EMF Health-effects Research

Association Of Health Problems With 50 -Hz Magnetic Fields In Human Adults Living Near Power Transmission Lines

Beale I, Pearce NE, Booth RJ, Heriot SA

Journal of the Australasian College of Nutritional & Environmental Mediciine, Vol. 20 No.2 August 2001

(Soon to be on ACNEM web site: http://www.acnem.org. )

Although numerous studies of animals and cell cultures indicate effects of power-frequency magnetic fields on immune-system function, few studies have looked for evidence of an association between environmental power-frequency magnetic field exposure and immune-related illnesses in humans. This study used a cross-sectional design to examine the dose-response relationship between magnetic-field exposure of adults in their homes and prevalence of immune-related and other chronic illnesses.

Five-hundred-and-sixty adults living near extra-high-voltage transmission lines completed questionnaires about their health and demographic characteristics. Derived health variables were related to individual estimates of time-integrated magnetic field exposure.

Five of the eight health variables showed a linear dose-response relationship with exposure. After adjustment for possible confounding, significantly elevated odds ratios were obtained at higher exposure levels both for asthma and for combined chronic illnesses.

The results are consistent with a possible adverse effect of environmental magnetic field exposure on immune-related and other illnesses

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