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Title: Children's exposure to magnetic fields produced by U.S. television sets used for viewing programs and playing video games.
Authors: Kaune WT,  Miller MC,  Linet MS,  Hatch EE,  Kleinerman RA,  Wacholder S,  Mohr AH,  Tarone RE,  Haines C
Journal: Bioelectromagnetics
Date: 2000 Apr
Branches: REB, BB
PubMed ID: 10723021
PMC ID: not available
Abstract: Two epidemiologic studies have reported increased risk of childhood leukemia associated with the length of time children watched television (TV) programs or played video games connected to TV sets. To evaluate magnetic field exposures resulting from these activities, the static, ELF, and VLF magnetic fields produced by 72 TV sets used by children to watch TV programs and 34 TV sets used to play video games were characterized in a field study conducted in Washington DC and its Maryland suburbs. The resulting TV-specific magnetic field data were combined with information collected through questionnaires to estimate the magnetic field exposure levels associated with TV watching and video game playing. The geometric means of the ELF and VLF exposure levels so calculated were 0.0091 and 0.0016 microT, respectively, for children watching TV programs and 0.023 and 0.0038 microT, respectively, for children playing video games. Geometric means of ambient ELF and VLF levels with TV sets turned off were 0.10 and 0.0027 microT, respectively. Summed over the ELF frequency range (6-3066 Hz), the exposure levels were small compared to ambient levels. However, in restricted ELF frequency ranges (120 Hz and 606-3066 Hz) and in the VLF band, TV exposure levels were comparable to or larger than normal ambient levels. Even so, the strengths of the 120 Hz or 606-3066 Hz components of TV fields were small relative to the overall ambient levels. Consequently, our results provide little support for a linkage between childhood leukemia and exposure to the ELF magnetic fields produced by TV sets. Our results do suggest that any future research on possible health effects of magnetic fields from television sets might focus on the VLF electric and magnetic fields produced by TV sets because of their enhanced ability relative to ELF fields to induce electric currents.