Age-dependent association of exposure to television screen with children's urinary melatonin excretion?

Roberto Salti, Roberto Tarquini, Stefano Stagi, Federico Perfetto, Germaine Cornélissen, Giacomo Laffi, Gianluigi Mazzoccoli, Franz Halberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Changes in magnetic field are associated with a decrease in nocturnal urinary melatonin excretion. Television screens emit low and very low frequency electromagnetic waves (radiofrequencies and light) and exposure to them may be associated with a decrease in 24-hour melatonin in children's urine. Design and setting. An observational study in schools of Cavriglia, Italy, determined melatonin in 24-hour urines from 42 boys and 32 girls 6 to 13 years of age after one week of watching TV and after another week of abstaining from watching TV. Results and main findings: In a gender- and age-dependent fashion, exposure to a television screen was associated with lower urinary melatonin concentrations, affecting particularly younger children at a pubertal stage when important changes in melatonin's time structure occur. Conclusion: Additional work should test further relations to growth, maturation and development, focusing on any adverse effect from exposure to a television screen also on obesity from a neuro-hormonal viewpoint, quite apart from any decreased activity and/or other lifestyle alterations associated with watching TV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalNeuroendocrinology Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006


  • Children
  • Growth
  • Magnetic field
  • Melatonin
  • Puberty
  • Television

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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