16 August 2004
Does AM radio makes you sick?
Well, maybe not you or me. But a study in Korea suggests a 70-percent increase in the incidence of leukemia in persons living near AM broadcast towers.
Before you swear off your favorite talk show, though, please note that the Korean study was limited to individuals living in the vicinity of 100,000-watt transmitting facilities; US AM stations max out at 50,000 watts, which would imply a lower risk, and where space is available, their towers tend to be located in areas with relatively low population. Further, the Koreans caution that their study does not establish a direct link between high-power AM waves and cancer.
FM stations here in the flyover zone are allowed 100,000 watts under certain circumstances, but FM waves, which differ substantially in shape and frequency from AM waves, were not implicated in the study.