Assessing occupational and domestic ELF magnetic field exposure in the UK Adult Brain Tumour Study: Results of a feasibility study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Martie van Tongeren
  • Terry Mee
  • Pamela Whatmough
  • Lisa Broad
  • Myron Mashlanyj
  • Stuart Allen
  • Ken Muir
  • Patricia McKinney


The feasibility of measuring exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF MF) in the UK Adult Brain Tumour Study (UKABTS) was examined. During the study, 81 individuals and 30 companies were approached with 79 individuals and 25 companies agreeing to participate. Exposure data were collected using EMDEX II dosemeters worn by the participants for 3-4 consecutive days. Data were collected over a total of 321 d, including non-oocupational periods. The results showed occupational exposure to be the main determinant of overall exposure. Moderate to strong correlations were found between arithmetic mean exposure and all other metrics with the possible exception of maximum exposure. Significant differences in exposure were found between job categories with large variability in certain categories. Highest average exposures were found for security officers (arithmetic mean, AM: 0.78 μT), secretaries (AM: 0.48 μT) and dentists (AM: 0.42 μT). Welding and working near high-voltage power lines were associated with elevated exposure. In summary, acceptably precise measures of ELF MF exposure are feasible at relatively moderate cost. The results were used to develop a protocol for data collection from subjects in the UKABTS. © Oxford University Press 2004; all rights reserved.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-236
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004