Some epidemiologic studies have suggested that extremely low frequency magnetic fields might affect human health and, in particular, that the incidence of certain types of cancer might increase among individuals living or working in environments exposed to such fields. This study is part of a broad study we conducted in humans. The study presented here was designed to look for possible effects of acute exposure to 50-Hz magnetic fields (10 muT) on the interleukin 1 beta (IL-1beta), interleukin 2 (IL-2), interleukin 6 (IL-6), interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA), and the interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2R) production. Thirty-two young men (20-30 years old) were divided into two groups (sham-exposed or control group and exposed group) of 16 subjects each. All subjects participated in two 24-h experiments to evaluate the effects of both continuous and intermittent (1 h "off" and 1 h "on" with the field switched "on" and "off" every 15 s) exposure to linearly polarized magnetic fields. The subjects were exposed to the magnetic field from 2300 to 0800 while recumbent. Blood samples were collected during each session at 11:00, 17:00, 22:00, 01:00, 04:00, 06:00, and 08:00. Results showed that exposure to 50-Hz magnetic fields (10 muT) significantly increases IL-6 when subjects were exposed to an intermittent magnetic field. However, no effect has been observed on interleukin IL-1beta, IL-2, IL-1RA, and IL-2R.