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Proposed PATH power line is un-American ‘railroad’ job

11 September 2009 2,721 views No Comment

With reference to the PATH power line proposal and new substation to be built at Kemptown, Md., I know that many area residents are worried about the cancer link and EMF/ELF (electric and magnetic field/extremely low frequency) exposure.

It is true that much of the research out there is inconclusive. It is also true that most of the research has been done on smaller lines and smaller substations.

In 1999, Dr. Kenneth Olden, the director of the EMF RAPID research project (which Congress spent more than $40 million on), stated in his conclusion in a letter to Congress:

“The scientific evidence suggesting that ELF-EMF exposures pose any health risk is weak. The strongest evidence for health effects comes from associations observed in human populations with two forms of cancer: childhood leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia in occupationally exposed adults. While the support from individual studies is weak, the epidemiological studies demonstrate, for some methods of measuring exposure, a fairly consistent pattern of a small, increased risk with increasing exposure that is somewhat weaker for chronic lymphocytic leukemia than for childhood leukemia. In contrast, the mechanistic studies and the animal toxicology literature fail to demonstrate any consistent pattern across studies although sporadic findings of biological effects have been reported. No indication of increased leukemias in experimental animals has been observed.

“The lack of connection between the human data and the experimental data (animal and mechanistic) severely complicates the interpretation of these results. The human data are in the ‘right’ species, are tied to ‘real life’ exposures and show some consistency that is difficult to ignore. This assessment is tempered by the observation that given the weak magnitude of these increased risks, some other factor or common source of error could explain these findings. However, no consistent explanation other than exposure to ELFEMF has been identified.”

The phrase ‘”And show some consistency that is difficult to ignore” is very difficult to ignore. It certainly resonates with those of us concerned about our children, relatives, grandchildren and future generations. They are not lab animals. I have never witnessed anything as un-American as this PATH “railroad” job where millionaires are allowed to take our property and put our children in harm’s way so they can make millions more. It’s even harder to take when the public can see no proven “need” for this devastation.

Nancy Williams

Elkview, W.Va.

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