Case-control study on occupational exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields and the association with acoustic neuroma

Environ Res. 2020 Aug;187:109621. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.109621. Epub 2020 May 7.


Exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) was in 2002 classified as a possible human carcinogen, Group 2B, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer at WHO based on an increased risk for childhood leukemia. In case-control studies on brain and head tumours during 1997-2003 and 2007-2009 we assessed life-time occupations in addition to exposure to different agents. The INTEROCC ELF-EMF Job-Exposure Matrix was used for associating occupations with ELF-EMF exposure (μT) with acoustic neuroma. Cumulative exposure (μT-years), average exposure (μT) and maximum exposed job (μT) were calculated. No increased risk for acoustic neuroma was found in any category. For cumulative exposure in the highest exposure category 8.52+ μT years odds ratio (OR) = 1.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.8-2.0, p linear trend = 0.37 was calculated. No statistically significant risks were found in the time windows 1-14 years, and 15+ years, respectively. In conclusion occupational ELF-EMF was not associated with an increased risk for acoustic neuroma.

Keywords: Acoustic neuroma; ELF-EMF; Electromagnetic fields; Job-exposure matrix; Occupational exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Neuroma, Acoustic* / epidemiology
  • Neuroma, Acoustic* / etiology
  • Occupational Exposure* / adverse effects
  • Odds Ratio