Epidemiology has shown an association between exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields (EMF) and childhood leukaemia. The causal nature and biological basis of this association are however questionable. Studies with aneuploid cell lines raised the hypothesis that ELF EMF may act as a coleukaemogen by compromising DNA damage response to genotoxic agents such as ionising radiation. We examined this hypothesis using γ-ray-induced dicentric chromosome exchange in human lymphocytes. The results from 12 h post-γ-ray exposure to fields of 0.23, 0.47 and 0.7 mT provide no support to the hypothesis. The power of the study was sufficient to exclude an ELF enhancement of chromosomal exchange of 10-15% (2SE).
Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Childhood leukaemia
- Chromosome aberration
- DNA repair
- Electromagnetic fields