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Proximity to power lines feared to increase child leukaemia risk
www.chinaview.cn 2005-06-03 10:09:53

A new study has found that children who live within 200 metres of the overhead electricity cables have a 70 percent increased risk of developing leukaemia.
A new study has found that children who live close to the overhead electricity cables have higher risk of developing leukaemia.
    BEIJING, June 3 -- A new study has found that children who live within 200 metres of the overhead electricity cables have a 70 percent increased risk of developing leukaemia.

    There was also an effect on children living between 200 and 600 metres from the power lines who had a 23 percent increased risk of leukaemia.

    However, the researchers, led by Gerald Draper of the Childhood Cancer Research Group at the University of Oxford, were unable to offer any explanation for their findings.

    "We don't think this is a direct effect of the magnetic field at 200 to 600 metres. There might be some other indirect, remote mechanism that we don't understand and we can't measure. Or the findings might be due to chance," a report posted on The Independent Web site quoted Dr Draper as saying.

    There were no grounds for taking any action such as moving house on the basis of their results, according to Dr Draper. The study, launched in 1997, was incomplete because the researchers had not measured the size of the magnetic field generated by the power lines and compared it with that from other sources, he said.

    The study, involving almost 10,000 cases over 33 years, found the effect was small but statistically significant. The result appears in Friday's British Medical Journal. Enditem

    (Agencies)

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