20/07/2006 - COMARE report refuses to acknowledge power lines as a cancer cause
The 11th COMARE report has just come out highlighting the finding that there is now very good evidence that cancer isn't evenly distributed throughout the UK population, but exhibits distinct signs of clustering. There have been numerous speculations about the possible causes of clustering, of which the only two causes named in the press releases of both COMARE and the HPA are infection and proximity to nuclear power stations, of which the latter is explained to have been shown to have no cancer rate increase.
There is very little actual evidence of the association with infections - it is just a theory that fits quite well, but though people have looked, they have so far not found convincing scientific evidence that it actually happens, similarly with what they found to proximity to nuclear power stations. However, there is clear epidemiological evidence that Petrochemicals (e.g. George Knox - see petrochemical references below) and Powerlines (Draper, etc - see powerline references below) are firmly associated with increased incidence in child leukaemia and some other cancers. These are not even mentioned in the COMARE or HPA Press Releases, which considering the title is highly disappointing.
Knox, E G (2005) "Childhood cancers and atmospheric carcinogens", J Epidemiol Community Health 2005; 59:101-105
doi:10.1136/jech.2004.021675 [View on PubMed]
Knox, E G (2006) "Roads, railways and childhood cancers", J Epidemiol Community Health 2006; 60:136-141
doi:10.1136/jech.2005.042036 [View on PubMed]
Knox, E G (2005) "Oil combustion and childhood cancers", J Epidemiol Community Health 2005; 59:755-760
doi:10.1136/jech.2004.031674 [View on PubMed]
Draper, G et al (2005) "Childhood cancer in relation to distance from high voltage power lines in England and Wales: a case-control study", BMJ 2005;330:1290
doi:10.1136/bmj.330.7503.1290 [View on PubMed] [View on the BMJ website]
Kabuto, M et al (2006) "Childhood leukemia and magnetic fields in Japan: a case-control study of childhood leukemia and residential power-frequency magnetic fields in Japan.", Int J Cancer. 2006 Aug 1;119(3):643-50
doi:10.1136/bmj.330.7503.1290 [View on PubMed]