Are you living near power lines? Or looking at moving into a house where you would be living by or even under power lines?
Congratulations on doing some research on the subject, because as you’ll come to see, living near power lines can have some negative effects.
Our modern-day world is awash in EMF producing technology, power lines just being one example of that.
Let’s review the science behind it.
Dangers of Living Near Power Lines. What’s the Risk?
Yes, EMF’s (electromagnetic frequencies) are potentially dangerous. Even the WHO (World Health Organization), which isn’t necessarily on top of everything health related, recognizes this saying that EMF’s are possibly carcinogenic to humans. (source)
Note that this was a reversal of their previous position, such as in 2002, where they said EMF’s did not cause cancer.
Various industries have always muddied the scientific waters by lobbying and having front groups. Tobacco did it decades ago. And various businesses in the wireless, cell phone and other industries have also been doing it for years. For example, here is the American Transmission Company’s stance on the subject.
But power lines are just one type of EMF producing technology, different from WIFI or your smart phone. So, let’s go deeper into the health risks living near power lines.
In a review published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal in 1995, the authors looked at childhood leukemia and exposure to the EMF’s produced by high voltage power lines. The abstract stated:
“There is no known mechanism by which magnetic fields of the type generated by high voltage power lines can play a role in cancer development. Nevertheless, epidemiologic research has rather consistently found associations between residential magnetic field exposure and cancer. This is most evident for leukemia in children.” (source)
Regarding the “no known mechanism” there are now several mechanisms known. One of the most recent and likely to be the main function by which EMF’s contribute to cancer and other negative health effects is through voltage-gated calcium channels activation in the cells.
A study by Gerald Draper in 2005, published in BMJ, found “an association between childhood leukaemia and proximity of home address at birth to high voltage power lines, and the apparent risk extends to a greater distance than would have been expected from previous studies.” (source)
However, note that no other associations to other childhood cancers were found.
But are power lines and cancer the only danger we should be looking at?
While cancer is a horrible thing, it is by no means the only potential danger of EMF’s. EMF hypersensitivity includes lots of symptoms including:
- Chronic fatigue
- Brain fog
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleep troubles
- Poor memory loss
- Numbness and tingling
- Ringing in the ears
Because EMF’s cause subtle levels of chronic inflammation in the body, and inflammation is at the root of so many diseases of modern life, they’re likely linked to many things. We’re just not looking. And cause is a hard thing to prove, especially when it could be years before symptoms manifest.
A study from 2013 in Reviews on Environmental Health stated that:
“This review summarizes the evidence stating that excessive exposure to magnetic fields from power lines and other sources of electric current increases the risk of development of some cancers and neurodegenerative diseases, and that excessive exposure to RF radiation increases risk of cancer, male infertility, and neurobehavioral abnormalities.” (source)
Neurodegeneration. This includes Alzheimer’s, dementia and more. That is on the rise, so is cancer and so is infertility. I’m not saying EMF’s cause all these things but may be just one factor of many.
A review from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health wrote this:
“In general terms, the average exposure to low frequency magnetic fields of the general public in European countries is very low, between 0.01 and 0.1 µT. Approximately 0.5% of the general public is exposed for longer periods to levels above 0.2 µT from the fixed outdoor ELF-EMFs sources (i.e., high-voltage power lines, lines of transport systems). Elevated ELF exposure (up to a few µT) has been measured in apartments very close to built-in power transformers.” (source)
This means that the fields from power lines increase exposure to µT (micro-Teslas, the unit of magnetic flux density, by which these fields are measured). This is showing that there is a different amount that is picked up by the human body when near these lines.
To recap, there is no conclusive evidence about the risks of living near power lines…but there is enough evidence to be wary of doing so.
Is it Safe Living Near Power Lines?
Or to put it into other words, what is the safe distance to live from power lines?
This is a common issue in selling real estate as people have a natural aversion to living close to high voltage power lines. Some of it may be because of how they look, but there’s likely also the intuitive feeling that it may not be so good to do so.
But how close is too close?
EMF’s get weaker over distance according to the inverse square law. In essence, that means that being twice as far from them means you’re only exposed to one fourth the field. What that means is that the further away you are from the power lines the less EMF radiation you’re exposed too.
To understand it another way, the lamp on your bedside table is likely affecting you with a higher field than a power line, but that depends on how close it is.
To quote again from Review of Studies Concerning Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Exposure Assessment in Europe: Low Frequency Fields (50 Hz–100 kHz), they found that: “Living or attending school within 100 m of a voltage power line higher than 132 kV increased mean exposure by a factor of 3.5 and bedroom measurements by a factor 6.9 compared to a control group exposed to neither power lines nor in-building step-down transformers.”
This means is that a distance of about 300m should have very little effect. And these were high-voltage power lines. Different ones run more or less power. This picture from HydroQuebec gives you an idea of the power differences between different lines. Living near power lines as shown on the left isn't so much a problem. Living near the big one on the right is much more so.
Bigger and higher voltage power lines means you want to be further away. Plus, these high voltage power lines can make noise. Meanwhile, smaller lines aren’t going to have as much impact. More often than not, the devices in your house, and those you hold on your body, like cell phones, are going to have bigger impact.
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself and Your Family from Power Lines?
First step is to avoid living near power lines if possible. But, unfortunately, that is not always possible. Still, of the dangers, in most cases power lines are not the worst of the EMF culprits out there.
But for all of it, that's where Blushield technology can come in. Find out how Blushield works here.
Depending on how close and how powerful the power lines are, and any other EMF nearby such as cell towers, smart meters, etc., you'd want to get at least a Plugin, but may be better suited with the Cube or the Ultra.