Cancer risk from high wires

People who live close to high voltage cables are at increased risk of developing cancer, according to two Swedish and one Danish studies.

Also in Sweden, a man who developed a brain tumour after work which exposed him to electromagnetic fields was awarded compensation for an industrial injury.

The Swedish study by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm found that children living close to power lines have an increased risk of leukaemia. It included everyone living within 300 metres from any of the 220kV and 400kV powerlines in the country. They found that the higher the magnetic field, the greater the increased risk of the disease.

The Danish Cancer Registry in Copenhagen found that children living near to powerlines were at risk from lymphoma, but detected no increase in leukaemia.

In the other Swedish study, the National Institute of Occupational Health in Solna found a link between occupational exposure to electromagnetic radiation and increased risk of leukaemia and brain tumours.