Hocking B, Gordon IR, Grain HL and Hatfield GE.

Cancer incidence and mortality were compared for 1972-1990 in municipalities close to, and further away, from TV towers in North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The RF frequency varied from 63-215 MHz. An inner area within 4 km of the transmitters was compared with an outer area from 4km to approximately 15 km. The rate of leukaemia incidence in the "near" municipalities was 1.24 times higher than in those further away. The rates for childhood leukaemia incidence and mortality were 1.58 and 2.32 respectively. Brain cancer incidence and mortality were not increased. This study differs from that of Dolk and colleagues in that the latter authors did not find any excess of childhood leukaemia.

There are several reasons why this study should be interpreted with caution. An ecological study does not measure individual exposure, so that the population risk cannot be used at the individual level to assess risk. The exposures calculated by the authors were very low, and the exposures actually measured were up to five times less than those calculated. The study did not take into account other factors that might affect the diseases that were studied. Another factor potentially affecting the outcomes was population movement into and away from the observed areas.

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