Is there a causal relationship between proximity to power plants and cancer cases

| April 18, 2014

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Is there a causal relationship between proximity to nuclear power plants and the risk of getting cancer?
In no more than 5000 words, critically evaluate the weight of evidence for and against the existence of a causal relationship between an environmental factor (proximity to nuclear plants) and a health outcome (risk of cancer). (In this context, an environmental factor is defined as a feature of the human-modified environment, A health outcome is defined as a non-communicable, non-vector-borne disease.)
You may modify these factors/outcomes if you wish e.g. you may choose to focus on a specific type of cancer, but if you do so you must be confident that there is sufficient literature and evidence on which to base an exhaustive review. Similarly, you may need to refine the factors/outcomes in order to make the topic manageable. Although the advice and guidance should be focused on the UK, you may incorporate and discuss evidence and literature from any country.
What to include in the report:
Difficulties associated with defining and measuring both your environmental factor and your health outcome and with establishing a causal relationship
Recommendations to the department of health as to whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant regulatory activities
How the department of health should advise the public about the likelihood of a causal relationship and any action to take
When reading think about:
Study design (pros and cons)
How have they measured the exposure and health outcomes (pros and cons)
What is the hypothesised impact of the exposure on the outcome?
Have they addressed potential confounders? How?
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