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10) How does the epidemiological evidence relevant to a connection between static fields and cancer stand up to the Hill criteria?




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This article is from the Static Electromagnetic Fields and Cancer FAQ, by John Moulder jmoulder@its.mcw.edu and the Medical College of Wisconsin with numerous contributions by others.

10) How does the epidemiological evidence relevant to a connection between static fields and cancer stand up to the Hill criteria?

Application of the Hill criteria shows that the current epidemiological
evidence for a connection between static magnetic fields and cancer is
weak to non-existent.

- First, the association between static magnetic fields and cancer is
very weak. There is only one study that shows any indication of an
association of static fields with cancer [8], and that association is
not large, and is seen for only one type of cancer

- Second, the association between static magnetic fields and cancer is
not consistent. The studies of workers exposed to static magnetic
fields in industries other than aluminum reduction plants show no
association between exposure to static fields and cancer, and all but
one of the studies in the aluminum industry show no association between
exposure to static magnetic fields and cancer.

- Third, since only one study reports an association between exposure to
static fields and cancer, the issue of specificity is moot.

- Fourth, there is no evidence for a dose response relationship between
exposure to static fields and the incidence of cancer. The only study
reporting an association between exposure to static fields and cancer
shows no evidence of a dose-response relationship.

Thus the epidemiological evidence for an association between static
magnetic fields and cancer is weak and inconsistent, and fails to show a
dose-response relationship.

 

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previous page: 9) How do scientists determine whether an environmental agent, such as a static EM field causes or contributes to the development of cancer?
  
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next page: 11) How could laboratory studies be used to help evaluate the possible relationship between static magnetic fields and cancer?