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Tuesday, 14 November, 2000, 13:59 GMT
Electricity 'does not cause child cancer'
Pylons BBC
Power lines: No cancer risk
UK researchers say electrical power supplies are not linked to childhood cancer.

The UK Childhood Cancer Survey has looked at the effect of living close to all kinds of electrical supply equipment, not just overhead power lines.

It found no association between living close to underground cables, electrical substations and high-voltage lines and the development of cancers such as leukaemia.

The study reinforces research published by the group a year ago which provided evidence that electromagnetic fields are not a cancer risk.

The latest work involved collecting information about magnetic field exposure from 3,380 children with cancer and 3,390 healthy children.

No evidence of risk

Writing in the British Journal of Cancer, the researchers concluded that "there is no evidence that either proximity to electrical installations or the magnetic field levels they produce in the UK is associated with increased risk of childhood leukaemia or any other cancer."


This study provides further firm evidence that exposure to the levels of magnetic fields found in the UK does not increase the risk of leukaemia, or other childhood cancer

Dr John Toy, Imperial Cancer Research Fund
Previous work in Bristol had suggested that power lines concentrate the levels of carcinogenic pollution in the atmosphere.

But Dr John Toy, medical director at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, said he hoped the latest research would allay the fears of concerned parents living near electrical power lines, either overhead or underground.

"Childhood cancer is a very distressing disease and, despite the improving survival rates, it is imperative that we discover the root causes," he said.

"This study provides further firm evidence that exposure to the levels of magnetic fields found in the UK does not increase the risk of leukaemia, or other childhood cancer."

More than 400 children in the UK are diagnosed with leukaemia each year and around 300 with a brain tumour. However, new treatments mean that seven out of 10 children now survive cancer.

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21 Sep 00 | Sci/Tech
Cancer rise linked to power lines
02 Dec 99 | Health
Pylons 'treble cancer particles'
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