The effect of residential magnetic fields in children populations

Almazan C
Record ID 31998009935
Catalan, English, Spanish
Authors' objectives:

To review the current knowledge on the effect of residential magnetic fields generated by power lines in the development of certain types of cancer in children.

Authors' results and conclusions: 1.The results of the studies on the potential association between exposition to MFs (magnetic fields) and leukemia, nervous system tumours and lymphomas in children were characterised by a notable diversity, both regarding individual studies and meta-analyses. 2.In the case of leukaemias, the condition for which more information was available, the results of some studies and meta-analyses suggest a moderate association between this disease in children and high expositions to residential MFs, from indirect MFs measurements (wiring configuration, calculated magnetic fields). Direct measures for high exposition to MFs categories do not support this hypothesis. 3.In the nervous system tumours with indirect measures of MFs, the results of the studies were not very conclusive regarding the association between MFs and this disease. As for lymphomas, the low number of studies and their results made it difficult to evaluate the effect of MFs as a risk factor. Therefore, and despite the observation of a moderate association between leukemia and resident MFs, the current evidence available presents a number of facts which prevent us from speaking of a causal relationship between this disease and MFs.
Authors' recommendations: 1.Research should be continued, both in epidemiologic and laboratory studies, improving in the former the accuracy and the measure of exposition to MFs, while reducing the possible biases that may happen; in the latter, exploring the different theories on the mechanisms by which MFs could interact with the body. 2.As long as there still exists uncertainty on the impact of MFs in health, some health care administrations, especially the USA and Sweden, have proposed a series of measures based on the principle of prudent avoidance. This principle makes it possible to manage high perceived risk situations when no clear scientific evidence can be found.
Authors' methods: Review
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 1999
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Spain
MeSH Terms
  • Child
  • Electromagnetic Fields
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Neoplasms
  • Electricity
Organisation Name: Agencia de Qualitat i Avaluacio Sanitries de Catalunya
Contact Address: Antoni Parada, CAHTA, Roc Boronat, 81-95 (2nd floor), 08005 Barcelona, Spain, Tel. +34 935 513 928, Fax: +34 935 517 510
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Copyright: Catalan Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Research
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.