The use of electricity has made our daily lives better. Almost everything is faster, easier and more convenient now. And very rarely do we stop doing things just because night has fallen. Total darkness is a thing of the past and convenience is the new name of the game. But electricity, although very used, is still a puzzle for most. It has in the last half century or so, caused alarm popping such questions like can living next door to an electric substation give you cancer? Can EMFs cause cancer?
This subject has been around for years. Electricians from all over have been asked this at least once. The thought that you could contract a disease just by your proximity to an electrical element is incredulous. And for all intents and purposes, not true.So no, electrical substations and high-voltage power lines do not cause cancer. How did this rumour even came about? That EMFs cause cancer? That people would fear living near electric substations or huge power lines in the off chance that they would develop cancer?
Power lines do emit low to mid-frequency magnetic fields (EMFs). This type of EMF is not known to damage DNA nor alter human cells. They are the non-ionizing radiation part of the electromagnetic spectrum according to the National Cancer Institute. This speculation came about from studies that came out in the early 80’s. It includes weak scientific evidence that associates childhood leukemia with EMF exposures. Although we are surrounded by so many electrical devices that have electric or magnetic fields today than any other time in history, there is no cause for alarm.
A World Health Organization (WHO) report their findings as follows: “Static electric and magnetic fields and extremely low-frequency electric are not classifiable as to their carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3).” The problem with studies are those that profess it causes cancer tends to have a wider audience reach than the studies conducted with more integrity and authority. One of the questions yet to be answered is: How is the very weak EMF from a power line supposed to cause cancer?