russo F, Fresegna AM, Cordelli E.Section of Toxicology and Biomedical Sciences, ENEA CR, Casaccia, Rome, Italy.In the past, epidemiological studies indicated a possible correlation between the exposure to ELF fields and cancer. Public concern over possible hazards associated with exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELFMFs) stimulated an increased scientific research effort. More recent research and laboratory studies, however, have not been able to definitively confirm the correlation suggested by epidemiological studies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of 50 Hz magnetic fields in human blood cells exposed in vitro, using several methodological approaches for the detection of genotoxicity. Whole blood samples obtained from five donors were exposed for 2 h to 50 Hz, 1 mT uniform magnetic field generated by a Helmholtz coil system. Comet assay, sister chromatid exchanges (SCE), chromosome aberrations (CA), and micronucleus (MN) tests were used to assess DNA damage, one hallmark of malignant cell transformation. The effects of a combined exposure with X-rays were also evaluated. Results obtained do not show any significant difference between ELFMFs exposed and unexposed samples. Moreover, no synergistic effect with ionizing radiation has been observed. A slight but significant decrease of cell proliferation was evident in ELFMFs treated samples and samples subjected to the combined exposure. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.Publication Types:

PMID: 14696052 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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WHO’s health risk assessment of ELF fields.Repacholi MH.World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.The World Health Organization (WHO), the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), WHO’s scientific collaborating centres (including the UK’s National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB)) and over 50 participating Member States are participants of WHO’s International EMF Project. As part of WHO’s health risk assessment process for extremely low frequency fields (ELF), this workshop was convened by NRPB to assist WHO in evaluating the potential health impacts of electrical currents and fields induced by ELF in molecules, cells, tissues and organs of the body. This paper describes the process by which WHO will conduct its health risk assessment. WHO is also trying to provide information on why exposure to ELF magnetic fields seems to be associated with an increased incidence of childhood leukaemia. Are there mechanisms that could lead to this health outcome or does the epidemiological evidence incorporate biases or other factors that need to be further explored?PMID: 14690270 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Occupational exposures to extremely low frequency magnetic fields and postmenopausal breast cancer.Labrèche F, Goldberg MS, Valois MF, Nadon L, Richardson L, Lakhani R, Latreille B.Montreal Department of Public Health, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. flabrech@santepub-mtl.qc.caBACKGROUND: The association between occupational exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF) and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer was assessed in a case-control study. METHODS: Breast cancer cases were compared to cancer controls. Interviewers elicited information on risk factors and on lifetime work history. Industrial hygienists assigned to each job average duration of exposure to ELF-MF at four levels of intensities (“none,” <0.2 microT; “low,” 0.2-<0.5microT; “medium,” 0.5-<1microT; “high,” > or =1-10microT). Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). RESULTS: A total number of 608 cases and 667 controls participated. Adjusting for accepted breast cancer risk factors, we found an OR of 1.13 for lifetime occupational exposure to ELF-MF at medium or high intensities. Risks were larger for exposures before age 35 (OR = 1.40), and statistically significant for exposures before 35 among cases with progesterone receptor positive tumors (OR = 1.56, 95% CI=1.02-2.39). CONCLUSIONS: There appears to be a small increased risk for breast cancer among postmenopausal women exposed occupationally to ELF-MF. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.Publication Types:

PMID: 14635241 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Micronucleus induction in cells co-exposed in vitro to 50 Hz magnetic field and benzene, 1,4-benzenediol (hydroquinone) or 1,2,4-benzenetriol.Pasquini R, Villarini M, Scassellati Sforzolini G, Fatigoni C, Moretti M.Department of Hygiene and Public Health, University of Perugia, Via del Giochetto, I-06126 Perugia, Italy.The generation, transmission (e.g. power lines, transformers, service wires, and electrical panels), and use (e.g. home appliances, such as electric blankets, shavers, and televisions) of electrical energy is associated with the production of weak electric and magnetic fields (EMF) which oscillate 50 (Europe) or 60 (USA) times per second (power-line frequency), falling in the extremely-low frequency (ELF) region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Epidemiological reports suggest a possible association between exposure to ELF-EMF and an increased risk of cancer (e.g. childhood acute leukaemia). Benzene is an established human leukomogen. This xenobiotic, which is unlikely to be the ultimate carcinogen, is metabolized in the liver to its primary metabolite phenol, which is hydroxylated to hydroquinone (1,4-benzenediol) and 1,2,4-benzenetriol. In this in vitro approach, to test the genotoxic and / or co-genotoxic potency of ELF-EMF, the cytokinesis block micronucleus (MN) method with Jurkat cells has been used. A 50 Hz magnetic field (MF) of 5 mT field strength was applied for different length of time (from 1 to 24 h), either alone or with benzene, 1,4-benzenediol, or 1,2,4-benzenetriol. Our preliminary results show that, after 24 h exposure, the frequency of micronucleated cells in MF-exposed cultures is 1.9 fold higher than in sham-exposed (control) cultures. Benzene exposure does not show any cytogenetic activity, whereas 1,4-benzenediol or 1,2,4-benzenetriol alone significantly affect the number of MN in Jurkat cells, as compared to untreated cultures. Moreover, co-exposure to ELF-MF does not seem to affect the frequency of micronuclei induced by benzene, 1,4-benzenediol, or 1,2,4-benzenetriol.PMID: 14599448 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Study of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields in infant incubators.Cermáková E.Department of Physics, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Brno University of Technology, Brno, Czech Republic. cermakova.e@fce.vutbr.czOBJECTIVES: The aim of the work was to present the results of measurements of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF EMF), namely the magnetic flux density, inside infant incubators, and to compare these results with the data published by other authors who point out to a possible association between leukemia or other diseases observed in newborns kept in incubators after the birth and the ELF EMF exposure in the incubator. The measured magnetic flux densities were compared with the reference values for this frequency range indicated in the European Union (EU) recommendations. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The repeated measurements in incubators were made with a calibrated magnetometer EFA 300 in the frequency range of 5-30 kHz. Effective values of magnetic flux densities of ELF EMF were determined taking account of the reference values. RESULTS: The results of many repeated measurements showing the values of magnetic flux density in modern incubators with plastic supporting frame, were compared with those obtained in old type incubators with iron skeleton. A power frequency of 50 Hz was detected in the incubator and the ELF EMF values were by over two orders lower than the EU reference values. CONCLUSIONS: The paper emphasizes the need to take a special care of newborns kept in incubators even if only the sub-reference values are detected. The EU reference values are intended for the adult human population. A baby in an incubator has much smaller dimensions, higher electric conductivity and maybe trigger another mechanism of response to ELF EMF than that indicated in this paper.PMID: 14587534 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Follow-up of radio and telegraph operators with exposure to electromagnetic fields and risk of breast cancer.Kliukiene J, Tynes T, Andersen A.The Cancer Registry of Norway, Institute of Population-based Cancer Research, Montebello, NO-0310 Oslo, Norway. jolanta.kliukiene@kreftregisteret.noIt is still unclear whether exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) is associated with breast cancer. To further investigate the issue, we followed-up a cohort of Norwegian female radio and telegraph operators in the period 1 January 1961 to 31 May 2002, with 99 breast cancer cases. The standardized incidence ratio (SIR) for breast cancer was 1.30 (95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.05-1.58), compared with the total Norwegian female population. In a subsequent nested case-control study, exposure to radio frequency (405 kHz-25 MHz) and extremely low-frequency (50 Hz) fields due to stay in the radio room during day and night was cumulated by years of employment and workload according to ship type. The exposure was assessed in two age groups (<50, 50+) with regard to risk of breast cancer. The odds ratios in the group with the highest cumulative exposure were 1.78 (95% CI 0.59-5.41) and 2.37 (95% CI 0.88-6.36) in the younger and the older women, respectively. P-value for trend was 0.03 in both age groups. The results of the oestrogen receptor status analysis by exposure to EMF showed an increased risk of oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancer in the younger women, while the older age group had an elevated risk of oestrogen receptor-negative breast cancer. Thus, the present study contributes to the hypothesis of an association between occupational exposure to EMF and increased risk of breast cancer.Publication Types:

PMID: 12883383 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Maternal occupational exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields during pregnancy and childhood leukemia.Infante-Rivard C, Deadman JE.Joint Departments of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada. claire.infante-rivard@mcgill.caBACKGROUND: Pregnancy is a target period for events that could induce childhood leukemia. There has been little attention to possible effects of maternal occupational exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF) during pregnancy. METHODS: We conducted a population-based, case-control study of 491 incident cases of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children 0-9 years of age, matched on age and sex to 491 healthy controls. Cases were diagnosed in the Province of Québec between 1980 and 1993. Mothers were interviewed to obtain detailed prenatal occupational history; individual exposure to ELF-MF was estimated based on a method we recently developed. We used 3 metrics for analyzing exposure: cumulative, average and maximum levels. Analyses were carried out among all study women and among working women only. RESULTS: Comparing the highest 10% of exposed mothers to the others, the risk of leukemia among offspring was moderately increased by using any metric, in all women and among working women only. The highest odds ratio of 2.5 (95% confidence interval = 1.2-5.0) was found for maximum exposure attained in an occupation (>/=0.4 microtesla). CONCLUSIONS: Our results are compatible with an increased risk of childhood leukemia among children whose mothers were exposed to the highest occupational levels of ELF-MF during pregnancy.Publication Types:

PMID: 12843769 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Comment on: Non-ionizing radiation, Part 1: Static and extremely low-frequency electric and magnetic fields, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monograph (Vol. 80), 2002.Hankin NN.Publication Types:

PMID: 12822590 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Possible associations between ELF electromagnetic fields, DNA damage response processes and childhood leukaemia.Hone P, Edwards A, Halls J, Cox R, Lloyd D.National Radiological Protection Board, Chilton, Didcot, OX11 0RQ, UK.Epidemiology has shown an association between exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields (EMF) and childhood leukaemia. The causal nature and biological basis of this association are however questionable. Studies with aneuploid cell lines raised the hypothesis that ELF EMF may act as a coleukaemogen by compromising DNA damage response to genotoxic agents such as ionising radiation. We examined this hypothesis using gamma-ray-induced dicentric chromosome exchange in human lymphocytes. The results from 12 h post-gamma-ray exposure to fields of 0.23, 0.47 and 0.7 mT provide no support to the hypothesis. The power of the study was sufficient to exclude an ELF enhancement of chromosomal exchange of 10-15% (2SE).PMID: 12799640 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Static and ELF magnetic fields enhance the in vivo anti-tumor efficacy of cis-platin against lewis lung carcinoma, but not of cyclophosphamide against B16 melanotic melanoma.Tofani S, Barone D, Berardelli M, Berno E, Cintorino M, Foglia L, Ossola P, Ronchetto F, Toso E, Eandi M.Department of Medical Physics, Ivrea Hospital, ASL 9, 10015 (TO), Ivrea, Italy.Previous works showed that exposure to static and extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields (MF) over 3 mT slows down the growth kinetics of human tumors engrafted s.c. in immunodeficient mice, reducing their metastatizing power and prolonging mouse survival. In the experiments reported here, immunocompetent mice bearing murine Lewis Lung carcinomas (LLCs) or B16 melanotic melanomas were exposed to MF and treated respectively with two commonly used anti-cancer drugs: cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (cis-platin) and N,N-bis (2-chloroethyl)tetra-hydro-2H-1,3,2-oxazaphosphorin-2-amine 2-oxide (cyclophosphamide). The experiment endpoint was survival time. The survival time of mice treated with cis-platin (3mg/kg i.p.) and exposed to MF was significantly (P<0.01) longer than that of mice treated only with cis-platin or only exposed to MF, superimposing that of mice treated with 10mg/kg i.p. of the drug, showing that MF act synergically with the pharmacological treatment. On the contrary, when mice treated with cyclophosphamide (50mg/kg i.p.) were exposed to MF no synergic effects were observed, the survival curve being exactly the same as that of mice treated with the drug alone. No clinical signs or toxicity were seen in any of the mice exposed to MF alone or along with cis-platin or cyclophosphamide treatment, compared to mice given only the two known drugs.A possible explanation for the synergic effect of MF being found in mice treated with cis-platin could be that the platinum ion stimulates radical production and that MF enhance active oxygen production bringing about changes in tumor cell membrane permeability, influencing positively the drug uptake. Alternatively, or in addition to this, it has been demonstrated that the rate of conversion of cis-platin to reactive species able to bind to DNA, is increased by localized production of free radicals by MF.Publication Types:

PMID: 12770519 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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[Epidemiological Studies on extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields and childhood leukemia, and preventive actions based on precautionary principles][Article in Japanese]Mizoue T, Kabuto M.Department of Preventive Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan.Publication Types:

PMID: 12728543 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Extracellular currents alter gap junction intercellular communication in synovial fibroblasts.Marino AA, Kolomytkin OV, Frilot C.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Louisiana State University, Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, Louisiana 71130-3932, USA. amarino@lsuhsc.eduWe studied the effect of extremely low frequency (ELF) currents on gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) mediated by connexin43 protein. Confluent monolayers of synovial fibroblasts (HIG-82) and neuroblastoma cells (5Y) were exposed in bath solution to 0-75 mA/m(2) (0-56 mV/m), 60 Hz. Single channel conductance, cell membrane current-voltage (I-V) curves, and Ca(2+) influx were measured using the nystatin single and double patch methods. The conductances of the closed and open states of the gap junction channel in HIG-82 cells were each significantly reduced (by 0.76 and 0.39 pA, respectively) in cells exposed to 20 mA/m(2). Current densities as low as 10 mA/m(2) significantly increased Ca(2+) influx in HIG-82 cells. No effects were seen in 5Y cells. The I-V curves of the plasma membranes of both types of cells were independent of 60 Hz electric fields and current densities, 0-75 mA/m(2), indicating that the effect of the 60 Hz fields on GJIC in HIG-82 cells was not mediated by a change in membrane potential. We conclude that ELF electric fields can alter GJIC in synovial cells via a mechanism that does not depend on changes in membrane potential, but may depend on Ca(2+) influx. The results open the possibility that GJIC mediated responses in synovial cells, such as for example, their secretory responses to proinflammatory cytokines, could be antagonized by the application of ELF electric fields. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.Publication Types:

PMID: 12669303 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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How much are anesthesiologists exposed to electromagnetic fields in operating rooms?Lee JH, Lee HC, Kim HD, Kim JY, Kim DW, Nam YT, Kim KJ.Department of Anesthesiology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 134 Shinchon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-752, Korea. kkj6063@yumc.yonsei.ac.krNumerous electronic devices have been introduced into the operating room. Although little is known about the relationship between exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) and health hazards, some authors reported its association with cancer or other diseases. We measured the amount of EMF exposure that an anesthesiologist gets in the operating room. The density of the magnetic field was checked by an extremely low frequency (ELF) field strength measurement system in the 19 operating rooms of our hospital. We measured the magnetic field intensity at a distance of 30 cm, 50 cm, and at the place where the anesthesiologist usually stands from the center of the main monitor. The average exposure quantities of magnetic fields in 19 operating rooms were 2.22 +/- 1.13 mG at 30 cm, 1.29 +/- 0.84 mG at 50 cm and 1.00 +/- 0.78 mG at the anesthesiologist’s standing points respectively. Because quantities over 2 or 3 mG were accepted to be high radiation levels of EMF by many reports describing the hazards of EMF, we set 2 mG to be the cutoff value. In some of the 19 operating rooms, the measured EMF density exceeded our cutoff value. Although the health hazards related to EMF exposure are still equivocal, anesthesiologists should consider making an effort to improve their environment and reduce their exposure to EMF.PMID: 12619186 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Comment in:

Interactive effect of chemical substances and occupational electromagnetic field exposure on the risk of gliomas and meningiomas in Swedish men.

Navas-Acién A, Pollán M, Gustavsson P, Floderus B, Plato N, Dosemeci M.

Environmental and Cancer Epidemiology Area, National Center for Epidemiology, Carlos III Institute of Health, 28029 Madrid, Spain.

The objective of our study was to investigate the possible interactive effect of occupational exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic field (ELFMF) and to known or suspected carcinogenic chemicals on the incidence of the two main histological types of brain cancer, gliomas and meningiomas, in a cohort of male Swedish workers. The historical cohort of all Swedish men gainfully employed in 1970 were followed 19 years (1971-1989). Exposure to ELFMF and to nine chemicals were assessed using two Swedish job exposure matrices based on occupational codes and industrial activity. Relative risks adjusted for age, period, geographical area, and town size were computed using log-linear Poisson models. The main finding was the absence of ELFMF effect on glioma risk in the absence of a simultaneous exposure to chemical products. The effect of petroleum products was independent of the intensity of ELFMF exposure whereas solvents, lead, and pesticides/herbicides were only associated with glioma in workers also exposed to moderate or high levels of ELFMF. On the other hand, whereas ELFMF seemed to enhance the effect of specific chemicals in the causation of gliomas, we did not find a relationship between ELFMF exposure and meningiomas. The potential for ELFMF to act as an effect modifier of the association of chemical agents and glioma is an interesting new finding. It would be worthwhile to evaluate this hypothesis for other tumors. Also, it is necessary to confirm these results in epidemiological studies with individual exposure assessments, and in experimental studies that may elucidate whether there is a true causal mechanism for the results we observed.

PMID: 12496061 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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No effects of extremely low frequency magnetic fields found on cytotoxic activities and cytokine production of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro.Ikeda K, Shinmura Y, Mizoe H, Yoshizawa H, Yoshida A, Kanao S, Sumitani H, Hasebe S, Motomura T, Yamakawa T, Mizuno F, Otaka Y, Hirose H.Technical Research Center, The Kansai Electric Power Company, Inc, Amagasaki, Japan.Several epidemiologic studies have suggested an association between exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields (MFs) and cancer in adults and children. A possible target of MFs is the immune system. The effects of the exposure to ELF MFs on the immunological functions of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained from healthy male volunteers were assessed by measuring the natural killer (NK) and lymphokine activated killer (LAK) activities and the production of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-2 (IL-2), and interleukin-10 (IL-10). The PBMCs were exposed to three different MF: linearly polarized (vertical), circularly polarized, and elliptically polarized, at 50 and 60 Hz. Magnetic flux densities were set at 500, 100, 20, and 2 microT (rms) for vertical field and at 500 microT (rms) for the rotating fields. Using cytotoxicity assay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for cytokine production, we could not find any effects of ELF MFs on the cytotoxic activities and the cytokines production of human PBMCs. Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.PMID: 12483662 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Exposure guidelines for low-frequency electric and magnetic fields: report from the Brussels workshop.Sheppard AR, Kavet R, Renew DC.ashersheppard@compuserve.comThe EMF Exposure Guidelines Science Workshop was held to evaluate the information base for guidelines for electric and magnetic field exposures at extremely low frequencies, to identify research needs, and to discuss how best to apply scientific knowledge in developing exposure recommendations. Although the existing guideline values are based on electrostimulation of nerve and muscle tissues, guidelines must also consider controversial studies of potential health effects from chronic exposures at environmental levels that are far too weak to cause electrostimulation. The size of the safety factor applied in specifying exposure limits reflects a variety of factors that introduce uncertainties. These include confidence in existing dose-effect relationships, population diversity, the reliability and precision of techniques to control over-exposure, and completeness of the information base, particularly regarding long-term effects. Specific research questions that can change the level of uncertainty meaningfully were identified in these areas: biophysical mechanisms of electrostimulation; the range of thresholds throughout exposed populations; cancer causation in children and adults, including a possible role for contact currents; cognitive, behavioral, and physiological effects on the central nervous system; improved dosimetry; and better understanding of electromagnetic interference with implanted biomedical devices such as pacemakers, defibrillators, and physiological monitors. This report introduces ten papers from the workshop that address these and related topics in detail.Publication Types:

PMID: 12199546 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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[Environmental risk factors and epidemiologic study][Article in Italian]Signorelli C, Limina RM.Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica, Sezione di Igiene, Università degli Studi di Parma, Via Volturno 39, 43100 Parma.The problems regarding communication of risks in the environmental sector and the analysis of certain causes of pollution, together with their effects on human health are the subjects of this article. In an illustrative and concise manner results of the most important epidemiological studies concerning the effects of non-ionizing radiations, of radon and of air pollution have been analyzed. Throughout this analysis emphasis has been placed on the difficulty of obtaining clear and scientifically based results. Such results are needed in order to provide the population with satisfying information and thus meet the increasing demand for unambiguous answers. Among the risk factors for human health are the high frequency electromagnetic fields used for mobile phones (radiofrequency–RF) nd extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) of power-lines. Even though these risk factors may be minimal the high number of persons exposed could make them an important impact on public health. Regarding the topic of air pollution, effects on particular segments of the population (children, elderly people and subjects with chronic diseases) have been found in various studies; for example, for an increase of PM(10) of 10 microg/m(3) an increase in daily mortality of 0.69% (CI 0.40-0.98) due to cardiovascular and respiratory causes has been estimated as well as an increase in general daily mortality of 0.54% (CI 0.33-0.76). Due to the populations’ low risk perception (caused by unawareness of the problem) radon is undoubtedly the environmental pollutant which has the most impact on public health. This is true even in Italy where 4,000 cases of lung cancer attributable to radon (about 11% of total lung cancer) have been estimated per year; this risk is heightened by the combined effect with smoking. When dealing with health risks the tools of communication must be simple and correct; the mass-media are the most important mediators between the scientific community and the public. It is therefore vital for the public health operators to maintain a continuous relationship with the mass media which should be based on reciprocal trust and full collaboration.Publication Types:

PMID: 12162123 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Induction of DNA strand breaks by intermittent exposure to extremely-low-frequency electromagnetic fields in human diploid fibroblasts.Ivancsits S, Diem E, Pilger A, Rüdiger HW, Jahn O.Division of Occupational Medicine, University Hospital/AKH, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria. sabine.ivancsits@akh-wien.ac.atResults of epidemiological research show low association of electromagnetic field (EMF) with increased risk of cancerous diseases and missing dose-effect relations. An important component in assessing potential cancer risk is knowledge concerning any genotoxic effects of extremely-low-frequency-EMF (ELF-EMF).Human diploid fibroblasts were exposed to continuous or intermittent ELF-EMF (50Hz, sinusoidal, 24h, 1000microT). For evaluation of genotoxic effects in form of DNA single- (SSB) and double-strand breaks (DSB), the alkaline and the neutral comet assay were used.In contrast to continuous ELF-EMF exposure, the application of intermittent fields reproducibly resulted in a significant increase of DNA strand break levels, mainly DSBs, as compared to non-exposed controls. The conditions of intermittence showed an impact on the induction of DNA strand breaks, producing the highest levels at 5min field-on/10min field-off. We also found individual differences in response to ELF-EMF as well as an evident exposure-response relationship between magnetic flux density and DNA migration in the comet assay.Our data strongly indicate a genotoxic potential of intermittent EMF. This points to the need of further studies in vivo and consideration about environmental threshold values for ELF exposure.Publication Types:

PMID: 12160887 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Cancer incidence and magnetic field exposure in industries using resistance welding in Sweden.Håkansson N, Floderus B, Gustavsson P, Johansen C, Olsen JH.Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. niclas.hakansson@imm.ki.seAIMS: To investigate cancer incidence in workers exposed to high levels of extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF). METHODS: A cohort based on the engineering industry was established. Industries assumed to use resistance welding in production were chosen in order to increase the prevalence of high exposed subjects and to reduce the influence of confounding factors. All men and women employed in these branches during 1985-94 were selected, 537 692 men and 180 529 women. Occupation, based on census information from 1980, 1985, and 1990, was linked to a job exposure matrix on ELF-MF. Four exposure groups were used by stratifying on mean workday ELF-MF exposure, using the lowest exposure group as reference. Cancer incidence was obtained by linkage to the Swedish Cancer Registry. RESULTS: Men in the very high exposure group showed an increased incidence of tumours of the kidney, pituitary gland, and biliary passages and liver; for these cancer sites an exposure-response relation was indicated. Women in the very high exposure group showed an increased incidence of astrocytoma I-IV, with a clear exposure-response pattern. An association was suggested in the high exposure group only, for cancer of the corpus uteri and multiple myeloma. Decreased risks in the very high exposure group among men were found for cancer of the colon and connective tissue/muscle. CONCLUSIONS: The results on cancer of the liver, kidney, and pituitary gland among men are in accordance with previous observations. Regarding brain tumours and leukaemia, the outcome for women provided further support of an association. The hypothesis of a biological mechanism involving the endocrine system was partly supported.Publication Types:

PMID: 12107298 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Non-ionizing radiation, Part 1: static and extremely low-frequency (ELF) electric and magnetic fields.IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans.Publication Types:

PMID: 12071196 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Effects of 60 Hz electromagnetic field exposure on APP695 transcription levels in differentiating human neuroblastoma cells.Rao RR, Halper J, Kisaalita WS.Cellular Bioengineering Laboratory, Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.Epidemiological studies have suggested that workers with primary occupation that are likely to have resulted in the medium-to-high extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure are at increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis. As a first step in investigating the possibility of an association between the ELF-EMF exposure and AD at the cellular level, we have used the differentiating IMR-32 neuroblastoma cells. In double-blind experiments, IMR-32 cells were exposed to the magnetic field intensities of 50, 100, and 200 microT at a frequency of 60 Hz for a period of 4 h at the three ages of differentiation (2, 10, and 16 days after incubation in differentiation medium). We used a custom-made Helmholtz coil setup driven by a 60-Hz sinusoidal signal from a function generator and an in-house built power amplifier. Total RNA extracted from the exposed cells was separated by the agarose gel electrophoresis and transferred to a nylon membrane for the northern hybridization. Digoxygenin-labeled APP695 RNA probes were used to detect changes in the APP695 mRNA levels in response to the ELF-EMF exposure. The results reported herein provided no support for any relationship between the APP695 gene transcription and IMR-32 differentiation age, as well as the magnetic field exposure. This study constitutes the first step towards investigating the possibility of an association between the ELF-EMF exposure and AD manifestations at the cellular level.Publication Types:

PMID: 12049751 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Melatonin and magnetic fields.Karasek M, Lerchl A.Laboratory of Electron Microscopy, Chair of Pathomorphology, Medical University of Lodz. Poland. karasek@csk.am.lodz.plThere is public health concern raised by epidemiological studies indicating that extremely low frequency electric and magnetic fields generated by electric power distribution systems in the environment may be hazardous. Possible carcinogenic effects of magnetic field in combination with suggested oncostatic action of melatonin lead to the hypothesis that the primary effects of electric and magnetic fields exposure is a reduction of melatonin synthesis which, in turn, may promote cancer growth. In this review the data on the influence of magnetic fields on melatonin synthesis, both in the animals and humans, are briefly presented and discussed.Publication Types:

PMID: 12019358 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Effects of static magnetic field on human leukemic cell line HL-60.Sabo J, Mirossay L, Horovcak L, Sarissky M, Mirossay A, Mojzis J.Department of Medical Biophysics, Medical Faculty, P.J. Safarik University, Trieda SNP 1, 04011 Kosice, Slovak Republic. grosiar@central.medic.upjs.skA number of structures with magnetic moments exists in living organisms that may be oriented by magnetic field. While most experimental efforts belong to the area of effects induced by weak and extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields, we attempt to give an attention to the biological effects of strong static magnetic fields. The influence of static magnetic field (SMF) on metabolic activity of cells was examined. The metabolic activity retardation is observed in human leukemic cell line HL-60 exposed to 1-T SMF for 72 h. The retardation effect was observed as well as in the presence of the mixture of the antineoplastic drugs 5 fluorouracil, cisplatin, doxorubicin and vincristine.Publication Types:

PMID: 12009481 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Chronic electromagnetic field exposure decreases HSP70 levels and lowers cytoprotection.Di Carlo A, White N, Guo F, Garrett P, Litovitz T.Vitreous State Laboratory, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064, USA.Electromagnetic field (EMF) exposures have been shown to induce heat shock proteins (HSPs), which help to maintain the conformation of cellular proteins during periods of stress. We have previously reported that short-term exposure of chick embryos to either 60 Hz (extremely low frequency: ELF), or radio-frequency (RF: 915 MHz) EMFs induce protection against hypoxia. Experiments presented in the current report are based on a study in which long-term (4 days), continuous exposure to ELF-EMFs decreased protection against ultraviolet radiation. Based on this result, it was hypothesized that de-protection against hypoxia should also occur following long-term, continuous, or daily, repeated exposures to EMFs. To test this hypothesis, chick embryos were exposed to ELF-EMFs (8 microT) continuously for 4 days, or to ELF or RF (3.5 mW incident power)-EMFs repeated daily (20, 30, or 60 min once or twice daily for 4 days). Several of the exposure protocols yielded embryos that had statistically significant decreases in protection against hypoxic stress (continuous and 30 or 60 min ELF twice daily; or 30 or 60 min once daily RF). This is consistent with our finding that following 4 days of ELF-EMF exposure, HSP70 levels decline by 27% as compared to controls. In addition, the superposition of ELF-EMF noise, previously shown to minimize ELF-EMF induced hypoxia protection, inhibited hypoxia de-protection caused by long term, continuous ELF or daily, repeated RF exposures. This EMF-induced decrease in HSP70 levels and resulting decline in cytoprotection suggests a mechanism by which daily exposure (such as might be experienced by mobile phone users) could enhance the probability of cancer and other diseases. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.Publication Types:

PMID: 11813250 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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[Infantile leukemia and exposure to 50/60 Hz magnetic fields: review of epidemiologic evidence in 2000][Article in Italian]Lagorio S, Salvan A.Laboratorio di Igiene Ambientale, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Roma.We review the epidemiological evidence on childhood leukemia and residential exposure to 50/60 Hz magnetic fields. The possibility of carcinogenic effects of power frequency magnetic fields (ELF-EMF), at levels below units of micro tesla (microT), was first raised in 1979 by a case-control study on childhood cancer carried out in Denver, USA. In that study, excess risks of total cancer and leukemia were observed among children living in homes with “high or very high current configuration”, as categorised on the basis of proximity to electric lines and transformers. Many other epidemiological studies have been published since then, characterised by improved–although still not optimal–methods of exposure assessment. At the end of 2000, the epidemiological evidence to support the association between exposure to extremely-low-frequency magnetic fields and the risk of childhood leukemia is less consistent than what was observed in the mid 90s. At the same time, a growing body of experimental evidence has accumulated against both a direct and a promoting carcinogenic effect of ELF-EMF. Such “negative” experimental evidence hampers a causal interpretation of the “positive” epidemiological studies.Publication Types:

PMID: 11758279 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Do cocarcinogenic effects of ELF electromagnetic fields require repeated long-term interaction with carcinogens? Characteristics of positive studies using the DMBA breast cancer model in rats.Löscher W.Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmacy, School of Veterinary Medicine, Bünteweg 17, D-30559 Hannover, Germany. wloscher@pharma.tiho-hannover.deThe carcinogenic or cocarcinogenic potential of extremely low frequency (ELF; 50 or 60 Hz) magnetic fields (MFs) has been evaluated worldwide in diverse animal model systems. Though most results have been negative, weakly positive or equivocal results have been reported in several cancer models, including the rat DMBA (7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene) model of mammary cancer. Based on the experimental conditions used in studies in which cocarcinogenic effects of ELF MF were found, it was recently proposed that MF exposure may potentiate the effects of known carcinogens only when the animals are exposed to both MF and carcinogen during an extended period of tumor development, i.e., when the carcinogen is given repeatedly during MF exposure. This review summarizes a series of experiments from our group, showing cocarcinogenic MF effects in the DMBA breast cancer model in rats, to test whether the above proposal is confirmed by existing data. Flux densities of 50 or 100 microT significantly increased the growth of mammary tumors, independent of whether DMBA was given in a single administration or repeatedly over a prolonged period. Thus, these data do not substantiate the hypothesis requiring repeated doses of DMBA during MF exposure. Instead, several other aspects of study design and experimental factors are identified that seem to be critical for the detection of cocarcinogenic effects of MF exposure in the rat DMBA mammary cancer model. These include the rat subline used, the dose of DMBA, the duration of MF exposure, the flux density, the background (sham control) tumor incidence, and the location of mammary tumors in the mammary gland complex. These and other experimental aspects may explain why some laboratories did not detect cocarcinogenic MF effects in the DMBA model. We hope that direct comparison of MF bioeffects in different rat sublines and further evaluation of other experimental differences between studies on MF exposure in the DMBA model will eventually determine which genetic and environmental factors are critical for potential carcinogenic or cocarcinogenic effects of ELF MF exposure. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.Publication Types:

PMID: 11748679 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Review of the epidemiologic literature on EMF and Health.Ahlbom IC, Cardis E, Green A, Linet M, Savitz D, Swerdlow A; ICNIRP (International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) Standing Committee on Epidemiology.Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. anders.ahlblom@imm.ki.seExposures to extremely low-frequency electric and magnetic fields (EMF) emanating from the generation, transmission, and use of electricity are a ubiquitous part of modern life. Concern about potential adverse health effects was initially brought to prominence by an epidemiologic report two decades ago from Denver on childhood cancer. We reviewed the now voluminous epidemiologic literature on EMF and risks of chronic disease and conclude the following: a) The quality of epidemiologic studies on this topic has improved over time and several of the recent studies on childhood leukemia and on cancer associated with occupational exposure are close to the limit of what can realistically be achieved in terms of size of study and methodological rigor. b) Exposure assessment is a particular difficulty of EMF epidemiology, in several respects: i) The exposure is imperceptible, ubiquitous, has multiple sources, and can vary greatly over time and short distances. ii) The exposure period of relevance is before the date at which measurements can realistically be obtained and of unknown duration and induction period. iii) The appropriate exposure metric is not known and there are no biological data from which to impute it. c) In the absence of experimental evidence and given the methodological uncertainties in the epidemiologic literature, there is no chronic disease for which an etiological relation to EMF can be regarded as established. d) There has been a large body of high quality data for childhood cancer, and also for adult leukemia and brain tumor in relation to occupational exposure. Among all the outcomes evaluated in epidemiologic studies of EMF, childhood leukemia in relation to postnatal exposures above 0.4 microT is the one for which there is most evidence of an association. The relative risk has been estimated at 2.0 (95% confidence limit: 1.27-3.13) in a large pooled analysis. This is unlikely to be due to chance but, may be, in part, due to bias. This is difficult to interpret in the absence of a known mechanism or reproducible experimental support. In the large pooled analysis only 0.8% of all children were exposed above 0.4 microT. Further studies need to be designed to test specific hypotheses such as aspects of selection bias or exposure. On the basis of epidemiologic findings, evidence shows an association of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with occupational EMF exposure although confounding is a potential explanation. Breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and suicide and depression remain unresolved.Publication Types:

PMID: 11744509 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields among working women and homemakers.McCurdy AL, Wijnberg L, Loomis D, Savitz D, Nylander-French LA.Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, School of Public Health, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.Given concerns with potential health effects of exposure to magnetic fields, the goal of this study was to examine the magnitude and sources of occupational and residential exposure to extremely low frequency (primarily 60 Hz) magnetic fields among women. Exposure to 60 Hz magnetic fields was surveyed among cases and controls recruited for a study of breast cancer in 25 counties in North Carolina. The 273 women who participated wore an integrating personal magnetic-field exposure meter (AMEX 3-D) that measured their time-weighted average (TWA) exposure. A questionnaire was administered to determine the duration and frequency of electric appliance and machinery use. The geometric mean (GM) of the TWA exposure for employed women was 0.138 microT (range 0.022-3.636 microT) and for homemakers 0.113 microT (range 0.022-0.403 microT). Women working in manufacturing and industrial facilities had the highest exposure (GM 0.265 microT, range 0.054-3.436 microT), while nurses and health technicians (GM 0.134 microT, range 0.032-0.285 microT) and teachers and school administrators (GM 0.099 microT, range 0.035-0.673 microT) had the lowest exposures. Job titles, unless very limited in scope and/or environment, self-reported information about equipment use, potential exposure sources, time, and distance were not good predictors of magnetic-field exposure. Furthermore, the results show that occupations previously observed to have increased risk of breast cancer, such as teachers, nurses, administrative support, and housewives, did not have elevated average magnetic field exposures. Therefore, it is questionable whether exposure to power frequency magnetic fields is the cause of the increased breast cancer risk seen in these occupations.Publication Types:

PMID: 11718660 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Are occupational, hobby, or lifestyle exposures associated with Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic myeloid leukaemia?Björk J, Albin M, Welinder H, Tinnerberg H, Mauritzson N, Kauppinen T, Strömberg U, Johansson B, Billström R, Mikoczy Z, Ahlgren T, Nilsson PG, Mitelman F, Hagmar L.Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University Hospital, SE-221 85 Lund, Sweden. jonas.bjork@ymed.lu.seOBJECTIVES: To investigate a broad range of occupational, hobby, and lifestyle exposures, suggested as risk factors for Philadelphia chromosome positive (Ph+) chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). METHODS: A case-control study, comprising 255 Ph+CML patients from southern Sweden and matched controls, was conducted. Individual data on work tasks, hobbies, and lifestyle exposures were obtained by telephone interviews. Occupational hygienists assessed occupational and hobby exposures for each subject individually. Also, occupational titles were obtained from national registries, and group level exposure-that is, the exposure proportion for each occupational title-was assessed with a job exposure matrix. The effects of 11 exposures using individual data and two exposures using group data (organic solvents and animal dust) were estimated. RESULTS: For the individual data on organic solvents, an effect was found for moderate or high intensity of exposure (odds ratio (OR) 3.4, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.1 to 11) and for long duration (15-20 years) of exposure (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.1 to 4.0). By contrast, the group data showed no association (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.27 to 1.8; moderate or high intensity versus no exposure). For extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs), only individual data were available. An association with long occupational exposure to EMFs was found (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.2 to 4.5). However, no effect of EMF intensity was indicated. No significant effects of benzene, gasoline or diesel, or tobacco smoking were found. OR estimates below unity were suggested for personal use of hair dye and for agricultural exposures. CONCLUSIONS: Associations between exposure to organic solvents and EMFs, and Ph+CML were indicated but were not entirely consistent.Publication Types:

PMID: 11600728 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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IARC classification of static and extremely low frequency electric and magnetic fields (volume 80 of the IARC monographs series).[No authors listed]Publication Types:

PMID: 11594660 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Acute leukemia in electrical workers: a New Zealand case-control study.Bethwaite P, Cook A, Kennedy J, Pearce N.Medical Laboratory Wellington, New Zealand.OBJECTIVES: To assess the risks for adult-onset acute leukemia associated with electrical employment in New Zealand. METHODS: The occupational and environmental exposures histories of 110 incident leukemia cases and 199 general population controls were compared. The cases were recruited through referrals to treatment centers in New Zealand between 1989 and 1991. For subjects classified as having worked in one or more of the “electrical occupations,” the degree of exposures to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) was assessed in detail using a job-exposure matrix. RESULTS: An odds ratio of 1.9 (95% Cl 1.0-3.8) was found for subjects who had ever worked in an electrical occupation. Significantly increased risks for leukemia are seen amongst welders/flame cutters (OR = 2.8 (95% CI 1.2-6.8)) and telephone line workers (OR = 5.81 (95% CI 1.2-27.8)). The excess leukemia risk appeared to be confined to acute non-lymphocytic leukemia (OR=2.31 (95% CI 1.2-4.6)), in comparison to acute lymphoblastic leukemia (OR = 0.9 (95% CI 0.3-2.9)) but for the latter category the numbers were very small. A dose-response effect was also found, with acute leukemia risk rising with increasing occupational magnetic field exposure, based on both current and historical occupational field exposure estimates. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of the current study indicate a significantly elevated risk of acute leukemia for electrical workers overall, and for the specific occupational categories of welders/flame cutters and telephone line workers. A dose-response effect was also found, indicating that acute leukemia risk was related to historical and current magnetic field exposures in an occupational context.Publication Types:

PMID: 11562108 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) and brain cancer in adults and children: review and comment.Gurney JG, van Wijngaarden E.Division of Epidemiology/Clinical Research, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.Epidemiologic and experimental research on the potential carcinogenic effects of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) has now been conducted for over two decades. Cancer epidemiology studies in relation to EMF have focused primarily on brain cancer and leukemia, both from residential sources of exposure in children and adults and from occupational exposure in adult men. Because genotoxic effects of EMF have not been shown, most recent laboratory research has attempted to show biological effects that could be related to cancer promotion. In this report, we briefly review residential and occupational EMF studies on brain cancer. We also provide a general review of experimental studies as they relate both to the biological plausibility of an EMF-brain cancer relation and to the insufficiency of such research to help guide exposure assessment in epidemiologic studies. We conclude from our review that no recent research, either epidemiologic or experimental, has emerged to provide reasonable support for a causal role of EMF on brain cancer.Publication Types:

PMID: 11550314 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Static and ELF magnetic fields induce tumor growth inhibition and apoptosis.Tofani S, Barone D, Cintorino M, de Santi MM, Ferrara A, Orlassino R, Ossola P, Peroglio F, Rolfo K, Ronchetto F.Department of Medical Physics, Ivrea Hospital ASL n. 9, Ivrea (TO), Italy. fisicasan@asl.ivrea.to.itThe ability of static and extremely low frequency (ELF) Magnetic Fields (MF) to interfere with neoplastic cell function has been evaluated. In vitro experiments were carried out to study the role of MF characteristics (intensity, frequency, and modulation) on two transformed cell lines (WiDr human colon adenocarcinoma and MCF-7 human breast adenocarcinoma) and one nontransformed cell line (MRC-5 embryonal lung fibroblast). Increase in cell death morphologically consistent with apoptosis was reported exclusively in the two transformed cell lines. Cell-death induction was observed with MF of more than 1 mT. It was independent of the MF frequency and increased when modulated MF (static with a superimposition of ELF at 50 Hz) were used. Based on the in vitro results, four different MF exposure characteristics were selected and used to treat nude mice xenografted with WiDr cells. The treatment of nude mice bearing WiDr tumors subcutaneously. with daily exposure for 70 min to MF for 4 weeks caused significant tumor growth inhibition (up to 50%) by the end of the treatment when modulated MF were used for at least 60% of the whole treatment period and the time-averaged total MF intensity was higher than 3.59 mT. No toxic morphological changes induced by exposure were observed in renewing, slowly proliferating, or static normal cells. A discussion on the possible biophysical mechanism at the base of the observed biological results is also offered. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.Publication Types:

PMID: 11536283 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Parental occupational exposures to electromagnetic fields and radiation and the incidence of neuroblastoma in offspring.De Roos AJ, Teschke K, Savitz DA, Poole C, Grufferman S, Pollock BH, Olshan AF.Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA. deroosa@mail.nih.govWe examined parental occupational exposures to electromagnetic fields and radiation and the incidence of neuroblastoma in offspring. Cases were 538 children diagnosed with neuroblastoma between 1992 and 1994 in the United States or Canada. Age-matched controls were selected by random-digit dialing. Occupational exposures to electrical equipment and radiation sources were classified by an industrial hygienist, and average exposures to extremely low frequency magnetic fields were estimated using a job exposure matrix. Maternal exposure to a broad grouping of sources that produce radiofrequency radiation was associated with an increased incidence of neuroblastoma (odds ratio = 2.8; 95% confidence interval = 0.9-8.7). Paternal exposure to battery-powered forklifts was positively associated with neuroblastoma (odds ratio = 1.6; 95% confidence interval = 0.8-3.2), as were some types of equipment that emit radiofrequency radiation (odds ratios congruent with 2.0); however, the broad groupings of sources that produce ELF fields, radiofrequency radiation, or ionizing radiation were not associated with neuroblastoma. Paternal average extremely low frequency magnetic field exposure >0.4 microTesla was weakly associated with neuroblastoma (odds ratio = 1.6; 95% confidence interval = 0.9-2.8), whereas maternal exposure was not. Overall, there was scant supportive evidence of strong associations between parental exposures in electromagnetic spectrum and neuroblastoma in offspring.Publication Types:

PMID: 11505168 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Comment in:

Leukemia, brain tumors, and exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields in Swiss railway employees.

Minder CE, Pfluger DH.

Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland. minder@ispm.unibe.ch

Railway engineers provide excellent opportunities for studying the relation between exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields and leukemia or brain tumors. In a cohort study of Swiss railway personnel with 2.7 x 10(5) person-years of follow-up (1972–1993), the authors compared occupations with high average exposures (line engineers: 25.9 microT) to those with medium and low exposures (station masters: 1 microT). The mortality rate ratio for leukemia was 2.4 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.0, 6.1) among line engineers (reference category: station masters). The mortality rate ratio for brain tumors was 1.0 (95% CI: 0.2, 4.6) among line engineers and 5.1 (95% CI: 1.2, 21.2) among shunting yard engineers (compared with station masters). Two exposure characteristics were evaluated: cumulative exposure in microT-years and years spent under exposure to magnetic fields of > or =10 microT. There was a significant increase in leukemia mortality of 0.9% (95% CI: 0.2, 1.7) per microT-year of cumulative exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields. The increase by years spent under exposure of > or =10 microT was even stronger: 62% per year (95% CI: 15, 129). Brain cancer risk did not show a dose-response relation. This study contributes to the evidence for a link between heavy exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields and leukemia. Its strengths include reliable measurements and reliable historical reconstruction of exposures.

Publication Types:

PMID: 11323311 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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[Male breast tumors in railway engine drivers: investigation of 5 cases][Article in Italian]Capacci F, Carnevale F.Azienda Sanitaria di Firenze, Dipartimento di Prevenzionè, Servizio di Prevenzione Igiene e Sicurezza nei Luoghi di Lavoro Gaetano Pieraccini, Firenze.The paper describes the results of the investigation carried out on five cases of male breast tumours in railway engine drivers notified to the public Occupational Health Service of Florence in 1999. The aim was to evaluate the possibility of professional extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF) exposure etiology. The extent of this exposure is described with particular care to engine drivers, comparing the one measured in Italy with those reported in other countries.Publication Types:

PMID: 11293307 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Breast cancer, occupation, and exposure to electromagnetic fields among Swedish men.Pollán M, Gustavsson P, Floderus B.Cancer Epidemiology Unit, National Centre for Epidemiology, Carlos III Institute of Health, Madrid, Spain. mpollan@isciii.esBACKGROUND: Investigations of breast cancer among men may provide clues for environmental and occupational risk factors that may be difficult to study in women, because of confounding or effect modification from reproductive female characteristics. The objective was to estimate occupation-specific risks of male breast cancer and to assess the effect of occupational exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELFMF). METHODS: Standardized incidence ratios were computed for the period 1971-1989 among Swedish men who were 25-59 years of age at start of follow-up and gainfully employed in 1970. Log-linear Poisson models were fitted to adjust for geographical area. A job exposure matrix was used to classify occupational ELFMF exposure. RESULTS: A marked and consistent excess risk was found for machinery repairers. Increased relative risks based on few cases were also noted for librarians/archivists/curators, bank employees, non-specified clerical workers, metal processing workers, tanners/fur dressers, policemen, and custom surveillance officials. The relative risk among subjects with an estimated ELFMF exposure above the first quartile (0.12 microT) was 1.31 (95% confidence interval = 0.94-1.81), without a clear exposure-response pattern. Indications of an exposure-response relationship were found in workers with intermittent ELFMF exposure. CONCLUSIONS: The findings give no clear evidence for an etiological role of ELFMF in the development of breast cancer in men, but suggest that large variations in exposure over the work-day may be associated with an increased risk. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.Publication Types:

PMID: 11241560 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Calcium spiking activity and baseline calcium levels in ROS 17/2.8 cells exposed to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF EMF).Shahidain R, Mullins RD, Sisken JE.Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington 40536, USA.PURPOSE: To determine whether extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields can alter average free cytosolic calcium ion concentrations [Ca2+]i and transient increases in [Ca2+]i in populations of ROS 17/2.8 cells. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cells loaded with the calcium-selective luminescent photoprotein, aequorin, were placed in the bottom of a sample chamber, which was inserted into the gap of a previously described air gap reactor system where they were exposed either to sinusoidal magnetic fields at a variety of frequencies and flux densities or to sham conditions. Real-time recordings of photon counts due to aequorin luminescence were obtained and data were analysed with the use of probit plots. RESULTS: Probit plots of data obtained from cells exposed to the various magnetic fields were virtually superimposable over the data obtained for the same cultures during pre- and post-exposure sham or no-field periods. CONCLUSION: These experiments provided no evidence for any effects of ELF EMF, either positive or negative, on either average [Ca2+]i or on transient increases in [Ca2+]i.Publication Types:

PMID: 11236931 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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ELF magnetic fields in a city environment.Lindgren M, Gustavsson M, Hamnerius Y, Galt S.Department of Electromagnetics, Chalmers, Göteborg, Sweden. martin.lindgren@elmagn.chalmers.seSome epidemiological studies indicate an association between extremely low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF) exposure and cancer risks. These studies have mainly taken residential and occupational exposure into consideration. Outdoor environments are often considered as low level areas, but in this paper we show that this is not true in a city environment. We have mapped the ELF magnetic flux densities along certain stretches of sidewalk in central Göteborg City, Sweden. About 50% of the investigated street length shows flux densities of the same order of magnitude (0.2 microT and above) as those associated with increased risks of cancer in epidemiological studies. We conclude that the outdoor exposures in a city environment also should be considered in exposure assessments and risk evaluations. These elevated flux densities are probably due to stray currents. We also found strong magnetic flux densities (> 1.0 microT) close to ordinary distribution pillars, power substations, shoplifting alarms, and other electrical devices. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.PMID: 11180253 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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[Biological effects of nonionizing radiation: low frequency electromagnetic fields][Article in Croatian]Busljeta I, Gomzi M, Trosić I.Institut za medicinska istrazivanja i medicinu rada, Zagreb. Ivana.Busljeta@imi.hrThis article reviews various studies on effects of electric and magnetic fields of extremely low frequencies on human health and gives an overview of residential and occupational exposure to different sources, currently established exposure limitations, and protection measures. Throughout the evolution biological systems adapted to natural electric and magnetic fields. Only hundred years ago human exposure to radiation was limited to electric and magnetic fields arising either from extraterrestrial or terrestrial sources, yet both natural. For the past fifty years there has been large growth of artificial sources of electric and magnetic fields, especially with frequencies of 50 and 60 Hz (power generating and distribution systems). The concern about long-term exposure to artificial fields and possible adverse effects on human health has been entirely justified and led to numerous intensive epidemiological and laboratory studies. Results of several epidemiological studies confirm the connection between exposure to electric and magnetic fields of extremely low frequencies (up to 300 Hz) and increased risk of leukemia and brain tumor in children and adults. In addition, the risk of breast cancer in occupationally exposed population has increased. Laboratory studies on animal models, in vitro systems, and human volunteers did not confirm this connection. There is a growing interest in investigation of other possible adverse health effects such as neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), cardiovascular disorders (arrhythmias and acute myocardial infarction), psychiatric disorders, and electrosensitivity.Publication Types:

PMID: 11059071 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Effect of electromagnetic field exposure on chemically induced differentiation of friend erythroleukemia cells.Chen G, Upham BL, Sun W, Chang CC, Rothwell EJ, Chen KM, Yamasaki H, Trosko JE.Department of Pediatrics and Human Development, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA.Whether exposure of humans to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) can cause cancer is controversial and therefore needs further research. We used a Friend erythroleukemia cell line that can be chemically induced to differentiate to determine whether ELF-EMF could alter proliferation and differentiation in these cells in a manner similar to that of a chemical tumor promoter. Exposure of this cell line to 60 Hz ELF-EMF resulted in a dose dependent inhibition of differentiation, with maximal inhibition peaking at 40% and 40 mG (4 microT). ELF-EMF at 10 mG (1.0 microT) and 25 mG (2.5 microT) inhibited differentiation at 0 and 20%, respectively. ELF-EMF at 1.0 (100) and 10.0 G (1,000 microT) stimulated cell proliferation 50% above the sham-treated cells. The activity of telomerase, a marker of undifferentiated cells, decreased 100[times] when the cells were induced to differentiate under sham conditions, but when the cells were exposed to 0.5 G (50 microT) there was only a 10[times] decrease. In summary, ELF-EMF can partially block the differentiation of Friend erythroleukemia cells, and this results in a larger population of cells remaining in the undifferentiated, proliferative state, which is similar to the published results of Friend erythroleukemia cells treated with chemical-tumor promoters.Publication Types:

PMID: 11049817 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Power frequency electromagnetic fields and health. Where’s the evidence?Preece AW, Hand JW, Clarke RN, Stewart A.Bristol Oncology Centre, University of Bristol, UK.Twenty years ago concerns were raised that exposure to power frequency (or extremely low frequency (ELF)) electromagnetic fields (EMFs) may be associated with an increased risk of cancer or other health hazards. Subsequently no associations have been shown between laboratory magnetic field exposures and carcinogenesis in either animal or cellular models. Indeed, studies have demonstrated that magnetic fields are not associated with cancer. However, the puzzle remains that the results of some epidemiological studies may be interpreted as suggesting that living close to high-voltage transmission (HVT) lines appears to increase slightly the risk of childhood leukaemia. Alternatively, these results could result from small biases and errors in individual studies, which might not necessarily be the same in each study. The nature of the epidemiological studies (power-line, wire code, magnetic field or appliance based) appears to determine whether and how the EMFs associated with HVT lines might be a risk factor. It is possible that a simple association with either magnetic or electric field exposure may not be the whole answer, and an alternative mechanism is always a possibility. Although the interpretation of the available evidence by most expert bodies has led them to conclude that exposure to power frequency electric and magnetic fields is not a human health hazard, a working group under the auspices of the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) concluded that there was a possible low risk associated with certain exposures to ELF magnetic fields. NIEHS itself interpreted the finding as insufficient to warrant aggressive regulatory concern but stated that, because virtually everyone is routinely exposed to ELF EMFs, passive regulatory action is warranted, such as a continued emphasis on educating both the public and the regulated community on means aimed at reducing exposures. These analyses, conclusions and advice are not contradicted by subsequent studies, and therefore the conclusion of the World Health Organisation that further research is needed seems valid.Publication Types:

PMID: 11008945 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Extremely low-frequency magnetic fields and childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia: an exploratory analysis of alternative exposure metrics.Auvinen A, Linet MS, Hatch EE, Kleinerman RA, Robison LL, Kaune WT, Misakian M, Niwa S, Wacholder S, Tarone RE.National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, Bethesda, MD 20892-7238, USA.Data collected by the National Cancer Institute-Children’s Cancer Group were utilized to explore various metrics of magnetic field levels and risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children. Cases were aged 0-14 years, were diagnosed with ALL during 1989-1993, were registered with the Children’s Cancer Group, and resided in one home for at least 70 percent of the 5 years immediately prior to diagnosis. Controls were identified by using random digit dialing and met the same residential requirements. With 30-second (“spot”) measurements and components of the 24-hour measurement obtained in the subject’s bedroom, metrics evaluated included measures of central tendency, peak exposures, threshold values, and measures of short-term temporal variability. Measures of central tendency and the threshold measures showed good-to-high correlation, but these metrics correlated less well with the others. Small increases in risk (ranging from 1.02 to 1.69 for subjects in the highest exposure category) were associated with some measures of central tendency, but peak exposures, threshold values, measures of short-term variability, and spot measurements demonstrated little association with risk of childhood ALL. In general, risk estimates were slightly higher for the nighttime (10 p.m.-6 a.m.) interval than for the corresponding 24-hour period.PMID: 10901326 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Human health consequences of environmentally-modulated gene expression: potential roles of ELF-EMF induced epigenetic versus mutagenic mechanisms of disease.Trosko JE.Department of Pediatrics and Human Development, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824, USA. trosko@pilot.msu.eduIn order to determine if there might be biological and health consequences after exposures to extremely-low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF), either experimentally or epidemiologically, mechanistic understanding of the potential means by which any environmental agent can affect cells in a multicellular organism has to be reviewed. The goal of this limited review is to demonstrate that, while the prevailing paradigm of the environmentally-induced acute and chronic diseases involves either cell killing (cytotoxicity) or gene/chromosome mutations (genotoxicity), alteration of the expression of genetic information at the transcriptional (turning genes “on” or “off”), translational (stabilizing or de-stabilizing the genetic message), or posttranslational (altering the gene product or protein) levels has the potential to contribute to various diseases. This latter mechanism, “epigenetic” toxicity, unlike the former two which are irreversible, is characterized by threshold-like action, multiple biochemical pathways and chronic, regular exposures to be effective. Ultimately, epigenetic toxicants affect one of four potential cell states, namely alteration of cell proliferation, cell differentiation, programmed cell death (apoptosis) or adaptive responses of differentiated cells. Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.Publication Types:

PMID: 10899776 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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[The role of melatonin in the molecular mechanism of weak, static and extremely low frequency (50 Hz) magnetic fields (ELF)][Article in Polish]Jajte J, Zmyślony M.Zakładu Zagrozeń Fizycznych, Instytut Medycyny Pracy, Lodzi.Melatonin is a neurohormone produced by the pineal gland. It has been recently found that it is also an antioxidant and a free radical scavenger. Melatonin was documented to be a direct trap of hydroxyl and peroxyl radicals. Therefore, this hormone could protect cells, tissues and organs against oxidative (free radicals) damage (DNA, protein, lipids). It has been suggested that noxious effects of ELF exposure (cancer or immunological disturbances) could be due to increased the concentration of free radicals induced by magnetic field. This is also leading to a hypothesis that melatonin suppression (by electromagnetic fields) in humans may increase the probability of mutagenic and carcinogenic risks. The future experiments, in vitro and in vivo, should provide an answer to the question on what is the real role of melatonin in the molecular (free radicals) mechanisms of weak magnetic fields.Publication Types:

PMID: 10857076 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields suppresses x-ray-induced transformation in mouse C3H10T1/2 cells.Miyakoshi J, Yoshida M, Yaguchi H, Ding GR.Department of Radiation Genetics, Graduate School of Medicine, Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Yoshida-Konoe-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8501, Japan. miyakosh@mfour.med.kyoto-u.ac.jpWe designed and manufactured equipment for exposure of cultured cells to extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELFMF) at 5, 50, and 400 mT and examined the effect of ELFMF on cellular transformation in mouse C3H10T1/2 cells (clone 8). Transformed foci, Type II and Type III, were independently counted as transformants. The cells were exposed to ELFMF alone at 5, 50, and 400 mT for 24 h or X-irradiated with 3 Gy followed by the ELFMF exposure. No significant difference in the transformation was observed between sham-exposed control and the ELFMF exposure from 5 to 400 mT. The transformation frequency for X-rays plus ELFMF was decreasing compared with X-rays alone. When 12-O-tetra-decanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) was contained in the medium throughout the experiment, the transformation frequency by X-rays alone was elevated more. In the combined treatment with X-rays followed by ELFMF, the transformation frequency was slightly decreased at 50 and 400 mT even in the medium containing TPA. The long-term exposure at 5 mT suppressed both spontaneous and X-ray-induced transformations significantly. It is well known that overexpressing protein kinase C (PKC) failed to yield identifiable transformation of foci induced by ionizing radiation. We demonstrated previously that exposure to high-density ELFMF induced expression of several genes through an increase in PKC activity. From these results, it is suggested that ELFMF might suppress X-ray-induced transformation through activation of PKC by ELFMF. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.Publication Types:

PMID: 10799295 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Exposure of Daudi cells to low-frequency magnetic fields does not elevate MYC steady-state mRNA levels.Morehouse CA, Owen RD.FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Rockville, Maryland 20850, USA.The effect of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field (ELF EMF) exposures to human health has been widely debated. Epidemiological studies have found a possible correlation between increased cancer incidence and environmental ELF EMF exposures. Results from in vitro studies performed to examine the possible underlying bioeffects of ELF EMFs have varied greatly. Reported effects range from robust and reproducible effects to undetectable. In this study, Daudi cells were exposed to 60 Hz magnetic fields for 20, 40 or 60 min at flux densities of 12.5, 50, 100 or 500 microT. Exposures were performed in the Regional ELF-EMF Exposure Facility (Rockville, MD) to minimize variables that might contribute to a false positive effect. Exposures included sham/sham, exposed/sham or sham/exposed, and were performed with blinding with respect to type of exposure. 12-O-Tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) treatment was used as a positive control. Total cellular RNA was isolated using a single-step technique. Human MYC expression was measured by northern blot hybridization as an indicator of the responsiveness of Daudi cells to experimental conditions. Beta-2-microglobulin (B2M) expression was measured simultaneously as an internal control. Exposure to a 60 Hz magnetic field did not significantly alter MYC expression in Daudi cells under any of the exposure conditions.Publication Types:

PMID: 10790290 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Exposure to low-frequency electromagnetic fields does not alter HSP70 expression or HSF-HSE binding in HL60 cells.Morehouse CA, Owen RD.FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Rockville, Maryland 20850, USA.Environmental exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF EMFs) has been identified as a possible contributor to increased cancer incidence and other diseases. In vitro studies designed to probe for biological mechanisms that might explain such relationships have included several studies of gene expression. While gene expression studies have focused on MYC, effects of ELF EMFs on the expression of beta-actin, histone H2B, beta-tubulin, SRC, FOS and JUN have also been reported. In addition, some investigators have reported both an induction of HSP70 expression and an increase in HSF-HSE binding in HL60 (human promyelocytic leukemia) cells after exposure to a 60 Hz magnetic field. In this study, HL60 cells were exposed to a weak 60 Hz magnetic field (6.3 or 8.0 microT) or to a positive control heat shock (42 or 44 degrees C). While heat shock led to reproducible induction of HSP70 expression and HSF-HSE binding, no significant effect of exposure to ELF EMFs on either of these end points was observed.Publication Types:

PMID: 10790289 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Assessment of occupational exposure patterns by frequency-domain analysis of time series data.Mihlan GJ, Todd LA, Truong KN.Bayer Corporation, Agriculture Division, Kansas City, Missouri, USA.Laboratory evidence increasingly points to exposure pattern characteristics, including the duration, frequency, and timing of the exposure during the day, as important factors influencing the biological response to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields. An exploratory analysis of exposure patterns was conducted in 113 electric utility workers employed as electricians, cable splicers, line workers, and power plant operators. The purpose of the study was to describe extremely low-frequency magnetic field exposure pattern characteristics of electric utility workers and evaluate grouping strategies for classifying occupational exposures based on their exposure pattern characteristics. Exposure patterns describe the cyclic fluctuation in exposures over time, and were evaluated by partitioning the variation of the time series into frequency components using frequency-domain analysis of the transformed and processed time series. The study samples were classified using traditional grouping strategies based on occupation and time-weighted average (TWA), and non-traditional grouping strategies based on cluster analysis of the standardized, low-frequency exposure pattern components. Rules for classifying samples into each group were developed using linear discriminant analysis, with the performance of each grouping strategy evaluated using a crossvalidation study design to estimate the rate of misclassification. Exposure patterns appeared unrelated to grouping strategies based on quartiles of the workday TWA, but were related to pattern clusters and occupation. The linear discriminant function produced very low misclassification error rates for the cluster grouping strategy (10%) compared to occupation (50%) and TWA quartile (69%) grouping strategies. Significant differences in the exposure patterns occurring between clusters and between occupational groups were observed, indicating that at least one of the spectral estimates in two of the groups were significantly different. However, patterns clusters produced the greatest contrast in exposure patterns of all grouping strategies, explaining 99 percent of the total variation compared to 58 percent of the total variation by occupation.Publication Types:

PMID: 10712067 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Possible health hazards from exposure to power-frequency electric and magnetic fields–a COMAR Technical Information Statement.[No authors listed]In recent years concerns have been raised about the biological effects of exposure to electric and magnetic fields at extremely low frequencies (ELF), particularly those associated with the distribution and utilization of electric power. In 1989, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) issued an “Entity Position Statement” which stated that “there is not enough relevant scientific data to establish whether common exposure to power-frequency fields should be considered a health hazard” and that “there is general agreement that more research is needed to define safe limits of human exposure to power-frequency fields.” After examination of relevant research reports published during the last ten years, COMAR concludes that it is highly unlikely that health problems can be associated with average 24-hour field exposure to power frequency magnetic fields of less than 1 microT (10 mG). Good laboratory evidence shows that magnetic fields 100 to 10,000 times higher than this level, either ELF sinusoidal or pulsed, can induce a variety of biological effects, including beneficial health effects such as bone or tissue healing. Many of the reports of effects of weaker fields should be considered preliminary, as some observations have not been reproduced in different laboratories, while others, observed in cells, have not been clearly connected to effects in intact animals. Also, the means of interaction of low-level ELF fields with cells, tissues or laboratory animals is not fully understood; therefore the health impacts of such weak fields on intact animals and humans, if any, cannot be predicted or explained. Further research is needed to confirm or negate reports of effects of weak fields, and to determine mechanisms and relevance of these effects to actual health hazards. Continued study in this complicated area will enhance our understanding of biological systems, as well as help identify levels and types of ELF exposure that may be deleterious to human health.PMID: 10659440 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Possible cocarcinogenic effects of ELF electromagnetic fields may require repeated long-term interaction with known carcinogenic factors.Juutilainen J, Lang S, Rytömaa T.Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland. jukka.juutilainen@uku.fiLiterature on cancer-related biological effects of extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields (MF) is discussed in the light of the current understanding of carcinogenesis as a multistep process of accumulating mutations. Different animal models and study designs have been used to address possible cocarcinogenic effects of MFs. Based on a comparison of the results, we propose a hypothesis that MF exposure may potentiate the effects of known carcinogens only when both exposures are chronic. We also discuss possible mechanisms of MF effects on carcinogenesis and the adequacy of the classical two-step initiation/promotion animal experiments for simulating human exposure to the complex mixture of environmental carcinogens. We conclude that experiments designed according to the two-step concept may not be sufficient for studying the possible role of MF in carcinogenesis. Possible further animal studies are more likely to be productive if they include models that combine chronic exposure to MFs with long-term exposures to known carcinogens. Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.Publication Types:

PMID: 10653623 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Comment in:

The design, construction and calibration of a carefully controlled source for exposure of mammalian cells to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields.

Wolff H, Gamble S, Barkley T, Janaway L, Jowett F, Halls JA, Arrand JE.

Brunel Institute for Bioengineering, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK.

Despite some epidemiological evidence for an association between increased risk of cancer and exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs), cancer causation by such exposure remains unproven. Furthermore, for reasons such as biological unresponsiveness of the chosen system, poor equipment design and experimental confounders, no reproducible effects on animals or mammalian cells in culture have been demonstrated following exposure to power frequency EMFs at levels normally encountered in residential settings (<10 to 1000 microT). The apparatus described here, designed specifically to perform large, well-controlled cell biology experiments, reduces extraneous variables to the absolute minimum, so that small effects cannot be ascribed to some cause unrelated to the experimental protocol. Our novel apparatus consists of two identical solenoids which, in use, only differ by whether the field-producing current is flowing or not; they do not influence one another in any way. They are supplied with conditioned air from a common tissue culture incubator, are completely screened from environmental a.c. fields with Mumetal shielding and can be operated under normal laboratory conditions. Furthermore, the arrangement is such that the investigator is unaware whether cells have, or have not, been exposed until after the results have been evaluated. We report the design, construction, calibration and potential uses of this source.

Publication Types:

PMID: 10503701 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Erratum in:

  • Bioelectromagnetics 1999 Sep;20(6):396.

Effects of 50 Hz magnetic fields on gap junctional intercellular communication.

Li CM, Chiang H, Fu YD, Shao BJ, Shi JR, Yao GD.

Microwave Institute, Zhejiang Medical University, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China. hch@ml.zjmu.edu.cn

To explore whether the extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields (EMFs) may act as cancer promoters or be synergistic with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) in cancer promotion, an experiment was conducted on the effects of 50 Hz magnetic fields (MFs) on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) of Chinese hamster lung (CHL) cells. Lucifer dye was loaded into CHL cells by iontophoretic injection, and the number of dye-coupled cells (DCC) 5 min after the injection was adopted as the index of GJIC. The effects of TPA at different concentrations and magnetic fields at different intensities, combined with 5 ng/ml TPA, were studied. The results showed that the suppression of TPA on GJIC was dependent on TPA concentration; the threshold concentration of TPA for CHL cells was between 1 and 5 ng/ml. After exposure to 0.8 mT magnetic field for 24 h, the number of DCC decreased to 6.08 +/- 1.59, whereas the number of DCC in the control group was 9.84 +/- 2.27 (P < .05). When the cells were exposed at 0.2, 0.4, and 0.8 mT for 24 h, combined with 5 ng/ml TPA treatment during the last 1 h, the number of DCC decreased to 5.52 +/- 1.53, 5.00 +/- 1.22, and 4.00 +/- 1.29, respectively, which were significantly lower than the values for the group treated with 5 ng/ml TPA alone (6.38 +/- 1.39). It is suggested that certain intensities of 50 Hz magnetic field might act as cancer promoters, be additive with other promoters in cancer promotion, or both.

Publication Types:

PMID: 10407514 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Lack of effect of a 60 Hz magnetic field on biomarkers of tumor promotion in the skin of SENCAR mice.DiGiovanni J, Johnston DA, Rupp T, Sasser LB, Anderson LE, Morris JE, Miller DL, Kavet R, Walborg EF Jr.University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Science Park-Research Division, Smithville 78957, USA. sa83107@odin.mdacc.tmc.eduIt has been proposed that extremely low frequency magnetic fields may enhance tumorigenesis through a co-promotional mechanism. This hypothesis has been further tested using the two-stage model of mouse skin carcinogenesis, i.e. 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced promotion of skin carcinogenesis in mice initiated by a single subcarcinogenic dose of 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene. Experimentation utilized three different doses of TPA within its dose-response range (0.85, 1.70 or 3.40 nmol) and examined the following early biomarkers of tumor promotion after 1, 2 and 5 weeks of promotion: increases in epidermal thickness and the labeling index of epidermal cells, induction of epidermal ornithine decarboxylase activity and down-regulation of epidermal protein kinase C activity. Mice exposed to a 60 Hz magnetic field having a flux density of 2 mT for 6 h/day for 5 days/week were compared with mice exposed to an ambient magnetic field. Within the sensitivity limits of the biomarker methodology and the exposure parameters employed, no consistent, statistically significant effects indicative of promotion or co-promotion by the magnetic field were demonstrated.Publication Types:

PMID: 10223200 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Interaction of static and extremely low frequency electric and magnetic fields with living systems: health effects and research needs.Repacholi MH, Greenebaum B.World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. repacholim@who.chAn international seminar was held June 4-6, 1997, on the biological effects and related health hazards of ambient or environmental static and extremely low frequency (ELF) electric and magnetic fields (0-300 Hz). It was cosponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), the German, Japanese, and Swiss governments. Speakers provided overviews of the scientific literature that were discussed by participants of the meeting. Subsequently, expert working groups formulated this report, which evaluates possible health effects from exposure to static and ELF electric and magnetic fields and identifies gaps in knowledge requiring more research to improve health risk assessments. The working groups concluded that, although health hazards exist from exposure to ELF fields at high field strengths, the literature does not establish that health hazards are associated with exposure to low-level fields, including environmental levels. Similarly, exposure to static electric fields at levels currently found in the living and working environment or acute exposure to static magnetic fields at flux densities below 2 T, were not found to have demonstrated adverse health consequences. However, reports of biological effects from low-level ELF-field exposure and chronic exposure to static magnetic fields were identified that need replication and further study for WHO to assess any possible health consequences. Ambient static electric fields have not been reported to cause any direct adverse health effects, and so no further research in this area was deemed necessary.Publication Types:

PMID: 10194557 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Extremely low frequency electric and magnetic fields as risk factors in chemical industry.Troptcheva T, Ivanova M, Israel M.National Center of Hygiene, Medical Ecology and Nutrition, Sofia, Bulgaria.OBJECTIVES: The risk assessment for staff in the chemical industry is usually related to accident hazards, production emergencies, blast and fire danger, or to the adverse effects of toxic substances. The combined effect of electric and magnetic fields with other factors combined with other hazards and working conditions, has not yet been studied. In all branches of industry, the members of staff who endure the most exposure to electric and magnetic fields, are electricians. This group is considered at high risk because of the increased probability of cancer. METHODS: We studied electric and magnetic fields with low frequencies in the nitrogen chemical fertilizer plant “HIMCO”, Vratza. Sources of extremely low frequency fields (50 Hz) are local thermal power plants, substations, open (110 kV) and closed (6 kV and 0.4 kV) distribution devices, transformers, compressors and turbocompressors, command halls, and video display units. The methods used for assessing exposure of low frequency electric and magnetic fields were based on the separate measurement of the electric and magnetic components of the field, using spot measurements and evaluation of the real time duration of exposure for different staff groups. RESULTS: The measured values for the different staff groups were within the limits of national and international standards. The measured magnetic flux densities in the “HIMCO” plant exceeded 3 mG, a value which is considered by many investigations in the literature, as a possible carcinogenic factor. CONCLUSIONS: The prolonged exposure to low frequency electric and magnetic fields determines the place of these physical factors in the complex of hazardous environmental factors for the staff. The simultaneous performance of combined investigations of all risk factors would result in the complete risk assessment for staff in the chemical industry. Electricians are considered to be a professional group who have an increased risk of contracting cancer. Extensive measurement and assessment of exposure of the low frequency electric and magnetic fields is needed using individual dosimeters and retrospective analysis to determine this. It is important to study all types of nonionizing radiation in the whole of the Bulgarian chemical industry, especially within petroleum refineries.PMID: 9827891 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Cancer cluster among young Indian adults living near power transmission lines in Bom Jesus do Tocantins, Pará, brazil.Koifman S, Ferraz I, Viana TS, Silveira CL, Carneiro MT, Koifman RJ, Sarcinelli PN, Mattos Rde C, Lima JS, Silva JJ, Moreira JC, Ferreira Mde F, Fernandes C, Bulcão AC.Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Av. Leopoldo Bulhões, 1480, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 21041-210, Brasil. koifman@dcc001.cict.fiocruzA case study was carried out to explore the occurrence of a cancer cluster in 1992 among young indian adults adults living in an Amazonian village near two 500 kV power transmission lines that began operating a decade ago. Current blood levels of DDT and organophosphorus pesticides and metal levels in hair samples were measured. Extremely low magnetic field exposure was determined during current daily activities carried out by the Indian villagers. Taking into account the cancer incidence rates in different Brazilian cities, the probability of the occurrence of this cluster by chance was considered remote (p< 0.003, Poisson distribution). High blood levels of p,p’-DDT (median levels ranging from 26 to 58 ppb) were observed. As a whole, this community showed a pattern of low exposure to organophosphorus pesticides, and high recent exposure was only observed in a few blood samples. Continuous exposure to extremely low electromagnetic fields originated in the power transmission lines (which reached 95.0 mG under the lines) was observed on several opportunities during daily activities carried out by Indian villagers. Further observational studies should evaluate the interaction between exposure to extremely low electromagnetic fields and prior exposure to tumor initiators in cancer development.Publication Types:

PMID: 9819474 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Cancer risk assessment of extremely low frequency electric and magnetic fields: a critical review of methodology.McCann J.Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA 94303 USA.This review provides a discussion of cancer risk assessment methodology pertinent to developing a strategy for extremely low frequency electric and magnetic fields (EMF). Approaches taken for chemical agents or ionizing radiation in six key topic areas are briefly reviewed, and then those areas are examined from the perspective of EMF, identifying issues to be addressed in developing a risk assessment strategy. The following recommendations are offered: 1) risk assessment should be viewed as an iterative process that informs an overall judgment as to health risk and consists of a complex of related activities incorporating both positive and negative data, tumor and nontumor end points, and human and nonhuman sources of information; 2) a hazard identification resulting in a conclusion of weak or null effects, such as may be associated with EMF, will need to assign significant weight to animal cancer bioassays conducted under defined exposure conditions as well as to human epidemiologic studies; 3) a default factor to account for possible age differences in sensitivity to carcinogenesis should be included in an EMF risk assessment; 4) lack of evidence of dose response and the apparent lack of DNA reactivity of EMF suggest that a safety (or uncertainty) factor or margin of exposure type of risk characterization may be most appropriate; and 5) an EMF risk assessment should permit at least tentative conclusions to be reached as to the limits of carcinogenic risk from exposure to EMF, and should also define an efficient research agenda aimed at clarifying uncertainties appropriate to a more complete assessment.Publication Types:

PMID: 9799185 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Lack of a co-promoting effect of a 60 Hz magnetic field on skin tumorigenesis in SENCAR mice.Sasser LB, Anderson LE, Morris JE, Miller DL, Walborg EF Jr, Kavet R, Johnston DA, DiGiovanni J.Battelle, Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Richland, WA 99352, USA.It has been proposed that extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields may enhance tumorigenesis through a co-promotional mechanism. This hypothesis has been further tested using the two-stage model of mouse skin carcinogenesis, i.e. 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced promotion of skin tumors in mice initiated by a single subcarcinogenic dose of 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene. Experimentation described herein utilized the SENCAR mouse and examined the effect of a magnetic field on skin tumor promotion induced by three different doses of TPA within its dose-response range, i.e. 0.85, 1.70 or 3.40 nmol, administered twice per week. SENCAR mice (56/treatment group) were exposed to a 60 Hz magnetic field having a flux density of 2 mT for 6 h/day for 5 days/week and compared with mice exposed to the ambient magnetic field. Tumor incidence and multiplicity were monitored weekly for 23 weeks of TPA promotion. Statistical evaluation of the effects of the magnetic field on tumor incidence and multiplicity did not reveal any statistically significant effects; thus, within the sensitivity limits imposed by the animal model and the exposure parameters employed, no promotional or co-promotional effect of a 2 mT magnetic field on skin tumor development in SENCAR mice could be demonstrated.Publication Types:

PMID: 9771933 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Melatonin: receptor-mediated events that may affect breast and other steroid hormone-dependent cancers.Baldwin WS, Barrett JC.Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.Epidemiological studies have suggested a possible link between extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and increased rates of certain cancers. One cancer that has been postulated to be associated with EMF exposure is breast cancer, for which increased rates have been reported among electricians. These cancer associations are weak, and the link to EMF exposures remains tenuous. Understanding the mechanisms by which EMFs could have biological effects will help in elucidating the risk, if any, from EMFs. One hypothesis that has received considerable attention involves reduction of melatonin levels by EMFs. This hypothesis suggests that loss of melatonin affects a variety of hormonal processes such as estrogen homeostasis and thereby may increase breast cancer rates. Since this theory was first presented, putative melatonin receptors have been cloned, providing new tools with which to examine melatonin’s mechanism of action and the melatonin hypothesis. These receptors are found in nuclear and membrane fractions of cells. The nuclear receptors (retinoid Z receptors) are found both in the brain and in non-neural tissues, whereas the membrane-bound receptors are found primarily in neural tissue and have a higher affinity for melatonin. These receptors may control a variety of hormonal and immunological functions, including the release of gonadotropins from the hypothalamus and pituitary and 5-lipoxygenase activity in B lymphocytes. This Working Hypothesis briefly reviews our current knowledge of melatonin receptors and then provides theories on how the inactivation of melatonin receptors may cause cancer and suggests areas of research for addressing this question.Publication Types:

PMID: 9537645 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Biological responses to electromagnetic fields.Lacy-Hulbert A, Metcalfe JC, Hesketh R.Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, England. a.lacy-hulbert@ucl.ac.ukElectrification in developed countries has progressively increased the mean level of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) to which populations are exposed; these humanmade fields are substantially above the naturally occurring ambient electric and magnetic fields of approximately 10(-4) Vm(-1) and approximately 10(-13) T, respectively. Several epidemiological studies have concluded that ELF-EMFs may be linked to an increased risk of cancer, particularly childhood leukemia. These observations have been reinforced by cellular studies reporting EMF-induced effects on biological systems, most notably on the activity of components of the pathways that regulate cell proliferation. However, the limited number of attempts to directly replicate these experimental findings have been almost uniformly unsuccessful, and no EMF-induced biological response has yet been replicated in independent laboratories. Many of the most well-defined effects have come from gene expression studies; several attempts have been made recently to repeat these key findings. This review analyses these studies and summarizes other reports of major cellular responses to EMFs and the published attempts at replication. The opening sections discuss quantitative aspects of exposure to EMFs and the incidence of cancers that have been correlated with such fields. The concluding section considers the problems that confront research in this area and suggests feasible strategies.Publication Types:

PMID: 9535213 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Effects of 50 Hz EMF exposure on micronucleus formation and apoptosis in transformed and nontransformed human cell lines.Simkó M, Kriehuber R, Weiss DG, Luben RA.Institute of Animal Physiology, Unit of Environmental Physiology, University of Rostock, Germany. myrtill.simko@biologie.uni-rostock.deEffects of applying extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) for different durations (24, 48, and 72 h) and different field intensities (0.1-1.0 mT) on micronucleus (MN) formation and induction of apoptosis were examined in a human squamous cell carcinoma cell line (SCL II) and in a human amniotic fluid cell line (AFC). A statistically significant increase of MN frequency and of induction of apoptosis in SCL II cells after 48-h and 72-h continuous exposure to 50 Hz magnetic field (MF) (0.8 and 1.0 mT) was found. However, exposure of AFC cells to EMF of different intensities and for different exposure times showed no statistically significant differences when compared with controls. These results demonstrate that different human cell types respond differently to EMF. Dose-dependent induction of apoptosis and genotoxic effects, resulting in increased micronucleus formation, could be demonstrated in the transformed cell line, whereas the nontransformed cell line did not show statistically significant effects. These findings suggest that EMF could be a promotor but not an initiator of carcinogenic effects.Publication Types:

PMID: 9492164 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Occupational exposure to magnetic fields in relation to male breast cancer and testicular cancer: a Swedish case-control study.Stenlund C, Floderus B.National Institute for Working Life, Solna, Sweden.Occupational exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (MF) was studied in 56 male subjects with breast cancer (adenocarcinoma) diagnosed in 1985-91, and 144 subjects with testicular cancer (seminoma and non-seminoma), diagnosed in 1985-87. The cases were compared with 1,121 control subjects from a previous case-control study on MF and cancer. Exposure assessment was based on the job held longest during the decade before diagnosis linked to a job exposure matrix based on MF measurements. The results refer to an estimated average mean of > 0.28 microT (Q4) and > 0.40 microT (P90, part of Q4) with < or = 0.15 microT (Q1) as reference. For breast cancer, the odds ratios (OR) and the 95 percent confidence intervals (CI) were 0.7 (CI = 0.3-1.9) and 0.7 (CI = 0.2-2.3), respectively. For men 60 years or younger, the corresponding estimates were OR = 0.9 (CI = 0.2-4.5) and 1.5 (CI = 0.3-8.3). For testicular cancer, the ORs were 1.3 (CI = 0.7-2.5) and 2.1 (CI = 1.0-4.3), and for men 40 years or younger the ORs were 1.9 (CI = 0.8-4.4) and 3.9 (CI = 1.4-11.2). The results were mainly attributable to non-seminoma, the more malignant type of testicular cancer. Our conclusion is that the results for male breast cancer, based on limited numbers, fail to support the suggested association with MF exposure. The results for testicular cancer gave some support to the hypothesis of a hormonal link between MFs and cancer, and should be further explored.Publication Types:

PMID: 9134242 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Childhood leukemia and electromagnetic fields: results of a population-based case-control study in Germany.Michaelis J, Schüz J, Meinert R, Menger M, Grigat JP, Kaatsch P, Kaletsch U, Miesner A, Stamm A, Brinkmann K, Kärner H.Institut für Medizinische Statistik und Dokumentation, Johannes-Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany.The investigation of an association between increased exposure to residential extremely-low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) and childhood leukemia was part of a population-based case-control study carried out between 1992 and 1995 in the northwestern part of Germany. A total of 129 children with leukemia and 328 controls participated in the EMF-study. Exposure assessment comprised measurements of the magnetic field over 24 hours in the child’s bedroom at the residence where the child had been living for the longest period before the date of diagnosis, and spot measurements at all residences where the child had been living for more than one year. The median of the 24h-measurement in the child’s bedroom was regarded as the most valid exposure variable. For children exposed to more than 0.2 microT, an elevated but not significant odds ratio (OR) was observed (OR = 3.2, 95 percent confidence interval = 0.7-14.9). These figures are based on only four leukemia cases and three controls since only 1.5 percent of the study population was classified as highly exposed. Exploratory analyses revealed ORs that were not statistically significantly increased for other characteristics of the magnetic field at varying cut-points. The results are comparable with those from other studies. Although not statistically significant, they may indicate a positive association between EMF and childhood leukemia.Publication Types:

PMID: 9134240 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Need for a European approach to the effects of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields on cancer. ELF-EMF European Feasibility Study Group.[No authors listed]BACKGROUND: A European feasibility study on environmental exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) and cancer was conducted. The study was motivated by public health concern about possible adverse health effects associated with ELF-EMF exposure. METHODS: A review of completed research in Europe was conducted. Information on the methods and accessibility of new epidemiologic studies were requested and reviewed. RESULTS: Eight studies on environmental ELF-EMF exposure have been completed in Europe while 15 large studies are in progress. Although there is no known mechanism by which electric or magnetic fields of this frequency could play a role in the development of cancer or other adverse health effects, the results of the studies conducted so far provide some support for the hypothesis that they are associated with the incidence of childhood leukemia. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: The best use of available data will be made through a pooled re-analysis of data, particularly those on childhood tumors. It is recommended to apply multiple methods for exposure assessment in view of the heterogeneity in the methods used in different studies. New multicenter case-referent studies should not be initiated until the results of the large on-going studies have been reported. Prospective cohort studies will have to be very large to identify moderate excess risks resulting from environmental exposure to ELF-EMF, and their feasibility should be discussed after the results of the on-going case-referent studies have been reported. A European collaborative approach will lead to greater statistical power and will assess the exposure-effect association under differing exposure patterns and distributions of potential confounding factors.Publication Types:

PMID: 9098906 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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[Electrosmog as a health risk factor: sources of artificial electromagnetic fields, evaluation of health risk, prevention methods][Article in Polish]Fedorowski A, Steciwko A.Zakładu Medycyny Rodzinnej, Akademii Medycznej we Wrocławiu.In recent years we have observed how electromagnetic (EM) radiation enters our daily life. The strength of man-made EM field is often far above the natural level and this finding has encouraged a large group of researchers to investigate its possible health effect. Non-ionizing radiation and extremely low-frequency electric and magnetic fields have been the subject of intensive theoretical and experimental works since Adey published his observations concerning non-linear and non-thermal biological effects. At the same time an epidemiological material appeared suggesting that EM field generates various diseases including leukemia and brain tumors. Possible mechanisms of EM field interactions with living matter remain unknown although theoretical models have been proposed by many authors. In vitro and in vivo studies as well as epidemiological data have not provided the ground for decisive conclusions. Nevertheless, the relationship between EM fields and biological effects seems to be most likely. Any international standards for safety limits have not as yet been established and regulations in this regard vary in different countries. However, occupational and residential exposure to EM field can be efficiently measured using an appropriate equipment and such measurements should become a standard procedure wherever electrosmog is suspected to be a pathogenic factor.Publication Types:

PMID: 9501333 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Investigation of the effects of 50 Hz magnetic fields on purified human hematopoietic progenitors.Nafziger J, Devevey L, Tricottet V, Guillosson JJ, Averlant G, Arock M.Laboratoire d’Hématologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire, UFR des Sciences Pharmaceutiques et Biologiques, Paris, France.Epidemiological reports suggest a possible association between exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) and the frequency of leukemia in men working in the field of electricity or in children living near power lines. At present, there is no experimental evidence for such an association. In this study we investigated the effects of 50 Hz EMFs (sinusoidal EMF of 10 microT or 1 mT) on human purified hematopoietic progenitor cells which are the first targets of a leukemogenic process. The results failed to reveal any significant changes in cell proliferation, cell kinetics, ultrastructure or clonogenic potential of these progenitors which could be related to a leukemogenic effect.Publication Types:

PMID: 9364198 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Endocrine functions in young men exposed for one night to a 50-Hz magnetic field. A circadian study of pituitary, thyroid and adrenocortical hormones.Selmaoui B, Lambrozo J, Touitou Y.Faculté de Médecine Pitié-Salpêtrière, Service de Biochimie Médicale, Paris, France.In recent years, some epidemiologic studies have suggested that extremely low frequency magnetic and electric fields might affect human health, and, in particular, that the incidence of certain types of cancer, depression, and miscarriage might increase among individuals living or working in environments exposed to such fields. Work in our laboratory studies whether and how changes in the electromagnetic environment might affect human health. The study presented here was designed to look for possible effects of acute exposure to 50-Hz linearly polarized magnetic fields (10 microT) on the hormones of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axes. Thirty-two young men (20-30 years old) were divided into two groups (sham-exposed or control group, and exposed group) of 16 subjects each. All subjects participated in two 24-hour experiments to evaluate the effects of both continuous and intermittent (one hour “off” and one hour “on” with the field switched “on” and “off” every 15 seconds) exposure to linearly polarized magnetic fields. The subjects were exposed to the magnetic field (generated by three Helmholtz coils per bed) from 2300 to 0800 while recumbent. Blood samples were collected during each session at 3 hour intervals from 1100 to 2000 and hourly from 2200 to 0800. Total urine was collected every 3 hours from 0800 to 2300 and then again at 0800. No significant differences were observed between sham-exposed and exposed men for any of the parameters measured: thyroid-stimulating hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, triiodothyronine, thyroxine, free triiodothyronine, free thyroxine, thyroxine-binding globulin, cortisol, 17-hydroxycorticosteroids (17-OH-CS) and TBK. These results suggest that acute exposure to either continuous or intermittent 50-Hz linearly polarized magnetic fields of 10 microT does not affect, at least under our experimental conditions, these endocrine functions or their circadian rhythmicity in healthy young men.Publication Types:

PMID: 9247317 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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The effects of 50 Hz magnetic field exposure on dimethylbenz(alpha)anthracene induced thymic lymphoma/leukemia in mice.Shen YH, Shao BJ, Chiang H, Fu YD, Yu M.Microwave Institute, Zhejiang Medical University, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China.Several epidemiological investigations have suggested an increased incidence of lymphoma, leukemia, and brain tumor in residents living near power transmission lines. However, some observers failed to confirm such a positive correlation. To evaluate the effects of extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields on leukemogenesis, an experimental animal model was used, in which thymic lymphoma/leukemia was induced by dimethylbenz(alpha)anthracene (DMBA) injected subcutaneously into the interscapular region of newborn mice within 24 h after birth. Beginning at the second week of age, 165 mice were exposed to 50 Hz magnetic field at 1 mT, 3 h/day, 6 days/week for 16 weeks, and 155 animals exposed to sham conditions. All surviving animals were killed by cervical dislocation at the age of 32 weeks and were examined pathologically. The results showed that the incidences of advanced thymic lymphoma, complicated with lymphomatous leukemia, were 21.8 and 23.9% in the two groups, respectively, without statistically significant differences. But dense metastatic infiltration by lymphoma cells into liver in the field exposure group greater (50%) than that in the sham-exposure group (16.2%) was observed (chi 2 = 9.847, P < 0.01). To determine whether ELF acts as a tumor promoter, further experiments are required.Publication Types:

PMID: 9209717 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields and adult leukaemia: a review of the epidemiological evidence.Feychting M.Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.The relationship between occupational exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields and adult leukaemia has been studied extensively during the last decade. The first studies were based on crude exposure assessments, estimated through job titles, with no or only limited control confounding factors. The results were often inconsistent, indicating no effects in about 50% of the studies, while the other half showed only small to moderate effects. Concern has been raised that crude exposure-assessment methods might have diluted the effect estimates, and that improvement of the methods used for exposure assessment would result in more consistent associations. The present review emphasises the latest studies with considerably improved exposure assessments, as well as the control of confounding factors. Results from studies where exposure was assessed through measurements of the magnetic fields at the workplace are still inconsistent. These studies provide some support for the hypothesis of an association between magnetic field exposure and adult leukaemia, especially for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, but inconsistencies between and within studies weaken the evidence. The lack of consistency regarding the type of leukaemia associated with magnetic field exposure might be explained by differences between the study designs or the populations studied, but based on the existing evidence, no firm conclusions can be drawn.Publication Types:

PMID: 9008000 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Comment in:

Magnetic fields of high voltage power lines and risk of cancer in Finnish adults: nationwide cohort study.

Verkasalo PK, Pukkala E, Kaprio J, Heikkilä KV, Koskenvuo M.

Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Finland.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the risk of cancer in association with magnetic fields in Finnish adults living close to high voltage power lines. DESIGN: Nationwide cohort study. SUBJECTS: 383,700 people who lived during 1970-89 within 500 metres of overhead power lines of 110-400 kV in a magnetic field calculated to be > or = 0.01 microT. Study subjects were identified by record linkages of nationwide registers. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Numbers of observed and expected cases of cancer, standardised incidence ratios, and incidence rate ratios adjusted for sex, age, calendar year, and social class–for example, by continuous cumulative exposure per 1 microT year with 95% confidence intervals from multiplicative models for all cancers combined and 21 selected types. RESULTS: Altogether 8415 cases of cancer were observed (standardised incidence ratio 0.98; 95% confidence interval 0.96 to 1.00) in adults. All incidence rate ratios for both sexes combined were non-significant and between 0.91 and 1.11. Significant excesses were observed in multiple myeloma in men (incidence rate ratio 1.22) and in colon cancer in women (1.16). CONCLUSIONS: Typical residential magnetic fields generated by high voltage power lines do not seem to be related to the risk of overall cancer in adults. The previously suggested associations between extremely low frequency magnetic fields and tumours of the nervous system, lymphoma, and leukaemia in adults and breast cancer in women were not confirmed.

Publication Types:

PMID: 8898595 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Extremely low frequency magnetic fields and cancer.Grandolfo M.National Institute of Health, Physics Laboratory, Rome, Italy.Publication Types:

PMID: 8972264 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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[Low-frequency electrical and magnetic fields near the beds of children with leukemia][Article in Russian]Coghill RU.Coghill Research Laboratories Lower Race, Gwent, Great Britain.This pilot study points to the importance of the electric field in studies of the association between measured extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields and childhood leukaemia, and of the probe position in collecting useful data. It finds a significantly elevated extremely low frequency electric field (16.04 V/m) in the bedplace of cases of childhood leukaemia compared with healthy controls (7.76 V/m). Mean measured magnetic fields were not significantly elevated in the bedplace (74 nT, rms, against 57 nT in control’ bedplaces). The study sample was large enough to detect a 5 V/m difference, but a larger study, paying particular attention to the position of the measuring instrument in the exact place where the child sleeps, is needed to confirm these results.Publication Types:

PMID: 8962881 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Cancer in electrical workers: an analysis of cancer registrations in England, 1981-87.Fear NT, Roman E, Carpenter LM, Newton R, Bull D.Cancer Epidemiology Unit, ICRF, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, UK.Associations between work in the electrical and electronic industry and cancer incidence were assessed using data for 371 890 cancers registered in England between 1981 and 1987, of which 7981 were in electrical workers. Proportional registration ratios (PRRs) were calculated, both with and without the commonest cancers, with adjustment for age, social class, cancer registry of origin and sex. Of four cancers previously linked with work in the electrical and electronic industry (leukaemia, brain, breast and melanoma), only two were significantly raised: leukaemia (PRR=124, 95% CI=109-142, based on 217 cases) and malignant brain cancer (PRR=118, 95% CI=103-136, based on 204 cases). A significantly increased risk was also observed for pleural cancer (PRR=201, 95% CI=167-241, based on 115 cases). The histology of almost 90% of pleural cancers was coded as mesothelioma, confirming the previously observed association between pleural cancer and exposure to asbestos in electrical workers. The extent to which workplace exposures to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields explains the excesses seen here for leukaemia and brain cancer requires further study.Publication Types:

PMID: 8611410 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Incidence of breast cancer in Norwegian female radio and telegraph operators.Tynes T, Hannevik M, Andersen A, Vistnes AI, Haldorsen T.Cancer Registry of Norway, Oslo, Norway.Exposure to electromagnetic fields may cause breast cancer in women if it increases susceptibility to sex-hormone-related cancer by diminishing the pineal gland’s production of melatonin. We have studied breast cancer incidence in female radio and telegraph operators with potential exposure to light at night, radio frequency (405 kHz-25 MHz), and, to some extent, extremely low frequency fields (50 Hz). We linked the Norwegian Telecom cohort of female radio and telegraph operators working at sea to the Cancer Registry of Norway to study incident cases of breast cancer. The cohort consisted of 2,619 women who were certified to work as radio and telegraph operators between 1920 and 1980. Cancer incidence was analyzed on the basis of the standardized incidence ratio (SIR), with the Norwegian female population as the comparison group. The incidence of all cancers was close to unity (SIR = 1.2). An excess risk was seen for breast cancer (SIR = 1.5). Analysis of a nested case-control study within the cohort showed an association between breast cancer in women aged 50+ years and shift work. In a model with adjustment for age, calendar year, and year of first birth, the rate ratio for breast cancer associated with being a radio and telegraph operator–in comparison with all Norwegian women born 1935 or later–analyzed with Poisson regression, was 1.5 after adjustment for fertility factors. These results support a possible association between work as a radio and telegraph operator and breast cancer. Future epidemiologic studies on breast cancer in women aged 50 and over, should address possible disturbances of chronobiological parameters by environmental factors.PMID: 8740732 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Occupational risk factors for female breast cancer: a review.Goldberg MS, Labrèche F.Public Health Department, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, Montréal, Québec, Canada.OBJECTIVES: Although progress has been made in identifying personal risk factors and in improving treatment for female breast cancer, incidence rates continue to increase. With women now occupying a sizable fraction of the workforce, it is worth inquiring whether there are occupational risk factors for breast cancer. This is a review of occupational studies on female breast cancer. METHODS: Suitable reports and published articles with associations of female breast cancer and occupation were identified from technical reports, by searching the MEDLINE bibliographic data base, and by reviewing each paper on cancer that was published in 20 major journals during the period from about 1971-94. RESULTS: A total of 115 studies were identified; 19 studies relied exclusively on data collected for administrative purposes, and there were four incident case-control studies and 92 cohort studies. Although data for individual industries, occupations, and exposures were sparse, there was limited evidence of an association with employment in the pharmaceutical industry and among cosmetologists and beauticians. Associations were also found for chemists and occupations with possible exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields, but potential methodological weaknesses preclude drawing any definite conclusions. There was little support for increased risks among textiles workers, dry cleaning workers, and nuclear industry workers. CONCLUSIONS: Few high quality occupational studies directed specifically toward women have been carried out to allow the unambiguous identification of occupational risk factors for breast cancer. It is suggested that investigations that account for non-occupational risk factors and that assess exposure in a more detailed way be carried out. One strategy already suggested is to conduct population based, case-control studies in which subjects are interviewed about their occupational histories and exposure to chemical and physical agents which are then attributed from the job descriptions by a team of experts. These studies can then be supplemented when necessary with cohort studies of specific populations.Publication Types:

PMID: 8704854 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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[Prevention during building construction against electromagnetic fields caused by high voltage electric lines–principles and risk evaluation][Article in German]Boikat U, von Manikowsky S.Behörde für Arbeit, Gesundheit und Soziales Hamburg.A growing body of evidence by new risk assessments concerning permanent exposure to low level, extremely low frequency electric and magnetic fields shows, a moderate long-term risk. This possible long-term risk makes it necessary to think about prudent avoidance in city planning. There is no Federal German legislation to make prevention mandatory. The risk assessments are based on epidemiological investigations of a relationship between residential locations of children in the vicinity of power lines and incidence of leukemia. The study design of recent studies has been essentially optimised compared to previous ones. The investigations have been carried out independently. The overall conclusion is more in favour of a relationship than against it. In Hamburg a preventive practice was established several years ago. Safe distances between power lines and new apartment houses are taken into account. Other concepts of avoidance are presented. These may be guided by values of magnetic fields or can be expressed by security distances, as can be shown by international examples.Publication Types:

PMID: 8645899 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Radiation exposure, socioeconomic status, and brain tumor risk in the US Air Force: a nested case-control study.Grayson JK.United States Air Force, Armstrong Laboratory, Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, USA.A nested case-control study was used to investigate the relation between a range of electromagnetic field exposures and brain tumor risk in the US Air Force. Cumulative extremely low frequency and radiofrequency/microwave electromagnetic field potential exposures were estimated from a job-exposure matrix developed for this study. Ionizing radiation exposures were obtained from personal dosimetry records. Men who were exposed to nonionizing electromagnetic fields had a small excess risk for developing brain tumors, with the extremely low frequency and radiofrequency/microwave age-race-senior military rank-adjusted odds ratios being 1.28 (95% confidence interval (Cl) 0.95-1.74) and 1.39 (95% Cl 1.01-1.90), respectively. By contrast, men who were exposed to ionizing radiation had an age-race-senior military rank-adjusted odds ratio of 0.58 (95% Cl 0.22-1.52). These results support a small association between extremely low frequency and radiofrequency/microwave electromagnetic field exposure and no association between ionizing radiation exposure and brain tumors in the US Air Force population. Military rank was consistently associated with brain tumor risk. Officers were more likely than enlisted men to develop brain tumors (age-race-adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 2.11, 95% Cl 1.48-3.01), and senior officers were at increased risk compared with all other US Air Force members (age-race-adjusted OR = 3.30, 95% Cl 1.99-5.45).PMID: 8610663 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Hematological alterations induced after a year’s exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic field in mice.Vallejo D, Picazo ML, Sanz MP, Bardasano JL.Dept. Biología Animal, Universidad de Alcalá, Madrid, España.PMID: 9087805 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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[Bioeffects of electromagnetic fields–safety limits of each frequency band, especially less than radio one][Article in Japanese]Nakagawa M.Railway Technical Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan.Since Wertheimer and Leeper reported in 1979 that children living near power distribution lines have as high as twice or three times the incidence of cancer, the relation of leukemia or cancer to extremely-low-frequency (ELF) electromagnetic field (EMF) has been a subject of repeated argument. We cannot sum up the bioeffects of EMF in a few words, for these are attributed to frequency difference. This review discusses the bioeffects of EMF ranging from frequency of microwave to static magnetic field with main stress on the socalled non-thermal effects below radiofrequency band. Non-thermal effects are rather weak compared with those of high frequency band and have been treated as unknown matter for a long period. However, as the EMF energy has come to be increasingly used at high levels, we can now clearly detect the bioeffects of induced eddy currents. On the other hand, some findings about low level ELF electromagnetic field suspected as a cancer-promoting factor are mainly gained by epidemiological method. Cancer researchers concerned with recent powerline issues are coming up with many reports on oncological effects of very low-level (0.1 microT order) ELF electromagnetic fields. More data, however, should be collected to reach appropriate conclusion about the possibility of low level ELF electromagnetic fields have an effect of cancer promotion. As for the safety standards of static magnetic field it should be noted that in 1993 National Radiation Protection Board (UK) and International Radiation Protection Association published the highest values ever recommended. These announcements would agree with our assumption that biological processes require high flux density of ELF-EMF proportional to 1/f, where frequency and flux density are indicated with a logarithmic function.Publication Types:

PMID: 8909558 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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[Electromagnetic residential fields and childhood cancers: state of epidemiological research][Article in French]Coste D, Moutet JP, Bernard JL.Registre des Cancers de l’Enfant Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur et Corse, Faculté de Médecine, Marseille.Thirteen epidemiological studies of the relations between electromagnetic fields and childhood cancers have been published. Eleven have shown some associations between the presumed intensity of exposure to residential magnetic fields and the childhood cancers incidence, either for all cancers or for the 3 most frequent types (leukaemias, brain tumours and lymphomas). These associations are not often significant because of the weak statistical power of these studies in relation with both the low incidence of cancers in childhood, and specially of each particular type, and the little number of subjects considered to be exposed at a high level exposure for residential magnetic fields. All these studies fall in with the same difficulties, particularly for identification and assessment of the exposure to magnetic fields and for the manner to take into account all the potential confounders. So even significant associations do not imply their causality, all the more as the carcinogenicity of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields, although biologically conceivable, has never been experimentally proven. Today it is impossible to claim or invalidate the influence of residential magnetic fields in the genesis of childhood cancer. Setting up of new epidemiological studies based on large number of cases issued from population based registries and conducted with a best defined methodology seems to be highly desirable.Publication Types:

PMID: 8851945 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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[Biological effects of electromagnetic fields][Article in Japanese]Shimizu H, Suzuki Y, Okonogi H.Department of Public Health and Environmental Medicine, Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.Since several epidemiological studies have indicated an elevated risk for certain types of cancer in both living and working environments where exposure to an extremely low-frequency electromagnetic field (ELF) occurs, public concern about ELF has been increasing because it is impossible to imagine life today without electricity. We reviewed studies on biological effects of ELF with respect to their cytological and biochemical effects, including mutagenicity, clastogenicity and carcinogenicity. The studies can be summarized as follow: 1) There is evidence that outer surface of the cell membrane is the primary locus for ELF-induced cellular alterations. 2) ELF modulate the proliferation of normal as well as transformed cells in vivo and in vitro. The magnitude of the proliferative effects depends on ELF intensity, exposure duration and other cellular factors. 3) No studies clearly demonstrate deleterious effects of ELF exposure on mammalian reproduction and development, but several suggest such effects. 4) Reported evidence does not demonstrate that the ELF acts as a cancer initiator. However, it might act as a promoter or affect tumor progression. Further observations and epidemiological studies of ELF must be accompanied by laboratory experiments to evaluate biological and health effects.Publication Types:

PMID: 8583677 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Short exposures to 60 Hz magnetic fields do not alter MYC expression in HL60 or Daudi cells.Saffer JD, Thurston SJ.Pacific Northwest Laboratory, MSIN P7-53, Richland, Washington 99352, USA.Analysis of changes in gene expression induced by 60 Hz magnetic fields has been considered to support an association between exposure to magnetic fields and cancer risk. Several reports have indicated that these fields rapidly activate many genes in mammalian cells. However, previous studies in this area have not provided sufficient information to support the conclusions drawn. To clarify this controversial research, we have attempted to validate, under rigorously controlled conditions, key experiments on induction of gene expression by magnetic fields. An extensive series of experiments, incorporating critical improvements in experimental design, most notably blind exposures and internal standards, was performed with human HL60 and Daudi cells. Exposure conditions covered a range of flux densities (5.7 microT to 10 mT) and times (20-60 min). No alteration in the human MYC gene, commonly referred to as c-myc, or beta-actin steady-state mRNA levels was observed. The lack of an effect was not attributable to exposure geometry, timing of RNA preparation, or serum lot and concentration. To eliminate any remaining variables, exact replication was performed in one of the laboratories previously reporting gene expression effects; again, no evidence for altered MYC expression was found. Finally, differential display PCR indicated that extremely low-frequency magnetic field-induced changes in gene expression were not prevalent.Publication Types:

PMID: 7568767 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields and the risk of malignant diseases–an evaluation of epidemiological and experimental findings.Hardell L, Holmberg B, Malker H, Paulsson LE.Department of Oncology, Orebro Medical Centre, Sweden.Epidemiological and experimental studies concerning extremely low frequency electromagnetic field exposure and malignant diseases published up to 1 July 1994 were evaluated to assess the possible carcinogenicity of electromagnetic fields and the scientific basis for environmental and occupational standard setting. We concluded that there are possible associations between (i) an increased risk of leukaemia in children and the existence of, or distance to, power lines in the vicinity of their residence, (ii) an increased risk of chronic lymphatic leukaemia and occupational exposure to low frequency electromagnetic fields and (iii) an increased risk of breast cancer, malignant melanoma of the skin, nervous system tumours, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, acute lymphatic leukaemia or acute myeloid leukaemia and certain occupations. There is no scientific basis for occupational or environmental standard setting for low frequency electric or magnetic fields.Publication Types:

PMID: 7496333 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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[Biological influences of electromagnetic fields][Article in Japanese]Kato M.Department of Physiology, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.In recent years some people expressed concern about possible health effects of electric and magnetic fields produced by exposure to extremely low frequency bands (ELF: less than 300 Hz). This was first mentioned by epidemiological studies. However, the epidemiological method has several limitations that are difficult to overcome. One problem is the detection of relationships when the risk ratios are relatively low. Another obstacle may be how to define ‘strength’ of magnetic or electric fields. In animal studies, there have been published several papers that melatonin was depressed by exposure to magnetic fields. Levels of photon energy at the ELF bands are extremely low, hence it provides difficulty how to elucidate the ‘positive’ experimental results in terms of biophysical mechanisms.Publication Types:

PMID: 7590602 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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[Occupational risk among magnetic resonance workers. Analysis of the literature][Article in Italian]Magnavita N, Fileni A.Istituto di Medicina del Lavoro, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Roma.It was observed that “medical diagnosis utilizing Magnetic Resonance (MR) scanners may be one of the first modalities in which there is more risk for the operator of the equipment than for the patient” (Young, 1984). Despite this statement, only a few studies have been devoted to the assessment of occupational hazard in MR imaging personnel. The principal features associated with MR systems are: static magnetic fields, time-varying magnetic fields, and radiofrequency irradiation. Potential medical effects related to these hazards are reviewed. Static magnetic fields are known to induce in vitro changes in enzyme kinetics, orientation changes of macromolecules and subcellular components, distortion of ion currents and magnetohydrodynamic effects. Possible mechanisms for static magnetic field bioeffects include the exertion of magnetic forces, the induction of voltages, and other mechanisms (proton tunneling, ion cyclotron resonance) that are yet scarcely known. Human epidemiological studies on static magnetic fields are mainly based on subjective observations, and lack adequate control for confounding factors. Time-varying magnetic fields in the extremely-low frequency range have been associated with both occupational and non-occupational adverse health effects. Exposure to electromagnetic fields in office workers has been related to an increased rate of abortion; the vast majority of studies in this field, however, did not reach any significant result. Many literature reports support the evidence of an elevation of cancer risk in subjects exposed to residential and occupational ELF fields. Although such observations are not yet proved, the alleged occupational risk in magnetic fields exposure should induce to optimize exposure in MR imaging workers.Publication Types:

PMID: 7617908 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Comparisons between magnetic field exposure indices in an automobile transmission plant.Wenzl TB, Kriebel D, Eisen EA, Ellenbecker MJ.Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell 01854, USA.Personal monitoring of extremely low frequency magnetic fields was conducted at a large automatic transmission plant for a case-control study of primary brain cancer. Current workers were selected to represent the jobs most commonly held by study subjects. Several exposure indices, corresponding to different plausible biological mechanisms, were computed for each of 81 workers who wore the monitoring instrument for one-half shift. Average exposures covered a range from 0.16 to 46 mG; median exposure was 1.3 mG. Nonparametric correlations were estimated to learn whether all of these indices rise and fall together. Results were mixed, in that indices sensitive to high values showed correlations above 0.7, but other correlations were between 0.4 and 0.6. Different indices may thus identify different groups as “highly” exposed. The authors also tested whether indices based on the fraction of time spent above hypothesized thresholds were accurately predicted by a lognormal model. For 47% of the workers, the observed indices significantly exceeded those predicted by such a model, suggesting that lognormality is not a good model for distributions of individuals’ short-term exposures.Publication Types:

PMID: 7726099 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Childhood leukemia and residential exposure to weak extremely low frequency magnetic fields.Feychting M, Ahlbom A.Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.There is no known mechanism by which magnetic fields of the type generated by high voltage power lines can play a role in cancer development. Nevertheless, epidemiologic research has rather consistently found associations between residential magnetic field exposure and cancer. This is most evident for leukemia in children.Publication Types:

PMID: 7614949 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Hypothesis: the risk of childhood leukemia is related to combinations of power-frequency and static magnetic fields.Bowman JD, Thomas DC, London SJ, Peters JM.Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.We present a hypothesis that the risk of childhood leukemia is related to exposure to specific combinations of static and extremely-low-frequency (ELF) magnetic fields. Laboratory data from calcium efflux and diatom mobility experiments were used with the gyromagnetic equation to predict combinations of 60 Hz and static magnetic fields hypothesized to enhance leukemia risk. The laboratory data predicted 19 bands of the static field magnitude with a bandwidth of 9.1 microT that, together with 60 Hz magnetic fields, are expected to have biological activity. We then assessed the association between this exposure metric and childhood leukemia using data from a case-control study in Los Angeles County. ELF and static magnetic fields were measured in the bedrooms of 124 cases determined from a tumor registry and 99 controls drawn from friends and random digit dialing. Among these subjects, 26 cases and 20 controls were exposed to static magnetic fields lying in the predicted bands of biological activity centered at 38.0 microT and 50.6 microT. Although no association was found for childhood leukemia in relation to measured ELF or static magnetic fields alone, an increasing trend of leukemia risk with measured ELF fields was found for subjects within these static field bands (P for trend = 0.041). The odds ratio (OR) was 3.3 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.4-30.5] for subjects exposed to static fields within the derived bands and to ELF magnetic field above 0.30 microT (compared to subjects exposed to static fields outside the bands and ELF magnetic fields below 0.07 microT). When the 60 Hz magnetic fields were assessed according to the Wertheimer-Leeper code for wiring configurations, leukemia risks were again greater with the hypothesized exposure conditions (OR = 9.2 for very high current configurations within the static field bands; 95% CI = 1.3-64.6). Although the risk estimates are based on limited magnetic field measurements for a small number of subjects, these findings suggest that the risk of childhood leukemia may be related to the combined effects of the static and ELF magnetic fields. Further tests of the hypothesis are proposed.Publication Types:

PMID: 7748203 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Intracellular calcium oscillations in a T-cell line after exposure to extremely-low-frequency magnetic fields with variable frequencies and flux densities.Lindström E, Lindström P, Berglund A, Lundgren E, Mild KH.Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Umeå University, Sweden.Low-frequency magnetic fields (MF) can increase the cytosolic calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) in lymphocytes in the same manner as a physiological stimulus such as antibodies directed towards the CD3 complex. In this study, MF with various frequencies and flux densities were used, while [Ca2+]i changes were recorded using microfluorometry with fura-2 as a probe. The applied sinusoidal MF induced oscillatory changes of [Ca2+]i in the leukemic cell line Jurkat in a manner similar to that seen with stimulation by antibodies. The response at 0.15 mT was over a frequency range from 5 to 100 Hz, with a fairly broad peak having its maximum at 50 Hz. The result of testing increasing flux densities at 50 Hz was a threshold response with no effect below 0.04 mT and a plateau at 0.15 mT. On the basis of the characteristic calcium pattern resulting from an applied MF, we suggest that MF influence molecular events in regular signal transduction pathways of T cells.Publication Types:

PMID: 7748202 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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[Carcinogenic risk of extremely-low-frequency electromagnetic fields: state of the art][Article in Italian]Pira E, Zanetti C, Saia B.Dipartimento di Traumatologia Ortopedia e Medicina del Lavoro Università degli Studi di Torino.This paper summarizes the published literature and current problems relating to possible cancerogenic effects of occupational and residential exposure to ELF electromagnetic fields at levels slightly above ambient background. There are several suggestions that such an exposure may increase the risk of cancer, but these studies failed to provide conclusive indications. The present state of uncertainty led to a variety of recommendations and statements being made concerning restrictions to the exposure of people to ELF electromagnetic fields. Attempts to detect direct chromosomal damage from ELF electromagnetic fields have proven negative, while results on cancer promotion have been controversial. On the basis of several epidemiological studies on occupational exposure, an increased risk of leukemia, brain cancer and male breast cancer is apparent; the literature on residential exposure provides some evidence of an effect on childhood cancer, especially leukemia; however, when interpreting these results some major methodological concerns should be kept in mind. In conclusion, the public concern and potential public health impact of this environmental agent argue strongly for addressing further research in order to identify mechanisms of action on biological systems, to define the proper assessment of exposure and to obtain good epidemiological evidence.Publication Types:

PMID: 7731404 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Incidence of cancer among workers in Norwegian hydroelectric power companies.Tynes T, Reitan JB, Andersen A.Cancer Registry of Norway, Institute of Epidemiological Cancer Research, Oslo.OBJECTIVES–The goal of this study was to examine whether exposure to electric or magnetic fields is related to cancer. METHODS–The study cohort consisted of 5088 men who had worked for at least one year between 1920 and 1991 for any of eight participating companies which produce and distribute hydroelectric power in Norway. The occupational exposure of these workers included extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields. Incident cancer cases identified from the Cancer Registry of Norway were analyzed on the basis of the standardized incidence ratio with the Norwegian male population as reference. RESULTS–The incidence of cancer was close to unity for the cohort. The standardized incidence ratio for lymphoma was below unity, whereas those for leukemia and brain tumors were similar to those expected. Calculated cumulative exposure to electric or magnetic fields was not associated with the incidence of leukemia or brain tumors, but an excess of malignant melanoma was shown for the highest category of magnetic field exposure. An analysis of combined possible exposure to oils containing polychlorinated biphenyls and exposure to magnetic fields or possible exposure to electric sparks gave standardized incidence ratios of 265 and 280, respectively, for the higher exposure category. CONCLUSIONS–These results do not support the assumption of a possible association between exposure to electromagnetic fields and leukemia and brain tumors. The possible association between exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls or magnetic fields and risk of malignant melanoma should be further evaluated in future studies.PMID: 7863297 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Melatonin suppression by static and extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields: relationship to the reported increased incidence of cancer.Reiter RJ.Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio 78284-7762, USA.An increased cancer incidence has been reported in individuals living and/or working in an environment in which they are exposed to higher than normal artificial electromagnetic fields. One of the most uniform changes associated with the exposure of animals to either pulsed static geomagnetic fields or to sinusoidal extremely low frequency magnetic fields has been a reduction in high night-time levels of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced especially at night in the pineal gland, a pea-sized organ near the center of the human brain. The high nocturnal production of melatonin leads to elevated blood melatonin levels at night as well. The exposure of humans or animals to light (visible electromagnetic radiation) at night rapidly depresses pineal melatonin production and blood melatonin levels. Likewise, the exposure of animals to various pulsed static and extremely low frequency magnetic fields also reduces melatonin levels. Melatonin is a potent oncostatic agent and it prevents both the initiation and promotion of cancer. Reduction of melatonin, at night, by any means, increases cells’ vulnerability to alteration by carcinogenic agents. Thus, if in fact artificial electromagnetic field exposure increases the incidence of cancer in humans, a plausible mechanism could involve a reduction in melatonin which is the consequence of such exposures.Publication Types:

PMID: 7724876 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Comment in:

Breast cancer mortality among female electrical workers in the United States.

Loomis DP, Savitz DA, Ananth CV.

Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina School of Public Health, Chapel Hill 27599-7400.

BACKGROUND: Previous epidemiologic studies have suggested that exposure to electric or magnetic fields in occupational and residential environments may cause cancer. Recent experimental findings provide some support for the hypothesis that exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields reduces the pineal gland’s nocturnal production of the hormone melatonin, thereby increasing susceptibility to sex hormone-related cancers such as breast cancer. PURPOSE: Our purpose was to assess the evidence that cancer of the female breast might be associated with exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields. METHODS: Records of women who had breast cancer as the underlying cause of their death (ICD-9 174) and control subjects (four per case) were selected from computer files of U.S. mortality data for the years 1985-1989. Women 20 years and older at the time of their death were eligible for inclusion if they were residents of and died in one of the 24 states that provided death certification records with occupation and industry codes to the National Center for Health Statistics for at least 1 year during the study interval. Data from death certificates were used to classify the case and control subjects with regard to potential occupational exposure to electric and magnetic fields. Control subjects were a random sample of women who died of any other underlying cause, excluding leukemia and brain cancer. RESULTS: The data analysis contrasted 68 women with breast cancer and 199 controls, all with electrical occupations, with 27,814 women with breast cancer and 110,750 controls, all of whom had other occupations. Electrical workers had excess mortality from breast cancer relative to other employed women [odds ratio (OR) = 1.38; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.04-1.82]). Adjusted ORs for specific electrical occupations were 1.73 (95% CI = 0.92-3.25) for electrical engineers, 1.28 (95% CI = 0.79-2.07) for electrical technicians, and 2.17 (95% CI = 1.17-4.02) for telephone installers, repairers, and line workers. There was no excess of breast cancer, however, in seven other occupations held more frequently by women and also involving potentially elevated electrical exposures, including telephone operators, data keyers, and computer operators and programmers. CONCLUSIONS: In light of the limitations inherent in death certification data and the design of this study, any conclusions regarding the hypothesis that exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields causes breast cancer among women must be limited. Nevertheless, our findings are broadly consistent with that hypothesis and encourage further investigation with improvements in study design and data quality.

PMID: 8196082 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Effects of weak alternating magnetic fields on nocturnal melatonin production and mammary carcinogenesis in rats.Löscher W, Wahnschaffe U, Mevissen M, Lerchl A, Stamm A.Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmacy, School of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, FRG.Since extremely low frequency (i.e., 50- or 60-Hz) magnetic fields (MFs) from overhead power lines and other electromagnetic sources are ubiquitous in modern societies, the possible carcinogenic effect of such fields recently suggested by epidemiological studies has engendered much concern. However, in view of various unknown and uncontrolled variables which may bias epidemiological studies on MF interactions, a causal relationship between MFs and tumorigenesis can only be determined precisely in animal experiments. The goal of the study reported here was to determine if low frequency MFs at the low flux densities which are relevant for human populations induce tumor-promoting or copromoting effects in a model of breast cancer. Furthermore, since reduction in pineal production of melatonin has been implicated as a cause of tumor promotion by electromagnetic fields, determinations of nocturnal melatonin peak levels in serum were performed during MF exposure. Mammary tumors were induced by intragastric administration of 20 mg (5 mg/week) 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA) in female Sprague-Dawley rats. Groups of 36 rats were either sham-exposed or exposed for 91 days at a 50-Hz gradient MF of 0.3-1 microT, which is a relevant range for elevated domestic MF exposure as arising from neighboring power lines. Nocturnal melatonin levels were significantly reduced by exposure to this weak alternating MF. However, histopathological evaluation of mammary lesions did not disclose any significant difference between MF- and sham-exposed animals. Incidence of mammary tumors was 61% in controls versus 67% in MF-exposed rats. The predominant tumor type was the invasive adenocarcinoma, which was found in 21 rats of both groups. Examination of tumor size did not indicate significant differences in tumor burden between both groups. Furthermore, the incidence of preneoplastic lesions was not altered by MF exposure. Thus, the data of this study indicate that alternating MF do not exert significant tumor promoting or copromoting effects at environmentally relevant flux densities in the rat mammary cancer system.PMID: 8196914 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Risk of childhood leukemia in areas passed by high power lines.Lin RS, Lee WC.Institute of Public Health, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, ROC.There has been an emerging concern about possible health risks posed by exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF). The incidence of childhood leukemia near high-power transmission lines has only rarely been investigated. A total of 67 cases of childhood leukemia (aged 0-14 years) were reported to the Cancer Registration Center in Taiwan between 1979 and 1988 from the five districts in the Taipei Metropolitan Area, where at least one elementary school campus is passed over by a high power transmission line (69-345 KV). The standardized incidence ratio (SIR) of childhood leukemia in the five districts was found to be significantly elevated (SIR = 1.49, 95% confidence interval: 1.16-1.91). Younger children seemed more susceptible to EMF exposure as indicated by the fact that children aged 0-4 years in two of the five districts showed significantly elevated SIRs compared to older ones. The unusually high SIRs for children of age 5-9 and 10-14 years in one of these districts (SIR = 4.38 and 3.68 respectively) deserves further investigation.Publication Types:

PMID: 8047676 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Investigation of a spontaneous abortion cluster: lessons learned.McDiarmid MA, Breysse P, Lees PS, Curbow B, Kolodner K.Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, MD.An investigation of a reported spontaneous abortion excess in an office environment was undertaken employing a multidisciplinary approach, including (1) an epidemiologic/validation step; (2) an industrial hygiene survey, including electromagnetic field measurements and indoor air quality determinations; and (3) a risk perception/risk communication component. This approach was needed because there are numerous chemical and physical agents and psychosocial stressors that may potentially impact the reproductive status of female office workers. Although video display terminals (VDTs) are typically the focus of spontaneous abortion (SAB) investigations, one cannot ignore other stressors in the environment. Magnetic field exposures within a payroll area were determined using a hand-held survey meter and data logging dosimeter. On average, the full shift time-weighted average exposures of workers to extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields in the payroll office area ranged from 1.0 to 5.6 mG. Influencing the investigation’s protocol design were the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) recent Guidelines for Investigating Clusters of Health Events. Although these guidelines grew primarily out of cancer cluster investigations, we applied them in this instance and found them to be generalizable to reproductive hazards investigations. A spontaneous abortion excess was validated over a 2-year period among 26 women with 32 reproductive events, with rates 1.5-2.5 times the expected, depending on comparison figures used. Lessons learned in the investigation, including the applicability of the CDC’s Cluster Investigation Protocol and the enormous importance of risk perception and risk communication, are described.PMID: 8010292 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Specific region of the c-myc promoter is responsive to electric and magnetic fields.Lin H, Goodman R, Shirley-Henderson A.Department of Pathology, Columbia University Health Sciences, New York, New York 10032.The level of c-myc transcripts is increased in cells exposed to extremely low frequency (elf) electromagnetic (EM) fields at 60 Hz. The aim of the present experiments was to determine if regulatory regions upstream of the c-myc gene modulate the response to EM fields. DNA upstream of P1 of both mouse and human c-myc genes was transfected into cells as CAT constructs. The presence of DNA 5′ to the human or mouse myc genes results in increased expression of CAT following 20 min exposures of cells to 60 Hz elf EM fields. Specific portions of the human upstream DNA were deleted and introduced into cells. The region responsive to EM fields is located between -353 and -1,257 relative to the P1 promoter.Publication Types:

PMID: 8200908 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Comment in:

Incidence of selected cancers in Swedish railway workers, 1961-79.

Floderus B, Törnqvist S, Stenlund C.

National Institute of Occupational Health, Solna, Sweden.

Among all Swedish men, 20 to 64 years of age and employed in 1960, railway workers were selected and compared with the population at large, concerning the incidence of leukemia, lymphoma, tumors of the brain, breast, and the pituitary gland. The study was a re-analysis of the 1961-79 incidence data previously showing no increase in risk for leukemia and brain tumors for railway workers. In the present study, follow-up was divided into two 10-year periods, and elevated relative risks (RR) were found for the first decade. For the first decade, engine drivers and conductors combined had an RR of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, and lymphoma of 1.9 (95 percent confidence interval [CI] = 0.9-4.0), 1.4 (CI = 0.4-4.3), and 1.0 (CI = 0.5-1.9), respectively. For all brain tumors, the RR was 1.2 (CI = 0.8-1.9), with a higher risk estimate for those below age 30 (RR = 12.2, CI = 2.8-52.5). Three cases of breast cancer and nine cases of tumors of the pituitary gland occurred among engine drivers and conductors, corresponding to RRs of 4.9 (CI = 1.6-11.8) and 3.2 (CI = 1.6-6.2), respectively. Work on trains entails extremely high exposure to low frequency magnetic fields (EMF). The results give some support to the hypothesis of an association between EMF and certain types of cancers. The outcome for the pituitary gland, being a focal point of hormonal regulation, suggests a hormonal link.

Publication Types:

PMID: 8167266 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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A newly designed experimental system for exposure of mammalian cells to extremely low frequency magnetic fields.Miyakoshi J, Ohtsu S, Tatsumi-Miyajima J, Takebe H.Department of Experimental Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Japan.To examine the biological effects of extremely low frequency magnetic field (ELFMF), we have designed and manufactured a new equipment for long-term and high-density exposure of cells to ELFMF. The ELFMF exposure system consists of a generator of magnets with a built-in CO2 incubator, an alternating current (AC) power supply, a gas compressor and a thermocontroller for the incubator, and a cooling unit for the magnets. The CO2 incubator made of acrylic resin is inserted into the inner-space of the silicon steel strip-cores. In this system, the temperature of the incubator is maintained at 37 +/- 0.5 degrees C. The maximum magnetic flux density on the exposure area of the incubator is 500 mT (T; tesla) at a current of 556 Arms (rms; root mean square) at 50 Hz. The long-term (up to 120 hr) exposure of 400 mT ELFMF did not affect the growth of both HL60RG and CCRF-CEM cells originated from human leukemia. The post-X-irradiation exposure of 400 mT ELFMF for 2 hr also did not affect the radiation sensitivity of GM0637 and TAT2SF cells originated from a normal human and an ataxia telangiectasia patient.Publication Types:

PMID: 8057268 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Intermittent 50 Hz magnetic field and skin tumor promotion in SENCAR mice.Rannug A, Holmberg B, Ekström T, Mild KH, Gimenez-Conti I, Slaga TJ.National Institute of Occupational Health, Department of Toxicology, Solna, Sweden.A number of epidemiological studies have indicated association between exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields and a variety of cancers, including leukaemia and brain tumours among residentially exposed children and among occupationally exposed adults. In order to test if intermittent magnetic fields (MF) act as a tumour promoter, a long-term skin carcinogenicity study of 50 Hz sinusoidal MF with flux densities of 50 muT and 0.5 mT, continuous as well as with an intermittence of 15 s on/off, was performed. Female SENCAR mice were divided into eight groups of 50 animals in each and treated according to an initiation- promotion scheme. 7,12-dimethylbenz[a] anthracene (DMBA) in acetone was applied to the dorsal skin at a subcarcinogenic dose, as an initiator and exposure to MF was performed for 19-21 h/day during 104 weeks starting 1 week after the initiator treatment. The phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) was used as a positive control for skin tumour promoting activity. Two animals from each group were assigned for skin hyperplasia analysis at 2, 6, 12, 18 and 21 months. The animals were observed daily. The appearance of skin lesions and neoplasms were carefully followed and histopathological diagnosis was made for all neoplasms present at death. The experiment was terminated after 105 weeks. DMBA-treatment alone yielded altogether two skin tumours in two tumour-bearing animals and the animals exposed to acetone alone had one skin tumour. The animals exposed to continuous fields showed no skin tumour. Five animals exposed to 0.5 mT on/off had a total of 13 skin tumours and in the group exposed to 50 microT on/off four animals had a total of four skin tumours. The on/off exposed groups differed significantly from the continuously exposed groups (P = 0.014) but the difference between the on/off exposure groups and the DMBA group was not statistically significant when tumour-bearing animals and cumulated skin tumours were compared. There was a statistically significant dose trend (P = 0.045) with flux density and Tesla-h for intermittent MF exposure for cumulated skin tumours per tumour-bearing animals. The epithelial thickness of DMBA + MF-treated animals was of the same magnitude as for DMBA-treated animals indicating that, in the case of a promoting effect being present, another mechanism than one involving sustained hyperplasia may be involved.Publication Types:

PMID: 8313501 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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[Influence of low frequency electromagnetic fields on the nervous system][Article in Polish]Langauer-Lewowicka H, Marzec S.Instytutu Medycyny Pracy i Zdrowia Srodowiskowego.The methods present a short review of the literature dealing with non-thermal bioeffect of electromagnetic fields (EMF), mainly of low and extremely low frequency. The main attention is paid to the information about disorders of the nervous system and about epidemiologic studies of brain tumors in the population exposed to EMF. All quoted authors have stressed great difficulties in the right assessment of adverse effects due to EMF’s because of their non-specific influence on the biological structures.Publication Types:

PMID: 8028706 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Effects of extremely-low-frequency electromagnetic fields on ion transport in several mammalian cells.García-Sancho J, Montero M, Alvarez J, Fonteriz RI, Sanchez A.Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular y Fisiología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Valladolid, Spain.We have investigated the effects of sinusoidal electromagnetic fields (EMF) on ion transport (Ca2+, Na+, K+, and H+) in several cell types (red blood cells, thymocytes, Ehrlich ascites tumor cells, and HL60 and U937 human leukemia cells). The effects on the uptake of radioactive tracers as well as on the cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i), the intracellular pH (pHi), and the transmembrane potentsial (TMP) were studied. Exposure to EMF at 50 Hz and 100-2000 microT (rms) had no significant effects on any of these parameters. Exposure to EMF of 20-1200 microT (rms) at the estimated cyclotron magnetic resonance frequencies for the respective ions had no significant effects except for a 12-32% increase of the uptake of 42K within a window at 14.5-15.5 Hz and 100-200 microT (rms), which was found in U937 and Ehrlich cells but not in the other cell types.PMID: 7880171 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Power frequency magnetic field exposures among nurses in a neonatal intensive care unit and a normal newborn nursery.Paul M, Hammond SK, Abdollahzadeh S.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester 01655.Given the current interest in potential carcinogenic and developmental effects of exposure to extremely-low-frequency electromagnetic fields, there is a need to identify cohorts of exposed female workers for future epidemiologic investigations. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that nurses working in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) may be significantly exposed to power-frequency magnetic fields. An electromagnetic field monitor was used to measure magnetic fields at distances of 5, 15, 30, and 60 cm from the surfaces of each device used in the NICU. Six female nurses assigned to the NICU (the “exposed” group) and six female nurses working in the normal newborn nursery (the “referent” group) wore EMDEX dosimeters for the entire duration of their 12 h shifts. An investigator kept a detailed log of each NICU subject’s whereabouts for the first one-third of her shift. Magnetic fields at 5 cm from the front (defined by the nurses’ usual work area) of the NICU devices ranged from less than 0.1 to 114 microT and in all cases decreased considerably with increasing distance. The geometric mean of the shift-time-weighted average exposure of the NICU nurses was 0.17 microT compared with 0.11 microT for the normal newborn nurses. The percentage of time when subjects were exposed to magnetic fields of 0.4 microT or greater ranged from 5.8% to 15.6% for the NICU nurses, 0.4% to 2.9% for five of the comparison group nurses, and was 9.4% for one of the normal newborn nurses with unidentified aberrantly high exposures. Log data revealed that the vast majority of observed peaks among NICU nurses occurred while subjects were in close proximity to infant bed units. We conclude that NICU nurses represent one female-intensive job sector with intermittent high exposures to ELF magnetic fields and encourage larger exposure studies of nurses in a variety of medical settings.Publication Types:

PMID: 7880165 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Suggestion of concomitant changes of electric power consumption and childhood leukemia in Greece.Petridou E, Hsieh CC, Skalkidis Y, Toupadaki N, Athanassopoulos Y.Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Athens University Medical School, Greece.Over a 14-year period (1976-89) 679 deaths from childhood leukemia were registered in Greece and the corresponding mortality over this period declined by almost 70%, with no evidence of differential reduction by gender or population type. For each of the nine geographical regions of the country, slopes of decreasing mortality from childhood leukemia over the study period were calculated and correlated with the corresponding slopes of increasing electric power consumption over the 16-year period 1970-85 (allowing for a postulated latency of about 5 years). A positive association was noted, which however was not statistically significant (p approximately 0.26). Studies of similar nature conducted in larger countries over more extended periods could contribute to the resolution of the controversy surrounding the role of electric power-generated extremely low frequency electric and magnetic fields in the etiology of childhood leukemia.PMID: 8310281 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Gene-specific modulation of RNA synthesis and degradation by extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields.Greene JJ, Pearson SL, Skowronski WJ, Nardone RM, Mullins JM, Krause D.Department of Biology, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064.Pulse-labeling studies from our laboratory and others have shown that extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields can produce a transient increase in gene transcription. In this study, the synthesis, degradation and processing, and steady state levels of specific RNA species during exposure to ELF radiation were determined in human leukemia HL-60 cells. The overall steady state RNA levels, assessed by continuous and equilibrium labeling with 3H-uridine, were not affected by ELF exposure. Northern blot analysis using probes specific for c-myc, beta-actin, and 45S ribosomal RNA gene products revealed that ELF did not alter the steady state levels of these RNAs. Examination of gene-specific transcription by a novel nuclease protection assay revealed that while ELF did not substantially alter the transcription rates for c-myc and beta-actin, transcription of the 45S ribosomal RNA gene was increased by 40-50%. To explain the observed increase in the synthesis of 45S ribosomal RNA without an associated increase in its steady state level, the degradation and processing of the ribosomal gene transcript in the presence and absence of an ELF field were followed by pulse-chase 3H-uridine labeling. This revealed that ELF radiation accelerated both the processing and degradation of the ribosomal RNA transcript. During ELF exposure, the half-life of the 45S ribosomal RNA was decreased from 115 min. to 85 min. These results show that ELF can selectively affect RNA levels by modulating either the transcription rate and/or RNA post-transcriptional processing and turnover.Publication Types:

PMID: 7687499 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Electromagnetic fields and cells.Goodman R, Chizmadzhev Y, Shirley-Henderson A.Department of Pathology, Columbia University Health Sciences, New York, New York 10032.There is strong public interest in the possibility of health effects associated with exposure to extremely low frequency (elf) electromagnetic (EM) fields. Epidemiological studies suggest a probable, but controversial, link between exposure to elf EM fields and increased incidence of some cancers in both children and adults. There are hundreds of scientific studies that have tested the effects of elf EM fields on cells and whole animals. A growing number of reports show that exposure to elf EM fields can produce a large array of effects on cells. Of interest is an increase in specific transcripts in cultured cells exposed to EM fields. The interaction mechanism with cells, however, remains elusive. Evidence is presented for a model based on cell surface interactions with EM fields.PMID: 8496246 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Biological effects of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields: in vivo studies.Anderson LE.Bioelectromagnetics, Battelle, Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352.This paper discusses the biological effects of exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields observed in animal studies. Three areas of investigation are reported: (1) studies on the nervous system, including behavior and neuroendocrine function; (2) experiments on cancer development in animals; and (3) measurements of currents and electric fields induced in animal models by exposure to external magnetic fields. An attempt is made to evaluate experimental results and interpret them with respect to potential health implications.Publication Types:

PMID: 8480634 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Exposure to low frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields increases interleukin-1 and interleukin-6 production by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.Cossarizza A, Angioni S, Petraglia F, Genazzani AR, Monti D, Capri M, Bersani F, Cadossi R, Franceschi C.Institute of General Pathology, University of Modena, Italy.The exposure of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells to extremely low frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) increased both the spontaneous and the PHA- and TPA-induced production of interleukin-1 (IL-1) and IL-6. Our results suggest that cells of the monocytic lineage, which are good producers of both IL-1 and IL-6, can be important cellular targets for PEMFs. Taking into account that these cytokines are among the most pleiotropic ones, these data can help us understand the previous reported effects of PEMFs on the proliferation of human lymphocytes and the effects exerted by such fields on cartilage and bone cells, whose physiological activity is highly dependent on IL-1 and IL-6.Publication Types:

PMID: 8440336 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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3H-uridine uptake in human leukemia HL-60 cells exposed to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields.Azadniv M, Miller MW.Department of Biophysics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Rochester, New York 14642.Human leukemia HL-60 cells in vitro were exposed or sham-exposed to a 60 Hz electric (3.40 mV/m) or magnetic 10 G (1 muT) field for 5 hr in an attempt to replicate the results of a previously published report (1) of increased uptake of [3H] uridine in response to similar exposure conditions. The results of the present experiments indicated no treatment effect of the fields on uridine incorporation. The ability to detect differences in [3H] uridine uptake were confirmed in a negative control experiment. A ‘negative control’ experiment demonstrated a statistically significant increase in 3H-uridine uptake for cells at 37 degrees C relative to those at 4 degrees C.Publication Types:

PMID: 1449495 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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An apparently incongruous exposure-response relationship resulting from the use of job description to assess magnetic field exposure.Delpizzo V.Australian Radiation Laboratory, Yallambie.Empirical data are presented to support the observation that nondifferential misclassification of subjects classified according to an ordinal scale can result in an artifactual nonmonotonic exposure-response curve. This phenomenon can be interpreted erroneously as an indication that an observed relationship is not causal. The occupational exposure of 40 subjects to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields was estimated on the basis of their job description while their “true” exposure was determined by direct dosimetry. A “true” risk was assumed to exist, and estimates of risk that could be obtained through hypothetical case-referent or cohort studies were calculated.PMID: 1411366 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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The epidemiology of electric and magnetic field exposures in the power frequency range and reproductive outcomes.Hatch M.Division of Epidemiology, Columbia University, School of Public Health, New York, New York 10032.Some laboratory studies have reported effects of extremely low frequency electric and magnetic fields on calcium homeostasis and pineal gland function which potentially could have consequences for reproductive health. The purpose of this review is to report results of research to date in humans on maternal, paternal and fetal exposure to the 50-60 Hz fields associated with electricity, and to propose populations, endpoints and strategies for future research.Publication Types:

PMID: 1584722 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Biological interactions and potential health effects of extremely-low-frequency magnetic fields from power lines and other common sources.Tenforde TS.Life Sciences Center, Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99352.Various different effects of ELF magnetic fields have been reported to occur at the cellular, tissue, and animal levels. Certain effects, such as the induction of magnetophosphenes in the visual system, have been established through replication in several laboratories. Many other effects, however, have not been independently verified or, in some cases, replication efforts have led to conflicting results. A substantial amount of experimental evidence indicates that the effects of ELF magnetic fields on cellular biochemistry, structure, and function can be related to the induced current density, with a majority of the reported effects occurring at current density levels in excess of 10 mA/m2. These effects, therefore, occur at induced current-density levels that exceed the endogenous currents normally present in living tissues. From this perspective, it is extremely difficult to interpret the results of recent epidemiological studies that have reported a correlation between cancer incidence and exposure to 50-Hz or 60-Hz magnetic fields with very low flux densities. The levels of current density induced in tissue by occupational or residential exposure to these fields are, in nearly all circumstances, significantly lower than the levels found in laboratory studies to produce measurable perturbations in biological functions. There is a clear need for additional epidemiological research to clarify whether exposure to ELF magnetic fields is, in fact, causally linked to cancer risk. Laboratory animal studies conducted under controlled conditions are also needed to determine whether ELF magnetic fields can initiate or promote tumors. In addition, more studies of both a theoretical and experimental nature are needed to elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms through which low-intensity magnetic fields can influence living systems. A growing body of evidence indicates that cell membranes play a key role in the transduction and amplification of ELF field signals. Elucidation of the physical and biochemical pathways that mediate these transmembrane signaling events will represent a major advance in our understanding of the molecular basis of magnetic field effects of biological systems.Publication Types:

PMID: 1599584 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Dosimetry Workshop: extremely-low-frequency electric and magnetic fields.Rafferty CN, Phillips RD, Guy AW.Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, California 94303-1395.A workshop on the dosimetry of extremely-low-frequency fields was held to assess current knowledge in this field and to develop a set of recommendations for new research that meets the needs of health risk assessment, in particular, the assessment of cancer risk. The workshop was sponsored by the Electric Power Research Institute and was held on March 20-22, 1991, in Carmel, California. Major topics of the workshop were microdosimetry of induced electric fields, scaling of induced fields among biological systems from cells to humans, and the problem of defining a biologically effective “dose.” A number of research recommendations were developed, the most important of which are to (1) characterize the natural background electric and magnetic fields in tissues and near cells, (2) improve experimental exposure geometries to allow accurate characterization of induced fields in samples, (3) design experiments to distinguish between electric and magnetic field mechanisms, (4) develop standard in vitro biological systems with reproducible and well-established responses to fields, and (5) develop definition of dose with respect to fields at the primary site of interaction.PMID: 1285704 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields and cancer: the epidemiologic evidence.Bates MN.Department of Biomedical and Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley 94720.This paper reviews the epidemiologic evidence that low frequency electromagnetic fields generated by alternating current may be a cause of cancer. Studies examining residential exposures of children and adults and studies of electrical and electronics workers are reviewed. Using conventional epidemiologic criteria for inferring causal associations, including strength and consistency of the relationship, biological plausibility, and the possibility of bias as an explanation, it is concluded that the evidence is strongly suggestive that such radiation is carcinogenic. The evidence is strongest for brain and central nervous system cancers in electrical workers and children. Weaker evidence supports an association with leukemia in electrical workers. Some evidence also exists for an association with melanoma in electrical workers. Failure to find consistent evidence of a link between residential exposures and adult cancers may be attributable to exposure misclassification. Studies so far have used imperfect surrogates for any true biologically effective magnetic field exposure. The resulting exposure misclassification has produced relative risk estimates that understate any true risk.Publication Types:

PMID: 1821368 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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ELF: exposure levels, bioeffects, and epidemiology.Anderson LE.Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352.Considerable information has been obtained within the last decade describing biological effects, both real and potential, of extremely low frequency (ELF) electric and magnetic fields. Additionally, advances have also been made in defining the interactions between such fields and living systems. Many of the current studies concerning ELF electromagnetic fields are focused on understanding the mechanisms of interaction and in elucidating the issues of human health impact. This paper provides an overview of recent progress in ELF research including work on dosimetry of the fields, laboratory animal studies, cellular research, and epidemiology.Publication Types:

PMID: 2061048 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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A review of cancer induction by extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields. Is there a plausible mechanism?Goldberg RB, Creasey WA.Information Ventures Inc., Philadelphia, PA 19102.A body of epidemiological evidence suggests an association between residential or occupational exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields (EMF) and an increased incidence of cancer in children and adults. Experimental studies at the whole-animal and cellular level are ambiguous; bioeffects suggestive of a carcinogenic effect have been reported, but a similar volume of negative reports can also be assembled. This literature is critically reviewed based on the hypothesis that the epidemiological results are correct, and asking what plausible mechanism could explain a small increase in the incidence of a range of tumors with a non-specific increased exposure to ELF EMF? We focus on four likely mechanisms: 1) disruption of cell communication, 2) modulation of cell growth via changes in calcium ion flux, 3) activation of specific oncogenic gene sequences, and 4) action as a stress factor operating through disruption of hormonal and immune system tumor control mechanisms. We discuss the implications of epidemiologic and experimental results in the context of hypothetical mechanisms of cancer induction, and suggest experiments likely to help define putative EMF hazards.Publication Types:

PMID: 1943872 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Cancer risk and extremely low frequency electromagnetic radiation.Heath CW Jr.American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Georgia.PMID: 1902134 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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[Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields in human environment and the risk of cancer in the light of epidemiological studies– based on the literature][Article in Polish]Aniołczyk H.Zakład Zagrozeń Fizycznych Instytutu Medycyny Pracy w Lodzi.Numerous reports suggest that there is a relationship between the increased incidence of cancer and congenital defects in children on one hand and exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields at the place of habitation on the other. Some authors suggest that electromagnetic fields persisting in flats, produced by home electric installations, various forms of their execution and external electric power lines may enhance the occurrence of cancer. Living flat buildings are generally remote from electric power lines. They are, however, supplied with electric power by means of trafo stations. The maximum averaged values for 356 living flats in Denver, Colorado, were 14 V/m for the electric component and 0.25 microT for the magnetic component of the field. Besides, various household devices supplied with power from the mains also produce ELF EM fields. From the available epidemiological data it can be concluded that the relationship between exposure to ELF EM fields and increased incidence of cancer has not been unequivocally proved. The estimated risk remains within 0.9-3.2 range.Publication Types:

PMID: 1808447 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Exposure of cells to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields: relationship to malignancy?Goodman R, Shirley-Henderson A.Department of Pathology, Columbia University Health Sciences, New York, New York.Publication Types:

PMID: 2282251 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields and leukaemia in children.Bell J, Coleman MP.Publication Types:

PMID: 2386753 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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[Occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields of extremely low frequency (with particular regard to power plants) and the health status of workers, based on a literature review][Article in Polish]Aniołczyk H.Z Instytutu Medycyny Pracy w Lodzi.Recently a number of studies were carried on concerning malignant neoplasms, mainly leukemia, in workers exposed to electromagnetic fields. The studies focused upon power industry workers operating transmission–distribution lines, power stations, transformer stations and distribution substations which work at power–line frequencies. A review of selected literature was prepared concentrating on the methods describing conditions of exposure to e-m ELF fields as well as on the results of epidemiological studies. Also, the results of experiments carried on in Poland based on materials accessible only to a compact group of power industry experts were presented.Publication Types:

PMID: 2204782 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Extremely low-frequency electric and magnetic fields and risk of human cancer. Ad Hoc Working Group.[No authors listed]The reported association between the risk of human cancer and exposure to 50- or 60-Hz electric and magnetic fields is difficult to evaluate from studies published to date. The association is now being reexamined in several large epidemiologic studies. In most of the studies, exposure will be assessed with newly designed, portable meters that allow direct and precise measurements of exposure to be performed easily for large numbers of individuals. The main features of the studies are summarized. At a meeting of principal investigators held in 1988 at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, broad guidelines were agreed for the design of this new generation of studies. These guidelines should improve the comparability of results and eventually provide a clearer assessment of human-cancer risk from exposure to extremely low-frequency electric and magnetic fields.Publication Types:

PMID: 2189414 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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An evaluation of the existing evidence on the carcinogenic potential of extremely low frequency magnetic fields.Delpizzo V.The existing evidence suggesting a link between exposure to Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) magnetic fields and an increased incidence of cancer is reviewed and evaluated.Publication Types:

PMID: 2669708 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Erratum in:

  • Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1996 Jun;57(6):580-3.

Occupational and residential 60-Hz electromagnetic fields and high-frequency electric transients: exposure assessment using a new dosimeter.

Deadman JE, Camus M, Armstrong BG, Héroux P, Cyr D, Plante M, Thériault G.

School of Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

One problem that has limited past epidemiologic studies of cancer and exposure to extremely low-frequency (0-100 Hz) electric and magnetic fields has been the lack of adequate methods for assessing personal exposure to these fields. A new 60-Hz electromagnetic field dosimeter was tested to assess occupational and residential exposures of a group of electrical utility workers and a comparison background group over a 7-day period. Comparing work periods only, utility workers’ exposures were significantly higher than background levels by a factor of about 10 for electric (E) and magnetic (B) fields and by a factor of 171 for high-frequency transient electric (HFTE) fields. When overall weekly time-weighted averages combining work and nonwork exposures were compared, ratios of the exposed to background groups were lower. B and HFTE exposure ratios remained statistically significant, with values of 3.5 and 58, respectively, whereas the electric field exposure ratio was no longer significant, with a value of 1.7. E-field exposures of the background group were the highest during the nonwork period, probably reflecting the use of electrical appliances at home. Residential E- and B-field exposures were in the same range as published results from other surveys, whereas occupational E-field exposures tended to be lower than exposures reported in other studies. The high variability associated with occupational exposures probably accounts for the latter discrepancy. Worker acceptance of wearing the dosimeter was good: 95% of participants found it to be of little or no inconvenience while at work. At home, 37% found the device to be inconvenient in its present form but would not object to wearing a slightly smaller and lighter dosimeter.

Publication Types:

PMID: 3177219 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Precision surgery with an electromagnetically induced current convergence probe application in aneurysm treatment, angioplasty, and brain tumor resection in in vivo and in vitro models.Yamanashi WS, Patil AA, Hill DL, Lepage JR, Yassa NA, Valentine JL, Lester PD.Department of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiation Medicine, City of Faith Medical and Research Center, Tulsa, OK 74137.A hand-held probe, or one introduced through a catheter, rapidly produces an extremely high, tissue-vaporizing temperature in a precisely defined manner enabling surgeons or interventional radiologists to perform angioplasty, thrombose aneurysms, and vaporize tumors. The probe is operated in a near field of an inductive coil, and the current induced in the biologic tissue is converged maximally at the tip of the probe at the resonance frequency of both the inductor and the probe, producing a maximum temperature in excess of 1400 degrees C. Radio-frequency power controls the probe-tip temperature. The operation of the probe is comparable to that of a CO2 or YAG laser and is complementary to laser-surgical techniques. The low cost relative to lasers and simplicity of the device including its disposable components make the prospect of commercialization of this device promising.Publication Types:

PMID: 2971860 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Comment in:

Case-control study of childhood cancer and exposure to 60-Hz magnetic fields.

Savitz DA, Wachtel H, Barnes FA, John EM, Tvrdik JG.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599.

Concern with health effects of extremely low frequency magnetic fields has been raised by epidemiologic studies of childhood cancer in relation to proximity to electric power distribution lines. This case-control study was designed to assess the relation between residential exposure to magnetic fields and the development of childhood cancer. Eligible cases consisted of all 356 residents of the five-county 1970 Denver, Colorado Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area aged 0-14 years who were diagnosed with any form of cancer between 1976 and 1983. Controls were selected by random digit dialing to approximate the case distribution by age, sex, and telephone exchange area. Exposure was characterized through in-home electric and magnetic field measurements under low and high power use conditions and wire configuration codes, a surrogate measure of long-term magnetic field levels. Measured magnetic fields under low power use conditions had a modest association with cancer incidence; a cutoff score of 2.0 milligauss resulted in an odds ratio of 1.4 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.6-2.9) for total cancers and somewhat larger odds ratios (ORs) for leukemias (OR = 1.9), lymphomas (OR = 2.2), and soft tissue sarcomas (OR = 3.3). Neither magnetic fields (OR = 1.0) nor electric fields (OR = 0.9) under high power use conditions were related to total cancers. Wire codes associated with higher magnetic fields were more common among case than control homes. The odds ratio to contrast very high and high to very low, low, and buried wire codes was 1.5 (95% CI = 1.0-2.3) for total cases, with consistency across cancer subgroups except for brain cancer (OR = 2.0) and lymphomas (OR = 0.8). Contrasts of very high to buried wire code homes produced larger, less precise odds ratios of 2.3 for total cases, 2.9 for leukemias, and 3.3 for lymphomas. Adjusted estimates for measured fields and wire codes did not differ from crude results, indicating an absence of confounding. Limitations to the study are nonresponse (especially for field measurements), differential mobility of cases and controls, and a presumably nondifferential exposure misclassification from the use of imperfect surrogates for long-term magnetic field exposure history. In spite of these concerns, the results encourage further examination of the carcinogenic potential from this form of nonionizing radiation.

Publication Types:

PMID: 3164167 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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A review of epidemiological studies of the health effects of living near or working with electricity generation and transmission equipment.Coleman M, Beral V.Unit of Descriptive Epidemiology, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.In the last ten years there has been increasing concern that the extremely low frequency (ELF), non-ionising electromagnetic fields emitted by electrical installations and equipment using alternating current at 50-60 Hertz might have long-term effects on health. Studies of the association between disease and residence near installations transmitting or generating electricity and studies of the health of workers in the electrical industry are reviewed. Most of the investigations relate to cancer, although other conditions such as outcome of pregnancy have been studied. The most consistent finding is that electrical workers appear to be at increased risk of leukaemia, especially acute myeloid leukaemia. The effect is small. Combining the results of eleven separate investigations suggests an 18% increase in the risk of leukaemia (RR = 1.18, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09-1.29) which is partly or wholly due to a 46% increase in the risk of acute myeloid leukaemia (RR = 1.46, 95% CI 1.27-1.65). It is not clear whether this increase is specific to certain types of work within the electrical industry. Nor is it possible to determine from the available data if the increase in leukaemia is due to electromagnetic fields or to other factors to which electrical workers are exposed. There is no clear association between cancer risk and residence near sources transmitting electricity, although some data suggest that there may be small increases in leukaemia in those living very close to the sources. The relationship between adverse outcome of pregnancy and exposure to sources of ELF electromagnetic fields needs further investigation. Studies of the possible effects of ELF electromagnetic fields on health are hampered by problems in measuring exposure and by the ubiquity of exposure in the community.Publication Types:

PMID: 3290129 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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[Exposure to electromagnetic fields with extremely low frequency and occurrence of tumors in man: evaluation of epidemiologic studies][Article in Italian]Gamberale F, Comba P.Publication Types:

PMID: 2978134 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


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Cancer incidence among welders: possible effects of exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic radiation (ELF) and to welding fumes.Stern RM.Danish Welding Institute, Brøndby, Denmark.Epidemiological studies of cancer incidence among welders disclose a pooled total of 146 cases of leukemia observed versus 159.46 expected, a risk ratio of 0.92, and 40 cases of acute leukemia observed versus 43.39 expected, a risk ratio of 0.92. For respiratory tract cancer, the pooled total is 1789 cases observed versus 1290.7 expected, a risk ratio of 1.39. Most electric welders are exposed to extremely low frequency electromagnetic radiation (ELF) (magnetic flux densities of up to 100,000 microT), a suspected leukemogen, and to concentrated metallic aerosols (up to 200 mg/m3), which can contain the putative respiratory tract carcinogens Cr(VI) and Ni. The two exposures are usually coincident, since welding with an electric current produces welding fumes. The observation of an excess risk for respiratory tract cancer strongly suggests significant exposure both to fumes and to ELF. The absence of increased risk for all leukemia or for acute leukemia among ELF-exposed welders does not support the hypothesis that the observed excess risk for leukemia or acute leukemia among workers in the electrical trades is due to their ELF exposure, which on the average is lower than that of welders.PMID: 3447902 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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