Research and analysis

Power frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs): melatonin and risk of breast cancer

This AGNIR report (RCE-1) considers the scientific evidence from studies relating to power frequency EMFs, melatonin and the risk of breast cancer.


RCE-1: power frequency electromagnetic fields, melatonin and the risk of breast cancer

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Exposure to power frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) is ubiquitous in modern life. It was suggested in the late 1980s that chronic exposure to EMFs may increase the risk of breast cancer, via a reduction in secretion of the hormone melatonin from the pineal gland. To review this hypothesis, this report by the Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR) addresses evidence on whether:

  • EMFs affect the production or action of melatonin
  • melatonin affects the risk of breast cancer
  • EMFs affect the risk of breast cancer

This 2006 report contains health-related conclusions and research recommendations based on the scientific evidence.

Published 1 February 2006