Breast Enhancement
No Link Found Between Cancer And Power Lines On Long Island

A study of women on Long Island has found no link between breast cancer and living near high-voltage power lines, extending a long trail of research that has failed to connect breast cancer on the island to an environmental cause.

The report, to be published next week in The American Journal of Epidemiology, is also the latest of several studies that have not found a connection between electromagnetic fields, particularly those of power lines, and cancer. The findings of the study, authorized 10 years ago, were first reported yesterday in Newsday.In the latest effort, researchers, most of them from the State University at Stony Brook, looked at 1,161 Long Island women, roughly half of whom had breast cancer. Most were in their 50's and 60's, and all had lived in their homes for at least 15 years.

Scientists measured electromagnetic fields in various parts of their homes, and their proximity to power lines, and found no statistically significant differences in exposure between the group with breast cancer and those who did not have it.Links between cancer and some environmental factors, like cigarette smoking, asbestos exposure and air pollution, are well documented. But researchers caution that while a community may perceive an environmental "cancer cluster," it is extremely hard to prove that the incidence is anything more than random variation, and even harder to connect a cluster to a particular cause.It is widely believed that Long Island suffers from extraordinarily high breast cancer rates, but the available evidence says otherwise.

The New York State Department of Health says that from 1994 to 1998, 117 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed for every 100,000 women on Long Island slightly more in Suffolk County than in Nassau County compared with 114 per 100,000 nationally. There are several areas in the Northeast that have higher rates.Many Long Islanders also believe that pollutants like pesticides, or some other environmental factors, are to blame. Breast cancer survivors have formed a powerful political lobby and persuaded government to spend tens of millions of dollars researching suspected connections to pollution and other factors, notably a $30 million federal fund that is supporting a dozen Long Island breast cancer studies.

But a decade of research has failed to turn up a local environmental link.By Richard Perez-PenaNew York Times - 6/26/2003Topic: Energy



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