Magnetic fields of video display terminals and spontaneous abortion.Am J Epidemiol. 1992 Nov 01; 136(9):1041-51.AJ
The aim of this study was to examine whether work with a video display terminal and exposure to the magnetic fields of video display terminals are related to spontaneous abortion. The study was conducted among women employed as bank clerks and clerical workers in three companies in Finland. The cases (191 spontaneous abortions) and controls (394 births) were identified from Finnish medical registers for the years 1975-1985. Use of video display terminals was defined using the workers' own reports and information provided by the companies. The assessment of exposure to the magnetic fields was based on measurements of the fields of video display terminals. The odds ratio for spontaneous abortion for working with video display terminals was not increased (odds ratio = 1.1, 95% confidence interval 0.7-1.6). However, the odds ratio for workers who had used a video display terminal with a high level of extremely low frequency magnetic fields (> 0.9 microT) was 3.4 (95% confidence interval 1.4-8.6) compared with workers using a terminal with a low level of these magnetic fields (< 0.4 microT). Adjustment for ergonomic factors and mental work load factors changed the odds ratio for magnetic field exposure only very slightly. The findings suggest the need for future studies with assessment of exposure to the magnetic fields in the actual working environment to confirm the possible risk.