Childhood leukaemia risk doubles within 100 metres of high voltage power lines
Category: Cancer / Oncology News
Article Date: 15 Sep 2004 - 9:00am (PDT)
The biggest ever publicly funded UK study into power lines and child cancer has found that children under the age of 15 living within 100 metres of high-voltage power lines have close to twice the risk of developing leukaemia. Children aged 0-5 are the most vulnerable so their risk is likely to be even higher. This result from the OXFORD CHILDHOOD CANCER RESEARCH GROUP study, headed by Gerald Draper, analysed and compared 33 years of data (from1962 to1995) on 35,000 children diagnosed with cancer, with their distance to the nearest electricity transmission line.
We have learned that "preliminary results" of the latest Draper study, funded to run from 1997-2001 were known as long as 3 years ago and were formally shown confidentially to the U.K. Department of Health in May 2003, but to date has not as yet been entrusted to the public. We of the Trentham Environmental Action Campaign, an independent
research and activist group, believe it to be absolutely scandalous that 3 years after telling the Department of Health of these latest U.K. findings, it is only as a consequence of our intervention that we are now able to make these findings public.
There appears to have been a determination to withhold the Draper Report for as long as possible.
Our campaign group has been in constant contact with the Government, Mr George Hooker at the Department of Health and the National Radiological Protection Board [NRPB]. We have also been deeply disappointed in the organisations' continuing denial of the problem despite their knowing about these new study results. The NRPB already acknowledges that there is international consensus on the fact that the incidence of childhood leukaemia is doubled at a magnetic field of 0.4 microtesla, which is exceeded under most powerlines.
They said "In the light of these findings (the association between exposure to magnetic fields and childhood leukaemia) and the requirement for additional research, the need for further precautionary measures should be considered by government".
Electromagnetic fields from powerlines are also linked to adult cancers, depression and suicide. Our Trentham group carried out a local survey which produced extremely worrying results., Depression, miscarriages, headaches, insomnia were much more common in the people who lived near the powerline, compared with those who lived further away. Some of these health problems were also found in the important California Health Department report of 2002.
Only 50 years ago developing childhood leukaemia was an almost certain death sentence. Due to dramatic improvements in treatment, about 80% of children who suffer from the most common form of childhood leukaemia now live for more than 5 years after treatment, but childhood leukaemia remains the largest child killer disease. The
number of children developing leukaemia has been steadily growing over the last 50 years. In 2001, Dr Sam Milham reported a link between the growth in electricity supply and the growth in leukaemia incidence in the USA.
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews, 05/08/2006 (edited)
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