Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Health effect of mega-lines needs review

Health effect of mega-lines needs independent review

A US study indicating a link between heightened exposure to electromagnetic fields and increased miscarriages shows the need for an independent review of the standards, Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

The report, by De-Kun Li of Oakland's Kaiser Foundation Research Institute, shows an 80 percent higher rate of miscarriage amongst women exposed to more than 1.6 micro-teslas of magnetic forces. It was presented at a weekend health forum in Hamilton organised by opponents of Transpower's Waikato mega-lines.

"The public health risks of the high-voltage lines issues must be taken very seriously. Given the escalating health system costs from chronic diseases that may have environmental causative factors, it is high time that risks to human health were given precedence over short-term economic interests," Ms Kedgley says.

"The present inter-agency Advisory Committee on the Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields has members of the electricity and telecommunications industries on it. Those industries have a vested interest in retaining the current standard.

"We need a review which includes genuinely independent persons who have a public health perspective. It can then focus on the health risks and review all the scientific evidence available. The current standard setting the maximum level for exposure to EMFs is arbitrary, so the review should consider whether, if a precautionary approach is taken, it is appropriate or not.

"This latest report follows a UK study which found a significantly increased risk of leukemia in children living near big pylons. More and more evidence is emerging that exposure to EMFs around high-voltage lines may pose a risk of various cancers such as leukemia.

"We can't just put our head in the sand and try to avoid these findings. We need a group of independent experts to review all the research and see whether the New Zealand standard for acceptable exposure should be lowered as a precautionary measure. It is crucial that we do this before any decision is made on whether to put these 400Kvh lines near residential dwellings."

Claims that there may even be a biological effect from exposure to electro-magnetic radiation at levels below the current standard, first made by New Zealander Dr Neil Cherry many years ago, should be looked at, Ms Kedgley says.

"There are other precautionary steps that New Zealand needs to consider, such as requiring high voltage power lines to be shielded and not built within a 500 metres radius of residential homes."

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news