Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Occupational extremely low-frequency magnetic field exposure and selected cancer outcomes in a prospective Dutch cohort epidem.

Published in: Cancer Causes Control 2014; 25 (2): 203-214

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The association between exposure to occupational extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF) and the risk of a priori selected cancer outcomes was investigated within the prospective Netherlands Cohort Study.

Further details

Following a case-cohort approach, a randomly selected subcohort (n=5000) was drawn.
Occupational exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields was analyzed using the following three measures: 1) ever had a job with at maximum a background, a low or a high occupational ELF-MF exposure, 2) duration in years of exposure to ELF-MF above background, and 3) cumulative exposure.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Type of risk estimation: (hazard ratio)



Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 ever exposure: background
Group 2 ever exposure: low
Group 3 ever exposure: high
Group 4 duration of exposure in years
Reference group 5 cumulative exposure: background
Group 6 cumulative exposure: 1. terzile
Group 7 cumulative exposure: 2. terzile
Group 8 cumulative exposure: 3. terzile


Study size

Type Value
Total 120,852
Statistical analysis method: (adjustment: )

Results (acc. to author)

For both cases and the subcohort, approximately 8 % of men and 1 % of women ever had a job with high occupational exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields.
No increased risks were found for breast cancer, brain cancer and lung cancer, nor any of the assessed subtypes in men and women. Of the hemato-lymphoproliferative malignancies in men, ever high exposed to ELF-MF showed a significant association with acute myeloid leukemia (HR 2.15, CI 1.06-4.35) and follicular lymphoma (HR 2.78, CI 1.00-5.77). Cumulative exposure to ELF-MF (group 8) showed a significant, positive association with follicular lymphoma but not acute myeloid leukemia among men.
The authors concluded that found some indications of an increased risk of acute myeloid leukemia and follicular lymphoma among men were found with occupational ELF-MF exposure.

Study funded by

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