Many studies have investigated the potential link between ELF-EMF and health over the last 40 years. Short term – high intensity exposure is well studied in human volunteers and animals. Effects observed have thresholds below which they do not occur and can be avoided by meeting appropriate basic restrictions on electric fields induced in the body.
Questions are arising on long term – low intensity exposure. ELF-MF are classified by IARC as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” based on epidemiologic evidence showing an excess risk of childhood leukaemia. Other studies raise the question of the role of 50 Hz EMF in the development of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and others illnesses. However studies are not conclusive and further research is needed.
Therefore it is important to determine the biological consequences in particularly exposed groups, such as EMF-exposed workers. A cytogenetic biomonitoring study is helpful to determine whether or not ELF-EMF may induce genetic damage.
What is a cytogenetic biomonitoring study and how could it be helpful in understanding the health effects of EMF? Here is an overview of how a cytogenetic monitoring study is conducted and how it should be interpreted.