Journal Article

Self-reported Electrical Appliance Use and Risk of Adult Brain Tumors

Ruth A. Kleinerman, Martha S. Linet, Elizabeth E. Hatch, Robert E. Tarone, Peter M. Black, Robert G. Selker, William R. Shapiro, Howard A. Fine and Peter D. Inskip

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 161, issue 2, pages 136-146
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwi013
Self-reported Electrical Appliance Use and Risk of Adult Brain Tumors

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Electrical appliances produce the highest intensity exposures to residential extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields. The authors investigated whether appliances may be associated with adult brain tumors in a hospital-based case-control study at three centers in the United States from 1994 to 1998. A total of 410 glioma, 178 meningioma, and 90 acoustic neuroma cases and 686 controls responded to a self-administered questionnaire about 14 electrical appliances. There was little evidence of association between brain tumors and curling iron, heating pad, vibrating massager, electric blanket, heated water bed, sound system, computer, television, humidifier, microwave oven, and electric stove. Ever use of hair dryers was associated with glioma (odds ratio = 1.7, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 2.5), but there was no evidence of increasing risk with increasing amount of use. In men, meningioma was associated with electric shaver use (odds ratio = 10.9, 95% confidence interval: 2.3, 50), and odds ratios increased with cumulative minutes of use, although they were based on only two nonexposed cases. Recall bias for appliances used regularly near the head or chance may provide an alternative explanation for the observed associations. Overall, results indicate that extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields from commonly used household appliances are unlikely to increase the risk of brain tumors.

Keywords: adult; brain neoplasms; case-control studies; electromagnetic fields; meningioma; questionnaires; risk; CI, confidence interval; ELF, extremely low frequency; EMF, electromagnetic field(s); OR, odds ratio.

Journal Article.  7508 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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