Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields of High Voltage Overhead Power Lines and Female Infertility.

Author: Esmailzadeh S1, Delavar MA1, Aleyassin A2, Gholamian SA3, Ahmadi A4
Author Information:
1Infertility and Reproductive Health Research Center, Health Research Institute, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran.
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
3Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering, Babol Noushirvani University of Technology, Babol, Iran.
4Biomedical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering Department, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST), Tehran, Iran. amirmasoud_ahmadi@elec.iust.ac.ir.
Conference/Journal: Int J Occup Environ Med.
Date published: 2019 Jan
Other: Volume ID: 10 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 11-16 , Special Notes: doi: 10.15171/ijoem.2019.1429. , Word Count: 267

BACKGROUND: Living in the vicinity of high voltage power lines has brought about a range of health woes, but the effect of residential exposure to electromagnetic fields from the power lines on female fertility has not been explored yet.

OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis if residential proximity to high voltage power lines could be associated with the increased risk of female infertility.

METHODS: In a case-control study, 462 women with confirmed diagnosis of unexplained infertility or behavioral and environmental factors were assessed between February 2014 and December 2016. Control group comprised of 471 persons with no history of infertility selected using randomized-digit dialing from the numbers registered in a birth registry between 2014 and 2016. The nearest linear distance from high voltage power lines to the participants' residence of cases and controls was measured using a Geographical Information System (GIS) and Google Earth aerial evaluation for high voltage power lines (240-400 kV).

RESULTS: 112 (14.1%) houses were within 500 meters from a high voltage power line. Women living within 500 meters of the lines (OR 4.14, 95% CI 2.61 to 6.57) and 500-1000 meters of the line (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.05 to 2.47) carried a significantly higher risk of infertility than those women living more than 1000 meters away from the power lines. After adjusting for confounding factors, women living within 500 meters of the lines carried a higher risk (aOR 4.44, 95% CI 2.77 to 7.11) of infertility compared with women living more than 1000 meters of the lines.

CONCLUSION: The current safety guidelines for electromagnetic fields exposure seems to be not adequate for protecting people from the hazardous effects of the field.

KEYWORDS: Electric power supplies; Environment; Geographic information systems; Reproductive health; Risk assessment; Risk factors

PMID: 30685773 DOI: 10.15171/ijoem.2018.1429