Study type: Medical/biological study (observational study)

DNA effects of low level occupational exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (50/60 Hz). med./bio.

Published in: Toxicol Ind Health 2019; 35 (6): 424-430

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The genotoxic effects of occupational exposure of workers from a power plant to 50/60 Hz magnetic fields should be investigated.

Background/further details

29 male workers from a power plant in Teheran, Iran, were selected as the exposure group, while 28 male personnel with no occupational exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields were selected as the control group. The groups were matched in terms of sex, age, work experiences and smoking level.

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 50–60 Hz
Exposure duration: 9.86 + 2.99 years working experience related to power lines

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 50–60 Hz
Type
Exposure duration 9.86 + 2.99 years working experience related to power lines
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup six turbines of power generators, where utility workers spend at least one-third of their working time
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 4 µT minimum measured - -
magnetic flux density 11 µT cf. remarks - - median
magnetic flux density 50 µT maximum measured - -

Reference articles

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

In comet assay, olive length, tail moment and tail DNA percent were significantly higher in the exposure group compared to the control group indicating more DNA strand breaks.
The measured occupational exposure levels to extremely low frequency magnetic fields in the exposure group were less than the threshold limit values of 1 mT recommended by the American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienist (remark EMF-Portal: however, the 0.85 µT stated in the abstract are probably a typing error and relate to the control group).
The authors conclude that occupational exposure of workers from a power plant to 50/60 Hz magnetic fields could induce DNA strand breaks in blood cells.

Study character:

Study funded by

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