Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Follow up study on the immune response to low frequency electromagnetic fields in men and women working in a museum. med./bio.

Published in: Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol 2006; 19 (4S): 37-42

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The aim of this follow-up study to publication 6789 was to re-examine the museum employees exposed to electromagnetic fields. Not only immune parameters should be investigated, but also the levels of anxiety and occupational stress.

Background/further details

Eight women (mean age 42 years) and seven men (mean age 45 years) had been working for at least 8 years in the monitoring rooms of the museum. Three men and three women were atopic, three men and two women were smokers (less than 10 cigarettes per day). The control group consisted of 52 women (mean age 42 years) and 16 men (mean age 45 years) with similar smoking and drinking habits.

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: 20 h/week for 8 years (measurements taken in the years 1999 and 2005)

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Type
Exposure duration 20 h/week for 8 years (measurements taken in the years 1999 and 2005)
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 3.6 µT mean - - in the rooms nearby the working place in the year 1999
magnetic flux density 1.6 µT mean - - in the working place in the year 1999
magnetic flux density 1.1 µT mean - - in working place and the rooms nearby in the year 2005

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Investigated organ system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Higher occupational stress was observed in men exposed to electromagnetic fields compared to the control group of the men and of all the women (control group and exposure group). Other parameters were not significantly influenced.
The exposed women not only showed reduced blood cytotoxicity activity per natural killer cells but also lower values of IFN-gamma.
This study indicates that low frequency electromagnetic fields may affect the immune functions of women more than those of men.

Study character:

Study funded by

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