HC Deb 20 November 2000 vol 357 cc51-2W
Sandra Gidley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department will publish the work it has funded on the impact of electric fields associated with overhead powerlines; and if he will make a statement. [138780]

Yvette Cooper

[holding answer 17 November 2000]: The Department expects those researchers to whom it provides funds to publish in open peer reviewed scientific journals. The Department has funded work on electric fields from power lines at Bristol University which was published in December 1999 and the United Kingdom Childhood Cancer Study which is expected to be published shortly. The Department also contributes to the World Health Organisation Electromagnetic Fields Project, the progress of which is accessible on its website.

The National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) provides advice to Government on these matters. In 1992, and again in 1994, the NRPB's independent advisory group on non-ionising radiation examined the evidence for an association between the incidence of cancer and exposure to electromagnetic fields and concluded that there was no clear evidence of an adverse health effect at the levels of electromagnetic field to which the public is normally exposed. The advisory group monitors the relevant research and will be publishing a comprehensive review of the more recent studies including those on electric fields in the next few months.