Exposure to static magnetic fields and risk of accidents among a cohort of workers from a medical imaging device manufacturing facility

Magn Reson Med. 2016 May;75(5):2165-74. doi: 10.1002/mrm.25768. Epub 2015 Jun 16.


Purpose: To study the association between occupational MRI-related static magnetic fields (SMF) exposure and the occurrence of accidents.

Methods: Recent and career SMF exposure was assessed by linking a retrospective job exposure matrix to payroll based job histories, for a cohort of (former) workers of an imaging device manufacturing facility in the Netherlands. Occurrence of accidents was collected through an online questionnaire. Self-reported injuries due to accidents in the past 12 months, and the first (near) traffic accident while commuting to work and from work were analyzed with logistic regression and discrete-time survival analyses, respectively.

Results: High recent SMF exposure was associated with an increased risk of accidents leading to injuries [odds ratio (OR) 4.16]. For high recent and career SMF exposure, an increased risk was observed for accidents resulting in physician-treated injuries (OR 5.78 and 2.79, respectively) and an increased lifetime risk of (near) accidents during commute to work (hazard ratios 2.49 and 2.45, respectively), but not from work.

Conclusion: We found an association between MRI-related occupational SMF exposure and an increased risk of accidents leading to injury, and for commute-related (near) accidents during the commute from home to work. Further research into health effects of (long-term) SMF exposure is warranted to corroborate our findings.

Keywords: accidents; epidemiology; magnetic resonance imaging; occupational exposure; static magnetic fields.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents*
  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diagnostic Imaging / instrumentation*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Magnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation
  • Male
  • Manufacturing and Industrial Facilities
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Occupational Injuries
  • Odds Ratio
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult