Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Maternal exposure to magnetic fields from high-voltage power lines and the risk of birth defects. epidem.

Published in: Bioelectromagnetics 2012; 33 (5): 405-409

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A case-control study was conducted in Italy to investigate whether maternal exposure to magnetic fields from high-voltage power lines during early pregnancy increased the risk of congenital anomalies in the offspring.

Further details

A mother was classified as exposed if her residence during early pregnancy was located in a corridor with magnetic field exposure ≥ 0.1 µT.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Type of risk estimation: (relative risk (RR))

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 magnetic field exposure: < 0.1 µT
Group 2 magnetic field exposure: ≥ 0.1 µT
Group 3 magnetic field exposure: ≥ 0.2 µT
Group 4 magnetic field exposure: ≥ 0.4 µT

Population

Case group

Control group

Study size

Cases Controls
Eligible 228 228
Statistical analysis method: (adjustment: )

Conclusion (acc. to author)

Overall, 1 case and 5 control mothers had resided in areas with magnetic field intensity ≥ 0.1 µT during the first trimester of pregnancy.
No increased risk was observed for maternal exposure to magnetic fields from high-voltage power lines during early pregnancy and the risk of congenital anomalies in the offspring (RR 0.2; CI: 0.0-2.0).
The authors conclude that the results overall do not provide support for major effects of a teratogenic risk due to exposure to magnetic fields during early pregnancy.

Limitations (acc. to author)

The results should be interpreted with caution due to the low number of exposed mothers.

Study funded by

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