Study type: Medical/biological study (observational study)

Extremely low frequency-magnetic fields (ELF-EMF) occupational exposure and natural killer activity in peripheral blood lymphocytes. med./bio.

Published in: Sci Total Environ 2009; 407 (3): 1218-1223

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the possible effects of occupational extremely low frequency magnetic field exposure on natural killer cell cytotoxic activity in peripheral blood cells of workers engaged in different occupational activities not involving any exposure to chemical/physical factors.

Background/further details

Individual extremely low frequency magnetic field exposure of all participants (22 men, 30 women) was measured during three consecutive work-shifts using personal dosimeters and environmental, non-occupational exposure was also monitored. Workers were classified as low exposed (26 subjects, TWA ≤ 0.2 µT) and higher exposed workers (26 subjects; TWA > 0.2 µT).

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1:
  • unspecified
Exposure duration: low exposure group: 15.2 +/- 8.4 years; medium exposure group: 10.4 +/- 7.4 years; high exposure group: 11.77 +/- 9.27 years

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency
  • unspecified
Type
Exposure duration low exposure group: 15.2 +/- 8.4 years; medium exposure group: 10.4 +/- 7.4 years; high exposure group: 11.77 +/- 9.27 years
Exposure setup
Exposure source
  • not specified
Additional info exposure measurements: 8 h/day occupational exposure, 16 h/d environmental exposure - for 3 days
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 0.21 µT mean calculated - time weighted average

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

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

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

In higher exposed workers, a trend to reduced natural killer cell activity was found compared to low exposed, but the difference was not significant. A significant reduction in natural killer cell activity was observed in a subgroup of highest exposed workers (12 subjects; TWA >1 µT) compared to the low exposed.
In conclusion, the data suggest that occupational exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic field, at least at TWA levels exceeding 1 µT may induce a reduction of natural killer cell activity in peripheral blood lymphocytes.

Study character:

Study funded by

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