• 09 JUL 09
    • 0

    #1091: A new ABC breast cancer cluster?

    With a sense of “deja vu” another possible breast cancer cluster has been reported in an Australian ABC studio, this time in Melbourne (below). According to a radio news item today apparently the same expert panel that discounted the possibility of ELF magnetic fields in the ABC Toowong breast cancer cluster will be examining this one as well. I hope they are somewhat wiser this time.

    Of course it is very likely that this is a random occurrence unrelated to EMF/EMR, especially considering the increasing prevalence of this disease in Australia. However, a full investigation of all possible environmental factors MUST include the women’s power-frequency ELF workplace exposures and not just RF/MW from roof top antennas that seems to be the concern. For reasons why see:
    Breast cancer cluster at ABC Studios “” Toowong, Queensland: http://www.emfacts.com/papers/toowong.pdf

    Unlike what happened at the ABC studios at Toowong, where they took about 2 years to get around to measuring ELF fields after one of the women requested it be done, lets hope they are quicker this time in having a full and proper investigation conducted.

    As for a proper assessment of the ELF levels that the women were exposed to while at work it is essential that any investigation include an ELF survey that does not simply refer to the official standard (1000 milliGauss- residential) as some sort of acceptable level, below which no adverse effects are possible.

    When the expert panel eventually gets around to having ELF measurements made they will most likely go to the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) as they did at Toowong – and got a less than adequate assessment as a result. ARPANSA has the expertise to do a proper job if they want to but they also have a HUGE conflict of interest as they are proposing increasing acceptable ELF power frequency exposures by a factor of three. See Microwave News: http://www.microwavenews.com/docs/EMF_Conceits.pdf

    Considering this, it is essential that an independent survey be conducted in addition to whatever ARPANSA does.

    Ultimately it is up to the relevant trade union, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance to stand up for the interests of the affected women at ABC Melbourne and ensure that the experts do it properly this time. From what has transpired in the past, however, I am not hopeful…


    Fears of new ABC ‘breast cancer cluster’


    By Lauren Wilson

    The Australian

    July 09, 2009 12:01am

    FEARS of another breast cancer cluster at a second ABC studio have emerged after the broadcaster confirmed three employees at its Melbourne studio had been diagnosed with the disease in the past 18 months. All female staff in the ABC’s Melbourne office have been urged to undergo breast screens after two were recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and a third staff member was diagnosed with the illness last year, The Australian reports. The ABC’s Victorian director, Randal Mathieson, emailed staff at the network’s Southbank offices on Tuesday, expressing concern for employees and advising female staff to get breast checks. Despite the studio’s equipment being tested in 2004 and found to be safe, Mr Mathieson said staff were worried about radiation from satellite dishes and antennae on the roof. He said the three cases had been referred to Freddy Sitas, the professor leading an epidemiological study into ABC breast cancer cases. Three years ago in Brisbane, 400 staff were moved out of ABC headquarters in Toowong after 17 women who worked there were diagnosed with cancer.

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