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Study Doesn't Rule Out Phone Tower Health Effects - Kedgley

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Sue Kedgley
Sue Kedgley

Wellington, June 24 NZPA - A British study which ruled out the link between cellphone towers and early childhood cancer does not mean they are completely safe, says Green MP Sue Kedgley.

Yesterday a New Zealand medical expert said the study published in the British Medical Journal, which found no link between pregnant women's exposure to cellphone tower radio-frequency and early childhood cancer, should end public debate on the issue.

Ms Kedgley, however, said the study was only looking into a very narrow possible health impact and did not rule out the possibility of other negative health effects which could be caused by long term exposure to cellphone tower emissions.

"There are continuing concerns about electromagnetic exposure and its potential health effects and this study does not refute that all," Ms Kedgley said.

"All it does is say is that it doesn't appear to be a causal effect in very early childhood cancers and the real concern with electromagnetic fields is the long term effects," she said.

Another recent study by the BioInitiative Report suggested that health effects from electromagnetic exposure can occur at thousands of times below the levels which our agency believes keeps the public safe, she said.

New Zealand occupational and environmental medicine specialist David Black said the study would finally clarify the issue, which had caused public debate both in New Zealand and abroad.

"It is also pleasing to see that it doesn't end in 'more research is needed', because it's clearly not," Dr Black said.

Fears that "tiny amounts of radio-frequency energy" could affect unborn children were based on "poor scientific literacy" and the hypothesis was always unlikely, he said.

The study - which was the largest of its kind - was carried out by researchers from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London and analysed data from 1397 children, aged up to four-years-old, who had cancer and compared them with 5588 children without cancer.

They then determined where the children's mothers had lived at the time of their birth, and how near it was to mobile phone tower, finding that children whose mothers had lived closer to towers had no added risk of developing cancer.

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