Silent Keys: Leukemia Mortality In Amateur Radio Operators.
A survey of leukemia mortality among amateur radio operators was conducted. Information on deaths among amateur radio operators in California and Washington was obtained from a monthly magazine of the American Radio Relay League for the years 1971 to 1983. Proportionate mortality ratios (PMRs) were computed. During the study period, 296 male deaths were listed for Washington and 1,642 for California. Death certificates or cause of death information were obtained for 280 of the Washington and 1,411 of the California deaths. All malignant neoplasms, cancer of the prostate, and lymphatic and hematopoietic cancers had elevated PMRs in both states. Both data sets showed deficits of deaths due to nonmalignant respiratory diseases, digestive diseases, and external causes of death. The excess mortality due to leukemia was limited to myeloid and unspecified types of leukemia. The PMRs due to leukemia among Washington amateur radio operators who worked in electrical/exposure occupations was 264, as compared to a PMR of 210 among radio operators who worked in other occupations. The author concludes that occupational exposure alone does not explain the leukemia excess in the subjects. These results offer further support for the hypothesis that electromagnetic fields are carcinogenic.
NIOSH-Author; Epidemiology; Disease-incidence; Risk-analysis; Quantitative-analysis; Pathology; Electromagnetic-radiation; Radio-waves; Environmental-exposure; Cancer-rate;
NTIS Accession No.
NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, 8 pages, 6 references