Estimating exposure to extremely low frequency magnetic fields near high-voltage power lines and assessment of possible increased cancer risk among Slovenian children and adolescents
Background. Some previous research showed that average daily exposure to extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields (MF) of more than 0.3 or 0.4 µT could potentially increase risk of childhood leukemia.
Methods. To allow calculations of ELF MF around high voltage (HV) power lines (PL) for the whole Slovenia, a novel three-dimensional method including precision terrain elevation data was developed to calculate the long term average ELF MF. Data on population of Slovenian children and adolescents and on cancer patients with leukemias aged 0–19 years, brain tumours at age 0–29, and cancer in general at age 0–14 for a 12-year period 2005–2016 was obtained from the Slovenian Cancer Registry.
Results. According to the large‑scale calculation for the whole country, only 0.5% of children and adolescents under the age of 19 in Slovenia lived in an area near HV PL with ELF MF density greater than 0.1 μT. The risk of cancer for children and adolescents living in areas with higher ELF MF is not significantly different from the risk of their peers.
Conclusion: The new method enables relatively fast calculation of the value of low-frequency magnetic fields for arbitrary loads of the power distribution network, as the value of each source for arbitrary load is calculated by scaling the value for nominal load, which also enables significantly faster adjustment of calculated estimates in the power distribution network.
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