Extra Low Frequency
Power Lines!
Power Line Proximity is the Key!!


8 January 2000

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 8 Jan 2000 16:02:40 -0600 (CST)
From: "Roy L. Beavers" <rbeavers@llion.org>
To: emfguru <rbeavers@llion.org>
Subject: Power line proximity is the key!! ... says Official
Bristol University update for EMF-L (Philips)..

Hi everybody:

This is a most important message......!!

......Guru thanks Bristol University and Alasdair Philips for the following:  an update concerning the recent U.K. study.....  It needs to be carefully read, fully understood -- and widely circulated!!!

I quote a paragraph from the report below, for emphasis:

"The UKCCS (U.K. Powerline childhood cancer study) confirms the previous findings of other studies that some feature of powerlines other than the magnetic fields is responsible for the association with childhood cancer."

This confirms how badly "the press" screwed-up -- yes "screwed-up" -- the original stories which were published some weeks ago ... at the time of the release of the study results......  (Hope our press friends on this list will get busy and set the record straight.)

It is now being made clear -- again -- that proximity to the power lines is the key ... NOT the 'magnetic field'!!!

That could mean that Professor Henshaw's aerosols (contaminants suspended in the air) are to blame (guru's first choice!) ... or it could mean that one of the other metrics (electrical field, transients, etc.) are to blame......  In any event, the risk factor appears to be the proximity to power lines.

Don't let that FACT -- again -- be distorted, obfuscated or lied about by the power companies!!!


Roy Beavers (EMFguru)

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

People are more important than profits!!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2000 14:57:20
From: Alasdair Philips <aphilips@gn.apc.org>
To: emfguru <rbeavers@llion.org>
Subject: Power line proximity is the key!! ... says Official
Bristol University update for EMF-L (Philips)..


One important clarification to the following.  UKCCS only cleared magnetic fields as not being a causal factor in UK childhood cancer. ~ Fields over here are less than a half of those in the USA and Canada. They hardly found any cases or controls above 0.2 uT (or 2 mG) which is the suggested threshold where magnetic field effects might start to occur.

The UKCCS tells us nothing useful about whether 3mG or above magnetic fields will increase the incidence of childhood cancer.

I should have made this clear. Please circulate this extra message. It has not put power-frequency magnetic fields entirely in the clear!

Thanks. Alasdair

[.......Guru fully concurs with Alasdair's qualifying statement above.  It is important to a proper understanding of the following......guru.....]

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 08 Jan 2000 19:36:35
From: Alasdair Philips <aphilips@gn.apc.org>
To: "Roy L. Beavers" <rbeavers@llion.org>
Subject: Official Bristol University update for EMF-L

The UK Childhood Cancer Study: The Lancet Vol. 354, p1925-1931, 1999. Childhood Cancer and High-voltage Powerlines

There is some confusion as to the nature of the findings of the UK Childhood Cancer Study, UKCCS(1) with regard to proximity to high voltage powerlines.

The study actually finds increased childhood cancer in relation to proximity to high voltage powerlines.

Both the UK Co-ordinating Committee on Cancer Research, UKCCCR (2.Dec.99) and the Electricity Association press release (1.Dec.99 !) led with the similar headline "Major study finds no link between overhead power cables and childhood cancer."

This, however, is contrary to the finding reported in the paper.

*       *       *       *       *

On page 1930 para 4 line 8, the paper states "More cases than controls were included through their proximity to high-voltage powerlines (p =0.04, table 5)."

In table 5 (on page 1929) 31 cases were found near high-voltage powerlines against 17 controls, an odds ratio of 1.82.

This is statistically significant at the 95% confidence level (p = 0.04).

[...... Comment inserted by Alasdair Philips: In fact, there are many more cases and controls within 200 metres of HV power lines for which the electricity companies have so far NOT responded with load data. The whole analysis should be published within the next few months, but is believed to confirm the fact that more leukemia cases lived closer to lines than healthly control children...... ]

The caption to table 5 reads "Estimated exposure before and after adjustment for historical line-load data, among those with relevant external-source questionnaires."  This means those cases and controls near high-voltage powerlines for which the electricity companies have responded with data.

There are considerably more cases and controls living near high voltage powerlines for which the UKCCS has distance data for which the electricity companies have not yet replied with line-load data.  Therefore, although more data may become available, the key finding now is of increased childhood cancer in children living near high voltage powerlines. (132 kV and above ~ in fact MAINLY 132 kV as very few lived near higher voltage lines!).

Within the resolving power of the study, no association with magnetic fields was found, despite the association with proximity to powerlines. This is in agreement with the 1996 US National Academy of Sciences – National Research Council(2) meta-analysis of various studies, which shows that the association of childhood cancer with distance to powerlines is stronger than that of either measured or calculated magnetic fields.

Indeed, Dr Charles Stevens, the NAS-NRC Panel Chairman, stated on National Public Radio(3) on 10th November 1996: "There is a statistical association between living near a power line and an increased incidence of childhood leukaemia. That’s for sure. The question is what caused that association." The  UKCCS confirms the previous findings of other studies that some feature of powerlines other than the magnetic fields is responsible for the association with childhood cancer.

It is not clear why the incomplete Table 5 was included in the Lancet paper but, as it was, this important initial confirmation of the NAS-NRC meta-analysis – of increased childhood cancer with proximity to powerlines - should have been highlighted.

The two recent publications from Bristol University(4,5) address the question of whether electric fields from powerlines are responsible for the observed association between childhood cancer and proximity to powerlines. Both papers demonstrate the increased exposure to airborne pollution under and near powerlines.

Such pollution, both chemical and radioactive, is accepted as being linked to childhood leukaemia.  In particular, the paper on corona ions shows effects on average 200 metres from powerlines, although in two cases effects up to 500 metres away were seen.  The Bristol researchers propose that increased exposure to this pollution near powerlines may account for the observed increase in childhood leukaemia near powerlines, now also seen in the UK Childhood Cancer Study.

see   http://www.electric-fields.bris.ac.uk/


1.  N Day, lead author of UK Childhood Cancer Investigators, Exposure to power-frequency magnetic fields and the risk of childhood cancer.  The Lancet, Vol. 354, 1925-1931, 1999.

2.  National Academy of Sciences & National Research Council  Possible Health Effects of Exposure to Residential Electric and Magnetic Fields. National Academy Press (Washington DC), 1997  .

3.   Quoted in Microwave News, Vol XVI No.6, November/December 1996.

4.  A P Fews, D L Henshaw, R J Wilding and P A Keitch, Corona ions from powerlines and increased exposure to pollutant aerosols. International Journal of Radiation Biology, Vol. 75, no. 12, 1523-1531, 1999.

5.  A P Fews, D L Henshaw, P A Keitch, J J Close and R J Wilding: Increased exposure to pollutant aerosols under high voltage powerlines. International Journal of Radiation Biology, Vol. 75, no. 12, 1505-1521, 1999.

Professor D L Henshaw, H H Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, BS8 1TL, UK, December 1999.     <V2 Jan 2000>

Alasdair Philips,   BSc(Eng), DAgE, MIAgE
Director, UK Powerwatch, (aphilips@gn.apc.org)
EMC Engineer and EMF-bioeffects researcher

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