Report links power lines to cancer

August 24, 2007

An Australian study says living next to high-voltage power lines increases the risk of cancer.

Researchers from the University of Tasmania and Britain's Bristol University looked at a database of 850 patients in Tasmania diagnosed with lymphatic and bone marrow cancers between 1972 and 1980, and found that living for a prolonged period near high-voltage power lines may increase the risk of leukemia, lymphoma and related conditions later in life.

Those who lived within 328 yards of a power line up to age 5 were five times more likely to develop cancer, while those who lived that close to a power line at any point during their first 15 years were three times more likely to develop cancer as an adult, the newspaper said.

The study was published in the Internal Medicine Journal.

"The evidence of detrimental long-term health effects is far from conclusive, and international guidelines for limiting exposure to EMF are based on possible short-term effects rather than longer-term disease risks such as cancer," said Ray Lowenthal, a professor at the University of Tasmania.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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