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Clinical Trial
. 2000 Feb;42(2):136-42.
doi: 10.1097/00043764-200002000-00006.

Melatonin Metabolite Levels in Workers Exposed to 60-Hz Magnetic Fields: Work in Substations and With 3-phase Conductors

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Clinical Trial

Melatonin Metabolite Levels in Workers Exposed to 60-Hz Magnetic Fields: Work in Substations and With 3-phase Conductors

J B Burch et al. J Occup Environ Med. .

Abstract

Melatonin suppression by 50/60-Hz magnetic fields represents a plausible biological mechanism for explaining increased health risks in workers. Personal exposure to magnetic fields and ambient light, and excretion of the melatonin metabolite 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate (6-OHMS), were measured over 3 consecutive workdays in electric utility workers. There was a magnetic field-dependent reduction in adjusted mean nocturnal and post-work 6-OHMS levels among men working more than 2 hours per day in substation and 3-phase environments and no effect among those working 2 hours or less. No changes were observed among men working in 1-phase environments. The results suggest that circular or elliptical magnetic field polarization, or another factor linked to substations and 3-phase electricity, is associated with magnetic field induced melatonin suppression in humans.

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