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FYI" Powerline Epidemiology Study

  • Subject: [cg] FYI" Powerline Epidemiology Study
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2003 10:26:06 EDT


I know that there has been discussion about community and food gardening 
under powerlines on this listserve.  Most of us think it's unwise, citing exposure 
to microwave radiation, etc.  as a health hazzard.  Now, while I wouldn't 
choose to garden under a powerline nor have kids or pregnant ladies near them for 
any length of time,  there has been a new study reported in the press that we 
should be aware of, because the "it's safe" folks will probably be citing it. 
More information on the study: 
<A HREF="http://epi.grants.cancer.gov/LIBCSP";>Powerline Breast Cancer Study

Best wishes,
Adam Honigman

Power Line-Breast Cancer Link Questioned

.c The Associated Press 

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (AP) - A study that sought to explain the high rate of 
breast cancer on Long Island found no evidence to support fears that living near 
power lines causes the disease.

Researchers called the findings reassuring and said the study suggested they 
could rule out electromagnetic fields and focus on other risk factors for 
breast cancer, which strikes 200,000 women each year in the United States.

``All around, it is good news,'' said Dr. M. Cristina Leske, the lead 
researcher on the study, which is to be announced Wednesday and will appear in the 
July 1 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Exposure to invisible electromagnetic fields is nearly unavoidable in today's 
society. They are created wherever electricity is generated or used - near 
power lines and wiring, electrical equipment and appliances.

Stony Brook University launched the study in 1996, after earlier studies 
indicated a possible connection between electromagnetic fields and cancer. 
Researchers believed at the time that the fields might hamper production of the 
estrogen-related hormone melatonin.

The study examined 1,161 women on Long Island - 576 who had breast cancer and 
585 who did not. Researchers took spot and 24-hour measurements of magnetic 
fields in often-used rooms in their houses, such as bedrooms and living rooms, 
and the study mapped the power lines surrounding each home.

They found no association between exposure to electromagnetic fields and 
breast cancer.

A previous study conducted in Seattle reached the same conclusion. But Stony 
Brook researchers included only women who had lived in their current home for 
15 years - a better measure of the risk of long-term exposure.

The annual breast cancer case rate is about 115 per 100,000 women in Nassau 
County and about 118 per 100,000 in Suffolk County - the two counties that make 
up Long Island.

The national rate is about 104 per 100,000.

Suspicions that environmental factors - even something in the water - are 
behind ``clusters'' of high breast cancer rates have led to anti-cancer fund 
drives and public awareness campaigns.

But some scientists say the clusters have more to do with the people, not 
their surroundings. Studies have suggested breast cancer is more likely to strike 
women who have children late in life or take hormone supplements.

Major studies have failed to turn up significant links to environmental 
factors. A recent $8 million, seven-year National Center Institute study looked for 
pesticides in the blood and urine of people on Long Island and found no 
breast cancer link.

Geri Barish, president of One in Nine, a Long Island breast cancer advocacy 
group, said she was not surprised by the study's findings. But she said further 
studies should be conducted on the subject.

``I don't think anyone should be satisfied,'' she said. ``I think we need to 
push on.''

On the Net:

More information on the study: http://epi.grants.cancer.gov/LIBCSP 

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