Exposure of children to extremely low frequency magnetic fields in France: Results of the EXPERS study

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The assessment of magnetic field exposure in children is an important point in the context of epidemiological issues. EXPERS is the first study ever carried out measuring personal exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields at a national scale, involving 977 French children with 24 h personal measurements. Descriptive statistical analyses were performed for all the children, and only for children where no alarm clock was identified, as in some cases this requirement of the measurement protocol was not respected. The proportion of children with a 24 h arithmetic mean of ≥0.4 μT was 3.1% when considering all children and 0.8% when excluding alarm clocks. The alarm clocks were the main variable linked to the child exposure measurements. Magnetic field exposure increased when the home was located close to a high voltage power line. However, none of the 0.8% of children living at <125 m to a 225 kV line or <200 m to a 400 kV overhead line had a personal exposure of ≥0.4 μT. A multiple correspondence analysis showed the difficulty to build a statistical model predicting child exposure. The distribution of child personal exposure was significantly different from the distribution of exposure during sleep, questioning the exposure assessment in some epidemiological studies.

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