Danger Overhead

Two Swedish studies provide the best evidence so far of a link between electricity and cancer

CAN POWER LINES CAUSE CANCER? Numerous reports in the popular press have blared out warnings. Frightened citizens have abandoned homes located close to high-tension wires; others have gone to court to keep the lines away. The reason for the hysteria: a growing number of scientific studies suggest that the risk of leukemia and other malignancies rises with exposure to electromagnetic fields, which are generated in varying degrees by all electrical devices from high-voltage power lines to hair dryers.

Until now the studies have been ambiguous. Some have found an association with brain cancer but not leukemia in children. Others have detected...

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