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Possible Health Effects of Exposure to Residential Electric and Magnetic Fields
drawing conclusions about overall risk. Uncertainty is introduced because the associations found with wire codes are not found with measured fields, and that raises serious questions about the interpretation of the positive findings and their use in quantitative modeling. The human epidemiologic studies stand alone as suggesting possible adverse health effects, and the results themselves indicate small risks (e.g., relative risk of 1.5) relative to other adverse exposures that epidemiologists consider.
Other Possible Human-Health Effects
The committee was asked to examine not only data for cancer but also data from studies investigating a possible association between exposure to electric and magnetic fields and health effects related to reproduction and development and neurologic effects expressed as learning or behavioral disorders. Although fewer studies of these effects have been conducted, the committee concludes that no studies to date have shown an association between exposure to residential electric and magnetic fields and an adverse human-health effect.
The following conclusions are based on studies with animals:
There is no convincing evidence of an association between exposure to power-frequency electric and magnetic fields and reproductive or developmental effects.
There is no convincing evidence of an adverse neurobehavioral effect in association with exposure to residential electric and magnetic fields.
The following conclusions are based on studies in humans:
There is no indication of an adverse human-health impact from exposure to power-frequency electric and magnetic fields, although there is some evidence for electric-and magnetic-field-induced neuroendocrine changes.
The data from epidemiologic studies on exposure to electric and magnetic fields and adverse pregnancy outcomes do not support the existence of an association. Epidemiologic studies have not been performed with the specific aim of determining the existence of neurobiologic effects, and no statements can be made regarding the occurrence of this human-health effect.
There is no consistent or convincing evidence of adverse effects of power-frequency electric and magnetic fields on reproduction or development in human studies. However, the number and quality of the epidemiologic studies is limited, making any inferences tentative.