Childhood Exposure to Magnetic Fields: Residential Area Measurements Compared to Personal Dosimetry.

Friedman, Dana R.; Hatch, Elizabeth E.; Tarone, Robert; Kaune, William T.; Kleinerman, Ruth A.; Wacholder, Sholom; Boice, John D. Jr.; Linet, Martha S.
Epidemiology: March 1996

We examined the relation between area measurements of residential magnetic fields and personal dosimetry measurements among 64 control children age 2-14 years from the National Cancer Institute-Children's Cancer Group's nine-state case-control study of childhood leukemia. During a typical weekday, an activity diary was completed, and a 24-hour measurement was obtained in each child's bedroom. According to the activity diaries, children spent more than 40% of the 24 hours in their bedrooms, and 68% of their time at home. We found that at-home personal dosimetry levels were highly correlated with total personal dosimetry levels in children under 9 years (Spearman correlation coefficient, R = 0.94), whereas the correlation was lower in older children (R = 0.59). For all children combined, bedroom 24-hour measurements correlated well with at-home personal dosimetry levels (R = 0.76). The 24-hour bedroom measurement was a useful predictor of both at-home and total personal dosimetry measurements. Particularly for younger children, our data suggest that in-home area measurements predict both current residential and current total magnetic field exposures. This information will be valuable for assessing the validity of exposure assessment in previous and ongoing studies and for developing measurement protocols for future studies.

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