Power frequency magnetic fields and risk of childhood leukaemia: misclassification of exposure from the use of the 'distance from power line' exposure surrogate

Myron Maslanyj, Jill Simpson, Eve Roman, Joachim Schüz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A recent study examining the relationship between distance to nearby power lines and childhood cancer risk re-opened the debate about which exposure metrics are appropriate for power frequency magnetic field investigations. Using data from two large population-based UK and German studies we demonstrate that distance to power lines is a comparatively poor predictor of measured residential magnetic fields. Even at proximities of 50 m or less, the positive predictive value of having ahousehold measurement over 0.2 μT was only 19.4%. Clearly using distance from power lines, without taking account of other variables such as load, results in a poor proxy of residential magnetic field exposure. We conclude that such high levels of exposure misclassification render the findings from studies that rely on distance alone uninterpretable. Bioelectromagnetics 30:183-188,2009.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalBioelectromagnetics
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009

Keywords

  • Childhood cancer
  • EMF
  • Epidemiology
  • Exposure assessment

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