For over forty years the great debate on health effects from living to close to power lines wages on.
Is there a positive answer to that age old questions on if the electromagnetic radiation from these high voltage power lines cause health issues and concerns. This debate may never be resolved however, there is some information on the loose that does make a case for concern.
The health controversy really hit the headlines and set about some issues of concerns in 1979 with the first evidence by Wertheimer and Leeper was published. A study published by Nancy Wertheimer and Ed Leeper did note a high incident of childhood cancer in those residences which were near electrical lines that carried high currents as in comparison to homes situated near low current power lines or from a further distance of the lines. Their report was the first to advocate that 50 – 60 herts EMF as possible health risks in residential areas. In their report they had implied that extensive everyday exposure. It also took aim at childhood cancer. The exposure of the child populace and then mix in the vast nature of EMF exposure had set on fire interests in health in the chances of health reactions of residential EMF.
Due to this new information coming to light, the scientific society performed added studies to investigate the possible health reactions from exposure to EMF in the home. Since that moment, it had created many epidemiological studies with the hopes of obtaining clarity to the situation. The outcomes of these studies have been divided. Therefore the controversy of EMF exposure wages on till at some time a final conclusive decision can be made. All residents who live near these powers lines or persons thinking of purchasing homes, take a look at the presented evidence and draw their own conclusions.
As we leap forward by six years here comes a report from the British Medical Journal 2005. A study was conducted in the purpose to establish if there is a link between distance of home address for those children that residing in the home since birth from high voltage power lines and the occurrence of leukemia along with other cancers appearing in children located in England and Wales.
The study had involved records of children from 1962 to 1965 numbering 29,081 children with cancer and 9,700 included that had leukemia. The conclusion of this study did in fact establish a link between childhood leukemia and distance of home at birth to the high voltage power lines. These risks had surpassed those of previous studies. The outcomes had shown that children within a range of 256 feet of high voltage power lines at birth had a 70% greater risk of developing leukemia than those children residing greater than 1,969 feet away at time of birth. This study adds to the evidence list that children living near high voltage power lines does pose a possible heightened risk for childhood leukemia.
An evaluation of power lines and links to childhood leukemia which had cost $7 million dollars had its final evaluation dated June 2002. The evaluation was conducted by California Department of Health and Sciences. Their conclusion determined that Emfs can cause some rate of increased risks of not only childhood leukemia but also adult cancer, Lou Gehrig’s Disease and miscarriages. This evaluation is in total an accumulated nine years of research. A standard causation which is a more precise test in which attempts to establish the link between EMF and the diseases.
They had surmised that the risks were low with all the diseases with exception to miscarriages. There is a serious health risk present. The Emfs do not add to the conditions however, portions of available cases and the size of collective lifetime risks of adults being highly exposed is possibly a concern to regulators.
With the week of March 31st 2002, the Minnesota Department of Health had placed an assessment of the California Health Department report which had discovered magnetic fields possibly do cause a number of diseases. The authors of the assessment was kept secretive.
Then on June 10, 2005 Judge Charlotte TerKeurst, a California Administrative Law Judge agreed with the residents of Burlingame and South San Francisco businesses to keep away high voltage power line from the residential district and corporate areas in those cities. The decision of Judge TerKeurst was the fact powers lines do represent a health risk.
The year 2004 was definitely the year of evidence being produced on the link between high voltage power lines and childhood leukemia. United Kingdom scientists stated living near high voltage power lines nearly doubles the risks of childhood cancer like leukemia.
In 2008 Chinese researchers discovered that children who have a defective version of a gene that usually aides in repairing DNA damage are at greater risks to develop leukemia if they live close to power lines or transformers. The scientists had concluded that children who are exposed to power lines EMF endure DNA break and those children who have the modified gene cannot repair the damaged DNA making these children more predisposed to this cancer.
The evidence is becoming overwhelming with studies showing the association between power lines and health issues such as that of cancer. Leukemia, cancer and heart disease can come on suddenly with no advance notice. The damage to a persons body by EMF onsets upon exposure to the high voltage power lines. A duration of time may pass without any symptoms being present. However, the damage is setting into the body it is just not making you aware of the fact it is there. It can take decades before the exposure leads to a serious disease. Some persons may never experience any disease within their life time. There are however, those small number percentages of persons who do become ill within three to five years. Let us not forget that children have a much greater risk of becoming seriously ill way before adults. Dangerous exposure usually is in the rates of 50 to 60 Hz.
So what can you do to protect yourself and family from the exposure short of packing up tonight and moving.
First thing to know is that not all power lines have equal strength. You can purchase a A/C gaussmeter to detect radiation from power lines. The meter will indicate where the EMF is the highest. There are several types of these meters available for purchase.
Low frequency EMF meter
These measure radiation from:
Power Lines and High Voltage Lines
Electrical Installations and Sub Stations
Wiring in your home
Office Equipment including computers
Vehicles (cars, motorcycles eg.)
This meter does come in handy. When sources of low frequency radiation is present in major rates it does have the possibility of developing long term reactions on your health.
Radio Frequency Meters
These are high frequency meters which take measurements of radio waves and microwaves from items such as
cell phone towers, cell phones and any other mobile units
wireless networks and modems
television and radio broadcasting antennas
Most of these meters have the ability to detect radio waves from 50 MHz up to 3 GHz or even higher.
Some persons can become electrically sensitive due to long term exposure. Symptoms to exposure can include headaches, migraines, heart arrhythmia’s, chronic insomnia and severe depression.
Here are some ways to reduce the EMF in your home:
Take advantage of the sunshine. Let daylight in the house to limit the use of lights.
Get exercise and make sure you consume nutritional meals.
Replace home cleaning products with home made products or those that are chemically free like Green products.
Unplug any electrical appliances when you are not using them.
Keep your bedroom electrical appliance free. Try a battery operated clock.
Rid your home of fluorescent lighting(yes the compact energy saver fluorescent lighting). It does cause migraines and contains mercury. Mercury is a hazardous material which can cause major health issues.
If your about to go and purchase a home, a good idea is to make sure you are at least five miles away from the closest microwave or cell phone tower, high tension power lines and any other radio or television transmitters.
You can also purchase EMF protection such as blackberry ADF filters and ADF filters for cellphones, blue tooth and circuit breakers. You can find places on line for their purchases such as iqnr and block emf and amazon.
If you are still unsure about EMF if it is really problem with health check out the National Cancer Institute they have a question and answer section on EMF.
It has been stated that living near power lines is the same thing as living near power stations. However, it is suggested that persons living close to power lines have a shorter life span. They have a higher risk for cancer and the radiation does increase stress levels.
Basically it is up to you to decide if you feel EMF is a major health concern to you and your families well being.
Harvard Center For Risk Analysis
British Medical Journal 2005
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Power Line Health Facts
Health Physics Society
EM Health and Safety
Quantum Emergency Room