EMF Health-effects Research

Radiofrequency exposure and mortality from cancer of the brain and lymphatic/hematopoietic systems.

Morgan RW, Kelsh MA, Zhao K, Exuzides KA, Heringer S, Negrete W,

Epidemiology 11(2):118-127, 2000

The proliferation of wireless communication technologies has raised public concern regarding potential health effects of radiofrequency (RF) exposures.

This is the first report of findings from a large-cohort mortality study among employees of Motorola, a manufacturer of wireless communication products.

We examined all major causes of mortality, with brain cancers, lymphomas, and leukemias as a priori outcomes of interest. Using job titles, we classified workers into high, moderate, low, and background RF exposure groups. A total of 195,775 workers contributed 2.7 million person-years during the 1976-1996 period.

Using external comparisons, the standardized mortality ratios for RF-exposed workers were 0.53 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.21-1.09] and 0.54 (95% CI = 0.33-0.83) for central nervous system/brain cancers and all lymphomas/leukemias. Rate ratios calculated from Poisson regression models based on internal comparisons were near 1.0 for brain cancers and below 1.0 for all lymphomas and leukemias.

These findings were consistent across cumulative, peak, and usual exposure classifications. We did not observe higher risk with increased exposure duration or latency.

Although this study is limited by the use of a qualitative exposure matrix and the relatively young age of the cohort, our findings do not support an association between occupational RF exposure and brain cancers or lymphoma/leukemia.

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