Childhood leukemia may be caused by the mother's exposure to electromagnetic fields while she was pregnant.
Scientists are beginning to suspect that prolonged exposure to background electromagnetic fields, produced by electrical objects, could be to blame.
Researchers from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, had suspected organic dust and synthetic fibres as the cause of the higher-than-average incidents of leukemia in children born to a group of mothers in Spain.
But more recent research discovered that home sewing machines seemed to generate very high levels of electromagnetic field. Measured in microteslas, a sewing machine operator is exposed to 6.47 microteslas for six hours, compared to electric power line and cable workers, whose exposure measured just 2.36 microteslas.
The McGill University researchers decided to re-examine their findings and discovered that many of the mothers they studied worked on sewing machines. The women's risk factor was 5.78 times greater than average of having a child who developed leukemia (The Lancet, July 15, 1995).