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  1. health hazards

Melatonin, Alzheimers Disease and Breast Cancer

  • There is strong epidemiologic evidence that long-term exposure to ELF magnetic field (MF) is a risk factor for Alzheimers disease.
  • There is now evidence that 1) high levels of peripheral amyloid beta are a risk factor for AD and 2) medium to high MF exposure can increase peripheral amyloid beta. High brain levels of amyloid beta are also a risk factor for AD and medium to high MF exposure to brain cells likely also increases these cells’ production of amyloid beta.
  • There is considerable in vitro and animal evidence that melatonin protects against Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore it is certainly possible that low levels of melatonin production are associated with an increase in the risk of AD.
  • There are insufficient studies to formulate an opinion as to whether radiofrequency MF exposure is a risk factor for AD.
  • Some studies on EMF show reduced melatonin levels, There is sufficient evidence from in vitro and animal studies, from human biomarker studies, from occupational and light-at-night studies, and a single longitudinal study with appropriate collection of urine samples to conclude that high MF exposure may be a risk factor for breast cancer.
  • There is rather strong evidence from case-control studies that longterm, high occupational exposure (> 10 mG or 1.0 µT)) to ELF magnetic fields is a risk factor for breast cancer.
  • Seamstresses are, in fact, one of the most highly MF exposed occupations, with exposure levels generally above 10 mG (1.0 µT) over a significant proportion of the workday. They have also been consistently found to be at higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease and (female) breast cancer. This occupation deserves attention in future studies.
  • There are no studies of RF magnetic fields on breast cancer that do not exclude ELF magnetic field, so that predictions of RF magnetic field alone on breast cancer cannot be assessed at this time.Table 1-1 BioInitiative Report Overall Conclusions

Melatonin – Cell and Animal Studies

  • An association between power-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF) and breast cancer is strongly supported in the scientific literature by a constellation of relevant scientific papers providing mutually-reinforcing evidence from cell and animal studies.
  • ELF at environmental levels negatively affects the oncostatic effects of both melatonin and tamoxifen on human breast cancer cells at common environmental levels of ELF exposure at 6 to 12 mG (0.6 to 1.2 µT). Epidemiological studies over the last two decades have reported increased risk of male and female breast cancer with exposures to residential and occupational levels of ELF. Animal studies have reported increased mammary tumor size and incidence in association with ELF exposure.
  • ELF limits for public exposure should be revised to reflect increased risk of breast cancer at environmental levels possibly as low as 2 mG or 3 mG (o.2 to 0.3 µT); certainly as low as 4 mG (0.4 µT).