Childhood incidence of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and exposure to broadcast radiation in Sydney--a second look.
Aust N Z J Public Health. 1998 ;22(3 Suppl):360-7. PMID: 9629823
D R McKenzie
INTRODUCTION: Recent findings of an apparent association between incidence of childhood leukaemia and radio frequency radiation (RFR) from television transmission antennas in Sydney, NSW, are examined.
METHODS: Incidence of childhood (0-14 years) acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) at the local government area (LGA) level is related to estimated exposure levels of RFR from television transmission antennas, using Poisson regression techniques.
RESULTS: Most of the association between ALL incidence and television transmission RFR is shown to be the result of an influential observation: one of the highly exposed LGAs contributes all the excess, while in a similarly exposed LGA childhood ALL incidence was found to be no higher than the rate expected for NSW. With the influential observation excluded from the analysis, no positive correlation between exposure to RFR and leukaemia is evident. Conversely, under the assumption of an association with RFR, the low probability of the observed incident cases in LGAs under conditions of relatively high exposure to RFR conflicts with the assumption of an effect.
CONCLUSION: The apparent association between childhood ALL incidence and RFR radiation from television towers is weaker when an LGA-level analysis is conducted.