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No More Schools Near Pylons

Green Party Health spokesperson Sue Kedgley is calling for the prohibition of pylons or high voltage transmission wires near schools.

She wants a 50-100 metre buffer zone around schools as a precautionary public health measure.

"When our children go to school, they should not be subjected to intense or prolonged exposure to electro-magnetic fields from high voltage transmission wires running directly above or nearby their school," she said.

Ms Kedgley was responding to reports of a new British study showing that children living close to electricity pylons faced a greater risk of developing leukemia.

"This study confirms the results of other studies, including a New Zealand one which showed electromagnetic exposure in adults increased the risk of cancer and leukemia.

"The World Health Organisation advises prudent avoidance of exposure - and school children running around under high-tension powerlines is not prudent avoidance."

Ms Kedgley said the current Education Policy (Circular No 1996/12) prohibiting the placement of cell phone transmitters on Crown-owned school sites should be expanded to include pylons and high voltage wires within a 50-100 metre buffer zone around all schools, whether they were sited on Crown owned or privately owned land.

A National Environment standard was also needed under the Resource Management Act to prohibit any further housing development within a 50-100 metre zone around high voltage power lines or pylons.

"In areas like Manukau, low cost housing is being built under high voltage lines and pylons," Ms Kedgley said. "Given the scientific uncertainty surrounding the health effects of living near high voltage transmission lines, this should no longer be permitted and consideration needs to be given to progressively relocating houses in these areas."

Sue Kedgley 04 470 6728, 025 270 9088 Or Jane Tolerton (press secretary) 04 470 6679, 021 262 3120

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