Occupational Electromagnetic Fields and Leukemia and Brain Cancer: An Update to Two Meta-Analyses

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To update past meta-analyses on occupational electromagnetic fields (EMF) and adult brain cancer and leukemia.


We collected and evaluated all relevant 1993 to 2007 publications. Summary estimates were obtained using various weighting schemes. To explore sources of heterogeneity, study characteristics were examined using regression analysis.


Overall, for new studies, both brain cancer and leukemia showed small increases in risk estimates, 10% and 13%, respectively. Notably, pooled risk estimates were lower than in past meta-analyses, and leukemia subtypes showed no consistent pattern when past and present meta-analyses were compared.


The lack of a clear pattern of EMF exposure and outcome risk does not support a hypothesis that these exposures are responsible for the observed excess risk. Findings were not sensitive to assumptions, influential studies, weighting schemes, publication bias, study characteristics, or funding source.

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