Source: The Mercury, Friday, 13 October, 1995, p.9
By MARY ROSE THE results of a Tasmanian study into exposure to Hydro- Electric Commission trans- mission lines and leukaemia and similar cancers are expected to be available by the middle of next year. Royal Hobart Hospital cancer specialist Ray Lowenthal, who was in charge of the study, said Tasmania was ideal for such research because it had a stable population. "We are looking at the hypoth- esis that if you live close to power lines, you have an in- creased risk of developing leu- kaemia and Lymphoma," he said. The study has looked at 855 people diagnosed with leu- kaemia, Lymphoma and similar cancers in Tasmania from 1972 to 1980. It also studied 855 other people, matched by age and sex, to compare with the cancer patients. The study looked at where the subjects had lived in their lives and their proximity to Hydro-Electric Commission transmission lines of 88,000 volts or more. Nearly 10,000 addresses have been checked for the study. Professor Lowenthal, the hos- pital's director of medical on- cology, said the results of the study were nearly ready to be analysed. "I honestly don't know what to expect," he said. "There have been lots of differ- ent results from different studies around the world. "More studies have produced a negative result, shown no link (between cancers and trans- mission lines), than positive. "I think the jury's still out." The study began nearly three years ago. * The HEC has offered the Greens a special briefing on the electric and magnetic field (EMF) issue. Tasmanian Greens Denison MHA Peg Putt had called for the Hydro to make public infor- mation it had on any risk to people's health from EMF radi- ation from power lines and household appliances. She welcomed news of the briefing and said it would be good to get first-hand infor- mation on the issue. The Hydro's acting chief executive Gary Baker said a meeting could be set up with the assistant director and manager of the Electricity Supply Associ- ation of Australia's EMF advis- ory group, Michael Dolan. The meeting could be held in early November, following Mr Dolan's return from a trip to the United States for conferences on the latest information available on the issue.
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