Several recent surveys have presented data suggesting an increased risk of leukemia among men with occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields. Eleven pertinent data sets were compiled in order to assess the consistency of this pattern and to identify those occupations most deserving closer examination. Results for total leukemia show a modest excess risk for men in exposed occupations, with an enhanced risk elevation for acute leukemia and especially acute myelogenous leukemia. These studies are inherently limited regarding the effect of electromagnetic fields due to the absence of exposure characterization. Nonetheless, telegraph, radio, and radar operators, power and telephone linemen, and electrical and electronic engineers showed the most consistent results and warrant further study to ascertain potential occupational health hazards.
©1987 The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine