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Pregnancy Outcomes After Paternal Radiofrequency Field Exposure Aboard Fast Patrol Boats

Baste, Valborg PhD; Moen, Bente E. PhD; Oftedal, Gunnhild PhD; Strand, Leif Åge PhD; Bjørge, Line PhD; Mild, Kjell Hansson PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: April 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 4 - p 431–438
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182445003
Original Articles

Objectives: To investigate adverse reproductive outcomes among male employees in the Royal Norwegian Navy exposed to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields aboard fast patrol boats.

Methods: Cohort study of Royal Norwegian Navy servicemen linked to the Medical Birth Registry of Norway, including singleton offspring born between 1967 and 2008 (n = 37,920). Exposure during the last 3 months before conception (acute) and exposure more than 3 months before conception (nonacute) were analyzed.

Results: Perinatal mortality and preeclampsia increased after service aboard fast patrol boats during an acute period and also after increased estimated radiofrequency exposure during an acute period, compared with service aboard other vessels. No associations were found between nonacute exposure and any of the reproductive outcomes.

Conclusions: Paternal work aboard fast patrol boats during an acute period was associated with perinatal mortality and preeclampsia, but the cause is not clear.

From the Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Mr Baste), Uni Health, Bergen, Norway; Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care (Ms Baste and Ms Moen), University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; Occupational Medicine (Ms Moen), and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Ms Bjorge), Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway; Faculty of Technology (Ms Oftedal), Sør-Trøndelag University College (HiST), Trondheim, Norway; Department of Etiological Research (Mr Strand), Cancer Registry of Norway, Oslo, Norway; and Department of Radiation Sciences (Mr Mild), Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Address correspondence to: Valborg Baste, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Kalfarveien 31, N-5018 Bergen, Norway (

The study was funded by the Ministry of Defence as a part of the research program Electromagnetic Field and Reproductive Health.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine