Nuclear power greener/A critique of Leukaemia in young children living in the vicinity of German nuclear power plants

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(Review Paper) Cited in Nuclear power greener/A critique of Leukaemia in young children living in the vicinity of German nuclear power plants

Points Made[edit | edit source]

Based off of two previous studies, the first conducted from 1980-1990 on children under 15 living within a 15km radius of German nuclear power plants and the second from 1991-1995 on children under 5 within a 5km radius of the North German nuclear power plant of Krümmel. This study compiled data based on children under 5 diagnosed between 1980 and 2003 and registered under the German childhood cancer registry (GCCR) living within a 5 km radius of nuclear power plants. When compared to a random control group, the children living within close proximity to the plants were found to have higher rates of leukemia.

Methods[edit | edit source]

The most recent study was conducted as a case-control study on children registered with the German Childhood Cancer Registry (GCCR) under 5 years of age, living within 5 km of 16 independent power plants. The exact distance between the child’s residence and nuclear power plant was used (where the address was unavailable, the distance to the nearest street was used in its place), and covered 41 counties of up to 80 km. The control group subjects were selected based on records from corresponding registrar’s offices with the same age, sex, and year of diagnosis as the case subjects. Eliminating all cases of leukemia that could be a result of other factors such as genetics, the subjects in the study were asked whether or not they had leukemia. This was used to determine whether there was a relationship between diagnosis of leukemia and proximity to the nuclear power plant.

Results[edit | edit source]

When comparing the 593 case study participants with leukemia with the 1766 control participants, it was found that there is a statistically significant increase in leukemia cases in children under the age of five who lived within five kilometers of the nuclear power plants. There was also a statistically significant increase between the five kilometer area around the power plants and the ten kilometer range. The ten kilometer condition had double the leukemia cases than the five kilometer condition. The results remained consistent when isolating each of the 16 nuclear power plants used in the study. This shows that leukemia rates are not due to any one nuclear power plant, but is a phenomena that is found in all of the nuclear power plants tested. Similar results were also found in the two previous studies that the present study was based of off, but the present study was able to achieve statistical significance while the previous two studies were only able to achieve statistical significance in some aspect while finding only a moderate relationship in other areas.[1]

Leukaemia Rates in Children.png
Dose response curve.png

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Kaatsch, P., Spix, C., Schulze-Rath, R., Schmiedel, S., Blettner, M. (2008) Leukemia in young children living in the vicinity of German nuclear power plants. International Journal of Cancer. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.23330/full

Abente-López,G,.Aragonés, N.,Gandarillas, A., Pollán M., & Ruiz, M. (1999). Leukemia, Lymphomas, and Myeloma Mortality in the Vicinity of Nuclear Power Plants and Nuclear Fuel Facilities in Spain. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 8, 925-934.