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Variation in Cancer Risk Estimates for Exposure to Powerline Frequency Electromagnetic Fields: A Meta‐Analysis Comparing EMF Measurement Methods

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We used meta‐analysis to synthesize the findings from eleven case‐control studies on cancer risks in humans exposed to 50‐60 Hertz powerline electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Pooled estimates of risk are derived for different EMF measurement methods and types of cancer. EMF measurement methods are classified as: wiring configuration codes, distance to power distribution equipment, spot measurements of magnetic fields, and calculated indices based on distance to power distribution equipment and historic load data. Pooled odds ratios depicting the risk of cancer by each measurement type are presented for all cancers combined, leukemia for all age groups and childhood leukemia. The wire code measurement technique was associated with a significantly increased risk for all three cancer types, while spot measures consistently showed non‐significant odds ratios. Distance measures and the calculated indices produced risk estimates which were significant only for leukemia.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado.

Publication date: 1995-04-01

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