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Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2016 Jan;89(1):33-42. doi: 10.1007/s00420-015-1049-7. Epub 2015 Mar 26.

Effects of electromagnetic fields exposure on plasma hormonal and inflammatory pathway biomarkers in male workers of a power plant.

Wang Z1,2, Fei Y3,4, Liu H3,4, Zheng S3,4, Ding Z3,4, Jin W3,4, Pan Y3,4, Chen Z3,4, Wang L3,4, Chen G5, Xu Z5, Zhu Y6, Yu Y7,8.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, 866 Yu-Hang-Tang Road, Xihu District, Hangzhou, 310058, Zhejiang, China. zpwang7891@126.com.
2
Chronic Disease Research Institute, School of Public Health, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310058, Zhejiang, China. zpwang7891@126.com.
3
Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, 866 Yu-Hang-Tang Road, Xihu District, Hangzhou, 310058, Zhejiang, China.
4
Chronic Disease Research Institute, School of Public Health, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310058, Zhejiang, China.
5
Bioelectromagnetics Laboratory, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310058, Zhejiang, China.
6
Department of Neurosurgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, 310058, Zhejiang, China.
7
Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, 866 Yu-Hang-Tang Road, Xihu District, Hangzhou, 310058, Zhejiang, China. yunxianyu@zju.edu.cn.
8
Chronic Disease Research Institute, School of Public Health, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310058, Zhejiang, China. yunxianyu@zju.edu.cn.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The potential health risks of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) have currently raised considerable public concerns. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of EMF exposure on levels of plasma hormonal and inflammatory pathway biomarkers in male workers of an electric power plant.

METHODS:

Seventy-seven male workers with high occupational EMF exposure and 77 male controls with low exposure, matched by age, were selected from a cross-sectional study. Moreover, high EMF exposure group was with walkie-talkies usage and exposed to power frequency EMF at the work places for a longer duration than control group. A questionnaire was applied to obtain relevant information, including sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle factors, and EMF exposures. Plasma levels of testosterone, estradiol, melatonin, NF-κB, heat-shock protein (HSP) 70, HSP27, and TET1 were determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

RESULTS:

EMF exposure group had statistically significantly lower levels of testosterone (β = -0.3 nmol/L, P = 0.015), testosterone/estradiol (T/E2) ratio (β = -15.6, P = 0.037), and NF-κB (β = -20.8 ng/L, P = 0.045) than control group. Moreover, joint effects between occupational EMF exposure and employment duration, mobile phone fees, years of mobile phone usage, and electric fees on levels of testosterone and T/E2 ratio were observed. Nevertheless, no statistically significant associations of EMF exposures with plasma estradiol, melatonin, HSP70, HSP27, and TET1 were found.

CONCLUSIONS:

The findings showed that chronic exposure to EMF could decrease male plasma testosterone and T/E2 ratio, and it might possibly affect reproductive functions in males. No significant associations of EMF exposure with inflammatory pathway biomarkers were found.

KEYWORDS:

Electromagnetic fields; Heat–shock protein; Melatonin; NF-κB; TET1; Testosterone/estradiol

PMID:
25808749
DOI:
10.1007/s00420-015-1049-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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