Re: power line risk corroborated

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Mon Mar 05 2001 - 19:55:19 MST

At 11:10am +1100 3/6/01, Damien Broderick wrote:
>gist seemed to be that this rise is marginal. It's hypothesized to be due
>to microscopic pollutants being ionized by high density fields on the lines
>and thereby rendered more carcinogenic (or maybe more `sticky'). That is,
>the fields themselves do not directly exert a mysterious malign influence,
>which is doubtless what most opponents suppose. Moreover, since this
>new-found effect is so marginal, it's rather hard to see how opponents
>could have known previously that it existed; that is, they presumably
>reached the correct conclusion on the basis of an unsupported superstition.

Actually, I have to disagree. Reports I have heard against power
lines were actually based on statistics that indicated a higher
incidence of disease in the area of power lines. The problem was
that no direct cause and effect had been determined. Living near
power lines also corresponded with bigger cities, more pollution,
utility companies nearby, etc. It was so hard to prove, that the
link was dismissed.

This is similar to reported problems with Olestra, Aspertame,
cell-phones, global warming, violence on TV, etc. Some early
statistics seem to indicate that there might be a problem, but no
direct cause can be detected. Eventually, some of these might also
be proven to be problems. At that time we will wonder why we didn't
see it before, and assume that the early complainers must have been
"superstitious" to predict the problems before it was scientifically

Harvey Newstrom <>

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:59:39 MDT