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Childhood cancer in relation to distance from high voltage power lines in England and Wales: a case-control study
Detail: On the 4th June 2005, The British Medical Journal published a study by:

Gerald Draper, honorary senior research fellow, Tim Vincent, research officer, Mary E Kroll, statistician1, John Swanson, scientific adviser; Childhood Cancer Research Group, University of Oxford, Oxford OX2 6HJ; National Grid Transco plc, London WC2N 5EH

Quoting from the abstract:

The objective was "to determine whether there is an association between distance of home address at birth from high voltage power lines and the incidence of leukaemia and other cancers in children in England and Wales."

Conclusions: "There is an association between childhood leukaemia and proximity of home address at birth to high voltage power lines, and the apparent risk extends to a greater distance than would have been expected from previous studies. About 4% of children in England and Wales live within 600 m of high voltage lines at birth. If the association is causal, about 1% of childhood leukaemia in England and Wales would be attributable to these lines, though this estimate has considerable statistical uncertainty. There is no accepted biological mechanism to explain the epidemiological results; indeed, the relation may be due to chance or confounding."

There has also been considerable response to this article in letters to the editor and these responses and the full abstract are available on the listed website

Journal Reference for article: BMJ 2005;330:1290 (4 June), doi:10.1136/bmj.330.7503.1290

Date: June 4 2005