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Miscarriages among female physical therapists who report using radio- and microwave-frequency electromagnetic radiation.
Ouellet-Hellstrom R; Stewart WF
Am J Epidemiol 1993 Nov; 138(10):775-786
The risk of reported early fetal loss was investigated to determine any association between miscarriage and exposure to nonionizing electromagnetic radiation. The reproductive effects of both shortwave and microwave radiation exposure were examined in female physical therapists. Only women who had ever tried to become pregnant or did so were asked to complete all the questions on the survey used which included information regarding infertility, the use of oral contraceptives, smoking during pregnancy, and the outcome of all pregnancies. A total of 19,114 completed questionnaires were received by the investigators. Of these, 11,598 respondents reported at least one pregnancy or reported having tried to become pregnant and were considered eligible for inclusion in the study. Women in 11.9% of the case pregnancies and 9.5% of the control pregnancies reported using microwave diathermy at the time of the pregnancy. Women in 28.5% of the case pregnancies and 26.9% of the control pregnancies reported using shortwave diathermy at the time of the pregnancy. Pregnancies exposed to shortwave diathermy did not appear to be at increased risk of miscarriage. There was no increase in risk with increasing exposure to shortwave diathermy. There was a modest increase in the risk of miscarriage among women using microwave diathermy equipment during pregnancy.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Reproductive-system-disorders; Radiation-hazards; Health-care-personnel; Microwave-radiation; Electromagnetic-radiation; Physical-therapy; Prenatal-exposure; Risk-analysis; Author Keywords: abortion; electromagnetic fields; microwaves; occupational exposure; physical therapy; radiation; radio waves; short-wave therapy
Epidemiology Johns Hopkins University 615 N Wolfe Street Baltimore, MD 21205
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Epidemiology
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
Page last reviewed: September 25, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division