Child Leukemia Again Linked to Power Lines
Study: Slight Tendency for Kids With Leukemia to Live Near Power Lines
Power Lines and Infections
Dickinson suggests that the Draper team's findings are real. But she thinks
that living near power lines is linked to something else -- something that
really does increase a child's leukemia risk.
"We know the rate of leukemia varies by a factor of two or three between
isolated rural areas," Dickinson says. "And this is related to an
influx of population that can change pattern of the infections to which a child
Sudden exposure of once-isolated children to a lot of new childhood
diseases, Dickinson suggests, may be linked to leukemia risk. She suggests that
this may be a "confounding factor" in the Draper team's findings.
But even if living near power lines does raise a child's risk of leukemia,
Dickinson notes that the risk is small.
"A 70% increase in leukemia means that the 1 in 2,000 risk of leukemia
becomes a 1 in 1,200 risk," she says. "In the U.K., this means that
five extra children might get leukemia. We need to keep this in perspective --
look at the thousands of children hurt in road accidents each year."