EMF Health-effects Research

Radio-frequency radiation exposure from AM radio transmitters and childhood leukemia and brain cancer,

Ha M, Im H, Lee M, Kim HJ, Kim BC, Gimm YM, Pack JK,

Am J Epidemiol, 166(3):270-279, 2007

Leukemia and brain cancer patients under age 15 years, along with controls with respiratory illnesses who were matched to cases on age, sex, and year of diagnosis (1993-1999), were selected from 14 South Korean hospitals using the South Korean Medical Insurance Data System. Diagnoses were confirmed through the South Korean National Cancer Registry. Residential addresses were obtained from medical records.

A newly developed prediction program incorporating a geographic information system that was modified by the results of actual measurements was used to estimate radio-frequency radiation (RFR) exposure from 31 amplitude modulation (AM) radio transmitters with a power of 20 kW or more.

A total of 1,928 leukemia patients, 956 brain cancer patients, and 3,082 controls were analyzed. Cancer risks were estimated using conditional logistic regression adjusted for residential area, socioeconomic status, and community population density.

The odds ratio for all types of leukemia was 2.15 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.00, 4.67) among children who resided within 2 km of the nearest AM radio transmitter as compared with those resided more than 20 km from it. For total RFR exposure from all transmitters, odds ratios for lymphocytic leukemia were 1.39 (95% CI: 1.04, 1.86) and 1.59 (95% CI: 1.19, 2.11) for children in the second and third quartiles, respectively, versus the lowest quartile. Brain cancer and infantile cancer were not associated with AM RFR.

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