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Electrical EMF Radiation Health Risks - Occupational Exposure

Kheifets et al., (1997) published a meta-analysis of 29 studies that covered populations of 12 countries. The meta-analysis reported that a significant excess risk was noticed in electrical workers and other adults exposed to electrical (“power frequency”) electromagnetic fields (EMFs). The report mentioned that the risk was of the same size as that of lung cancer from passive smoking, which was 16% higher risk for brain tumours. The report stated that the risk was 39% higher risk for adults in electrical occupations for gliomas (a type of brain cancer). Kheifets et al., (1999) published a second meta-analysis comprising 9 new studies after 1995. The meta-analysis revealed that the risk estimate remained unchanged.

One study revealed significantly elevated levels of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma due to electrical EMF exposure for electric utility workers (Villeneuve et al., 2000b). Another study revealed a direct relationship between strong risk of breast cancer in men and exposure to electrical EMFs and higher incidences of breast cancer in females with increased exposure (Erren, 2001). People living near high voltage power lines were susceptible to higher rates of malignant melanoma according to another study (Tynes et al., 2003). Studies on Canadian-French project conducted on electric utility workers showed that leukaemia, brain cancer and lymphoma increased significantly in the study group, with more than 10 times in certain cases against the standard expected rate of increase (Guenel et al., 1996; Villeneuve, 2000a, 2000b; Miller et al., 1996, a review with Green, 2010).

Several case-control studies had been conducted on the level of electrical EMF exposure and its relationship with the risk of breast cancer. Most of these studies had generally been revealed increased risk. A recent case-control study covered 73 occupational categories and breast cancer (Peplonksa et al, 2007). The study showed that the high EMF exposure was significant versus no exposure. For medium exposure and for low exposure also, these levels were significant. A study concluded that when people were employed in environments of higher electrical EMF exposure, there had been incidents of increased risk of mortality due to acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and conditions related to arrhythmia (Savitz et al., 1999).

Several case-control studies had been conducted on the level of electrical EMF exposure and its relationship with the risk of breast cancer. Most of these studies had generally been revealed increased risk. A recent case-control study covered 73 occupational categories and breast cancer (Peplonksa et al, 2007). The study showed that the high EMF exposure was significant versus no exposure. For medium exposure and for low exposure also, these levels were significant. A study concluded that when people were employed in environments of higher electrical EMF exposure, there had been incidents of increased risk of mortality due to acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and conditions related to arrhythmia (Savitz et al., 1999).

Another case-control study focused on electrical EMF exposure and post-menopausal breast cancer (Labreche et al., 2003). Medium to high exposure versus no exposure showed elevated risks. The result was significant for both estrogens positive an progesterone positive breast cancers. Other studies (Kliukiene et al., 1999, 2003, 2004 and Tynes et al., 1996) investigated occupational electrical EMF exposure and breast cancer in radio and/or telegraph operators. The study mentioned that the incident ratio was higher.

A U.S study on breast cancer mortality among female workers in electrical utility sector revealed highly elevated risk among telephone installers, line workers, and repairers, and an elevated risk among females in electrical occupation (Loomis et al., 1994).

Electrical EMF Radiation Protection - All Homes and Workplaces Should Be Tested

Most homes and workplaces will have electrical EMF radiation hot spots that can easily exceed the exposure levels known to impact on you and your family’s health eg. near electrical devices, power meter boxes, wiring behind walls etc. EMF Safe recommends all homes and workplaces be tested for all electrical and wireless EMF radiation exposures. Often simple changes can be made to reduce or avoid elevated exposures when they are found. EMF Safe rents EMF Detection Kits nationwide that are excellent for this purpose and come with easy to follow instructions including safety reference levels.

References

Erren T (2001), A meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies of electric and magnetic fields and breast cancer in women and men. Bioelectromagnetics (Supplement 5, 2001): S105-S119.

Guénel P et al (1996), Exposure to 50-Hz electric field and incidence of leukaemia, brain tumors, and other cancers among French electric utility workers Am J Epidemiol 144(12):1107-1121.

Kheifets LI et al (1997), Leukaemia risk and occupational electric field exposure in Los Angeles County, California Am J Epidemiol 146(1):87-90.

Kheifets LI et al (1999), Comparative analyses of the studies of magnetic fields and cancer in electric utility workers: studies from France, Canada, and the United States Occup Environ Med 56(8):567-74.

Kliukiene J, Tynes T, Martinsen JI, Blaasaas KG, Andersen A. (1999), Incidence of breast cancer in a Norwegian cohort of women with potential workplace exposure to 50 Hz magnetic fields. Am J Ind Med 1999;36:147-154.

Kliukiene J, Tynes T, Andersen A. (2003), Follow-up of radio and telegraph operators with exposure to electromagnetic fields and risk of breast cancer. Eur J Cancer Prev 2003;12:301-307.

Kliukiene J, Tynes T, Andersen A. (2004), Residential and occupational exposures to 50-Hz magnetic fields and breast cancer in women: a population-based study. Am J Epidemiol 2004;159:852-861.

Labréche F, Goldberg MS, Valois MF, Nadon L, Richardson L, Lakhani R, Latreille B. (2003), Occupational exposures to extremely low frequency magnetic fields and postmenopausal breast cancer. Am J Ind Med 2003;44:643-652.

Loomis DP, Savitz DA, Ananth CV. (1994), Breast cancer mortality among female electrical workers in the United States. J Natl Cancer Inst 1994;86:921-925.

Miller AB et al (1996), Leukaemia following occupational exposure to 60-Hz electric and magnetic fields among Ontario electric utility workers Am J Epidemiol 144(2):150-160.

Peplonska B, Stewart P, Szeszenia-Dabrowska N, Rusiecki J, Garcia-Closas M, Lissowska J, Bardin-Mikolajczak A, Zatonski W, Gromiec J, Brzeznicki S, Brinton LA, Blair A. (2007) Occupation and breast cancer risk in Polish women: a population-based case-control study. Am J Ind Med 2007;50:97-111.

Savitz DA et al (1999), Magnetic field exposure and cardiovascular disease mortality among electric utility workers Am J Epidemiol 149(2):135-42.

Tynes T, Hannevik M, Andersen A, Vistnes AI, Haldorsen T. (1996), Incidence of breast cancer in Norwegian female radio and telegraph operators. Cancer Causes Control 1996;7:194-204.

Tynes T et al (2003), Residential and occupational exposure to 50 Hz magnetic fields and malignant melanoma: a population based study Occup Environ Med 60(5): 343-7.

Villeneuve PJ et al (2000a), Leukaemia in electric utility workers; The evaluation of alternative indices of exposure to 60-Hz electric and magnetic fields Am J Ind Med 37(6):607-617.

Villeneuve PJ et al (2000b), Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among electric utility workers in Ontario: The evaluation of alternate indices of exposure to 60-Hz electric and magnetic fields Occup Environ Med 57(4):249-257.