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BMJ. 1993 Oct 9;307(6909):895-9.

Risk of cancer in Finnish children living close to power lines.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Finland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the risk of cancer in children living close to overhead power lines with magnetic fields of > or = 0.01 microteslas (microT).

DESIGN:

Cohort study.

SETTING:

The whole of Finland.

SUBJECTS:

68,300 boys and 66,500 girls aged 0-19 years living during 1970-89 within 500 m of overhead power lines of 110-400 kV in magnetic fields calculated to be > or = 0.01 microT. Subjects were identified by record linkages of nationwide registers.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Numbers of observed cases in follow up for cancer and standardised incidence ratios for all cancers and particularly for nervous system tumours, leukaemia, and lymphoma.

RESULTS:

In the whole cohort 140 cases of cancer were observed (145 expected; standardised incidence ratio 0.97, 95% confidence interval 0.81 to 1.1). No statistically significant increases in all cancers and in leukaemia and lymphoma were found in children at any exposure level. A statistically significant excess of nervous system tumours was found in boys (but not in girls) who were exposed to magnetic fields of > or = 0.20 microT or cumulative exposure of > or = 0.40 microT years.

CONCLUSIONS:

Residentia magnetic fields of transmission power lines do not constitute a major public health problem regarding childhood cancer. The small numbers do not allow further conclusions about the risk of cancer in stronger magnetic fields.

PMID:
8241851
PMCID:
PMC1679080
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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