Study type: Epidemiological study

Residential extremely low frequency magnetic fields and skin cancer. epidem.

Published in: Occup Environ Med 2021: oemed-2021-107776 [in press]

Aim of study (acc. to author)

A cohort study was conducted in Finland to investigate the incidence of melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma associated with residential exposure to magnetic fields from indoor transformer stations.

Further details

Further results of the same study population on the association with adult hematological malignancies and brain tumors were published by Khan et al. (2021).

Endpoint/type of risk estimation

Type of risk estimation: (hazard ratio)

Exposure

Assessment

Exposure groups

Group Description
Reference group 1 apartment located on any other floor than the first or ground floors of the building
Group 2 apartment located above the transformer station or sharing a wall with the transformer station

Population

Study size

Type Value
Total 225,492
Other:

8,617 individuals in the exposed group and 170,706 individuals in the reference group;
total person-years of follow-up were 149,291 for the exposed residents and 2,967,986 for the referents

Statistical analysis method: ( adjustment: )

Conclusion (acc. to author)

For residential exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields, a non-significantly increased risk for melanoma (HR 1.05; CI 0.72-1.53) and a non-significantly decreased risk for squamous cell carcinoma (HR 0.94; CI 0.55-1.61) were observed. Analysis of the age at the start of residence showed a statistically significant elevated risk (HR 2.55; CI 1.15-5.69) for melanoma among those who lived in the apartments when they were less than 15 years old. This finding was based on seven exposed cases.
The authors concluded that the results suggested an association between childhood exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields and adult melanoma.

Limitations (acc. to author)

A limitation of the study was the low number of cases, particularly in the analysis focusing on childhood exposure.

Study funded by

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