CURRENTS OF FEAR
In Which Power Lines
Are Suspected of
PAUL BRODEUR WAS NOT THERE in 1996 when the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released the results of an exhaustive three-year review of the possible health effects of exposure to residential electromagnetic fields. He no longer wrote for the New Yorker; there had been a major shake-up at the magazine in the summer of 1992, and Brodeur did not fit into the new style. It was his series of sensational New Yorker articles in 1989 that first aroused widespread public fear about power lines and cancer. Without Paul Brodeur there would have been no Academy review. Now retired from the environmental health wars, Brodeur would return to active duty one more time after learning of the Academy's conclusions.
The large conference room at the classic Academy building on Constitution Avenue near the Lincoln Memorial was