Childhood leukemia and EMF: review of the epidemiologic evidence

Bioelectromagnetics. 2005;Suppl 7:S51-9. doi: 10.1002/bem.20139.


All populations are exposed to varying degrees of electromagnetic fields (EMF); in this study we consider only extremely low frequency (ELF) and radio frequency (RF) fields. After the first study of ELF and childhood leukemia in 1979, intensive epidemiologic investigation has sought to shed light on the potential relation between EMF and childhood leukemia. Consistent associations from epidemiologic studies and two pooled analyses have been the basis for the classification of ELF as a possible carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The study of RF is still in its infancy and little is known about residential RF exposure or its potential effects on childhood leukemia. The purpose of this study, presented at the WHO Workshop on Sensitivity of Children to EMF in Istanbul, Turkey in June 2004, is to review and critically assess the epidemiologic evidence on EMF and childhood leukemia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bias
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / statistics & numerical data
  • Comorbidity
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Internationality
  • Leukemia, Radiation-Induced / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiometry / methods
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors