French study EMF induced(?) iron deficiency


20 January 2001
........From EMF-L.......

Many thanks to our French correspondent, Jean-Pierre Lentin, for what is, indeed, a new

It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness..


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: New French study on iron deficiency and HT lines
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 12:22:00 +0100
From: Jean-Pierre Lentin <>

Hi Roy

I just received from Dr Hachulla a copy of his short (2 pages, in the "Letters to the editor" section) but very important (in my humble opinion) paper, which appeared in the December 2000 issue of the European Journal of Internal Medicine.

I had already heard Hachulla communicate his results during a symposium on health effects of high tension lines, held last year at the Assemblee Nationale (French Congress) in Paris. I wanted to interview him for our TV documentary, but at the time he refused because the article was not published yet.

The article is :

"Pseudo-iron deficiency in a French population living near high-voltage transmission lines: a dilemma for clinicians"

by Eric Hachulla, Marie-Thérèse Caulier-Leleu, Odile Fontaine, Lofti Mehianoui, Paul Pelerin

European Journal of Internal Medicine
Volume (issue): 11 (6) 2000
(pp 351 -- 352)

As the paper is not available on-line to non-subscribers, here is my summary and comment.

Coutiches is a village near Lille, in the North of France, situated right under a big HT line (2 x 400 kV). It was a famous case in the 1990s, with lots of citizen action, media reports, court cases, some medical studies - all to no avail. No health risk was acknowledged, most inhabitants eventually left, EDF (Electricite de France, the national grid company) bought the houses, many of them are empty now...

Dr Hachulla originally got involved by "chance" in 1994-95. Working in a big hospital in Lille, he noticed that several patients who came for blood analysis had very unusual parameters - and they were all living in Coutiches under the lines. Eventually a thorough study was financed, on 15 men and 13 women, plus 31 male and 34 female controls (people also living in Coutiches but farther from the HT lines). There was repeated blood analysis, myelograms, isotopic explorations (and of course meausurements of fields levels). The results, despite individual variations, show clearly that most of the people living under the line have a "iron seudo-deficiency". I.e. they have low iron levels in the blood, but no symptoms of anemia and no decrease of ferritin, which normally goes with iron deficiency.

Conclusion : "We speculate that EMFs may modify iron metabolism in populations subjected to 0,2 microTeslas or more, with a high bone marrow incorporation of the iron (that would explain the low iron level) and a rapid utilization for the metabolism of hemoglobin, sometimes with non-incorporation of (39)Fe in the liver."

At the symposium, Dr Hachulla commented that this peculiar syndrome is unknown in medical records, and that one does not know at this point what are the consequences on health and whether this effect could be detrimental or lead to other symptoms linked with EMF. But it is apparently the first time that an "objective", measurable bio-chemical effect is clearly and unmistakably shown in people living under HT lines.

In a private conversation, Dr Hachulla also told me that he expects his results will be severely criticized by EDF-appointed experts... But he is convinced his data are very robust and will stand the future trials.

Cheers !

PS  - We still have no date for the broadcasting of the documentary, but will know very soon, maybe next week. I'm told it will be probably in March or April. I'll let you know (and send the VHS copy).

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