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Electric Fields

March 24, 1993

The claim that research paid for by Southern California Edison "found no link between increased cancer rates and exposure to electric fields among the company's employees" is properly met with some skepticism (March 15). And the fact that the principal author of the study is an Edison employee does little to enhance the results' credibility.

However, the naivete of the study's co-author, UCLA's Dr. Sander Greenland, is amazing in his assumption that because Edison is a public utility, it "doesn't have a strong financial interest in the (study's) outcome."

The mounting costs of power-line siting delays and litigation regarding exposure to utility-generated electromagnetic fields is now estimated to exceed $1 billion, according to the nonprofit foundation, Resources for the Future of Washington.

These costs may not all be passed through to the ratepayers. Utility company shareholders may be required to pick up a good part of the tab. Until conclusive evidence from impartial studies is available, utility executives would be well-advised to minimize EMF exposures for their employees as well as their customers.

ELLEN STERN HARRIS

Executive Director

Fund for the Environment

Beverly Hills

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