Assessing human exposure to power-frequency electric and magnetic fields.
- W T Kaune
- Environmental health perspectives
We developed a series of articles concerning epidemiologic research on potential health effects of electric and magnetic fields. Our goal was to identify methodological issues that have arisen through past studies of cancer, reproduction, and neurobehavioral outcomes in order to suggest strategies to extend knowledge. Following an overview of relevant physics and engineering principles, cancer epidemiology of electric and magnetic fields is discussed separately with a focus on epidemiologic methods and cancer biology, respectively. Reproductive health studies, many of which focus on exposure from video display terminals are then summarized, followed by an evaluation of the limited literature on neurobehavioral outcomes, including suicide and depression. Methodological issues in exposure assessment are discussed, focusing on the challenges in residential exposure assessment and interpretation of wire configuration codes. An overview offers recommendations for priorities across these topic areas, emphasizing the importance of resolving the question of wire codes and childhood cancer. Collectively, these articles provide an array of observations and suggestions regarding the epidemiologic literature, recognizing the potential benefits to science and public policy.