Study of human neurovegetative and hematologic effects of environmental low-frequency (50-Hz) electromagnetic fields produced by transformers

Arch Environ Health. Mar-Apr 1998;53(2):87-92. doi: 10.1080/00039896.1998.10545968.


A survey of neurovegetative and hematologic disorders was conducted in a population (n = 13) exposed occupationally to environmental electromagnetic fields; the population was matched with 13 control subjects. The exposed subjects worked at least 8 h/d for 1-5 y in premises located above transformers and high-tension cables, and the subjects were submitted to low-frequency electromagnetic fields (i.e., 50 Hz) of 0.2 microT-6.6 microT. The subjects were matched with respect to socioeconomic category, sex, and age with a control population of subjects that worked in premises outside of the immediate vicinity of transformers or high-tension cables. The exposed population had a significant increase in degree of certain neurovegetative disorders (i.e., physical fatigue, psychical asthenia, lipothymia, decreased libido, melancholy, depressive tendency, and irritability). In addition, the population experienced a significant fall in total lymphocytes and CD4, CD3, and CD2 lymphocytes, as well as a rise in NK cells. Leukopenia and neutropenia were also observed in two persons permanently exposed to doses of 1.2-6.6 microT. The disorders disappeared when exposure stopped, and they reappeared on reexposure.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count / radiation effects
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Electric Power Supplies
  • Electricity
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular / radiation effects*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / radiation effects
  • Leukocyte Count / radiation effects*
  • Leukopenia / etiology
  • Libido / radiation effects
  • Male
  • Neutropenia / etiology
  • Neutrophils / radiation effects
  • Power Plants