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Elevated cancer rates

January 16, 2008

IPPNW Germany

IPPNW-Germany warns of elevated cancer rates near nuclear plants

IPPNW-Germany is focusing public attention on a new study providing evidence that children under the age of five who live near nuclear power plants stations contract cancer at higher rates than the national average. The study was paid for by the Federal Radiation Protection Agency (BfS), the German government’s main adviser on nuclear health, and was conducted by the German Register of Child Cancer.

Among the findings were a 60 percent increase in cancer risk for children living within five kilometers (three miles) of nuclear power plants and a 117 percent increase in leukemia risk. The study looked at statistics between 1980 and 2003 in regions near 21 reactors or former reactors.

The German affiliate had been lobbying for the study since 2001, collecting more than 10,000 letters from citizens demanding that BfS commission the study. The campaign was triggered by preliminary research conducted for the affiliate by Dr. Alfred Körblein (Environment Institute Munich), who found significantly higher child cancer incidence near Bavarian nuclear power stations.

“Now that the connection between increased cancer and leukaemia rates and proximity of the residence to the nuclear power station has been established, the causes of this must be further clarified immediately,” said Dr. Angelika Claussen, Chair of IPPNW-Germany. She added that “The precautionary principle enshrined in European environment law now demands that the German nuclear power stations be switched off immediately” and that ” the burden of proof of cause of illness should no longer have to be borne by parents, but conversely by the operators of the nuclear installations.”

The executive summary of the German report can be found on the IPPNW European regional website. []

One Comment
  1. Clay Turnbull permalink
    June 29, 2009 7:30 pm

    Thank yo Ms. Shaw of Massachusetts, U.S.A. for distributing reference to this article far and wide in the US. . Thank you to all who demanded this study. We will use this here toward investigations similar to this in our country. Again, thank you to all who made this study take place.

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