Childhood cancer and residential proximity to power lines. UK Childhood Cancer Study Investigators.
In the United Kingdom Childhood Cancer Study, a population-based case-control study covering the whole of England, Scotland and Wales, measured power-frequency magnetic fields were not found to be associated with risk for any malignancy. To examine further the risk associated with residential proximity to electricity supply equipment, distances to high-voltage lines, underground cables, substations and distribution circuits were collected for 3380 cases and 3390 controls. Magnetic field exposure from this equipment was calculated using distance, load and other circuit information. There was no evidence that either proximity to electrical installations or the magnetic field levels they produce in the UK is associated with increased risk of childhood leukaemia or any other cancer. Odds ratios of 0.73 (95% CI = 0.42-1.26) for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, 0.75 (95% CI = 0.45-1.25) for all leukaemias, 1.08 (95% CI = 0.56-2.09) for central nervous system cancers and 0.92 (95% CI = 0.64-1.34) for all malignancies were obtained for residence within 50 m of an overhead line. When individuals with a calculated magnetic field exposure > or = 0.2 microT were compared to those in a reference category of exposure <0.1 microT, odds ratios of 0.51 (95% CI = 0.11-2.33) for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, 0.41 (95% CI = 0. 09-1.87) for total leukaemia, 0.48 (95% CI =0.06-3.76) for central nervous system cancers and 0.62 (95% CI = 0.24-1.61) for all malignancies were obtained.