Study type: Medical/biological study (observational study)

Chromosomal aberrations in lymphocytes of employees in transformer and generator production exposed to electromagnetic fields and mineral oil. med./bio.

Published in: Bioelectromagnetics 2001; 22 (3): 150-160

Aim of study (acc. to author)

The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk of cytogenetic damage in lymphocytes of workers exposed to electromagnetic fields and mineral oil.

Background/further details

The exposure group including 24 employees in the high voltage laboratory and in the generator soldering department was compared to a control group consisting of 24 workers. Besides electric and magnetic fields, oil mist and vapor were measured. In addition to conventional lymphocyte cultures, the lymphocytes were also treated with hydroxyurea and caffeine. This treatment inhibits DNA synthesis and DNA repair in vitro, revealing in vivo genotoxic lesions that are repaired during conventional culturing and in this way remaining unconsidered.

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 60 Hz
Exposure duration: 5 min - 1 h; once a week at Plant A; once a month at Plant B
short curcuit testing
Exposure 2:
  • unspecified
Exposure duration: several hours
applied potential test
Exposure 3:
  • unspecified
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: 12 - 25 single pulses
pulse testing
Exposure 4: 11 kHz
Exposure duration: 2- 5 h/day for several days per week
generator soldering group

General information

three groups of test persons: i) transformer testers working in two high-voltage laboratories A and B ii) generator soldering group working in two high-voltage laboratories A and B ii) control group without EMF exposure

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 60 Hz
Type
Exposure duration 5 min - 1 h; once a week at Plant A; once a month at Plant B
Additional info short curcuit testing
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 1.9 mT - - - 1 m from transformer, 45kA
magnetic flux density 7 mT - - - near the cables
magnetic flux density 5 µT - - - in the control room

Exposure 2

Main characteristics
Frequency
  • unspecified
Type
Exposure duration several hours
Additional info applied potential test
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 6 µT - - - -

Exposure 3

Main characteristics
Frequency
  • unspecified
Type
Waveform
Exposure duration 12 - 25 single pulses
Additional info pulse testing
Modulation
Modulation type pulsed
Rise time 1 µs
Additional info

half-value time 50µs

Exposure setup
Exposure source
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
electric field strength 3 kV/m - - - control room at plant A
electric field strength 700 V/m - - - control room at plant B
electric field strength 15 kV/m - - - test hall at plant A
electric field strength 2.3 kV/m - - - test hall at plant B
magnetic flux density 70 µT - - - test hall at plant A
magnetic flux density 3 µT - - - test hall at plant B

Exposure 4

Main characteristics
Frequency 11 kHz
Type
Exposure duration 2- 5 h/day for several days per week
Additional info generator soldering group
Exposure setup
Exposure source
  • cabel across shoulder
Additional info EF 1m from cable; MF 5 cm from cable
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 50 µT - measured - -
electric field strength 1.8 kV/m - measured - -

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

An increased number of chromosome aberrations was observed among high voltage laboratory employees in DNA synthesis and DNA repair inhibited cultures compared to the control group, but not in conventional cultured lymphocytes. Further analysis of the inhibited culture data indicated that years of exposure and smoking increased the risk of chromosome aberrations.
No significant difference were found in the lymphocytes of workers in the generator soldering department.

Study character:

Study funded by

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