Chronic exposure of primates to 60-Hz electric and magnetic fields: III. Neurophysiologic effects.

TitleChronic exposure of primates to 60-Hz electric and magnetic fields: III. Neurophysiologic effects.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1989
AuthorsDowman, R, Wolpaw, J, Seegal, RF, Satya-Murti, S
Date Published01/1989
Keywords60-Hz electromagnetic radiation, auditory, brainstem auditory, evoked potential, primates, somatosensory, visual

The neurophysiologic effects of combined 60-Hz electric (E) and magnetic (B) fields, of magnitudes comparable to those produced by high-voltage powerlines, were investigated in 10 monkeys (Macaca nemestrina). Six animals (experimental group) were each exposed to three different levels of E and B fields: 3 kV/m and 0.1 G, 10 kV/m and 0.3 G, and 30 kV/m and 0.9 G. Field exposures were preceded and followed by sham exposures, during which factors of field generation were present (e.g., heat, vibration, noise, etc.) without E and B fields. Each of the five segments (i.e., the three exposure segments and the initial and final sham exposure segments) lasted 3 weeks. Animals were exposed for 18 h/day (fields on at 1600 h, off at 1000 h). Four other animals (external control group) were given sham exposure for the entire 15-week period. Auditory, visual, and somatosensory evoked potentials were recorded twice a week, during the daily 6-h field-off period. E- and B-field exposure had no effect on the early or mid-latency evoked potential components, suggesting that exposure at these levels has no effect on peripheral or central sensory afferent pathways. However, there was a statistically significant decrease in the amplitudes of late components of the somatosensory evoked potential during the 10kV/m and 0.3 G, and 30 kV/m and 0.9 G exposure levels. This result is possibly related to the opiate antagonist effect of electromagnetic field exposure reported by others.


You are here