An Australian study has found no clear link between workplace exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) and the development of follicular lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
While previous research had suggested a potential connection, this study, which analysed job histories of 681 individuals diagnosed with follicular lymphoma and over 1,000 without the disease, did not find any significant association.
ELF-MFs are commonly associated with electrical and electronic work, such as powerline installation, electrical repairs, and operating equipment like computers. Despite some concerns about their potential carcinogenicity, the study did not establish a clear mechanistic pathway linking ELF-MF exposure to follicular lymphoma.
The researchers noted that this study's findings, along with previous research, provide reassurance regarding the occupational prevalence of ELF-MF exposure. Occupations with the highest exposure to ELF-MFs include electrical power installers and repairers, electricians, power plant operators, welders, and train drivers.
Further studies with larger sample sizes may be needed to gain a deeper understanding of any potential risks associated with ELF-MF exposure and to inform occupational safety measures.