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Synoptic Analysis Clarifies Childhood Leukemia Risk from ELF Magnetic Field Exposure

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DOI: 10.4236/jemaa.2015.710026    3,719 Downloads   4,048 Views   Citations
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ABSTRACT

In spite of 36 years epidemiologic research, there is still an ongoing controversy about a causal link between childhood leukemia (CL) and exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields (MF). Public concern has been increased by the fact that ELF MF have been classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans (class 2B) while exposure limits still remain three orders of magnitudes above reported CL risk onset levels. In a new synoptic approach rather than few selected ORs, all reported epidemiological risk estimates (ORs) are analyzed, both pooled together as well as separated into sub-pools of different exposure metric as well as of high and low exposure levels. The results explain the worrying offset of ORs towards increased CL risk as well as the reported puzzling dose-response at low MF levels as an artifact caused by the small-number effect. The synoptic analysis clarifies that ORs critically depend on statistical power. With increasing statistical power ORs decrease and finally converge to and stay at zero risk. This is found consistently at the entire data pool as well as at all sub-pools related to investigated exposure parameters (wire code, distance to MF source, and magnetic field value). Former contradictory results can now be explained. The synoptic analysis provides convincing evidence that the risk of childhood leukemia is not increased by exposure to ELF magnetic fields. IARC’s classification of ELF MF needs revision.

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Leitgeb, N. (2015) Synoptic Analysis Clarifies Childhood Leukemia Risk from ELF Magnetic Field Exposure. Journal of Electromagnetic Analysis and Applications, 7, 245-258. doi: 10.4236/jemaa.2015.710026.

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