EMF Health-effects Research

Ambulatory ECG monitoring in workers exposed to electromagnetic fields.

Bortkiewicz A, Zmyslony M, Gadzicka E, Palczynski C, Szmigielski S

J Med Eng Technol 21(2):41-46, 1997

The aim of this study was to evaluate the function of the circulatory system in workers occupationally exposed to medium frequency electromagnetic fields.

The subjects were 71 workers at four AM broadcast stations [0.738-1.503 MHz] aged 20-68 (mean 46.9 +/- 13.1) years and 22 workers at radio link stations aged 23-67 (mean 48.2 +/- 17.4) years.

Workers at AM broadcast stations experienced 2-40 (mean 18.6 +/- 12.1) years' exposure to electromagnetic fields (average daily exposure dose about 115 Vh m-1, maximum exposure levels during shift about 165 V m-1), workers at radio link stations had no history of regular exposure to electromagnetic fields. In all the subjects a general medical examination, resting ECG and 24 h Holter monitoring, were performed.

The work organization, work period structure, age, lifestyle, nutritional habits and health status in both groups remained fairly similar. The electrocardiographic abnormalities detected in the resting and/or 24 h ECG were significantly more frequent (p = 0.006) in workers exposed to electromagnetic fields than in non-exposed subjects (75% versus 25%).

A clear tendency for a higher number of rhythm disturbances (mostly ExV) was observed in AM broadcast station workers.

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