Measured values around an electric panel may be variable as it depends on the power consumption in your home during the night on the one hand and on the distance from the panel on the other hand. In situ measurements in an office showed values of 0.7 microT next to the panel and 0.047 microT at a distance of one meter. This can already give you a good idea of the situation.
For the plug, values will depend on the device connected to it. Is it a big energy consumer? Is it running at night? How far is it located? Measurements around clock radios allow realizing the importance of this distance, as 30 cm is enough to reach low values.
3. Our office is located under a high voltage power line. We are worried that we are also under the influence of this line. What are the effects of 50 Hz MF on the human brain?
Concerning the human brain, you need to know that tens of studies based on human exposure to ELF have been made in the laboratory on volunteers, but, of course, only during short periods of time. No conclusion can be drawn at this time since the results are divergent: sometimes they show an improvement of performance, sometimes deterioration, and often no effect at all. Analyses for longer time periods in humans are made by means of epidemiological studies. They do not provide any evidence for a causal relationship, but suggest a possible statistical association between two phenomena, for example the frequency of a pathology in relation to one pathological agent or another. Epidemiological studies alone cannot establish a causal relationship in a convincing manner. If an association between an agent and an illness is made, it does not mean that this agent is responsible for the illness. Establishing a causal relationship requires the examination of several criteria.
It is not possible here to detail every individual study. However, reports exist that list and analyse these studies. Moreover, research is still in progress that will complete this topic. You will also find numerous bibliographical references concerning epidemiology in Literature review.
4. My 16-year-old daughter has been suffering from back pain for over one year. We have undergone every possible medical examination, but nothing seems to explain the pain. We live at approximately 50 meters from a high voltage powerline. Could this line provoke such symtoms ?
Over these 25 last years, a great deal of research has been udertaken to analyse potential effects of magntic fields in the vicinity of high voltage powerlines. To date, none of the completed st3dies allows to state, with an absolute certainty, the appearance of illnesses or undesirable effects.
As for muscular pains and sore joints, results of studies have highlighted nothing.Thus, we can tell you that your daughter’s pain can not to be connected to the high voltage powerline.
5. Some months ago, we moved into a house and have found that a high voltage line (20 000 V) passes through our garden, as well as a 220/380 V line. From blueprints we have gathered, lines should be at a depth of 1,5 m and around 1,5 m adjacent to the house. These lines join a transformer located at around 25 m from our house. Are EMF high? I am very worried for my children in light of what I have read on the internet.
The first thing to do is to define your exposure level. Before going further, you should know which field intensity you are exposed to. We advise you to contact an accredited organism in order to take 50 Hz field measurements.
Magnetic fields pass through walls while building and other obstacles shield electric fields which are definitely lower in your home.
We invite you to visit, if you haven’t already done so, our EMF and Health presentation which can help you to better understand this uncertain situation.
We also would like to add that, if a causal relationship is demonstrated one day (which is not the case), recent estimates fix from 1 to 4 % the percentage of childhood leukaemia cases attributable to power frequency magnetic fields [Kheifets et al., 2006]… this means that from 96 to 99% of leukeamia cases could be attributable to other causes. This risk for leukaemia is to consider as 1/10 000 (instead of 1/20 000) whenever we are exposed to 50 Hz magnetic fields higher than 0.4 µT a day on average, with the hypothesis of a causal relationship.
We advise you to wait for an evaluation of your exposure before being carried away by fright and reassess the situation in light of these measurements and your own risk perception.
6. For 50 years, my parents have been living below high voltage lines and close to a transformer (EDF, France). For a very long time, my mother have been suffering from cardiac and neurological ailments. I’d like to know if these pathologies could be linked to electric and magnetic fields. Do you know any doctors specialized in this field?
In your search for specialized doctors in France, we advise you to contact René de Sèze who works on the health impact of electromagnetic fields at INERIS
(see http://toxi.ineris.fr/activites/neurotoxicologie/neurotoxicologie.php or contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
You could also contact Martine Souques (email@example.com), doctor at EDF, who has published studies on cardiovascular effects of fields. She won’t fail to give you her enlightened views.
7. I live near a transformer and I would like to know if there is a risk of negative health effects, in particular for children.
Measurements around transformer cabins (installed power up to 400 kVA) show that the residual field from the transformer falls rapidly down to the initial ambient value (fields less than 0.4 microtesla as of 5 metres for the maximum transit current).
In general, with regard to the risks linked to residential exposure to electric and magnetic fields at mains frequency (50 Hz), epidemiological studies accept the possibility of a low risk of leukaemia in children exposed to magnetic fields greater than 0.4 microtesla on average. It is an average over 24 hours. However, this risk has not been demonstrated in laboratory studies on animals exposed for their entire life. At the current point in time, no working mechanism has been revealed.
For more information on the health aspects of exposure to magnetic fields at mains frequency, we suggest you visit our EMF and health pages.
8. For some years, I’ve owned a waterbed. I’d like to know if it is harmful to my health?
There is uncertainty with regard to the health effects of this kind of equipment. Concerning risks in relation to a residential exposure to EMF at power frequency (50 Hz), conclusions of epidemiological studies indicate a low but increased risk of leukaemia among children exposed to magnetic fields over 0.4 microT. However, the risk has not been demonstrated in lab studies where animals are exposed throughout their entire lives. To date, no mechanism or action has been proposed.
There are studies centred on breast cancer and exposure to power frequency magnetic fields from heating covers. These studies do not indicate an excess of breast cancer among exposed women.
In your case, the question is “how much exposure do you receive from your waterbed?”
Gilbert Decat has done measurements on waterbeds. The exposure values are quite weak, under 0.15 microT. Feel free to contact him for more information concerning the measurements.