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Author Topic: Does living near high voltage power lines pose a health risk?  (Read 4843 times)

Offline nextbrett

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Hi there,

I'm brand new to the forum but a fan of the Naked Scientists.

Was hoping someone could help me out with a question which I suspect is mostly driven by irrational fear... and non science. My partner and I are really excited to purchase our first home and facing some stark criticism from family members because there are high voltage power lines running around 25-30 metres from the back of the property - and I have no idea how high... 25 metres perhaps?

My question is can anyone point me to some credible sources which show it is safe to live near high voltage power lines from what I have seen there are some studies which show an extremely weak (to the point of non-existent) relationship...

I also understand that it may effect property value, and as they are often in industrial areas there may be more likely to have other sources that may be detrimental to ones health - but my query is solely based on the health impacts.

Would love some help with this one... please??

Brett.
« Last Edit: 20/04/2016 20:45:55 by chris »


 

Offline RD

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Living near high voltage power lines
« Reply #1 on: 02/06/2009 02:00:45 »
Just think of all the money you'll save : free electric light ...



http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=8231948
« Last Edit: 02/06/2009 02:06:26 by RD »
 

Offline nextbrett

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Living near high voltage power lines
« Reply #2 on: 02/06/2009 02:29:47 »
Thanks... at-least i won't need to buy outdoor entertainment lighting.
Anything with a little more science and a little less art would also be welcomed :)
 

Offline Don_1

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Living near high voltage power lines
« Reply #3 on: 02/06/2009 07:46:17 »
There are scientific studies which have come up with varying results on this matter.

One such study noted that one species of bird using strategically placed nesting boxes suffered a fall in the number of young, while two other species showed no change.

It has been suggested by other studies that the risk of childhood leukemia is increased by 50% when living in the influence of theses EMFs (Electromagnetic Fields). 50% of what, I'm not sure.

I would suggest you read from the following sites, the first from the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the second from the American Cancer Society and the third from the UK Macmillan Cancer Support.

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/emf/
http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_4_2X_What_are_the_risk_factors_for_leukemia_24.asp
http://www.cancerbackup.org.uk/Cancertype/Leukaemia/Leukaemiaoverview
 

Offline RD

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Living near high voltage power lines
« Reply #4 on: 02/06/2009 13:10:37 »
One hypothesis is the electric field from the power lines concentrates background cosmic radiation locally. Cosmic background radiation is ionising and capable of causing cancer (mutagenic) whist the electric fields themselves are non-ionising and not capable of causing cancer.
« Last Edit: 02/06/2009 13:19:41 by RD »
 

Offline Edster

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Living near high voltage power lines
« Reply #5 on: 02/06/2009 18:43:34 »
 

Offline highvoltpower

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Re: Living near high voltage power lines
« Reply #6 on: 19/04/2016 11:32:54 »
Hi there,

I'm brand new to the forum but a fan of the Naked Scientists.

Was hoping someone could help me out with a question which I suspect is mostly driven by irrational fear... and non science. My partner and I are really excited to purchase our first home and facing some stark criticism from family members because there are high voltage power lines running around 25-30 metres from the back of the property - and I have no idea how high... 25 metres perhaps?

My question is can anyone point me to some credible sources which show it is safe to live near high voltage power lines from what I have seen there are some studies which show an extremely weak (to the point of non-existent) relationship...

I also understand that it may effect property value, and as they are often in industrial areas there may be more likely to have other sources that may be detrimental to ones health - but my query is solely based on the health impacts.

Would love some help with this one... please??

Brett.

Hi nextbrett,
Leaving near power lines are really very bad.  In long-term experience to these high-voltage wires can lead to several health related problems like leukemia, cancer and also people in depression. Electromagnetic radioactivity is responsible for generating negative effects on human body. Electromagnetic fields are strong when you are 2 or 3 feet from the appliance. So, keep your distance every time!
 

Offline RD

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Re: Living near high voltage power lines
« Reply #7 on: 19/04/2016 16:15:03 »
Hi Leaving near power lines are really very bad.  In long-term experience to these high-voltage wires can lead to several health related problems like leukemia, cancer ...


Quote from: nih.gov
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the risk of cancer in association with magnetic fields in Finnish adults living close to high voltage power lines. DESIGN: Nationwide cohort study. SUBJECTS: 383,700 people who lived during 1970-89 within 500 metres of overhead power lines of 110-400 kV ... CONCLUSIONS: Typical residential magnetic fields generated by high voltage power lines do not seem to be related to the risk of overall cancer in adults. The previously suggested associations between extremely low frequency magnetic fields and tumours of the nervous system, lymphoma, and leukaemia in adults and breast cancer in women were not confirmed.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2352388/

[ bold emphasis is mine ]


... Electromagnetic fields are strong when you are 2 or 3 feet from the appliance. So, keep your distance every time!

If you take your own advice you must have very long arms to post in this forum ,
 ( as a computer is an appliance which emits electromagnetic fields ).
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Living near high voltage power lines
« Reply #8 on: 19/04/2016 16:47:00 »
Whilst there seems to be no evidence of adverse effects due to the proximity of power lines, a very good epidemiological study a few years ago in the UK showed anomalous effects downwind of the lines.

As for property values, they are determined by the purchaser!
« Last Edit: 19/04/2016 16:56:44 by alancalverd »
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Living near high voltage power lines
« Reply #9 on: 19/04/2016 21:13:30 »
Quote from: nextbrett
I'm brand new to the forum but a fan of the Naked Scientists.
Welcome to the forum!

Quote from: nextbrett
Was hoping someone could help me out with a question which I suspect is mostly driven by irrational fear... and non science....
Sure Brett. I can provide you with some very credible sources. I knew how to search for the information and came up with the following article from Forbes which contains links to some very respectable resources. One of the things that those people  who believe that those power lines cause cancer is because the assume that if there's a coloration between people who got cancer and the location of the power lines then the power lines must have caused the cancer. A long time ago I did some calculations on the strength of an electromagnetic (EM) field in living cells and found that the strength of the EM fields were so small as to be negligible.

Here's the URL to the Forbes website: http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2014/09/01/do-high-voltage-power-lines-cause-cancer/#60d6d3ea7f1c

Please keep in mind two things
1) If there is a correlation between the location of power lines and people who live near the lines getting cancer then this cannot be considered as incontrovertible evidence of a cause. For example: suppose there are materials present on the high-voltage lines such as dielectric materials which happen to be carcinogens. Suppose also that these materials deteriorate over the years and people living near the lines become exposed to them. Then although the EM field itself isn't causing the cancer its the support materials that go along with it that causes cancer. So while people are so concerned with the EM field they might overlook the things that go along with it.

See more of this kind of thing at:
http://www.mcw.edu/radiationoncology/ourdepartment/radiationbiology/Power-Lines-and-Cancer-FAQs.htm
 
2) There is no know mechanism in which an EM field can cause cancer.
« Last Edit: 19/04/2016 21:35:24 by PmbPhy »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Living near high voltage power lines
« Reply #10 on: 19/04/2016 21:18:38 »
Hi there,

I'm brand new to the forum but a fan of the Naked Scientists.

Was hoping someone could help me out with a question which I suspect is mostly driven by irrational fear... and non science. My partner and I are really excited to purchase our first home and facing some stark criticism from family members because there are high voltage power lines running around 25-30 metres from the back of the property - and I have no idea how high... 25 metres perhaps?

My question is can anyone point me to some credible sources which show it is safe to live near high voltage power lines from what I have seen there are some studies which show an extremely weak (to the point of non-existent) relationship...

I also understand that it may effect property value, and as they are often in industrial areas there may be more likely to have other sources that may be detrimental to ones health - but my query is solely based on the health impacts.

Would love some help with this one... please??

Brett.

Hi nextbrett,
Leaving near power lines are really very bad.  In long-term experience to these high-voltage wires can lead to several health related problems like leukemia, cancer and also people in depression. Electromagnetic radioactivity is responsible for generating negative effects on human body. Electromagnetic fields are strong when you are 2 or 3 feet from the appliance. So, keep your distance every time!

Is it because you have kept your distance from your computer that you didn't see how old this thread was?
 

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Re: Living near high voltage power lines
« Reply #10 on: 19/04/2016 21:18:38 »

 

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