Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Relation between suicide and the electromagnetic field of overhead power lines. epidem.

Published in: Physiol Chem Phys 1979; 11 (5): 395-403

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A study was conducted in the Midlands of England, UK, to determine whether there was any correlation between the act of suicide and the power-frequency electromagnetic environment arising from power lines at the domicile of the victim.

Further details

Analysis was done separately for the electric and magnetic field. The average ambient exposure experienced from sources other than power lines is as low as 0.1 V /m. Therefore separate analyses were performed for additional exposure due to power lines with thresholds of 0.1, 0.5, and 1.0 V/m. The data of the control group were split into ten equal groups according to the field strength. The field-strength range of each suicide group was determined by the control data, and the number of suicide addresses that fell into each group was compared to the control data. The assumption was that if the electric or magnetic field were unrelated to the act of suicide then the groups are equally sized.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation




Study size

Type Value
Total 651
Evaluable 598
Statistical analysis method:

Conclusion (acc. to author)

The results showed that the suicide domiciles are significantly different from the control domiciles for both criteria - exposure to total electric and total magnetic fields arising from power lines. It was not possible to determine the direction, i.e. whether an increased field strength is related to more or less suicides. While the overall picture was indicative of a correlation between power lines and suicide, more data are needed to determine the specific nature of this relation.

Study funded by

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