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Toxicol Pathol. 1999 May-Jun;27(3):279-85.

Chronic toxicity/oncogenicity evaluation of 60 Hz (power frequency) magnetic fields in B6C3F1 mice.

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Illinois Institute of Toxicology Research Institute, Chicago 60616-3799, USA.


A 2-yr whole-body exposure study was conducted to evaluate the chronic toxicity and possible oncogenicity of 60 Hz (power frequency) magnetic fields in mice. Groups of 100 male and 100 female B6C3F1 mice were exposed to pure, linearly polarized, transient-free 60 Hz magnetic fields at flux densities of 0 Gauss (G) (sham control), 20 milligauss (mG), 2 G, and 10 G; an additional group of 100 male and 100 female B6C3F1 mice received intermittent (1 hr on/1 hr off) exposure to 10 G fields. A small but statistically significant increase in mortality was observed in male mice exposed continuously to 10 G fields; mortality patterns in all other groups of mice exposed to magnetic fields were comparable to those found in sex-matched sham controls. Body weight gains and the total incidence and number of malignant and benign tumors were similar in all groups. Magnetic field exposure did not increase the incidence of neoplasia in any organ, including those sites (leukemia, breast cancer, and brain cancer) that have been identified in epidemiology studies as possible targets of magnetic field action. A statistically significant decrease in the incidence of malignant lymphoma was observed in female mice exposed continuously to 10 G fields, and statistically significant decreases in the incidence of lung tumors were seen in both sexes exposed continuously to 2 G fields. These data do not support the hypothesis that chronic exposure to pure, linearly polarized 60 Hz magnetic fields is a significant risk factor for neoplastic development in mice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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