Source: The Mercury, 10 March, 2001, p.19


Powerlines danger to children's health

 


 
   Many will be aware of the new 
powerline/cancer report by Sir 
Richard Doll, chairman of the 
British advisory group on non- 
ionizing radiation. 
 
   This report acknowledges that 
children living near powerlines have 
a "a smal1 but significant" increased 
risk of falling victim to 
childhood leukemia where exposed to 
a magnetic field of 4 mG (milliGauss) 
and more.  
 
   This report was an analysis of 
results of previous powerline studies.  
 
   Media reporting of the Doll riport 
gives the impression that this is a 
major  scientific breakthrough. For 
instance, the British Sunday 
Times, which broke the report on 
March 4, armounced that, "High 
voltage power ¢ables have been 
officially linked to cancer for the 
first time". 
 
   Well, is it really7' 
 
   In September last year, an 
international team of the world's 
leading epidemiologEsts, published 
a paper in the British Journal of 
Cancer on their review of the 
research literature from eight 
European countries. 
 
  They concluded that children 
exposed to powerline magnetic 
fields of 4 mG or more were twice as 
likely to develop leukemia. 
 
   In January this year a major German 
study was published on the Web site 
of the International Journal of 
Cancer that found an increased risk of 
3.21 for childhood 
leukemia in children exposed to 
elevated power frequency magnetic 
fields at night-time in the order of 2 
mG and more. 
 
   An important, but largely ignored 
French hospital study was also 
published late last year that found 
that cancer was not the only possible 
adverse health outcome to consider. 
 
   Published in the European Journal 
of Internal Medicine, the researchers 
discovered a new blood condition 
they called "pseudo Iron deficiency" 
that apparently was a result of 
prolonged powerline EMF exposure. 
Associated with this condition were 
symptoms of chronic fatigue, 
headaches, insomnia (especially in 
children), hyperactivity, depression, 
nausea, dizziness and vision 
problems. 
 
   Considering the information now 
available, it is clear that this is an 
environmental health issue that 
both the regulatory authorities and 
the medical profession, especially 
those treating childhood leukemia 
patients, need to act upon. 
 
Don Maisch 
Lindisfarne


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