Magnetic field exposures in an automobile transmission plant.
Wenzl-TB; Kriebel-D; Eisen-EA; Tolbert-P; Hallock-M
Arch Environ Health 1997 May; 52(3):227-232
As part of a case/control study of brain cancer incidence at an automobile transmission factory, magnetic field (MF) exposure ranges were assessed to determine if groups of jobs could be distinguished by MF exposures. For each of 29 cases of brain cancer at the factory, five controls were chosen; workers were selected who performed the most common tasks during the workday. Personal MF exposures were measured with a three axis data logging dosimeter worn by workers during 30 minute shifts in which they completed their normal tasks. Within day variability of exposures for a few workers ranged over four orders of magnitude, from 0.01 to 130 microtesla. Demagnetizers were unexpectedly found to influence the exposure measurements of 10% of the workers. Other MF sources included power panels, motors and fluorescent light ballasts. Assembly workers and material handlers had consistently lower MF exposures than machining and maintenance workers. Nonproduction grinders and electricians had higher exposures than other production machining and maintenance workers. In a new index of irregularity, maintenance electricians, production grinders, job setters, and nonproduction machinists were in the highest exposure group. The authors conclude that the exposure differences between grouped jobs are not artifacts, because the results of influence analysis revealed that the MF exposure differences between grouped jobs did not depend on the presence of strong sources or on a nonrandom selection of a few departments during the survey.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Cancer; Humans; Brain-tumors; Automotive-industry; Machine-operators; Assembly-line-workers; Magnetic-fields
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Archives of Environmental Health
University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts