EMF Health-effects Research

Occupational Exposure to Radio Frequency/Microwave Radiation and the Risk of Brain Tumors:

Berg G, Spallek J, Schuz J, Schlehofer B, Bohler E, Schlaefer K, Hettinger I, Kunna-Grass K, Wahrendorf J, Blettner M

Am J Epidemiol. Jul 27 2006

Interphone Study Group, Germany.

[Epub ahead of print]

It is still under debate whether occupational exposure to radio frequency/microwave electromagnetic fields (RF/MW-EMF) contributes to the development of brain tumors.

This analysis examined the role of occupational RF/MW-EMF exposure in the risk of glioma and meningioma.

A population-based, case-control study including 381 meningioma cases, 366 glioma cases, and 1,494 controls aged 30-69 years was performed in three German regions in 2000-2003.

An exposure matrix for occupational activity was constructed by using information on RF/MW-EMF exposure collected in a computer-assisted personal interview. "High" exposure was defined as an occupational exposure that may exceed the RF/MW-EMF exposure limits for the general public recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.

Multiple conditional logistic regressions were performed separately for glioma and meningioma.

No significant association between occupational exposure to RF/MW-EMF and brain tumors was found. For glioma, the adjusted odds ratio for highly exposed persons compared with persons not highly exposed was 1.21 (95% confidence interval: 0.69, 2.13); for meningioma, it was 1.34 (95% confidence interval: 0.64, 2.81).

However, the slight increase in risk observed with increasing duration of exposure merits further research with larger sample sizes.

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