Isn't a 'statistical association' sufficient to necessitate appropriate remedial action?

Apart from Telegraph article there is on page 15 of Daily Mail, 26 April an article by Julie Wheldon, Science Correspondent. There was an item in yesterdays Evening Standard by political correspondent Nicholas Cecil. Not only does it mention ministers considering new public health warnings over the potential dangers of living near electricity pylons, it has Dr Jill Meara of HPA saying that people should stay away from such devices (house hold appliances e.g. kettles, computers and microwaves) if they have a condition called "electrical sensitivity". It goes on to say that according to an official report victims apparently experience "real, unpleasant and sometimes disabling symptoms" such as headaches or fatigue". It even has Dr Michael Clark of HPA stating "We formally suggested that the Government should consider precautionary measures". I can hardly believe it all.

I can't get the scanner to work but shall have another go this evening. I am going to get a copy of every newspaper today.

Best wishes,

Yasmin Skelt,
Chorleywood, Hertfordshire,


What intrigues me about the Telegraph article is the statement: "...whilst the research found a statistical association, it did not establish a causal link and other scientists were sceptical of the findings". Isn't a 'statistical association' quite sufficient to necessitate appropriate remedial action? 'Other scientists' cannot be sceptical about the statistical association because it exists. So exactly what are they are sceptical about? The need for precautionary measures? Perhaps the inability of science to establish a causal link merely reflects the shortcomings of many so-called experts working in the field.

Secondly, I note that whilst Alastair and some other members of Sage want the exclusion zone based on the actual strength of EMFs, representatives of the National Grid and Ofgen favour a simple 230ft range. How illuminating! The latter view couldn't be driven solely by the cost of adopting the former option - could it?

Bah, humbug!

David Baron


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