Another case control study finds close proximity to high-voltage power lines  associated with an excess risk of childhood leukemia, particularly among the youngest children.

Methods: We conducted a case-control study to investigate the risk of leukemia associated with magnetic field exposure from high-voltage power lines. Eligible participants were children aged 0-15 years residing in the Northern Italian provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia. We included all 182 registry-identified childhood leukemia cases diagnosed in 1998-2019, and 726 age-, sex- and province-matched population controls. We assessed exposure by calculating distance from house to nearest power line and magnetic field intensity modelling at the subjects’ residence. We used conditional logistic regression models to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), with adjustment for potential confounders (distance from nearest petrol station and fuel supply within the 1000 m-buffer, traffic-related particulate and benzene concentrations, presence of indoor transformers, percentage of urban area and arable crops).

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Results: In multivariable analyses, the OR comparing children living <100 m from high-voltage power-lines with children living ≥400 m from power-lines was 2.0 (95% CI 0.8-5.0). Results did not differ substantially by age at disease diagnosis, disease subtype, or when exposure was based on modeled magnetic field intensity, though estimates were imprecise. Spline regression analysis showed an excess risk for both overall leukemia and acute lymphoblastic leukemia among children with residential distances <100 m from power lines, with a monotonic inverse association below this cutpoint.

Conclusions: In this Italian population, close proximity to high-voltage power lines was associated with an excess risk of childhood leukemia, particularly among the youngest children.

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Malagoli C, Malavolti M, Wise LA, Balboni E, Fabbi S, Teggi S, Palazzi G, Cellini M, Poli M, Zanichelli P, Notari B, Cherubini A, Vinceti M, Filippini T. Residential exposure to magnetic fields from high-voltage power lines and risk of childhood leukemia. Environ Res. 2023 Jun 2:116320. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2023.116320. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37271435.

Share Source: Environmental Health Trust