Power Lines-Leukemia Debate Lingers

British Medical Journal reports that researchers found that children living within 200 meters of high-voltage power lines at birth were at a 70 percent increased risk of leukemia compared with those who lived beyond 600 meters.

Published: 03-Jun-2005

the past 26 years, there has been an ongoing debate as to whether living under or near high-voltage power lines increases the risk for childhood leukemia.

Now a new, large British study finds a slight increased risk, but not necessarily due to power lines themselves.

"We found that there was a slight increase in leukemia within 200 meters of one of these power lines. And an even slighter increase within 600 meters," said lead researcher Gerald Draper, an Honorary Senior Research Fellow from the Childhood Cancer Research Group at the University of Oxford.

However, he said, this increase "cannot be a direct effect of magnetic fields. Our finding doesn't fit in with even the small amount of evidence that magnetic fields can cause childhood leukemia."

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