Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields; male infertility and sex ratio of offspring.
Eur J Epidemiol. 2008 ;23(5):369-77. PMID: 18415687
Concern is growing about exposure to electromagnetic fields and male reproductive health. The authors performed a cross-sectional study among military men employed in the Royal Norwegian Navy, including information about work close to equipment emitting radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, one-year infertility, children and sex of the offspring. Among 10,497 respondents, 22% had worked close to high-frequency aerials to a"high"or"very high"degree. Infertility increased significantly along with increasing self-reported exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. In a logistic regression, odds ratio (OR) for infertility among those who had worked closer than 10 m from high-frequency aerials to a"very high"degree relative to those who reported no work near high-frequency aerials was 1.86 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.46-2.37), adjusted for age, smoking habits, alcohol consumption and exposure to organic solvents, welding and lead. Similar adjusted OR for those exposed to a"high","some"and"low"degree were 1.93 (95% CI: 1.55-2.40), 1.52 (95% CI: 1.25-1.84), and 1.39 (95% CI: 1.15-1.68), respectively. In all age groups there were significant linear trends with higher prevalence of involuntary childlessness with higher self-reported exposure to radiofrequency fields. However, the degree of exposure to radiofrequency radiation and the number of children were not associated. For self-reported exposure both to high-frequency aerials and communication equipment there were significant linear trends with lower ratio of boys to girls at birth when the father reported a higher degree of radiofrequency electromagnetic exposure.