Study type: Medical/biological study (observational study)

Primary DNA damage in welders occupationally exposed to extremely-low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF) med./bio.

Published in: Ann Ig 2015; 27 (3): 511-519

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The genotoxic effects in the blood of welders occupationally exposed to 50 Hz magnetic fields should be investigated.

Background/further details

Two groups of male subjects were used (n=21 each): 1) an exposure group comprising electric arc welders and 2) a control group comprising non-exposed subjects matched for age, residence and smoking habit.
Blood samples from exposed subjects were collected at the end of the work-shift after at least four consecutive days of work simultaneously with the samples from the control group.
For each subject, 50 cells per slide from at least three replicate slides were investigated.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50 Hz
Exposure duration: repeated daily exposure (occupational, work-shift from 7 am to 5 pm)

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50 Hz
Exposure duration repeated daily exposure (occupational, work-shift from 7 am to 5 pm)
Exposure setup
Exposure source
  • welding equipment
Setup exposed subjects were from two welding companies in Perugia (Italy), both of which use metal active gas (MAG) welding processes, with a 80/20 % mixture of argon and CO2; occupational exposure to ELF-MF was measured using personal dosimeters placed in a shirt pocket or on a belt; measures were taken every 20 seconds over the 10-hour period
Additional info the exposure of subjects in the non-occupationally-exposed control group was not monitored
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 0.03 µT minimum measured - ± 0.01 µT
magnetic flux density 170.78 µT maximum measured - ± 20.71 µT
magnetic flux density 7.81 µT mean measured - ± 1.39 µT

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Tail intensity and tail moment were significantly lower in the exposure group compared to the control group. There were no differences in the tail length between both groups.
The authors conclude that there was less DNA damage in the blood of welders occupationally exposed to 50 Hz magnet fields than in probands without this occupational exposure.

Study character:

Study funded by

Related articles