Several studies have linked residential electromagnetic fields (EMFs) with human cancer, especially those of the blood. A new study now suggests that these fields may pose a similar risk to pets.
A study at Colorado State University focused their study on 230 dogs hospitalized with cancer. These included 93 animals with canine lymphoma, a common blood cancer whose origins remain unknown. They did a study of each pets home and measured the actual magnetic fields where the dog spent most of its time.
Overhead power lines running along streets and up to homes constitute the biggest overall contributor to residential EMFs. In this study, factors associated with those lines also showed the strongest link to lymphoma. Compared to animals whose homes were fed by buried power lines, dogs exposed to these factors faced double the cancer risk--and it tripled if the animal spent 25 percent or more of its time outside. The most powerful statistical association to the cancer occurred in those 10 dogs whose homes were located very near a large, primary power distribution line. Researchers found that the dogs had 13.4 times the lymphoma risk of animals from homes with buried power lines.
This investigation suggests that "dogs may act as a 'sentinel' species" for studying environmental threats to the families with whom they share a home. This study was done in 1993! New housing developments are still being built next to large power lines even though this there is evidence of the connection to EMFs and cancer in humans and pets.