EMF Pollution from Living Near Power Lines - Solved?
Power lines and electrical poles have become so
common on the landscape, they are virtually invisible. But it’s worth
taking a hard look at them. Are you living near power lines? What is that barrel-shaped device on the electric pole and is it harmful? Did you grow up near a high-voltage power line?
Is there a safe living distance from or to power lines?
Experts say as far as possible … Hundreds of studies worldwide have
shown that living next to high voltage power lines and other parts of
the power transmission network increases your risk of cancer and other
We’ll examine those risks below, and the recommended EMF solutions designed to minimize and eliminate the health risks.
Safe Living Distance To Power Lines?
Is It Harmful To Sit Under Power Lines?
Absolutely possible. It depends on how powerful are the EMFs coming
from your neighborhood power lines? The electrical power grid uses a
“step down” system of distribution, highest near the generating station
and substations, lowest at the end. The closer you are the more you are
bombarded with dangerous EMFs.
High voltage power lines, and radiation are something that can affect
urban and rural communities alike. In truth, few residential areas
escape this threat. For now, it’s critical to understand your risk of
liivng close to power lines and how protect the area around you.
Living Under Power Lines? Some Facts You Should Know
High voltage transmission lines (those towering
metal power lines you often see usually along highways and across rural
landscapes. Some folks, unfortunately are under them.):
- Use high voltage direct current (HVDC) to transmit large amounts of power from the generating station over long distances
- Voltage varies from 138kV to 765kV
- Radiate powerful electromagnetic fields (EMFs)
- Linked to diseases in animals and humans
- There is growing speculation that the values of homes near major power lines will soon begin to decrease because of this threat
Transmission substations, (which often look like a fenced-in thicket of metal structures. Maybe you see one near your home, school or office.):
- Contain circuit breakers, switches and transformers
- Decrease the voltage coming from high voltage transmission lines
- Connect to local, lower voltage distribution lines.
- Reroute power to lines that serve local markets
- Suspected cause of cancer clusters for nearby residents
Lower voltage distribution lines, (or local power poles, which are everywhere):
- Are smaller than the huge high voltage lines
- More likely to be seen in residential areas
- Sometimes buried
- Risk varies with strength of voltage
Transformers, (those barrel-like metal trashcans mounted on power poles are EMF factories.):
- Reduces the voltage to the 120-/240 current needed by the nearby homes
- The typical power line feeding the transformer is carrying 4000 to 13,000 volts
- Creates a strong field extending up to a 1/4 of a mile
- The strength of this field decreases significantly with distance
(the further away you are the better, even if you are still within a
- Health risk depends on strength of incoming power line
Buried lines and transformers (Recognizable by a metal box located on the ground near the street.):
- Some people contend that burying power lines can mitigate EMF dangers.
- Other experts note that while burying power lines will shield
the electric component of the electromagnetic field (EMF), the magnetic
component can still pass through the earth—and walls and human bodies.
Electric Fields, Magnetic Fields & Power Lines are a Health Hazard!
There is no question that power transmission apparatus emit electromagnetic fields (EMFs).
An EMF is not just one thing, but two kinds of fields:
- Electrical field: the part of the EMF that can easily be shielded.
- Magnetic field: part of the EMF that can
penetrate stone, steel and human flesh. In fact, when it comes to
magnetic fields, human flesh and bone has the same penetrability as
- Both fields are invisible and perfectly silent:
if you live in an area with electric power, cell phone service, water
pipes and more, some level of artificial EMF is surrounding you.
Living Close to Power Lines and How EMFs Harm Human Health
Your body acts like an energy wave broadcaster and receiver,
incorporating and responding to EMFs. In fact, scientific research has
demonstrated that every cell in your body may have its own EMF, helping
to regulate important functions and keep you healthy.
Strong, artificial EMFs like those from power lines can scramble and
interfere with your body’s natural EMF, harming everything from your
sleep cycles and stress levels to your immune response and DNA!
Studies Show Living Next To Power Lines Increases The Risk Of Cancer
After hundreds of international studies, the evidence linking EMFs to
cancers and other health problems is loud and clear. High Voltage power
lines are the most obvious and dangerous culprits, but the same EMFs
exist in gradually decreasing levels all along the grid, from
substations to transformers to homes.
From the British Medical Journal, June, 2005:
Researchers found that children living within 650 feet of power lines
had a 70% greater risk for leukemia than children living 2,000 feet
away or more.
From Epidemiology, 2003 Jul;14(4):413-9:
“Several studies have identified occupational exposure to extremely
low-frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) as a potential risk factor
for neurodegenerative disease.”
From Epidemiology, 2002 Jan;13(1):9-20
There is “strong prospective evidence that prenatal maximum magnetic
field exposure above a certain level (possibly around 16 mG) may be
associated with miscarriage risk.”
From the Internal Medicine Journal, 2007
In a study of 850 lymphoma, leukemia and related conditions,
researchers from the University of Tasmania and Britain's Bristol
University found that living for a prolonged period near high-voltage
power lines increased the risk for these conditions later in life.
- People who lived within 328 yards of a power line up to age 5 were five times more likely to develop cancer as an adult.
- People who lived within 328 yards of a power line at any point
up to age 15 years were three times more likely to develop cancer as an
Dr. David Carpenter, Dean of the School of Public Health (SUNY), believes that up to 30% of all childhood cancers come from exposure to high voltage power lines.
Even the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cautions citizens that "There is reason for concern" and advises “prudent avoidance” of high voltage power lines.
The California Department of Health concluded that
EMFs were responsible for an increase in childhood leukemia, adult brain
cancer, Lou Gehrig's disease and miscarriage in the 2002 report, “An
Evaluation of the Possible Risks From Electric and Magnetic Fields
(EMFs) From Power Lines, Internal Wiring, Electrical Occupations and
The studies cited above and dozens of other epidemiological studies specifically link high voltage power lines with:
- Brain tumors
- Birth defects
Electromagnetic Radiation and Power Lines. It‘s a Problem.
According to research and publications put out by the World Health
Organization (WHO), EMF such as those from power lines, can also cause:
- Prickling and/or burning skin
- Muscle pain