Simon Studholme died in June 1992, aged 13, of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which his parents allege was caused by the high levels of EMFs in his bedroom at their home near Bolton, Lancashire. They are suing the local power company, NORWEB, who deny liability.
EMF consultant Roger Coghill measured the average magnetic fields in Simon's bedroom continually over three and a half days during February 1993 as 1,200 nT four times the level at which Feychting and Ahlbom observed a fourfold increase in childhood leukemia. Simon is estimated to have spent some 6,000 hours in his bedroom.Spot measurements were even higher, with a reading of 3,900 nT recorded on the bedroom wall nearest the electricity meter. Such observations emphasize the importance of assessing the contribution of different sources in as well as from power lines. In the Studholmes' case, this is complicated by the fact that there was both an electricity meter and an alarm system on the other side of the bedroom wall against which the head of the bed was placed, as well as a substation next door. "This means that it is not just the large overhead pylons that may cause us problems," says Alasdair Philips, another EMF consultant.