Cancer And Electro-Magnetics

This article was taken from the DALLAS TIMES HERALD

On Thursday, November 30, 1989.

Which originated from the Associated Press.

WASHINGTON – A study by a leading U.S. health scientist has

found a statistically significant link between cancer and human

exposure to electromagnetic fields from the electrical wires that

crisscross the nation.

The unpublished findings by Dr. Genevieve Matanoski of Johns

Hopkins University add to concern in the American scientific

community that health risks from power distribution lines no

longer can be ruled out.

Matanoski, a professor of epidemiology, said Wednesday that

her findings are preliminary and require further testing but that

the results had changed her view of the theory about a cancer link

to power lines.

“I thought before that the theory was wrong,” she said. “I’m

not so sure any more.”

The major conclusions from her study of 50,000 New York state

telephone workers are that there may be an increased risk of

leukemia among active workers and that incidence rates for almost

all types of cancer are highest among linemen, whose exposure to

electromagnetic fields is the highest in the telephone worker


Her study found three cases of leukemia among 4,500 linemen,

an incidence rate seven times higher than among other telephone


Matanoski also found exceptionally high rates of breast

cancer among male technicians who work on central office telephone

switching equipment. Her study found two cases of breast cancer

among 9,000 central office technicians; ordinarily the incidence

rate for males would be about one in one million, she said.

(The study apparently did not address the effects, if any, on

people who live near power lines or towers.)

Matanoski reported on her study at a technical meeting

sponsored jointly by the Energy Department and the Electric Power

Research Institute in Portland, Ore., two weeks ago. She said she

expects to publish the findings early next year.

A few days before the meeting, officials of EPRI,

representing most electric utilities, sent letter to utility

executives noting that Matanoski’s results “may attract national

attention because they suggest an increased risk of cancer.”

*** Additional article ***

This article was taken from the Dallas Times Herald

On Sunday, December 3, 1989.

Which originated from the Associated Press.

NEW YORK – Two events last week called attention to a new

headache of the technological era: the cost of reducing human

exposure to electromagnetic radiation.





On Monday, International Business Machines Corp. confirmed

that it cut radiation from its new large-computer terminals to

comply with requests from European customers.

On Wednesday, a researcher from Johns Hopkins University said

she had found a link between cancer and human exposure to

electromagnetic fields from power lines.

The twin developments highlighted public concerns about

whether electricity – the lifeblood of modern society – could be

harming the people it intended to serve.

Most of the discussion so far has focused on whether

electromagnetic radiation really is harmful and in what amounts.

But even if the early warnings turn out to be overstated, a

movement to reduce human exposure to it seems to be well under


The questions are what steps can be taken to cut exposure and

how much will they cost? The reassuring answer is that many steps

can be taken easily and cheaply. Even daunting problems may prove

easier to solve than many think.

Louis Slesin, who began putting out Microwave News in New

York City a decade ago, said the latest developments carry

conflicting messages.

On the bad side, he said, the Johns Hopkins study indicated

biological effects from alarmingly low levels of electromagnetic


But on the good side, the new IBM displays show that cutting

radiation – at least in the case show that cutting radiation – at

least in the case of video display terminals does not always have

to be expensive. An IBM official said last week that the new

displays were built about as inexpensively as the old ones.

IBM, incidentally, says it produced the new displays only to

satisfy customer demands, not because of any health concerns. So

far no other companies have followed suit.

IBM’s new terminals don’t reduce radiation at a frequency of

60 hertz (cycles per second), the frequency that has been

implicated in several medical studies, including the one at Johns


Sixty hertz radiation is emitted by all kinds of electrical

devices, from hair dryers to coffee makers to larger electricity-

powered machines.

Fortunately, early studies indicate that any danger is mainly

from long-term exposure at sufficiently close ranges. The fields

of most devices drop off sharply a few inches away, and people

don’t spend all day with them.

Likewise, the hazard of video display terminals, if any, can

be minimized by keeping an arm’s length from the screen and a

greater distance from neighboring terminals.

There may even be relatively inexpensive ways to deal with

power lines, both the long-distance transmission lines and the

high-current distribution lines that go straight into populated





According to Slesin, one way to cut power lines’ fields is

disarmingly simple: Anchor two wires side by side, as in the

average extension cord. Their alternating current fields should

substantially cancel each other out.

Utilities have gotten interested because the public’s fear of

electromagnetic fields has contributed to long delays in building

transmission lines – even longer than the notorious delays in

building new generating plants.



Last month in `Consumer Report’ they issue a warning, that

children and pregnant women should not use electric blankets do to

electromagnetic fields.


Vangard Sciences

P.O. Box 1031

Mesquite, Texas 75150

(214) 324-8741


(214) 324-3501

Submitted by : Ron Barker