After we ran our story on De-Kun Li's study showing a higher risk of asthma among children whose mothers were exposed to we heard from Ivan Beale in Australia. Beale reminded us of a paper he published ten years ago, which points to an asthma risk among adults living near power lines.
At the time, Beale was a psychology professor at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. In the survey of 560 adults living near high-voltage power lines, he found that those who were more highly exposed to magnetic fields had over three times the rate of asthma than those less exposed. The numbers were small, yet the elevated risk was statistically significant. Beale did advise that this finding be interpreted with caution. We passed the paper on to Li at Kaiser Permanente. "This finding and our finding are consistent and support each other," Li said, "providing further confidence in our results."