Most people put their trust in organizations like the Canadian Cancer Society to inform the public about the risks of the dangers of electrical powerlines and cell phones if there is one. If we can’t trust the Doctors that they hire to do research – who can you trust?
Dr. Mary McBride works for the BC Cancer Society and is in charge of studying the effects that cell phones and electrical power-lines have on the human body. Recently, an investigative reporter from the Canadian Television Network aired a news program that found Dr. Mary McBride is in fact – not a doctor! Now all of her research including the Canadian portion of the Interphone Study has come under suspicion because her studies are often funded by the wireless and electrical industries.
Read another article from 1999 to understand how far back she has misrepresented herself as a Doctor on the subject of electromagnetic radiation.
Wednesday, June 16, 1999
Hydro lines pose leukaemia risk in children: report Consistent patterns: Statistics paint picture, but there is no biological explanation
After nearly 20 years of study, Canadian and U.S. scientists have concluded that children exposed to the powerful magnetic fields created by hydro lines are nearly five times more likely to develop leukaemia than infants who are less exposed.
However, while the statistics paint a consistent picture of elevated risk, scientists can point to no biological explanation for what is happening.
Leukaemia is the most common childhood cancer in Canada. About one in 6,400 children under 15 years of age is diagnosed with the disease -- about 300 a year. Childhood leukaemia is fatal if untreated, but about 80% of cases of are now cured.
The studies released today are the most comprehensive since a 1979 report in Denver, Colo., caused widespread concern by linking hydro lines to leukaemia. In the ensuing decades, groups have sought to link the presence of transmission lines to a greater incidence of Alzheimer's disease, depression and birth defects.
But in a major report to Congress, the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences concludes that evidence linking human disease with electricity is "weak."
The sole exception is childhood leukaemia, it says, which study after study has associated with living near a major hydro line.
"These epidemiological studies demonstrate . . . a fairly consistent pattern of a small, increased risk with increasing exposure," the $60-million (US) study said. It was financed by the U.S. Congress, the electrical industry in the U.S. and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
In a separate Canadian study published today, researchers from the University of Toronto and Toronto Hospital for Sick Children appear to confirm the risk.
The researchers measured the magnetic fields in the homes of 201 children diagnosed with leukaemia in the Toronto area between 1985 and 1993, comparing them with those of 406 healthy children. When family relocations, power use and the child's medical history were taken into account, children exposed to high magnetic fields were 4.5 times more likely to develop leukaemia.
"The [power] lines weren't the only things we looked at, because we took measurements inside the home, and we put a personal monitor on a group of the children," said Dr. Lois Green, an epidemiologist at the university's department of public health.
Dr. Green's study is reported in two separate papers in the International Journal of Cancer and the journal Cancer Causes and Control.
Magnetic fields are invisible lines of force that surround all electrical devices and wiring.
In most Canadian homes, the average strength of magnetic fields ranges from 0.5 to 1 milligauss (mG). One mG is equal to 1/1000 the Earth's natural magnetic field. But homes located near heavy transmission lines and utility transformers, or which have poorly grounded wiring, often have a much higher magnetic field.
The Canadian study was funded in part by the Ontario Hydro Services Company and the Canadian Electricity Association.
Some studies quoted in the U.S. report to Congress suggest a dramatic increase in leukaemia risk for exposures between 4 and 5 mG, a strength that is not unusual in urban areas across North America.
For this reason, "industry should continue efforts to alter large transmission lines to reduce their fields, and localities should enforce electrical codes to avoid wiring errors that can produce higher fields," said Kenneth Holden, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Until a biological reason for the association can be found, much skepticism about the statistical risk will remain. [....See guru's discussion below....]
Numerous studies, including a 10-year-long B.C. Cancer Agency study also partly funded by the Canadian Electricity Association and the U.S. Electric Power Research Institute, two lobby organizations for the power industry, found no significant association between magnetic field exposure and leukaemia, although the B.C. study, released in April, did find a link between the number of times a child moved and the disease.
Dr. Mary McBride, an epidemiologist, suggested that frequent moves may expose children to different patterns of viral infections, which may be linked to leukaemia.
"What we're seeing is positive results in some studies but not in others, so inconsistency points against a causal relationship," said Dr. McBride.