Me I've worked in high voltage electronics all my life and believe the risks
are "B.........T" as an example near where I used to live there was a
campaign to stop a mobile phone mast because of the " danger" several
hundred yards away was a major radar station pumping megawatts into the air
for the last 50 years Problems ...NIL.
The High Voltage pylons will suffer from, arcing over the ceramic isolators
in the rain some "mains hum" can be heard occasionally. The wind may make
more noise over the cables, and the pylons may interfere with TV /Radio
Cancer affects 1 in 4 people in their lifetime so it's not that against
the odds. Not only that but if you're male then you're 95% certain to
get prostate cancer before you reach the age of 100 (assuming you don't
meet your maker for other reasons before that age, of course).
As I said elsewhere, the official line is that nothing has been proved.
There are some reports out possibly from the National Radiological
Protection Board that don't actually say there's no danger, but that there
is no evidence to prove there's any danger from electromagnetic fields,
which, of course isn't quite the same thing. There was also I think a
Swedish report that came out about 10 or 12 years ago that said there was
evidence to prove there was a danger. In the end, I guess you pays your
money and takes your choice depending on your view point!
Well I can tell you that the effects of magnetic fields on developing
embryos are well documented for one biological effect. TMS shows that
magnetic fields can affect cognition as well. So we know magnetic fields
affect biological systems, the question of course is one of field
strength (and direction) allied with long term exposure.
My wife administered an epidemiology study which measured levels in
homes and sought a correlation with cancers. I can't remember what the
conclusions were, but I'll ask. It was of the 'did the electricity meter
on the other side of the wall from the bed cause my kid's brain tumour?'
Personally, I wouldn't live underneath high tension lines, but then I
earn enough so I don't have to.
School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Scotland
I came across one unusual case quite a few years ago, where a very highly
strung woman was claiming to hear very load humming from the meter / the low
voltage overheads in the street / an 11kv line a couple of fields away / a
(defunct and de-ernergised) 132 kv circuit a couple of miles away. She'd
been to Bristol (?) Uni to have her hearing checked, and had fans running in
her bedroom all night to mask this alleged hum!
In the end we tracked it down to some extractor fans in an abbatoir about
1/4 mile away. Got them to turn off the fans whilst telling her that we were
disconnecting her electricity supply - there was a reason to mislead her.
When she said the noise had disappeared, we could tell her that her
electricity hadn't been turned off, but the fans had. She had become totally
convinced that the problem was an electrical hum, and we had to prove that
it wasn't by leaving her leccy on unbeknowns to her.
They only harm your family if they decide to go and climb them (or fly
kite into them etc).
The only reasonably agreed theory behind power lines causing cancer is
that they can cause a static charge in the air around them, this air
then attracts potentially carcinogenic particles from vehicle exhausts
etc which then "hang around" in the air near the lines rather than
falling to the ground, meaning you are more likely to breathe them in.
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