Are electricity substations a health risk?

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Are electricity substations a health risk?
« on: 01/12/2011 18:30:03 »
David asked the Naked Scientists:
Is it safe to live within 20 ft from a power substation?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 01/12/2011 18:30:03 by _system »


Offline Don_1

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Are electricity substations a health risk?
« Reply #1 on: 01/12/2011 11:41:52 »
Whoa! That's some can of worms you're opening there.

There are experts on both sides of the fence, scientists on the side of the environmentalist camp who say there are health risks and scientists working for the power generators and distributors who say there are not. Neither seem to be able to conclusively prove their case.

My take on this is quite simple. We all live with electricity every minute of every day. In our homes, our place of work, out shopping, at the bar, in the cinema etc etc etc. Practically every building we are in has a network of live cables forming a virtual cage around us. So we are all subjected to electromagnetic fields practically all the time. Admittedly, for the most part for most of us, these fields will be insignificant, but they are there all the same. Do we all suffer health problems as a result?

Then there are the workers in and around the power plants, substations and distribution centres and the linesmen maintaining power lines, and you can add to those, the workers and passengers on electric railways. Is there a history of health problems among these people?

I think the biggest problem with power plants, substations, pylons etc is the NIMBY brigade. We all use the electricity, but none want the means of supply in our back yards. The problem is someone has to.
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