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AMERICAN JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL MEDICINE (2008)

A New Electromagnetic Exposure Metric: High Frequency Voltage Transients Associated With Increased Cancer Incidence in Teachers in a California School

Lunes 2 de junio de 2008 · 1472 lecturas

A New Electromagnetic Exposure Metric: High Frequency Voltage Transients Associated With Increased Cancer Incidence in Teachers in a
California School

Background In 2003 the teachers at La Quinta, California middle school complained
that they had more cancers than would be expected. A consultant for the school district
denied that there was a problem.
Objectives To investigate the cancer incidence in the teachers, and its cause.
Method We conducted a retrospective study of cancer incidence in the teachers’ cohort in
relationship to the school’s electrical environment.
Results Sixteen school teachers in a cohort of 137 teachers hired in 1988 through 2005
were diagnosed with 18 cancers. The observed to expected (O/E) risk ratio for all cancers
was 2.78 (P0.000098), while the O/E risk ratio for malignant melanoma was 9.8
(P0.0008). Thyroid cancer had a risk ratio of 13.3 (P0.0098), and uterine cancer had
a risk ratio of 9.2 (P0.019). Sixty Hertz magnetic fields showed no association with
cancer incidence. A new exposure metric, high frequency voltage transients, did show a
positive correlation to cancer incidence. A cohort cancer incidence analysis of the teacher
population showed a positive trend (P7.1-10-10) of increasing cancer risk with
increasing cumulative exposure to high frequency voltage transients on the classroom’s
electrical wiring measured with a Graham/Stetzer (G/S) meter. The attributable risk of
cancer associated with this exposure was 64%. A single year of employment at this school
increased a teacher’s cancer risk by 21%.
Conclusion The cancer incidence in the teachers at this school is unusually high and is
strongly associated with high frequency voltage transients, which may be a universal
carcinogen, similar to ionizing radiation. Am. J. Ind. Med. 2008. - 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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