Expert discusses power line health effects

SHERBURNE – A connection between power lines and cancer is there, says Dr. David Carpenter, but exactly what that link is remains unknown.

“While we found the effects,” said Carpenter, an expert in public health who has done extensive research on the effects of electromagnetic fields created by electricity. “We were never able to find the mechanism as to why magnetic fields cause cancer.”

Since it was announced in March that Albany-based New York Regional Interconnect Inc. was developing plans to build a 400,000-volt direct current transmission line, concerns over its possible negative health effects have traveled throughout the communities along the proposed 200-mile long corridor from Oneida to Orange County. In an effort to educate the public on the issues related to the pending">NYRI project, the Upstate Institute at Colgate University brought in Carpenter to speak Monday night at Sherburne-Earlville High School, the first part of a three-part speaker series.

The doctor, who is also the director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at SUNY Albany, reviewed the physical and natural relationship of the human body to magnetic fields. He then cited a compilation of studies completed in the late 1970s and early 80s (during which time he was a part of an analysis of the effects of Marcy South Transmission Line) that concluded, without real reason, that children living near alternating current power lines are twice as likely to develop leukemia than children who do not.

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