Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Effects of electromagnetic fields on serum lipids in workers of a power plant. epidem.

Published in: Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2016; 23 (3): 2495-2504

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A cross-sectional study was conducted in China to evaluate the effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields on levels of serum lipids in workers of an electric power plant.

Further details

The results on plasma hormonal and inflammatory pathway biomarkers in 154 participants of same study population were published by Wang et al (2015).
A blood sample was taken from each participant to analyze serum lipid levels.
Occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields included radiofrequency and extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields. Remark EMF-Portal: The parameters for classification into 'low occupational EMF exposure' and 'high occupational EMF exposure' are not stated.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Type of risk estimation:

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 low occupational exposure
Group 2 high occupational exposure
Reference group 3 low occupational exposure, employment duration: < 24 years
Group 4 low occupational exposure, employment duration: ≥ 24 years
Group 5 high occupational exposure, employment duration: < 24 years
Group 6 high occupational exposure, employment duration: ≥ 24 years
Reference group 7 low occupational exposure, daily duration: < 3.37 hours/day
Group 8 low occupational exposure, daily duration: ≥ 3.37 hours/day
Group 9 high occupational exposure, daily duration: < 3.37 hours/day
Group 10 high occupational exposure, daily duration: ≥ 3.37 hours/day
Reference group 11 low occupational exposure: no Walkie Talkie use
Group 12 low occupational exposure: Walkie Talkie use
Group 13 high occupational exposure: no Walkie Talkie use
Group 14 high occupational exposure: Walkie Talkie use
Reference group 15 low occupational exposure and monthly electric fee: < 150 yuan/month
Group 16 low occupational exposure and monthly electric fee: ≥ 150 yuan/month
Group 17 high occupational exposure and monthly electric fee: < 150 yuan/month
Group 18 high occupational exposure and monthly electric fee: ≥ 150 yuan/month
Reference group 19 low occupational exposure and mobile phone fee: < 55 yuan/month
Group 20 low occupational exposure and mobile phone fee: ≥ 55 yuan/month
Group 21 high occupational exposure and mobile phone fee: < 55 yuan/month
Group 22 high occupational exposure and mobile phone fee: ≥ 55 yuan/month

Population

Study size

Type Value
Total 2,138
Eligible 1,073
Participants 814
Statistical analysis method:

Conclusion (acc. to author)

The average intensity of occupational EMF was 316.3±1212.3 V/m for electric field and 6.17±14.71 µT for magnetic fields in high exposure group, which far outstripped that in low exposure group (3.9±0.3 V/m and 60.6±16.9 nT, respectively).
High occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields (group 2) was associated with an increased level of LDL cholesterol compared to the reference group 1. No statistically significant associations between exposure to electromagnetic fields and serum levels of total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and triglyceride were found.
High exposure groups with longer employment duration, longer daily exposure duration, more mobile phone or electric fee per month had significantly higher levels of total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, or triglyceride than the corresponding reference group. Significantly decreased level of HDL cholesterol was only observed in high EMF exposure group with more mobile phone fee per month. Similar results were also found in 544 participants with available data of serum lipids in 2010.
The authors concluded that chronic exposure to electromagnetic fields was associated with the change of serum lipid levels.

Study funded by

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