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Journal Articles Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience Year : 2012

The effects of extremely low-frequency magnetic fields on melatonin and cortisol, two marker rhythms of the circadian system

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Abstract

In the past 30 years the concern that daily exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (ELF-EMF) (1 to 300 Hz) might be harmful to human health (cancer, neurobehavioral disturbances, etc) has been the object of debate, and has become a public health concern. This has resulted in the classification of ELF-EMF into category 2B, ie, agents that are 'possibly carcinogenic to humans' by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Since melatonin, a neurohormone secreted by the pineal gland, has been shown to possess oncostatic properties, a 'melatonin hypothesis' has been raised, stating that exposure to EMF might decrease melatonin production and therefore might promote the development of breast cancer in humans. Data from the literature reviewed here are contradictory. In addition, we have demonstrated a lack of effect of ELF-EMF on melatonin secretion in humans exposed to EMF (up to 20 years' exposure) which rebuts the melatonin hypothesis. Currently, the debate concerns the effects of ELF-EMF on the risk of childhood leukemia in children chronically exposed to more than 0.4 uT. Further research is thus needed to obtain more definite answers regarding the potential deleterious effects of ELF-EMF.
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ineris-00963413 , version 1 (21-03-2014)

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Yvan Touitou, Brahim Selmaoui. The effects of extremely low-frequency magnetic fields on melatonin and cortisol, two marker rhythms of the circadian system. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 2012, 14 (4), pp.381-399. ⟨ineris-00963413⟩

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