Testicular Ca & EMF (Germany)

Testicular cancer and electromagnetic fields (EMF) in the workplace: results of a population-based case–control study in Germany

Cornelia Baumgardt-Elms Hamburg Cancer Registry, Adolph-Schönfelder-Straße 5, 22 083 Hamburg, Germany; Fachabteilung Versorgungsplanung, Department of Environment and Health, Tesdorpfstraße 8, 20 148 Hamburg, Germany. Ph.: +49-40-42848-2556; Fax: +49-40-427948-134; Email: cornelia.baumgardt-elms@bug.hamburg.de

Wolfgang Ahrens Bremen Institute for Prevention Research and Social Medicine, Linzer Str. 8, 28 359 Bremen, Germany; Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, University Hospital of Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, 45 122 Essen, Germany

Katja Bromen Bremen Institute for Prevention Research and Social Medicine, Linzer Str. 8, 28 359 Bremen, Germany

Ute. Boikat Saarland Cancer Registry, Virchowstr. 7, 66 119 Saarbrücken, Germany

Andreas Stang Bremen Institute for Prevention Research and Social Medicine, Linzer Str. 8, 28 359 Bremen, Germany

Ingeborg Jahn Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, University Hospital of Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, 45 122 Essen, Germany

Christa Stegmaier Saarland Cancer Registry, Virchowstr. 7, 66 119 Saarbrücken, Germany

Karl-Heinz Jöckel Bremen Institute for Prevention Research and Social Medicine, Linzer Str. 8, 28 359 Bremen, Germany

Abstract

Objectives: In a population-based case–control study, we examined the association of testicular cancer and electromagnetic fields (EMF) in the workplace.

Methods: Incident cases (n = 269) were recruited between 1995 and 1997. A total of 797 controls matched on age and region were randomly selected from mandatory registries of residents.

EMF exposure was assessed for five categories in standardized face-to-face interviews using closed questions. For each exposure category, odds ratios (OR) were calculated, stratified by age and region, and in a more complex model weighted by duration and distance using conditional logistic regression. Subgroup analyses were conducted for seminoma and non-seminoma and for blue- and white-collar workers.

Additionally, potential radar exposure was individually assessed by experts based on all available information including free text.

Results: There was no excess risk for cases who reported to have ever worked near the following: radar units (OR = 1.0; 95% CI = 0.60–1.75); radiofrequency emitters (OR = 0.9; 95% CI = 0.60–1.24); electrical machines (OR = 1.0; 95% CI = 0.72–1.33); high-voltage lines or high-voltage electrical transmission installations (OR[ equals] 0.7; 95% CI = 0.38–1.18); or visual display units or complex electrical environments (OR = 0.9; 95% CI = 0.67–1.21).

The results for the weighted exposure and subgroup analyses did not differ substantially. For radar exposure as assessed by the experts, the OR was 0.4 (95% CI = 0.13–1.16).

Conclusions: EMF exposure in the workplace does not seem to be a relevant risk factor for testicular cancer in our study.

Cancer Causes and Control 13 (10): 895-902, December 2002

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