Empirical studies link exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) to several health symptoms. However, it is unclear whether these symptoms are associated with actual or perceived exposure. In this study we attempted to answer this question by studying the health complaints of employees working in a multi-story office building located near a major high-voltage power line. ELF-MF measurements were conducted in the building using a triaxial sensor coil device on all 15 floors. In parallel, questionnaires were administered to evaluate the prevalence of various health symptoms among the employees. Multivariate logistic regressions were used next to quantify the associations between actual and perceived ELF-MF exposure and the employees’ health complaints. The analysis revealed that feelings of weakness, headache, frustration, and worry were associated with both measured and perceived ELF-MF exposure (p < 0.01), while perceived ELF-MF exposure was also found to be associated with eye pain and irritation (OR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.2–1.6), sleepiness (OR = 1.3, 95% CI = 1.1–1.5), dizziness and ear pain (OR = 1.2, 95% CI = 1.0–1.4). We conclude that high-voltage power lines produce both physiological and psychological effects in nearby workers, and, hence, proximity to such power lines should become a public health issue.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by the Ministry of Education contract No. 128712, signed on 8 July 2012.
© 2022 by the authors.
- extremely low frequency magnetic field (ELF-MF)
- health complains
- work exposure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science (miscellaneous)
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Building and Construction
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Hardware and Architecture
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law