"Power lines pose leukaemia threat"

The Belgian Public Health Minister Jo Vandeurzen (Christian democrat) has warned families with young children about the dangers of living too close to high voltage overhead power lines. The warning's being issued because of the risk that the vicinity of power lines can cause leukaemia.

There are some 5,600 km of high voltage power lines in Flanders. 20,000 homes are in the immediate vicinity. Mr Vandeurzen says that there is no proven causal relationship between people's health and the proximity of power lines.

However, the Health Minister added that there are statistic and other indications that show that overhead power lines can have an impact on children's health.

The indications point towards a risk of leukaemia.

Mr Vandeurzen told VRT News: "Children living near power lines have a greater chance of contracting leukaemia than those that live elsewhere".

The Belgian company that operates the high voltage power line network, Elia, says that there is no reason for concern.