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EM Radiation Exposure May Be Tied to a Higher Risk of Breast Cancer

August 22, 1996|From Times staff and wire reports

Women who work around electronic equipment that generates powerful magnetic fields may have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer, say researchers led by Boston University's Patricia Coogan.

They analyzed 6,888 working women with breast cancer in four states and compared them to a similar group of women without the disease. Women whose jobs exposed them to the highest levels of electromagnetic radiation--such as electrical engineers and computer equipment operators--were 43% more likely to develop the disease than were women who experienced only "background" radiation levels.

The study, published Wednesday in the journal Epidemiology, does not prove that occupational radiation causes the disease, researchers caution, but it suggests a possible link worthy of further study.

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