A few years ago there was some publicity about the health risks of living close to large electro-magnetic fields (emf’s), such as power stations, high voltage electrical cables and so on.  Then it seemed to die down – those who lived close to them didn’t seem to be in  any worse health than anyone else (when matched for age, socio-economic status and so on).

There has now been a study published by Australian researchers at the University of Tasmania on the long-term risks of exposure to high-voltage power lines in childhood.

The study was conducted by Professor Ray Lowenthal, from the University of Tasmania School of Medicine, and others.

The finding most remarkable to me is that: if someone lived within 300 metres of a powerline up to the age of five then they were five times more likely to develop some forms of cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma).

However, it seems that less exposure and exposure at later ages is also a risk.  If someone lived within 300 metres of a powerline up to the age of 15 they were three times more likely to develop cancer as an adult; and for each year lived within 50 metres of a powerline, the risk of cancer increased by 7 per cent.

These are extraordinary findings.  And how the powerlines affect our risk of cancer (if that is what is going on) is unknown.  So we can’t say that ‘high-voltage causes cancer’.  There is a lot of work to be done before statements like this could be made.  But there is more than enough evidence for us to be cautious.

How much does a study like this influence you? Would how close powerlines are influence whether you purchased a house for instance?

Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>