• 16 JAN 08
    • 0

    #841: Concerns over possible cancer cluster in a Queensland High School

    Here is another suspected cancer cluster in Australia. This time at the Milpera High School in Queensland. If you go to the Qld. government web site and read the Radiological Assessment note that their reference is the old 1000mG/5,000mG limit recommended by the National Health & Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) many years ago. All their Assessment says is that: “The electromagnetic field survey recorded levels that were significantly less than the limit recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council…No further investigation regarding the radiological status of the site is considered to be required.

    So, the old bullshit and spin continues. As long as ELF levels are below the standard there are no problems. Perhaps ELF magnetic fields are not an issue but again-and-again in Australia we see an unwillingness to properly assess all environmental factors. We saw this with RMIT and Toowong and in both cases the relevant trade union representatives did not act in the best interests of their members because of fears that their own jobs would be on the line if they spoke up too much (I was told this by a Union rep at RMIT). I hope that the Queensland branch of the relevant teachers trade union will take up the issue for their members and insist to know exactly what ELF levels were measured at the school.


    The Courier Mail (Australia) January 16, 2008

    Tests clear school of cancer cluster fears

    Margaret Wenham

    The testing of soil, water and air samples from Milpera State High School has revealed no contaminants
    that might explain a possible cancer cluster among staff.

    Education Minister Rod Welford announced the findings yesterday, saying investigations by an independent
    health consultant and Queensland Health had found the site — at Chelmer in Brisbane’s leafy west — posed
    no risk to staff or students.

    Mr Welford said in addition to the sampling, Queensland Health had conducted a six-month epidemiological investigation that found breast cancer rates among Milpera staff over the past 23 years were consistent with average breast cancer rates.

    “The principal, staff at Milpera and the Queensland Teachers’ Union have been briefed about the reports’
    findings and I hope any concerns they may have had have been alleviated,” Mr Welford said.

    The cancer cases at Milpera date back to 1991.

    Mr Welford said no further investigations had been recommended. Information about the health reports was available at http://education.qld.gov.au/health/research/milpera.html.

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