Studies of Health Hazards from EMFs in Power Lines Hardly “Inconclusive”

PSE somehow missed this news from 12 years ago concerning another compelling reason not to have 230kV power lines above ground, running through dense residential neighborhoods:
“The California EMF Project Findings

“In 2002, the California Department of Health Services concluded its eight-year study on EMFs.  They found that:

  • EMFs likely cause childhood and adult leukemia, adult brain cancer, spontaneous abortions and ALS.
  • EMFs possibly cause childhood brain cancer, female and male breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, suicide, and heart problems.
  • EMFs are unlikely to universally impact all types of cancer or reproductive failures other than spontaneous abortions.
  • There is insufficient information to determine if magnetic fields cause clinical depression.
  • EMFs at low intensities have profound effects on selective animal organisms.
  • The report finds that, with respect to the diseases possibly or likely caused by EMF “even a slight additional lifetime risk could be of concern to regulators, who already regulate other environmental concerns that convey even lower risks.”
    There is this, too, from the same article:
    Excerpt From CNN Lou Dobbs Moneyline.  Aired on August 15, 2002.

    Transcript of CNN coverage on The California Health Department’s report on EMF risks.  The study took eight years and the authors “are inclined to believe that power line radiation increases the risk for childhood leukemia, adult brain cancer, Lou Gehrig’s disease and miscarriages.”

    The report lists health risk odds as well.  They found a 54% to 95% greater chance of childhood leukemia; 51% to 80% greater risk of adult brain cancer; 51% to 59% greater chance of miscarriage; and 52% to 55% greater risk of Lou Gehrig’s disease.

    Moneyline conducted a poll that night on whether or not their viewers think there are health risks associated with living near power lines.  71% said yes and 29% said no.

    “Policy Options in the Face of Possible Risk from Power Frequency Electric and Magnetic Fields” by the California EMF Program (division of the California Department of Health Services).  Presented in June 2002.

    The article does say in its first paragraph what we often hear from PSE about scientific research regarding EMFs: that it is “inconclusive.” That doesn’t seem to be the take of a major State’s Health Department with only the public’s interest at heart, given the specific risks and their statistical probability reported above.
    Should we be PSE’s guinea pigs until the research some day becomes “conclusive” and those doctors at The California Health Department somehow had it all wrong?

More studies where a causal link to EMFs was found:

‘In 2001, Ahlbom et al. conducted a review into EMFs and Health, and found that there was a doubling in childhood leukemia for magnetic fields of over 0.4 µT, but said that it “… may be partly due to bias. This is difficult to interpret in the absence of a known mechanism or reproducible experimental support.”[39]

“In 2002 a study by Michelozzi et al. found a relationship between leukemia and proximity to the Vatican Radio station transmitters although “the study has limitations because of the small number of cases and the lack of exposure data.”[40]

“In 2005 Draper et al. found a 70% increase in childhood leukemia for those living within 200 metres (656 ft) of an overhead transmission line, and a 23% increase for those living between 200 and 600 metres (656 and 1,969 ft). The authors concluded that “the relation may be due to chance or confounding.” The authors considered it unlikely that the increase from 200 m to 600 m is related to magnetic fields as they are well below 0.4 µT at this distance.[41] Bristol University (UK) has published work on a theory that could account for this increase, and would also provide a potential mechanism, being that the electric fields around power lines attract aerosol pollutants.



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