According to the Health Council of the Netherlands, recent scientific studies have provided an additional argument for the country’s precautionary policy regarding overhead power lines. The Health Council released two reports that found:
- Just as is the case for children, leukaemia was found to occur more frequently in adults who live close to overhead power lines.
- Among occupational groups with substantially higher levels of exposure to magnetic fields than found in residential areas, associations have also been found for several other types of cancer than leukaemia. Associations were found between occupational exposure and the risk of developing male breast cancer, brain cancer and pancreatic cancer.
- With regard to ALS and Alzheimer’s disease, although limited research into residential exposure did no show associations, for occupational groups with substantially higher levels of exposure to magnetic fields than in residential areas, the research did reveal associations between exposure and the risk of developing both illnesses, although these are less clear for Alzheimer’s disease than for ALS.
- The Health Council recommends restricting occupational exposure to magnetic fields to as low a level as is reasonably possible.
- In the Netherlands, a precautionary policy is already in place with regard to power lines. The purpose of this policy is to avoid, as much as possible, creating new situations in which children are subjected to long-term exposure to magnetic fields with an annual average field strength above 0.4 microtesla that are generated by overhead power lines. The new reports support this policy.
Health Council of the Netherlands Links to the advisory reports: