1. Joy, Subhashni D. Singh


According to this study:


* Living close to power lines (regardless of voltage) at the time of birth did not increase the risk of childhood leukemia.



Article Content

In 2005, researchers published an article demonstrating a relationship between childhood leukemia risk and the distance of the mother's residence from overhead power lines at the time of delivery, based on data collected between 1962 and 1995 in the United Kingdom. They have now expanded on that research.


The authors used data from the UK National Registry of Childhood Tumours to identify children who were younger than 15 years between 1962 and 2008 and were diagnosed with cancer, and matched them to control subjects according to sex, district, and date of birth. A total of 53,515 children with a cancer diagnosis were matched to 66,204 controls. They used data supplied by the National Grid to determine the distance from the mother's residence to overhead power lines at the time of delivery. The authors focused their analyses solely on leukemia, adjusting for socioeconomic factors.


The data showed no aggregate correlation between distance to 400/275-kV power lines and leukemia over the 46-year period, but there was some evidence of increased risk in those living within 600 meters between 1962 and 1979. That risk declined in subsequent years and eventually disappeared. Similarly, no association was seen with 132-kV power lines, although a nonsignificant increase in risk was seen in those living within 200 meters, which disappeared over time as well.


The study authors believe that the excess risk prevalent in earlier decades was most likely due to the changing characteristics of the populations living near the power lines and not a physical effect of residing close to them.




Bunch KJ, et al. Br J Cancer. 2014;110(5):1402-8