Long periods of exposure to high level electromagnetic fields (EMF) at home could double the risk of childhood leukemia, a major international study has found. The three-year review was carried out for the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) by six senior epidemiologists from major institutions around the world.
Leukemia, which develops in the bone marrow, accounts for one third of all childhood cancers - around the world each year. Research by Professor Denis Henshaw and Dr Peter Fews, at the University of Bristol, suggests power lines produce electrically charged particles called "corona ions".
According to their controversial theory, these attach themselves to airborne pollutants such as exhaust fumes, giving them an electrical charge and making them more likely to be deposited in the lungs when inhaled. ICNIRP sets international guidelines for protection against the electromagnetic fields associated with the transmission, generation and use of electricity.The new study is published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.