ArticlePDF Available

A sentinel case series of cancer patients with occupational exposures to electromagnetic non-ionizing radiation and other agents

Authors:

Abstract

Background. There are reports that intense prolonged occupational exposure to non-ionizing radiation may increase risks for cancer. We previously have reported a sentinel cluster,of 7 workers with high exposures and short latent periods, and individual patients with brain cancer high occupational exposures and short latent periods. We present a sentinel case series (n=47, 40M, 7F) of cancer patients, referred to our medical unit with occupational exposures to non-ionizing radiation of all types. Objectives. Our aims were to report the findings on tumour types,age of first diagnosis, and latency, to describe their exposures and to examine the hypothesis that latencies for all tumour types (solid tissue, hematolymphatic, testicular) were coherently related to high occupational exposures starting at young ages. Methods. We divided the patients into groups by latency. We categorized each patient’s exposures in regard to types of radiation, far or near field exposure and direct body contact. For some we had data on frequencies, for others we provided assessments. We also present the patient data categorized by age of diagnosis.We used a case-case type comparison to examine latencies for tumour types [solid, hematolymphatic (HL), testicular]. Results. 15 patients developed cancer with latent periods of less than 5 years and 12 patients with latent periods between 5 and 10 years. The remaining 20 patients had longer latent periods between first occupational exposure to EMF and diagnosis of cancer. 6 patients (12.7%) had multiple tumours. 12 patients (25.5%) reported cancer cases in co-workers. In the <5 years latency group there were 8 hematolymphatic cancers, 3 testicular cancers and 6 solid tumours [head & neck (including brain) and GI tract]. In all latency groups there were patients who were exposed to intense levels of electromagnetic fields (EMF), to several types of EMF, or to EMF in combination with ionizing radiation (IR) or other exposures, and patients who had direct body contact with the equipment, were in direct focus of high radiation, or worked in small, electronically dense environments. Case classification by age showed shorter latencies with younger ages, but this association is complicated by the fact that shorter latencies co-vary with younger ages especially for testicular tumours. But patients with testicular and hematolymphatic tumours had shorter latencies than those with solid tumours. Conclusion. Man of the patients were young and had extremely short latent periods, especially for HL and testicular cancers. The fact that latent periods for testes were very short, HL longer and solid still longer suggests a coherent and biologically plausible pattern of latency in relation to the onset of exposure to EMF and other agents. The findings strengthen the hypothesis that these exposures may possibly be the major cause of many of these tumours. The findings state the case for (1) better modelling of exposure sources and penetration into the body and (2) preventive and protective measures based on control of exposure at source, barriers, and personal protection. Eur. J. Oncol., 16(1),21-54,2011 Keywords: non ionizing radiation (NIR), electromagnetic fields (EMF), occupational exposures, cancer, short latencies
A preview of the PDF is not available
... They found that the percentage frequency of haemo-lymphatic (HL) cancers in the case series was very high, at 40% with only 23% expected for the series age and gender profile, 95% confidence interval: 26-56%, p < 0.01; 19 out of the 47 patients had HL cancers. Stein et al. (2011) studied 56 cancers among 49 military personnel (47 male, 7 females) exposed to intense prolonged RFR between 1992 and 2011. Based on exposure information reconstructed from reported histories, it was assumed that significant RFR exposures took place as a result of workplace conditions. ...
... Potential cancer sites and other outcomes for consideration in new studies include breast cancer because of the case reports of breast cancer in women carrying cell phones in their brassieres (West et al., 2013), haematolymphatic cancers, given the apparent excess of these cancers in a case series from the Israel army in young soldiers exposed to radar and communication transmitters in military settings (Stein et al., 2011;Peleg et al., 2018) and as reported previously from the armies in Poland (Szmigielski, 1996) and Belgium (Degrave et al., 2009). Other sites than brain and acoustic neuroma could potentially increase in incidence when untested whole-body exposure occurs, this may be the case with several evolving technologies. ...
... In the Ramazzini studies finding a synergistic interaction between RFR and ionizing radiation, RFR served as a promoter while in the NTP animal studies RFR served as a direct carcinogen and genotoxic agent (National Toxicology Program, a, b, 2018.). In studies of case series of human cancers, it is important to take note of multiple primaries in proportion to the total number of cases observed as a possible indicator of unusual environmental risk or unusual environmental-susceptibility interactions (Stein et al., 2011). ...
Article
Epidemiology studies (case-control, cohort, time trend and case studies) published since the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 2011 categorization of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) from mobile phones and other wireless devices as a possible human carcinogen (Group 2B) are reviewed and summarized. Glioma is an important human cancer found to be associated with RFR in 9 case-control studies conducted in Sweden and France, as well as in some other countries. Increasing glioma incidence trends have been reported in the UK and other countries. Non-malignant endpoints linked include acoustic neuroma (vestibular Schwannoma) and meningioma. Because they allow more detailed consideration of exposure, case-control studies can be superior to cohort studies or other methods in evaluating potential risks for brain cancer. When considered with recent animal experimental evidence, the recent epidemiological studies strengthen and support the conclusion that RFR should be categorized as carcinogenic to humans (IARC Group 1). Opportunistic epidemiological studies are proposed that can be carried out through cross-sectional analyses of high, medium, and low mobile phone users with respect to hearing, vision, memory, reaction time, and other indicators that can easily be assessed through standardized computer-based tests. As exposure data are not uniformly available, billing records should be used whenever available to corroborate reported exposures.
... The concern has been the risk of cancer, cataracts, and DNA degeneration that may also lead to heart problem among people living near based stations or ICT devices( [7], [8], [9], [10], [11]. Recently, Prasad et al. [12], Stein et al. [13] and Szmigielski [14] recorded some proliferative and tissue injury effects of mobile users exposure to 2450 MHz radiation in HL-60 which are liable to have cancer related problem. We are exposed to EMF's of radiations in every sphere of human life around ICT within the environment [15]. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the known but silent effects of ICT devices on our environment and health. The use of ICT devices is very crucial and paramount to our daily activities but the negative and positive effects especially with the new idea of Internet Of things (IOT) that will make the sensors part of our daily routine till we go to bed. The negative effect ranges from exposure to toxic compounds, high energy consumption due to high reliance on ICT devices, exposures us to non-thermal radio frequency radiation from Wifi, cellular and many more. The positive effect of ICT and its associated devices are too numerous to list which have been adopted in every spheres of human endeavour. The aim is to build a K-nearest neighbor and random forest technique to access the impact of ICT devices in detecting human heart diseases caused by ICT radiations. This will help reduce the stress of searching and waiting with hope for specialists to look at results of images when diagnosis are performed by lab scientists in determining whether the patient is fine or have heart disease. This contributes positively to the healthcare delivery system and promotes our next level of digital economy in the society at large because of the limited number of medical doctors. We adopted the k-fold cross validation test to have a better classification report. The KNN produced 90% cross validation test accuracy which was observed to be higher than the random forest with 85.71% cross validated accuracy.
... The concern has been the risk of cancer, cataracts, and DNA degeneration that may also lead to heart problem among people living near based stations or ICT devices( [7], [8], [9], [10], [11]. Recently, Prasad et al. [12], Stein et al. [13] and Szmigielski [14] recorded some proliferative and tissue injury effects of mobile users exposure to 2450 MHz radiation in HL-60 which are liable to have cancer related problem. We are exposed to EMF's of radiations in every sphere of human life around ICT within the environment [15]. ...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
This paper explores the known but silent effects of ICT devices on our environment and health. The use of ICT devices is very crucial and paramount to our daily activities but the negative and positive effects especially with the new idea of Internet Of things (IOT) that will make the sensors part of our daily routine till we go to bed. The negative effect ranges from exposure to toxic compounds, high energy consumption due to high reliance on ICT devices, exposures us to non-thermal radio frequency radiation from Wifi, cellular and many more. The positive effect of ICT and its associated devices are too numerous to list which have been adopted in every spheres of human endeavour. The aim is to build a K-nearest neighbor and random forest technique to access the impact of ICT devices in detecting human heart diseases caused by ICT radiations. This will help reduce the stress of searching and waiting with hope for specialists to look at results of images when diagnosis are performed by lab scientists in determining whether the patient is fine or have heart disease. This contributes positively to the healthcare delivery system and promotes our next level of digital economy in the society at large because of the limited number of medical doctors. We adopted the k-fold cross validation test to have a better classification report. The KNN produced 90% cross validation test accuracy which was observed to be higher than the random forest with 85.71% cross validated accuracy.
... A good example showing how etiology research proceeds-and more precisely, what the contributing role of associated laboratory findings is-is cancer. Several epidemiological studies including those for radiofrequency EMF radiation (RFR) [20][21][22][23][24][25][26] and extremely low frequency EMF (ELF EMF) [23,[27][28][29] have shown an associative link between EMF exposure and cancer or leukemia; thus, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified ELF EMF in 2001 [30] and RFR in 2011 [31] as possibly carcinogenic to humans (group 2B). Although the association found in these epidemiological studies could allow a possible causal interpretation, in fact, chance, biases and confounding factors could not yet be ruled out with sufficient certainty. ...
Article
Full-text available
Clinical research aiming at objectively identifying and characterizing diseases via clinical observations and biological and radiological findings is a critical initial research step when establishing objective diagnostic criteria and treatments. Failure to first define such diagnostic criteria may lead research on pathogenesis and etiology to serious confounding biases and erroneous medical interpretations. This is particularly the case for electrohypersensitivity (EHS) and more particularly for the so-called “provocation tests”, which do not investigate the causal origin of EHS but rather the EHS-associated particular environmental intolerance state with hypersensitivity to man-made electromagnetic fields (EMF). However, because those tests depend on multiple EMF-associated physical and biological parameters and have been conducted in patients without having first defined EHS objectively and/or endpoints adequately, they cannot presently be considered to be valid pathogenesis research methodologies. Consequently, the negative results obtained by these tests do not preclude a role of EMF exposure as a symptomatic trigger in EHS patients. Moreover, there is no proof that EHS symptoms or EHS itself are caused by psychosomatic or nocebo effects. This international consensus report pleads for the acknowledgement of EHS as a distinct neuropathological disorder and for its inclusion in the WHO International Classification of Diseases.
... • Cancer patients with previous RFR exposure as radio and radar operators and workers ( Stein et al., 2011) had very high and untypical proportion of hematolymphatic cancers relative to all cancers. ...
Presentation
Full-text available
This is a slides presentation of the article 'Radio frequency radiation related cancer: assessing causation in the occupational/military setting'
... A total of 57 papers, retrieved using the Google Scholar search engine were reviewed. Out of the 57 studies collected, 4 studies were excluded because they did not contain epidemiologic analysis [34,35] reported a very high result that masked other studies' results on the graph (there was one underlying cause of death due to leukemia compared with 0.2 expected (standard mortality ratio [SMR] = 437, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 11-2433), and two multiple listed causes of death due to leukemia compared with 0.3 expected (SMR = 775, 95% CI = 94-2801)] [36] or used a case series method with no epidemiological ratios and/or probability values [37]. 1 to make the level of association visually clear. Studies were ordered by years in order to take into consideration the possibility of trends in years. ...
... Out of the 57 studies collected, 4 studies were excluded because they did not contain epidemiologic analysis [22,23] reported a very high result that masked results of other studies in disproportion [there was one underlying cause of death due to leukemia compared with 0.2 expected (standard mortality ratio [SMR] = 437, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 11-2433), and two multiple listed causes of death due to leukemia compared with 0.3 expected (SMR = 775, 95% CI = 94-2801) [24]] or used a case series method with no epidemiological ratios and/or probability values [25]. Out of the remaining 53 studies, described in Table 1, we discarded for use in the meta-analysis 6 studies without information on confidence intervals or indications on how to extract them [26][27][28][29][30][31] and one study in which the CI was reported to be higher than the actual measure of association [RR = 4.15 95% CI 40.1, 217.2 [17]]. ...
... Some of the patients presented with brain cancer with short latent periods of less than 10 years. Stein et al. (2011) reported a sentinel case series of 47 cancer patients, who had been occupationally exposed to RF/MW or ELF, in various mostly in military settings. Data analysis suggested a coherent and biologically plausible pattern of cancer latency in relation to the onset of exposure to EMF and accompanying agents, since latent periods for testicular tumours were very short, the latency was longer for Hemato-Lymphatic cancers and still longer in solid tumours ...
Article
Full-text available
Manmade electromagnetic radiation increases in the environment as new applications are frequently adopted. Humans serve as receiving antennas for electromagnetic waves. Thus various new responses can be expected. In addition to radio and television programs, mobile telephony, distant reading of electricity and water consumption and many other technologies load us electrically and magnetically both out- and indoors. Most exposures are active all the time, day and night, continuously or in regular pulses. Personal devices are also important sources, since they touch the skin and are held near the brain and heart. Humans are good bioindicators, as their physiological parameters, such as heart function and blood biochemistry, are frequently recorded. Data storage and analysis are getting better. Humans also report symptoms that cannot be directly measured, and carry valuable information on bioeffects. Studies from recent decades have shown that exposure to electromagnetic waves can break DNA chains, damage proteins, even increase the blood brain barrier permeability, disturb sleep, and cause fatigue, memory and concentration problems. Neural, hormonal and psychosocial development is affected. An increase in human brain tumours has been described in correlation with mobile phone use on the exposed side of the head. The symptoms of electrohypersensitivity cause morbidity, but the interaction between multiple radiation frequencies and the mechanisms leading to frequency sensitivity are still poorly understood. Producers of mobile communication devices continuously warn users not to keep personal devices in skin contact. The Precautionary Principle that has been signed by many nations applies to all environmental risk factors, including exposure to electromagnetic waves.
Article
Electromagnetic fields (EMF) are present at any place where electric energy is used. There is a permanent risk of developing adverse health consequences, since population is exposed to EMF. This work aims to investigate if any relation between the occupational exposure to EMF and its cancer associated risks took place. A systematic review of the literature was carried out in seven databases: MEDLIE, COCHRANE, WOK, IBECS, LILACS, EMF-portal and SCOPUS. The articles published between 2000 and 2017, the article type, language, and just occupationally exposure population were taken into account in the inclusion criteria. Contradictory results between occupational EMF exposure and the risk of developing cancer were found by this systematic criteria. Nevertheless, evidence seems to demonstrate that high-level EMF exposure might arise the risk of causing any type of cancer. Given that diversity of results found, new studies should be done with a better methodological quality and an enough number of workers exposed to EMF high levels. In closing and in order to obtain a better result comparison, standard EMF exposure measurements should in every single future study be applied.
Chapter
Epidemiological studies of military personnel which operate and/or repair RF/MW emitting devices need valid assessment of individual exposure levels during working shift, as well as calculation of daily and periodic doses of the radiation. However, there exist only limited possibilities for precise measurements of real exposure levels, as typical situations in the military environment comprise large quantities of electronic and/or high-power RF/MW equipment confined to a relatively small space, with the servicing personnel being exposed in the near field zone. Additionally, the exposure conditions are frequently altered by the presence of the operator. This results in inhomogeneous absorption of RF/MW energy in the operator’s body and thus, impedes precise calculation and application of SAR levels for epidemiological and/or medical studies. Therefore, in practice the assessment of exposure in epidemiological studies of RF/MW-exposed personnel and residents living close to high-power RF/MW military sources (e.g. radar bases) has to be limited to measurements of field power density (FPD) and to valuation of radiation doses (RD).
Dividing human peripheral lymphocytes from 10 normal adults (5 males and 5 females) as well as lymphoid cell lines from patients with the chromosomal instability syndromes were exposed to low-level 60-Hz sinusoidal electromagnetic fields (EMF). The current density of the electrical field was 30 μA/cm2 while the strength of the magnetic field was either 1 or 2 gauss. The cytological endpoints measured included the frequency of sister-chromatid exchanges per chromosome; the distribution of first-, second-, and third-division cells and chromosome breakage (lymphoblastoid cells only). No statistically significant differences, indicative of EMF effects were observed between the treated and control cells regarding SCE frequency, cell cycle progression or chromosome breakage.
Article
Epidemiological studies on extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields have widely used personal or area sampling to evaluate exposures based on the time-weighted averaged flux density magnitude (TWA field). Relatively few studies have evaluated 'alternative' exposure metrics related to held characteristics such as temporal variability, frequency harmonics, vector polarisation, spatial orientation, static fields, high frequency transients, or induced electric fields. These field attributes fall into three major categories: (1) temporal characteristics of exposure intensity and timing, (2) frequency-domain characteristics, (3) spatial characteristics. The first category describes the magnitude and time history of exposure, including the TWA field metric, which most often is the focus of MF exposure assessment. The second category depicts the waveform characteristic (harmonic content), which has been relatively poorly described in most studies. The third category describes the field vector's time-space orientation and relation to static fields. Some examples of 'alternative metrics' that have been proposed based on biological mechanisms and potential measurement techniques are examined. The limited correlation of some alternative metrics with the TWA field metric in available data suggests that substantial exposure misclassification could occur if measurement protocols only focus on average field levels.
Article
Background: Most epidemiological studies on adverse health effects among women in relation to occupational magnetic field exposure have been based on information about men’s exposure. Aims: To create a job-exposure matrix for occupational exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields among women. Methods and Results: Measurements were performed using personal magnetic field meters (Emdex Lite) carried by the subjects for 24 hours on a normal workday. Subjects were volunteer women working in the occupations identified as common among women in Stockholm County based on the 1980 census. A total of 471 measurements were made in 49 different occupations, with a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 24 measurements in each occupation. The included occupations cover about 85% of the female population gainfully employed in 1980. Parameters representing average and peak magnetic field exposures, temporal change in the exposure, and proportion of time spent above certain exposure levels were calculated both for the workday and for the total 24 hour period grouped by occupational titles. The occupations with higher than average exposure were cashiers, working proprietors in retail trade, air stewardesses, dental nurses, cooks, post-office clerks and kitchen maids. Conclusions: This new job-exposure matrix substantially increases the knowledge about magnetic field exposure among women and can be used for exposure assessment in future studies.
Article
PURPOSE: To assess mortality due to cancer and other causes among 40,581 Navy veterans of the Korean war with potential exposure to high-intensity radar after 40 years of follow-up.METHODS: The cohort death rates were compared with mortality rates for White US men using standardized mortality ratios, and the death rates for men in occupations considered a priori to have high radar exposure were compared to the rates for men in low-exposure occupations using Poisson regression.RESULTS: Deaths from all diseases and all cancers were significantly below expectation overall and for the 20,021 sailors with high radar exposure potential. There was no evidence of increased brain cancer in the entire cohort (standardized mortality ratio (SMR) = 0.9; 95 percent confidence interval (CI): 0.7, 1.1) or in high-exposure occupations (SMR = 0.7; 95 percent CI: 0.5, 1.0). Testicular cancer deaths also occurred less frequently than expected in the entire cohort and high-exposure occupations. Death rates for several smoking-related diseases were significantly lower in the high-exposure occupations. Nonlymphocytic leukemia was significantly elevated among men in high-exposure occupations but only in one of the three high-exposure occupations, namely, electronics technicians in aviation squadrons (SMR = 2.2; 95 percent CI: 1.3, 3.7).CONCLUSION: Radar exposure had little effect on mortality in this cohort of US Navy veterans.
Article
The time and age dependence of cancer incidence rates resulting from various types of carcinogenic exposure are calculated and compared with observed cancer incidence rates. Implications for the detection of increased cancer incidence are discussed. The calculations assume that exposure affects one of several changes necessary for malignant cell transformation.