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Contamination level: Severe illness! Forced to abandon a home.
Author: CAROLINE WATERSTON Created: 22 Mar 2006 Updated: 22 Mar 2006 Viewed: 6376 time(s)
TERRIFIED families in a street dubbed Death Road are blaming a string of fatal illnesses on a giant electricity pylon right outside their homes.
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The number of cancer victims on the small estate is FIVE times the local average
Created: 22 Mar 2006
TERRIFIED families in a street dubbed Death Road are blaming a string of fatal illnesses on a giant electricity pylon right outside their homes.

They believe the sinister 132,000 volt mast that towers over their cluster of 28 council houses has killed off 23 victims through heart illness and

The number of cancer victims on the small estate is FIVE times the local average. And residents also link the pylon to depression, headaches and memory loss.

Now after having their fears ignored for years, a Government report next month is expected to admit for the first time that pylons ARE a health hazard.

Outraged resident Brian Boddey, 65, at No20 said: "It is terrifying even to think about what that pylon has done to this community. We must be the unluckiest street in Britain.

"Since moving here 39 years ago I've counted 23 people who've died from cancer or heart problems - and there are only 28 houses.

"I've had no doubt these pylons can be dangerous to health because they create enlarged electromagnetic fields. Finally the Government seems to be accepting that people like me were right all along."

The massive pylon - which is said to buzz and glow eerily at night - is slap in the middle of Seabrook Avenue in Exeter. Kids use the grass on which it
stands as a play area.

Gail Antat, 38, who has lived at No3 for five years, said: "The pylon makes a horrendous buzzing sound. We have to close windows and air vents to try and block the noise.

"It gives off an eerie blue glow at night and has hundreds of birds roosting in it. It's like a crazy, giant Christmas tree."

Married mum-of-four Gail says she gets migraines, as do her two eldest children Kerrie, 16, and 14-year-old Karina. She said: "I never used to get headaches before moving here.

"Kerrie and Karina sleep in the front bedroom nearest the pylon. Karina has had time off school because of the severity of her migraines."

Neighbour Sid Langmead, 65, who is recovering from a stroke at No10, said: "Since I retired in 1996 and spent more time at home I've felt sick with headaches.
They affect my moods. One morning I wake up feeling fine, other days I'm depressed as hell." His wife Janet, 66, said: "One of our neighbours had prostate cancer and another died of throat cancer.

"I am glad this new report may recognise a link between power lines and health, but for some people it's too late."

At No 5, Leena Ingham's husband Jack died of lung cancer in 1996. "We'd only been living here two years and he'd shown no signs of the disease beforehand," she said.

At No 14, Len Dibble died of prostate cancer two years ago. Across the road at No 9, John Talbot was killed by lung cancer. Ted Allen, who lived at No 18, died of stomach cancer. At No 22, Gordon Joy died of a heart attack as did neighbour Jim McMartin, from No 28.

Viv and John Cook from No70 Newport Road, right on the junction of Seabrook Avenue both died of cancer.

The Health Protection Agency, a Government body, is expected to acknowledge that electromagnetic fields from pylons can wreck people's health.
The condition is known as electrosensitivity, a heightened reaction to electrical energy, with the number of sufferers in the UK thought to run into tens
of thousands.

The report is set to give a full list of the symptoms, which can include dizziness, irregular heartbeat and loss of memory.

But any recognition by the authorities will be cold comfort to those in Seabrook Avenue who have pleaded to have the pylon dismantled.

Official statistics show that 1.6 women and 2.3 men in every 1,000 die each year of cancer in Devon and Cornwall. But the incidence of cancer in Seabrook Avenue is 11 in 1,000 -
FIVE times higher. Families even say the pylon is harming their pets.
The Artots' Bull Terrier Winston has testicular cancer while Mrs Ingham's cat Tabitha died of a tumour.

Families formed an action group in 2000 and had meetings with Western Power Distribution - the firm responsible for the pylon - and Exeter City
councillors and officers.

But the group was disbanded in 2002 because of frustrations over lack of progress. Janet Langmead, former leader of the group, claimed the only action
taken by the authorities was to put up plastic anti-bird spikes on the pylon, which fell off, and to send out literature outlining how safe the mast was.

Rod Read, of charity Electrosensitivity UK said: "Twenty-three deaths on this street is an atrocious figure but is not a huge surprise given the findings
about electricity pylons."

A spokeswoman for Western Power said: "We take concerns about electromagnetic fields very seriously and ensure that fields produced by our equipment are well within Health Protection Agency guidelines."
Voice of The People:

Died of cancer aged 68. Lived at junction

Like hubby, died of cancer this year

Died of a heart attack aged 37

Died of heart attack aged 80 in 2000

Died of cancer aged 59 in 1989

Suffers headaches, aches and pains

Died of cancer at 57

Died of cancer aged 65 in 2003

Recently had stroke, suffers headaches

Died of lung cancer in 1985 aged 57

Died of lung cancer aged 74 in 1996

Mr Ingham's cat died of an ear tumour

Artots' Bull Terrier has testicular cancer

Family complain of sickness since moving in five years ago. Girls Kerrie and Karina, in room nearest pylon, have suffered severe migraines
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