Source: The Mercury, Thursday, 9 November, 1995, p.9
By MATTHEW DENHOLM in Canberra A STATISTICAL link exists between living close to powerlines and child leu- kaemia, a Senate inquiry heard yesterday. United States electro magnetic fields expert Richard Luben made the claim, calling for more research before the New South Wales to Queensland powerline is approved. "There is some statistical correlation between proximity to powerlines and leukaemia in children," Dr Luben told the Senate inquiry into the Eastlink powerline project. "There have also been some studies in recent years which [make it] look like there is a weak correlation with breast cancer and possibly other tu- mours." However, Dr Luben's evi- dence was rejected by a US child cancer expert, who told the inquiry such a link had never been proved. The Senate Economics Ref- erences Committee is investigating the health social, environmental and economic impact of the pro posed 400-kilometre high volt- age Eastlink powerline. Dr Luben, brought to Aust- ralia by groups concerned about electro-magnetic fields urged governments to be pru- dent about exposure to powerlines and mobile tele- phone towers. "Maybe we shouldn't make any big decisions that are irrecoverable until we know what the facts are," he said. An associate professor of biomedical sciences and bio- chemistry at the University of California, Dr Luben said Swedish studies suggested it was unsafe for houses to be within 50 to 100 metres of high voltage powerlines. However, child cancer ex- pert Mark Israel, also from the University of California said there was no cause for concern. "The claimed associations between childhood cancer and EMF are not strong and not consistent," he said.
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