Study type: Epidemiological study (observational study)

Association between parental occupational exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields and childhood nervous system tumors risk: A meta-analysis. epidem.

Published in: Sci Total Environ 2018; 642: 1406-1414

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the association between parental occupational exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields and childhood nervous system tumors risk.

Further details

The following 20 studies were included in the meta-analysis: Spitz et al. (1985), Nasca et al. (1988), Wilkins et al. (1988), Johnson et al. (1989), Bunin et al. (1990), Wilkins et al. (1990), Kuijten et al. (1992), Wilkins et al. (1996), McKean-Cowdin et al. (1998), Olshan et al. (1999), Sorahan et al. (1999), Feychting et al. (2000), Cordier et al. (2001), de Roos et al. (2000), McKinney et al. (2003), Ali et al. (2004), Li et al. (2001), Hug et al. (2010), MacCarthy et al. (2010) and Keegan et al. (2013). Additionally, 2 more studies (Cordier et al. (1997) and Kerr et al. (2000)) were included in which the job title was given without explicit relation to electromagnetic fields; therefore these studies are not included in the EMF-Portal.

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Exposure

Population

Statistical analysis method:

Conclusion (acc. to author)

The results showed that parental occupational exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields was significantly associated with an increased risk of childhood nervous system tumors overall (OR 1.11, CI 1.02-1.21). In a separate analysis for tumor type, this association remained in studies on CNS tumors (OR 1.13, CI 1.02-1.27) but not for neuroblastoma (OR 1.02, CI 0.92-1.14). Further analysis separated for maternal and paternal exposure revealed that maternal (OR 1.14, CI 1.05-1.23) but not paternal (OR 1.05, CI 0.98-1.13) occupational exposure significantly increased risk of childhood nervous system tumors. Increased risk of childhood CNS tumors was significant associated with maternal (OR 1.16, CI 1.06-1.26) but not paternal (OR 1.15, CI 0.98-1.34) occupational ELF-MF exposure.
The authors conclude that the results provide limited evidence for the association between maternal occupational exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields and increased risk of childhood CNS tumors, which should be explained with cautions.

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