Living Near Power Lines – Bad or Not?

Power lines and their effect on human health have been discussed for more over than forty years, since the second half of the twentieth century. Power lines are just one of the sources of electromagnetic radiation. Since the era of industrialization, humans have been rapidly filing their living space with all sorts of electric devices.

Today, we are constantly surrounded by numerous sources of electrification and its radiation. All those gadgets we are using daily, as well as the other we are not always aware of, such as power lines, for example, create electromagnetic fields. We call them EMF. Our exposure to electric and magnetic radiation has significantly grown in the last few decades.

Since the end of the seventies of the twentieth century, people have become more and more concerned about the effect of power lines on their health and the quality of life. Some scientific studies from that period launched the hypothesis according to which high voltage power lines and their radiation could be associated with the cancer development, childhood leukemia in particular.

However, some modern studies and reviews of the evidence raised a great doubt over the matter, finding that there is no correlation between the two. The most recent studies were extremely thorough and looked over various types of cancer and numerous subjects.  Some studies have found the correlation between residential magnetic fields and cancer, rather then high voltage power lines.

There has been a lot of speculation over the matter. Although large structures of high voltage power lines could seem really and obviously threatening, the scientists and medical experts still have no final judgment on its effect to human health.

However, numerous of researches show that a combination of residential electro magnetic radiation and constant background EMF waves coming from power lines could damage our health in long term.

How power lines affect human health?

Several studies do confirm the evidence of correlation between the childhood leukemia and EMF. Researches have found that there is not an unusual risk of developing this form of cancer in homes with an average level of EMF radiation. However, the potential of developing cancer significantly grows in homes with a radiation higher than 4.0 Gauss. An average and safe level should not exceed 1.0 Gauss.

Since power lines are just one source of EMF radiation, it is possible that the overall radiation in our home grows higher even when our electrical devices are not in use. Their radiation could exceed the average level and the risk grows higher when we have a nearby power line contributing to it.

Childhood leukemia is just one possible outcome, as well as other types of cancer. EMF radiation leads to cellular damage, in long term, so every person who is exposed to it would eventually get affected. However, there is little evidence it leads to serious health conditions, since our body defense and repair system is usually capable of normal recovery.

On the other hand, recovery from low frequency EMF radiation, which we speak of, requires more energy from our body. That could affect our organism’s natural ability of fighting diseases and healing, since the body won’t have enough supplies of needed substances to deal with other causes of stress.

So, power lines and other devices producing EMF radiation appear to be more dangerous to sensitive individuals, those of generally weak immune system, people who suffer from certain health condition and naturally vulnerable individuals, such as pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, old people, little children, babies and unborn children, as well. Power lines EMF radiation is bad, in general. While healthy people most probably won’t get affected in short term, EMF radiation would eventually do harm to their body, as well. If an individual’s body deals with some other issue, an illness for example, it would have great difficulties to protect itself from radiation.

A safe distance from power lines

People often wonder how close is to close, when they speak of possible negative effects of power lines radiation on theirs and their family’s health. The thing is people usually fear of big high voltage power lines complexes, because they look and sound threatening. However, a local power line station does the damage of the same kind. The actual size is not so important, while you should pay attention to its strength, especially at the place where you live.

High voltage power lines that can usually be found out of the living area generate strong magnetic field, in levels far above home levels. It spreads around up to two hundred meters and it is dangerous. Most suburban power lines usually generate EMF of a lower level. However, it is still unhealthy.

Unfortunately, it is common a local power line, the one you see suspended around the neighborhood on street poles, creates dangerous radiation at the distance of about fifteen meters, which is enough to cause damage.

Power lines are, however, all around us, even if we don’t see them. If there are no cables on street poles, power lines could be buried beneath the street. That doesn’t affect their EMF, so they are still harmful.

However, the radiation is not of the same strength all the time. It is the strongest when the current flow is at its peak. In commercial and industrial areas it is usually the highest during the day. In residential areas it is at its peak in early morning and early evening, logically.

How to protect from power lines radiation?

While there are some devices you could use to protect yourself from radiation from devices and gadgets you use daily, such as computer or mobile phone, the best way to protect your health is to get well informed on levels of radiation in the area you and your family spend the most oh the time. It is useful to learn how to measure EMF radiation and act according to your findings.

You can use a Low Frequency Gauss meter to detect and measure power lines radiation in your living and working area. If you don’t have a device to measure it, there are some basic information that could be helpful. Strong high voltage power lines usually generate less than 0.5 Gauss at two hundred meters and the strongest street power lines produce the same level of radiation at about twenty five meters.

It is very useful to measure the level of radiation coming from your own home devices and house wires. You’ll need an EMF radiation detector for that. You should check the level of radiation with all devices on and the opposite, especially in bedroom, kitchen, places where children play and all areas you spend a lot of time. If results show less than 0.5 Gauss, there is no need to worry about the possible risks.

On the other hand, if it exceeds 1.0 Gauss, you should consider moving. That level of radiation could increase the risk of health damage in long term.