This summary table contains detailed information about research studies. Summary tables offer an informative look at the science behind many breast cancer guidelines and recommendations. However, they should be viewed with some caution. In order to read and interpret research tables successfully, it is important to understand some key concepts. Learn how to read a research table.
Introduction: People are exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMF) through utility wires, electric blankets, microwave ovens and fluorescent lighting.
Regular exposure to EMF does not appear to increase the risk of breast cancer. Large prospective cohort studies and a meta-analysis that combined the results from 15 studies have found no link between the two.
Learn more about EMF and breast cancer risk.
Learn about the strengths and weaknesses of different types of studies.
See how this risk factor compares with other risk factors for breast cancer.
Learn More | Current Article
*Please note, the information provided within Komen Perspectives articles is only current as of the date of posting. Therefore, some information may be out of date at this time.
Study selection criteria: Prospective cohort studies and nested case-control studies with at least 150 breast cancer cases and meta-analyses. Table note: Relative risk above 1 indicates increased risk. Relative risk below 1 indicates decreased risk.
Study Population(number of participants)
Type ofEMF Exposure
Relative Risk of Breast Cancer in Women Regularly Exposed to EMF Compared to Women Not Regularly Exposed, RR (95% CI)
Prospective cohort studies
Guenel et al. 
730,547 (3,122 cases)
Verkasalo et al. 
Home exposure(living near power lines)
Laden et al. 
Home exposure (electric blanket use)
Johansen et al. 
Nested case-control studies
Forssén et al. 
Kliukiene et al. 
Home exposure (living near power lines)
Work-related exposure(multiple sources)
Ray et al. 
Long-term work-related exposure
London et al. 
Long-term home exposure (home wiring and living near power lines)
Breast Cancer on Long Island Study 
Long-term home exposure (multiple sources)
Chen et al. 
15 studies (24,338 cases)
Home and work-related exposure
Total exposure: 0.99 (0.90-1.09)¶
Home exposure: 1.02 (0.92-1.12)
Work-related exposure: 0.93 (0.80-1.10)
† The average rate of breast cancer in the working population was used as the comparison group.
‡ The average rate of breast cancer in the general population was used as the comparison group.
§ Findings also showed no increased risk of breast cancer from EMF exposure when examined by age groups (older and younger women) or by the hormone receptor status of the breast cancers.
¶ Findings also showed no increased breast cancer risk from electric blanket use. There was also no increased risk from EMF exposure when results were examined by menopause status of women or by the hormone receptor status of the breast cancers.
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