Is there any risk living under power lines?

  • 86 Replies
  • 54264 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

*

Karen

  • Guest
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« on: 02/08/2010 11:30:01 »
Karen asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hi Chris
 
We have to make a decision about moving into a property by midday tomorrow. It's a great place and the right price, however our only concern and hesitation is the fact that the property is situated almost directly underneath electrical overhead lines. The pylon itself is a bit further away at about 250 meters from the property.
 
Our reason for caution is that we have a 2 year old daughter and that I'm 14 weeks pregnant.
 
I'd appreciate your opinion on living within this proximity to overhead electrical lines. We only intend staying in the house for 10 months, does that timeframe make any difference to our concerns?
 
I really hope to get feedback, as I mentioned the place is well priced and will seemingly get snapped up.
 
Best regards
Karen

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 02/08/2010 11:30:01 by _system »

*

Offline tangoblue

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 301
  • RANDOMNESS RULES!!!
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #1 on: 05/08/2010 10:45:32 »
Living very close to the pylons has been known to increase the risk of cancer, but im sure 250m isnt 'very close'. im  not to sure about the lines themselves though, sorry.

*

Offline Mr. F

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 11
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #2 on: 18/08/2010 14:12:59 »
Only if one falls on you. There is no proven link between living near pylons and cancer. Findings from one side of the argument is quickly countered by the other.

*

Offline peppercorn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 1466
    • View Profile
    • solar
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #3 on: 18/08/2010 14:35:26 »
I have always remained very sceptical about such a link.  However, this paper does suggest a workable mechanism for increased risk in children:
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC558197
"provide a potential mechanism, being that the electric fields around power lines attract aerosol pollutants"

I certainly don't hold with the belief in the EM-field being directly responsible, as even cables directly overhead are far too distant for inductive effects to matter.

*

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #4 on: 18/08/2010 16:27:40 »
Although the EMR produced by overhead powerlines is not considered to be ionising and therefore not harmful, it can only be proven to be completely harmless if none of the emitted EMR is absorbed by an organism i.e. if 100% of the EMR passes through an organism's body without any absorbsion at all.

In practice, a very small proportion of the emitted EMR will be absorbed by the body but in nearly all cases it will only result in insignificant heating.  However, whether EMR is considered ionising or not really comes down to statistics and so given a large enough number of cases there must inevitably an extremely small proportion where the absorbed EMR doesn't just result in heating and does cause harm.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la rÚsistance!"
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #5 on: 18/08/2010 19:58:57 »
Living very close to the pylons has been known to increase the risk of cancer,

Tango,

That is a very bold statement. Can you support it with some solid evidence?
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

*

Offline Mootle

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 118
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #6 on: 18/08/2010 21:20:01 »
Karen asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hi Chris
 
We have to make a decision about moving into a property by midday tomorrow. It's a great place and the right price, however our only concern and hesitation is the fact that the property is situated almost directly underneath electrical overhead lines. The pylon itself is a bit further away at about 250 meters from the property.
 
Our reason for caution is that we have a 2 year old daughter and that I'm 14 weeks pregnant.
 
I'd appreciate your opinion on living within this proximity to overhead electrical lines. We only intend staying in the house for 10 months, does that timeframe make any difference to our concerns?
 
I really hope to get feedback, as I mentioned the place is well priced and will seemingly get snapped up.
 
Best regards
Karen

What do you think?

Karen - I would not risk living directly below HV cables in your condition. Other posters have already indicated that the science is inconclusive (which is true,) but there are many articles which do support a link. This is most likely to be the reason for the low cost.

I researched this subject in some depth a few years back. The risk increases with EMF exposure, proximity and voltage etc. Involved calculations can be used to provide a guide / quantification of the risk. However, such calculations were not supported by clinical trials for a developing baby or infants.

The links below are the result of a brief internet search.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Babies-at-risk-with-highvoltage-cancer-link/2005/06/03/1117568381340.html

http://www.powerlinefacts.com/large_study_links_power_lines_to_leukemia.htm

Do you know what voltage the cable carries - some cables are more HV cables than others. IIRC one of the reference papers had a risk matrix for the different voltages and distance (with the disclaimer that individual calculations should be conducted by a specialist). I'm not sure if this is still a concern for you as the deadline for your decision has passed but I could dig out the calculation / risk assessment for you if you like?

Best regards,

Mootle
« Last Edit: 18/08/2010 21:29:03 by Mootle »

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la rÚsistance!"
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #7 on: 18/08/2010 22:43:47 »
I have not done the math, so I could be quite wrong about this, but I suspect the electromagnetic fields present in any modern home are already much greater than the fields that would be coupled from adjacent high voltage power lines, so if you really want to play it safe, you might want to move away from all electrical wiring and equipment.

Also, underground power cables are invisible, but because they operate at relatively low voltages, they carry relatively higher currents, so the associated EMF they produce might actually be quite large (the EMF is a function of current, not the voltage).

However, because buried power lines are not visible, people tend to forget they are even there. On the other hand, overhead lines tend to get everyones attention.

Are there any scientific (non-journalistic) studies that compare the relative field strengths of ALL possible sources of EMF?

 
« Last Edit: 18/08/2010 22:49:01 by Geezer »
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la rÚsistance!"
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #8 on: 18/08/2010 23:08:38 »
Karen - I would not risk living directly below HV cables in your condition. Other posters have already indicated that the science is inconclusive (which is true,) but there are many articles which do support a link. This is most likely to be the reason for the low cost.

I researched this subject in some depth a few years back. The risk increases with EMF exposure, proximity and voltage etc. Involved calculations can be used to provide a guide / quantification of the risk. However, such calculations were not supported by clinical trials for a developing baby or infants.

The links below are the result of a brief internet search.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Babies-at-risk-with-highvoltage-cancer-link/2005/06/03/1117568381340.html

http://www.powerlinefacts.com/large_study_links_power_lines_to_leukemia.htm

Do you know what voltage the cable carries - some cables are more HV cables than others. IIRC one of the reference papers had a risk matrix for the different voltages and distance (with the disclaimer that individual calculations should be conducted by a specialist). I'm not sure if this is still a concern for you as the deadline for your decision has passed but I could dig out the calculation / risk assessment for you if you like?

Best regards,

Mootle

Mootle,

I think it's misleading to say that "the science is inconclusive".

The science is quite conclusive. Despite considerable efforts to prove to the contrary, there is no causal link between disease and overhead power lines.



There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

*

Offline tommya300

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 655
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #9 on: 19/08/2010 03:44:18 »
Tesla affects can be demonstrated with the use of a fluorescent bulb.
In an high enough intense electromagnetic field the bulb will glow.
That may help to see if there is a potential.

*

Offline Mootle

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 118
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #10 on: 19/08/2010 22:39:33 »
I have not done the math, so I could be quite wrong about this, but I suspect the electromagnetic fields present in any modern home are already much greater than the fields that would be coupled from adjacent high voltage power lines, so if you really want to play it safe, you might want to move away from all electrical wiring and equipment.

Also, underground power cables are invisible, but because they operate at relatively low voltages, they carry relatively higher currents, so the associated EMF they produce might actually be quite large (the EMF is a function of current, not the voltage).

However, because buried power lines are not visible, people tend to forget they are even there. On the other hand, overhead lines tend to get everyones attention.

Are there any scientific (non-journalistic) studies that compare the relative field strengths of ALL possible sources of EMF?

 

The calculation becomes more complex for u/g cables owing to the difficulties with composite solids and varying conductance. Owing to proximity the indicated risk rises but this only tends to become an issue for high HV and close proximity.

*

Offline Mootle

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 118
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #11 on: 19/08/2010 23:12:07 »
Karen - I would not risk living directly below HV cables in your condition. Other posters have already indicated that the science is inconclusive (which is true,) but there are many articles which do support a link. This is most likely to be the reason for the low cost.

I researched this subject in some depth a few years back. The risk increases with EMF exposure, proximity and voltage etc. Involved calculations can be used to provide a guide / quantification of the risk. However, such calculations were not supported by clinical trials for a developing baby or infants.

The links below are the result of a brief internet search.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Babies-at-risk-with-highvoltage-cancer-link/2005/06/03/1117568381340.html

http://www.powerlinefacts.com/large_study_links_power_lines_to_leukemia.htm

Do you know what voltage the cable carries - some cables are more HV cables than others. IIRC one of the reference papers had a risk matrix for the different voltages and distance (with the disclaimer that individual calculations should be conducted by a specialist). I'm not sure if this is still a concern for you as the deadline for your decision has passed but I could dig out the calculation / risk assessment for you if you like?

Best regards,

Mootle

Mootle,

I think it's misleading to say that "the science is inconclusive".

The science is quite conclusive. Despite considerable efforts to prove to the contrary, there is no causal link between disease and overhead power lines.

Interesting, most people would recognise that the post was entirely genuine.

I would agree that it is very difficult to scientifically prove a causal link owing to the cost and practical constraints of such studies but this is quite different to it scientifically proven that there is no causal link.

Did you even read the links which were given?


*

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8171
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #12 on: 20/08/2010 01:35:04 »
If you live under a pylon you can reenact a Star-Wars light-saber battle with fluorescent tubes...

[attachment=12703]

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=27039.0

You'll have to do you own sound effect though.
« Last Edit: 20/08/2010 01:50:19 by RD »

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la rÚsistance!"
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #13 on: 20/08/2010 05:07:47 »
Interesting, most people would recognise that the post was entirely genuine.

I would agree that it is very difficult to scientifically prove a causal link owing to the cost and practical constraints of such studies but this is quite different to it scientifically proven that there is no causal link.

Did you even read the links which were given?


Yes. I did read the links.

Your post was genuine enough. However, the links you provided had a very journalistic slant, although, in fairness, one of them actually pointed out that the EMF in any average home is greater than that produced by adjacent power lines.

If EMF did result in diseases, proximity to power lines would be irrelevant because there are far greater sources of EMF to be concerned about.

Despite popular opinion and the popular media, as far as I know, there is no scientific basis that connects the transmission of power through high tension power lines with human disease.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

*

Offline Mootle

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 118
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #14 on: 20/08/2010 20:59:17 »
Interesting, most people would recognise that the post was entirely genuine.

I would agree that it is very difficult to scientifically prove a causal link owing to the cost and practical constraints of such studies but this is quite different to it scientifically proven that there is no causal link.

Did you even read the links which were given?


Yes. I did read the links.

Your post was genuine enough. However, the links you provided had a very journalistic slant, although, in fairness, one of them actually pointed out that the EMF in any average home is greater than that produced by adjacent power lines.

If EMF did result in diseases, proximity to power lines would be irrelevant because there are far greater sources of EMF to be concerned about.

Despite popular opinion and the popular media, as far as I know, there is no scientific basis that connects the transmission of power through high tension power lines with human disease.

Based on my previous research the links are a fair summary of the current understanding. Using an argument based on a lack of scientific proof is very dangerous where there is a risk to health to an unborn baby and infant.

It is better to be safe than sorry.

*

Offline Mootle

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 118
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #15 on: 20/08/2010 21:05:35 »
Nice one, my monies on Yoda!

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la rÚsistance!"
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #16 on: 21/08/2010 01:22:13 »
It is better to be safe than sorry.

Safe from what exactly?

That's the same sort of faulty logic that encourages parents not to get their children vaccinated because somebody developed a "theory" that vaccinations cause autism, absent scientific evidence that they do.

We can allow ouselves to be controlled by scare mongerers, or we can base our decisions on good science.

There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

*

Offline Mr. F

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 11
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #17 on: 21/08/2010 01:47:30 »
"better to be safe than sorry"

If you lived your life by this motto you would never turn your microwave on or use a mobile phone. You'd never leave the house... Well, not unless you lived beneath power lines.

*

Offline Mootle

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 118
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #18 on: 21/08/2010 12:59:26 »
It is better to be safe than sorry.

Safe from what exactly?

That's the same sort of faulty logic that encourages parents not to get their children vaccinated because somebody developed a "theory" that vaccinations cause autism, absent scientific evidence that they do.

We can allow ouselves to be controlled by scare mongerers, or we can base our decisions on good science.

It's good that you've introduced a new argument but unfortunately there's nothing which vaguely relates to the topic, so I'll leave it at that.

*

Offline Mootle

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 118
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #19 on: 21/08/2010 13:48:56 »
"better to be safe than sorry"

If you lived your life by this motto you would never turn your microwave on or use a mobile phone. You'd never leave the house... Well, not unless you lived beneath power lines.


OK, just for the pedants in the house, 'in this particular case, it's better to be safe than sorry'.

Early versions of microwave ovens and mobile phones did emit dangerous EMF's which were attributed to tumours, headaches etc. In response to this, modern varieties of this technology are now tested against more stringent Emissions Regulations and as a result are much safer.

Even so, in the case of mobile phones, I would still suggest caution. The long term effect on health for extensive mobile phones remains unknown for infants and adults alike. For this reason, I would always use a landline in preference to a mobile and when I do use a mobile I tend to keep the conversation brief.

Most urban dwellers will be quite close to a mobile phone mast but close proximity is a real concern for many. Transmitter equipment specifications indicate safe working distances but once again the effect on health is very much an active field of research.

If you are content to live next to a mobile phone mast or directly below an HV cable then do so. But please refrain from advising people that the science is settled and that there is no risk. This is irresponsible, misleading and a misinterpretation of the outcomes of studies which have been carried out in the field.

All is not lost though, the photo and sound effect was great!
« Last Edit: 21/08/2010 13:52:16 by Mootle »

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la rÚsistance!"
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #20 on: 21/08/2010 18:46:21 »
"better to be safe than sorry"

If you lived your life by this motto you would never turn your microwave on or use a mobile phone. You'd never leave the house... Well, not unless you lived beneath power lines.


OK, just for the pedants in the house, 'in this particular case, it's better to be safe than sorry'.

Early versions of microwave ovens and mobile phones did emit dangerous EMF's which were attributed to tumours, headaches etc. In response to this, modern varieties of this technology are now tested against more stringent Emissions Regulations and as a result are much safer.

Even so, in the case of mobile phones, I would still suggest caution. The long term effect on health for extensive mobile phones remains unknown for infants and adults alike. For this reason, I would always use a landline in preference to a mobile and when I do use a mobile I tend to keep the conversation brief.

Most urban dwellers will be quite close to a mobile phone mast but close proximity is a real concern for many. Transmitter equipment specifications indicate safe working distances but once again the effect on health is very much an active field of research.

If you are content to live next to a mobile phone mast or directly below an HV cable then do so. But please refrain from advising people that the science is settled and that there is no risk. This is irresponsible, misleading and a misinterpretation of the outcomes of studies which have been carried out in the field.

All is not lost though, the photo and sound effect was great!

Yes, high frequency radio transmissions can be harmful.

However, if we want to be "better safe than sorry" with respect to 50Hz or 60Hz power systems, we should stay away from all such sources, which pretty much means we'd need to eliminate all line power from our homes.

We can't be selective about this. If we believe that low frequency power transmission is harmful for some, as yet, undiscovered reason, there is no basis for assuming that the same undiscovered reason does not make all low frequency power systems harmful. Therefore, we should advocate caution with respect to all such systems.

There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

*

Offline Mootle

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 118
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #21 on: 21/08/2010 20:43:25 »
"better to be safe than sorry"

If you lived your life by this motto you would never turn your microwave on or use a mobile phone. You'd never leave the house... Well, not unless you lived beneath power lines.


OK, just for the pedants in the house, 'in this particular case, it's better to be safe than sorry'.

Early versions of microwave ovens and mobile phones did emit dangerous EMF's which were attributed to tumours, headaches etc. In response to this, modern varieties of this technology are now tested against more stringent Emissions Regulations and as a result are much safer.

Even so, in the case of mobile phones, I would still suggest caution. The long term effect on health for extensive mobile phones remains unknown for infants and adults alike. For this reason, I would always use a landline in preference to a mobile and when I do use a mobile I tend to keep the conversation brief.

Most urban dwellers will be quite close to a mobile phone mast but close proximity is a real concern for many. Transmitter equipment specifications indicate safe working distances but once again the effect on health is very much an active field of research.

If you are content to live next to a mobile phone mast or directly below an HV cable then do so. But please refrain from advising people that the science is settled and that there is no risk. This is irresponsible, misleading and a misinterpretation of the outcomes of studies which have been carried out in the field.

All is not lost though, the photo and sound effect was great!

Yes, high frequency radio transmissions can be harmful.

However, if we want to be "better safe than sorry" with respect to 50Hz or 60Hz power systems, we should stay away from all such sources, which pretty much means we'd need to eliminate all line power from our homes.

We can't be selective about this. If we believe that low frequency power transmission is harmful for some, as yet, undiscovered reason, there is no basis for assuming that the same undiscovered reason does not make all low frequency power systems harmful. Therefore, we should advocate caution with respect to all such systems.

I never mentioned such a link but in order for you to make the statement you would have to fail to recognise that there's a difference between a 230V and a 132kV or say 275kV cable?

Cancer (in all its many guises,) is one of the biggest causes of death and despite all the research which has been pumped into that field, we are still a long way from discovering the causal pathways involved, let alone a cure. Science is not quite ready to reveal the answers on this one just yet so we should accept the limitations of our knowledge and procede with a little caution.

*

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #22 on: 21/08/2010 23:07:19 »
Actually, there's probably a greater risk from all the ground mapping radars flying about in aircraft.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la rÚsistance!"
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #23 on: 22/08/2010 05:22:51 »

I never mentioned such a link but in order for you to make the statement you would have to fail to recognise that there's a difference between a 230V and a 132kV or say 275kV cable?

Cancer (in all its many guises,) is one of the biggest causes of death and despite all the research which has been pumped into that field, we are still a long way from discovering the causal pathways involved, let alone a cure. Science is not quite ready to reveal the answers on this one just yet so we should accept the limitations of our knowledge and procede with a little caution.

Ah! So you are saying that this undiscovered phenomenon is a somehow related to voltage rather than current and that it's not a function of EMF.

But if we don't understand the phenomenon, how do we know a voltage is safer than any other voltage, or are you suggesting that you somehow understand the phenomenon and that you are able to determine what voltages are safer than others?
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

*

Offline Mootle

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 118
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #24 on: 22/08/2010 10:30:50 »

I never mentioned such a link but in order for you to make the statement you would have to fail to recognise that there's a difference between a 230V and a 132kV or say 275kV cable?

Cancer (in all its many guises,) is one of the biggest causes of death and despite all the research which has been pumped into that field, we are still a long way from discovering the causal pathways involved, let alone a cure. Science is not quite ready to reveal the answers on this one just yet so we should accept the limitations of our knowledge and procede with a little caution.

Ah! So you are saying that this undiscovered phenomenon is a somehow related to voltage rather than current and that it's not a function of EMF.

But if we don't understand the phenomenon, how do we know a voltage is safer than any other voltage, or are you suggesting that you somehow understand the phenomenon and that you are able to determine what voltages are safer than others?

At the beginning of the thread you indicated that you had not done the calculations and from your comments I suspect that the situation has not changed.

However, since Karen's need for information seems to have passed I do not intend to continue with this thread.

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la rÚsistance!"
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #25 on: 22/08/2010 23:25:55 »
At the beginning of the thread you indicated that you had not done the calculations and from your comments I suspect that the situation has not changed.


As I mentioned previously, one of the links you posted pointed out that the magnetic field strength in a home is, as I suspected, greater than the field produced by high-tension power lines.

I think it's unfortunate that you are unwilling to pursue this topic futher. If there is a phenomenon, I'd really like to understand what it is. If there is no phenomenon, I'd like to settle the matter.

 
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

*

Offline Helenwh

  • First timers
  • *
  • 1
    • View Profile
    • java developer
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #26 on: 25/08/2010 08:49:02 »
We all agree that there's probably a greater risk from all the ground mapping radars flying about in aircraft.

« Last Edit: 25/08/2010 08:52:40 by Helenwh »

*

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8740
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #27 on: 25/08/2010 19:31:37 »
We all agree that there's probably a greater risk from all the ground mapping radars flying about in aircraft.



Is this the "royal we"?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majestic_plural
Please disregard all previous signatures.

*

Offline Mootle

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 118
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #28 on: 26/08/2010 19:45:11 »
We all agree that there's probably a greater risk from all the ground mapping radars flying about in aircraft.

In order for anyone to consider this question you would first need to know:

1. The type of GMR is being used.
2. Voltage being carried.
3. Distance of cable from the person under test.
4. Exposure time to each signal.
5. Particular disposition of person under test to cancer.
6. Age of person under test.
7. Structure of the dwelling.
8. Height of GMR.
9. Location.
10. Climate etc etc etc.

Since no one has mentioned any of these parameters, it is difficult to know what is 'probably' a higher risk to health.

You can count me out of the consensus science thing.

*

Offline Make it Lady

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 4050
  • Hands-on fun for everyone!
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #29 on: 26/08/2010 23:18:46 »
I'd love to know what caused my brother to die of cancer in his 30's. Lots of things have gone through my mind including this one. Most evidence seems to be for young children but it never seems to be as conclusive as I'd like. My brother sat on top of a bank of technology for large chunks of time. I often wonder about this as well. He also drove a truck which has indications for cancers in the digestive system.
The causes of cancer are always going to be debated strongly and electrical companies will throw lots of money to disprove conections with pylons just as any vested interest will guard its interest. When we look at data and evidence we always have to ask where the funding came from. I'm resigned to the knowledge that I'll never know what caused my brother's cancer but at the end of the day it is a problem that comes with being relatively well off. If we were really poor our illnesses would be different. There has to be a down side to being wealthy!
Rant over!
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la rÚsistance!"
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #30 on: 29/08/2010 06:27:00 »
MIL,

Sorry to hear of your loss. I too developed cancer (of the goolies) in my thirties, but I was fortunate to survive thanks to early detection and radiation therapy.

My cancer may have been the result of electromagnetic radiation, but if it was, it's very unlikely that it was produced from high tension power lines.

As the science stands today (despite what the popular press claims), as I understand it, power lines do a couple of things;

They radiate an electromagnetic field that is a function of the current flowing through the wires. Note that the voltage is made very large so that the current is relatively small. The power companies do that to minimize energy losses in the wires.

They produce an electric field. The electric field is a function of the voltage (which is large) but you can block the electric field with a sheet of aluminium foil. Also, electric fields are, and have always been, all around us. When you go up in an aeroplane, you, and the entire aeroplane are charged to thousands of volts relative to ground. Just walk across a nylon carpet, and you might achieve a 30,000 volt potential.

In my case, I suspect that if my cancer was not simply a genetic fluke it was much more likely that it resulted from nuclear bombardment (X-rays) of one sort or another, or from some carcinogenic chemical agent, and there were a lot of them.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

*

Offline tangoblue

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 301
  • RANDOMNESS RULES!!!
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #31 on: 12/10/2010 18:29:07 »
Well i suppose i cant give you solid evidence but i did do it as a project in physics a while back and came acros a study on it. It did say that people living close to pilons had a bigger chance of getting cancer. it did give a reasson but i cant remember, sorry.

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la rÚsistance!"
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #32 on: 12/10/2010 19:48:22 »
Well i suppose i cant give you solid evidence but i did do it as a project in physics a while back and came acros a study on it. It did say that people living close to pilons had a bigger chance of getting cancer. it did give a reasson but i cant remember, sorry.

Well, that really helped a lot.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

*

Offline robertjhon143

  • First timers
  • *
  • 3
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #33 on: 13/10/2010 09:04:13 »
Hi karen,
there are no known health risks that have been conclusively demonstrated to be caused by living near high-voltage power lines. But science is unable to prove a negative, including whether low-level EMFs are completely risk free. Most scientists believe that exposure to the low-level EMFs near power lines is safe, but some scientists continue research to look for possible health risks associated with these fields. If there are any risks such as cancer associated with living near power lines, then it is clear that those risks are small.

*

Offline tangoblue

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 301
  • RANDOMNESS RULES!!!
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #34 on: 14/10/2010 00:17:25 »
Geezer are you being sarcastic?

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la rÚsistance!"
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #35 on: 14/10/2010 01:59:42 »
Geezer are you being sarcastic?


Guilty as charged Guv.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no, zero, nada scientific evidence that links the EMF produced by HT power lines to any human illness. If you believe otherwise, you might want to immediately disconnect your home from any electric power source, because that is far more dangerous.

However, if you want to succumb to the influence of moneymaking media and lawyers without understanding the science, that's up to you.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

*

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #36 on: 14/10/2010 03:59:06 »
Like I said earlier in this thread, whether a particular EMR is harmful to health, or not, comes down to statistics.  If the incidence of problems is below the noise threshold of the statistical method used to assess the degree of danger then it'll be regarded as safe, even though it may clearly not have been for the very small number cases lost in the noise.

However, rather than being a criticism, or highlighting a failure of the statistical method, it really just reflects the nature of the problem; there is no clear and definitive answer, just a probability which, while in this particular case is vanishingly small, can never be zero.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la rÚsistance!"
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #37 on: 14/10/2010 18:34:12 »
It's not impossible that there could be some correlation between incidence of disease and power lines. For example, homes built close to power lines are likely to be less expensive and they will be occupied by lower income families. This in turn could account for differences in health care, chemical agents and nutrition that can lead to higher incidence of certain diseases.

However, sorting all of that out to draw any meaningful conclusions would be extremely difficult.

I suppose it's possible that you are slightly less likely to be struck by lightning if you live near overhead lines. They must be very effective lightning conductors.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

*

SteveFish

  • Guest
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #38 on: 15/10/2010 01:29:46 »
LeeE, your analysis of the statistics of noise is correct, however you are also uncertain if living under a high voltage power line might be beneficial, but the signal is lost in the noise. When a study of the entire population of Finland (and many other large samples in other countries) can't pull any signal from the noise, any harmful or beneficial effect is way too small to be worth considering.

Another problem with the power line and cell phone health question is that there is no known mechanism whereby the radiation can have an effect! The radiation from these sources is several orders of magnitude below the energy required to break chemical bonds (required to cause cancer). When one has no mechanism it is very inappropriate to attribute a specific cause (e.g. the radiation) and it is important to explore different hypotheses, such as socioeconomic status as suggested by Geezer.

Steve

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la rÚsistance!"
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #39 on: 15/10/2010 08:30:27 »
I must admit I keep coming back to this topic because I find it quite fascinating. Despite the fact that there really is no scientific evidence to link EMR from overhead power lines to cancers, it seems that many well educated scientists are willing to believe that there might actually be some connection, although they can't even begin to explain what that may be.

It does make me wonder if a lot of scientists are a lot more susceptible to sensational media exploits than they would care to admit. Personally, I don't think it's appropriate to keep one's options open. If the current science says one thing, either get behind it, or disprove it. I don't understand how being wishy/washy about it adds any value.





There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

*

SteveFish

  • Guest
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #40 on: 15/10/2010 16:06:13 »
Geezer, I think that this situation is comparable to the CO2-global warming issue. The great majority of scientists with the expertise to understand the question all agree (global warming is a problem and power lines are not), while there is a very, very small minority of scientists who deny the consensus, and a collection of self aggrandizing pundits, who are not scientists, who whip up the controversy. As you have observed, there have been quite a few large studies on power lines in response to the hoopla in popular culture. When taken together these studies show no effect. Steve

*

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #41 on: 15/10/2010 18:44:55 »
Geezer and SteveFish: I said quite clearly that the probability...

Quote
...in this particular case is vanishingly small...

so while we all seem to believe that the risk is not worth acknowledging, you both seem to want to insist that the degree of risk is a definitive zero.  Sorry chaps, but you're trying to prove a negative here.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la rÚsistance!"
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #42 on: 15/10/2010 19:19:01 »
Lee, so if I told you that wearing cotton socks might increase your risk of developing cancer, you'd have to agree that there is some risk?
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

*

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #43 on: 15/10/2010 19:52:49 »
That's a bad analogy Geez.

Whether someone gets cancer from exposure to EMR is intrinsically statistical, for amongst any group of subjects exposed there will be some that do and some that don't.  The fact that some do though, shows there is a clear link.  There's no such link to wearing cottons socks.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la rÚsistance!"
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #44 on: 15/10/2010 20:22:59 »
That's a bad analogy Geez.

Whether someone gets cancer from exposure to EMR is intrinsically statistical, for amongst any group of subjects exposed there will be some that do and some that don't.  The fact that some do though, shows there is a clear link.  There's no such link to wearing cottons socks.

Ah! So you are saying there is evidence that low frequency weak field EMR produces cancer. Can you point us at that evidence?
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

*

SteveFish

  • Guest
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #45 on: 15/10/2010 20:54:25 »
To put an even sharper point in this LeeE, I assert that radiation emanating from power lines has a weak protective effect against getting cancer. Using your logic, explain how I am wrong. Steve

*

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #46 on: 16/10/2010 18:41:41 »
No Geezer, I am not saying that low-frequency EMR produces cancer.

All I am saying is that EMR can cause cancer.

Because EMR is a continuous spectrum, where there is no clear and definitive point between one frequency and another, one cannot say definitively that a higher frequency will always cause it but a lower frequency will never cause it.

SteveFish: have you any evidence to suggest that EMR has a protective effect against cancer?  If there is such evidence then I'd happily give it a qualified acceptance.

Rather than discussing the issue, you both seem to be more intent on winning the argument, even though your argument depends, as I mentioned earlier, upon proving a negative.

Do you both actually acknowledge that your argument depends upon proving this negative?
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la rÚsistance!"
    • View Profile
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #47 on: 16/10/2010 20:32:16 »
Lee,

I think the onus is on you to prove the positive point regarding genetic damage. The energy levels required are well understood, and I don't believe there is any evidence at all that the fields involved come anywhere remotely close to being able to interfere with molecular bonds in DNA. There is no cumulative effect and there is a quantifiable threshold.

The position should be that there is no known scientific evidence that connects cancer with power lines. If you are going to insist that there "might" be, then we are back to my cotton socks argument. You can't disprove I'm wrong about that, because you can't prove a negative either. I think both arguments are equally useless.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

*

SteveFish

  • Guest
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #48 on: 16/10/2010 20:58:33 »
Geezer, you beat me to it with a better response than I was concocting.

LeeE,the evidence I have for a positive effect of hugging a power line is exactly equal to your evidence for a negative association. For this topic I can't prove a negative affect, but I must accept the null hypothesis.

Steve

*

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
Is there any risk living under power lines?
« Reply #49 on: 17/10/2010 17:17:18 »
You are both claiming an undisputed fact, but the proof of that fact requires proving a negative, which cannot be done.

The options are a) EMR from overhead powerlines does cause cancer, b) EMR from overhead powerlines doesn't cause cancer, or c) EMR from overhead powerlines may cause cancer.

Option a) is clearly untrue because people do live beneath overhead powerlines without getting cancer.  Option b) though, which is what you are both trying to claim is true, depends upon proving a negative.  Because a) is proven to be untrue, and because b) cannot be proven, I am therefore adhering to option c).

You can both believe whatever you want, of course, but until there's proof it must remain just a belief.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!