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Int J Occup Environ Health. 1996 Jan;2(1):37-47.

Exploring the EMF-Melatonin Connection: A Review of the Possible Effects of 50/60-Hz Electric and Magnetic Fields on Melatonin Secretion.

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EDF-GDF Service des Etudes M├ędicales, 22-30, avenue de Wagram, 75382 Paris, France.


This study analyzed the experimental data about the relationship between exposure to 50/60-Hz electric and magnetic fields (EMF) and melatonin secretion by the pineal gland. The authors report their results and discuss possible health consequences, in the light of epidemiologic data suggesting that breast neoplasms and depressive disorders might be related to EMF. The nocturnal peak of melatonin has been reported to be diminished, or time-shifted, or both, in rodents exposed to electric and/or magnetic fields. Current experimental data from primates and humans are insufficient to show that this change occurs in them. Epidemiologic studies of associations between EMF exposure and breast cancer and between EMF exposure and depressive disorders suggest that modifications of melatonin secretion could be a biologic signal of these effects. Nonetheless, changes in melatonin secretion cannot yet be considered a verified biologic explanation of any such association.


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