Effects of electromagnetic radiation exposure on bone mineral density, thyroid, and oxidative stress index in electrical workers

Onco Targets Ther. 2016 Feb 12;9:745-54. doi: 10.2147/OTT.S94374. eCollection 2016.


Background: In the literature, some articles report that the incidence of numerous diseases increases among the individuals who live around high-voltage electric transmission lines (HVETL) or are exposed vocationally. However, it was not investigated whether HVETL affect bone metabolism, oxidative stress, and the prevalence of thyroid nodule.

Methods: Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) bone density measurements, serum free triiodothyronine (FT3), free thyroxine (FT4), RANK, RANKL, osteoprotegerin (OPG), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), phosphor, total antioxidant status (TAS), total oxidant status (TOS), and oxidative stress index (OSI) levels were analyzed to investigate this effect.

Results: Bone mineral density levels of L1-L4 vertebrae and femur were observed significantly lower in the electrical workers. ALP, phosphor, RANK, RANKL, TOS, OSI, and anteroposterior diameter of the left thyroid lobe levels were significantly higher, and OPG, TAS, and FT4 levels were detected significantly lower in the study group when compared with the control group.

Conclusion: Consequently, it was observed that the balance between construction and destruction in the bone metabolism of the electrical workers who were employed in HVETL replaced toward destruction and led to a decrease in OPG levels and an increase in RANK and RANKL levels. In line with the previous studies, long-term exposure to an electromagnetic field causes disorders in many organs and systems. Thus, it is considered that long-term exposure to an electromagnetic field affects bone and thyroid metabolism and also increases OSI by increasing the TOS and decreasing the antioxidant status.

Keywords: RANK; RANKL; bone mineral density; electrical workers; electromagnetic radiation; thyroid.