ABKnowledge and Employability scientific research 8, 9 (revised 2009)9Unit D: electrical Principles and Technologies
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Every day, you use modern technologies that you more than likely take because that granted. Things prefer the microwave that cooks your meals, the lights the let you check out in the dark and the tv that entertains you. What do these technologies have actually in common? They all need power to work. 

Our require for electrical power is growing. So is the variety of transmission towers and also overhead electrical wires in the places we live. Yet what if security time close to the electrical and also magnetic energy from high-voltage wires reasons health problems? Thankfully, research shows that it more than likely doesn’t. At least not in the situation of childhood leukemia. 

High-voltage overhead transmission lines bring electricity from electric power tree to transformer substations. Transformer substations room closer to whereby the electricity is actually used.

You are watching: Dangers of living close to power lines


Electricity generation, transmission and also distribution (Let’s Talk scientific research using photo by mathisworks via iStockphoto).


Power lines room surrounded by one electromagnetic field (EMF) that stretches in all directions. The US nationwide Cancer institute (NCI) explains electromagnetic fields as “invisible areas of power (also dubbed radiation) that are developed by electricity”. The NCI additionally explains that EMFs are created by countless things, like power lines, electric wiring and also household appliances prefer televisions and microwaves.

Electromagnetic fields incorporate electric fields and also magnetic fields. 


Electric FieldsMagnetic Fields
Produced by voltageProduced through current
The higher the voltage, the more powerful the fieldThe greater the current, the more powerful the field
Exists even when over there is no present flowingStrength of field varies v power consumption
Field deserve to do work-related (the speed and also direction of corpuscle changes)Field cannot do job-related (speed that particles stay constant)
Are perpendicular come the magnetic fieldAre perpendicular come the electric field
Symbol is ESymbol is B
Measured in volts every metre (V/m) or Newton/coulomb

Measured in tesla (T)

(Newton × Second) /(Coulomb × Meter)

Measured using electrometerMeasured using magnetometer

Based top top a graph by EMsafety



Electric field lines are directed far from positive charged source charges and also toward negatively charged resource charges. Magnetic field lines kind circular loops roughly the wire. The flow of energy is directed through the fields from the dried cell towards the fill (light bulb).


The EMFs the come indigenous high-voltage power lines room a lot more powerful than those about household appliances. Family appliances usually produce fields measuring between 0.01 to 0.02 microteslas (µT). If you stood directly underneath the greatest voltage power lines though, you could receive a preferably of 100µT. The is 10 000 times as much. 

This amount easily decreases as you relocate away indigenous high voltage lines. For example, at 25 m far from the most powerful line you would certainly receive around 1-2µT. This is still ten to 20 times much more exposure 보다 you would get inside the average residence in north America. 

Where friend live in the world probably renders a huge difference to the EMFs friend receive. Civilization living much from the earth’s magnetic poles obtain on typical 30µT. Human being in Canada live closer come the phibìc geomagnetic pole, and can get up come 60µT.

Did you know? 

The tesla (T) is the SI (International system of Units) unit used to describe the toughness of magnetic fields. It can additionally be stood for as kg⋅s−2⋅A−1. Scientists usually report data in millionths of a tesla, or microteslas (µT). 

Some civilization living close to high-voltage power lines issue about possible health effects. One worry is that children could have a greater risk of getting cancer as a an outcome of living near a power line. 

Did you know? 

Magnetic fields are much more likely to permeate the body than electrical fields. Electric fields space weakened by obstacles prefer walls. Since of this, magnetic areas are the component of electromagnetic areas (EMFs) the are often studied as a feasible cause that cancer.

Scientists have actually done numerous studies on this subject. In 2018, a team of researchers studied every the results of 11 ahead studies around the world. They uncovered that there to be no clean link in between magnetic fields and also a child’s opportunity of emerging leukemia, a type of cancer. They looked at youngsters who lived close to and far far from strength lines of every voltages. Lock found virtually no differences in between them. 

One difference they did find was that youngsters who lived really close come high voltage lines had actually a very small increase in their opportunities of arising leukemia. This didn’t constantly happen though. And children living near stronger magnetic fields did not have a stronger possibility of arising leukemia. So, scientists don’t recognize what causes this problem. 

Childhood cancer no happen really often. So, it’s difficult to measure up if this number is changing, even a small bit. In Canada, 1,230 children were diagnosed with leukemia between 2012 and also 2016. 

We room exposed come EMFs all the time. From strength lines and also appliances to whereby you live on the Earth. The ar of research right into the health effects of EMFs is still fairly new. Researchers still have plenty of questions and a lot to learn about how EMFs from various sources can influence our health.

Media LiteracyWhat aspects of EMFs and also high voltage strength lines perform media outlets discuss? Is the discussion detailed too small in scope? Why or why not?Consumerism is stated to it is in a leading aspect for the increased need for energy. What is consumerism and also how do well-known media add to a society of consumerism? How should federal government agencies and also media outlets communicate the potential health and wellness risks linked with EMFs?Do you feel the potential health risks related to EMFs space effectively interacted to residents?
Media LiteracyWhat elements of EMFs and high voltage strength lines do media outlets discuss? Is the discussion provided too small in scope? Why or why not?Consumerism is claimed to be a leading aspect for the increased need for energy. What is consumerism and how do well-known media contribute to a society of consumerism? How should federal government agencies and also media outlets communicate the potential health and wellness risks associated with EMFs?Do you feel the potential health threats related come EMFs are effectively communicated to residents?
Teaching SuggestionsThis article supports teaching and learning the Health, modern technology & Engineering, Physics and Electricity and Magnetism concerned cancer, electrical fields and electricity transmission. Ideas introduced encompass magnetic fields, electrical fields, electricity and Tesla (T).
Teaching SuggestionsThis post supports teaching and learning the Health, technology & Engineering, Physics and Electricity and Magnetism concerned cancer, electric fields and electricity transmission. Concepts introduced encompass magnetic fields, electric fields, electricity and also Tesla (T).

Earth’s Magnetic Fields

An illustrated overview indigenous the university of Alicante of where the earth magnetic field comes from, its stamin in various places, the pressures from outer room that influence it and also more.

Electromagnetic fields: wellness effects

This ar of a human being Health Organization"s site defines briefly a range of wellness concerns about electromagnetic fields and also why so much the who is no worried.

EMFs: know your environment

Article indigenous the Canadian Cancer culture outlines what we know about EMFs and also cancer.

Radiation and also Health: power lines and also electrical appliances

Article native the government of Canada that describes why heath Canada does not take into consideration nearness to strength lines a health and wellness risk.

Risk components for childhood leukemia

This page from the Canadian Cancer culture outlines the well-known and feasible risks that childhood leukemia.

Power Transmission: Towers

Hydro Québec net page that reflects a range of different transmission towers and what every is used for.

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Watch the the strongest Indoor Magnetic ar Blast Doors that Tokyo Lab vast Open (2018)

Description from SmartNews that the best magnetic ar generated on planet - 1200 teslas - and a video clip (0:10 min.) the the damage to the lab once it happened.