Epidemiological data have not demonstrated conclusively that there exists an association between exposure to power-line frequency electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) and cancer. Some laboratory studies performed to investigate possible mechanisms for such an association reported biological effects of EMF exposure, but attempts to confirm some such reports have had mixed success. The most publicized experiments in this regard were studies on the purported EMF-induced increase in MYC expression in HL60 cells. To address the accuracy and reproducibility of this effect, HL60 cells were exposed to 6-μT 60 Hz magnetic fields, and MYC expression was measured. Assay methods and exposure conditions were as close as practical to those of the investigators that originally reported a positive effect. A chemical agent was used to demonstrate that the cells were responsive to a known stimulus and that the experimental system was sufficiently sensitive to detect such a stimulus. The experimental system had sufficiently low basal variability to allow the detection of effects of the magnitude that had been reported previously. Using either cells from a commercial source or cells supplied by the original investigators, no evidence was obtained to support the hypothesis that EMF exposure could induce MYC expression.

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