Re: power line risk corroborated

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Thu Mar 08 2001 - 16:12:02 MST

Damien Broderick wrote:
> For years I've denounced superstitious idiots for their belief that people
> living near major power lines must be getting injured by the `radiation'. I
> was chagrined last night to learn on the news that a new British medical
> report headed by a notable scientist finds that the incidence of childhood
> leukemia *does* rise in the vicinity of those lines.

There was, if I remember, a quite long court battle and many, many
studies that disproved precisely this contention in the US a while

> So far I haven't found this reported on line in the NYT or the Age, but the
> 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.

Then any source of ionization including natural ones would have the same
effect. I find it difficult to credit that this creates any serious
health risk worth mentioning in any but the sensational press.
- samantha

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