Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia
Print version ISSN 1415-790X
MARCILIO, Izabel; HABERMANN, Mateus and GOUVEIA, Nelson. Extremely low-frequency magnetic fields and health effects: literature review. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2009, vol.12, n.2, pp.105-123. ISSN 1415-790X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X2009000200002.
Since an epidemiologic report, in 1979, showed an association between childhood leukemia and exposure to magnetic fields, concerns over the subject have grown, and several other studies have been published. The main goal of this literature review is to present the methods of exposure assessment and the main difficulties in measuring exposure, and also to report the results of epidemiological studies published along the past ten years. The lack of biophysical mechanisms explaining the interaction between magnetic fields and health, and the difficulties regarding exposure assessment have been the main obstacles of research in this area. Leukemia and brain tumors are the most evaluated outcomes. Childhood leukemia has been the most consistently outcome associated with magnetic field exposure. Recent studies have also shown an association between magnetic fields and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Keywords : Magnetic fields; Literature review; Leukemia; Neurodegenerative diseases.