51 Earlsbrook Drive Trentham Stoke on Trent ST4 8DL

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51 Earlsbrook Drive Trentham Stoke on Trent ST4 8DL

Sir Walter Bodmer
Chairman NRPB
OX11 0RQ 

19 September 2001

Dear Sir Walter


Further to our previous correspondence on this issue, we would like to bring your attention to the following:

We have seen the latest NRPB report 2000-2001, we are amazed to find on page 9 under the UK Childhood Cancer Study the erroneous claim "No evidence [in the UKCCS] was found that proximity to powerlines or the magnetic fields they produce in the UK was associated with an increased risk of chidhood leukaemia or any other cancer."

As everyone is aware, in the discussion section of the 1999 UKCCS paper the study looked at whether or not a case resided within 400 metres of high voltage powerlines. The result was that 1.42 times as many cases of childhood Leukaemia and 1.15 times as many cases of all malignancies within 400 metres of powerlines were found compared with the controls cases.

In any case Sir Walter, is it not the case that the UKCCS took part in the pooled analysis by Professor Ahlbom in Sweden, in which a doubling of childhood leukaemia was found above 0.4 microtesla which is well below what you get under powerlines in the UK?

This rather makes the press release that accompanies the Report with the comment "They [the AGNIR Report] consolidate the reputation of the NRPB for being able to produce independent, impartial and authoritative advice on important issues" look like a cheap music hall joke.

It has to be of concern, that informed groups such as ourselves, can access and assimilate such data that seemingly is beyond the capabilities of the Governments officially appointed advisers.

Matters regarding the impact of powerlines on public health are far too serious to leave to what increasingly and regrettably looks like a bunch of floundering amateurs.

We feel the dismantling of the NRPB in its present form is long overdue and as a consequence we as an action group will be pressing very strongly for it to be restructured using the specialist expertise it is currently lacking.

Furthermore, perhaps a second apology is now due, together with an explanation as to how such an erroneous report could be so disseminated.

We await your reply.

Yours sincerely


Frank Lewis Chairman 

Maureen Asbury President

cc Professor Roger Clarke NRPB
Alan Milburn Secretary of State for Health
George Stevenson MP

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