Whether living near power lines is dangerous or not is still a debatable question. There appears to be conflicting evidence about the issue.
Like with all questions about electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and wireless radiation, you can find experts making adamant claims on both sides of the question.
But the important thing is that there exists plentiful evidence that does clearly correlate EMF exposure with numerous symptoms and serious diseases—and exposure from living near power lines is no exception. Many independent, peer-reviewed studies have linked power lines with several different diseases, including cancer.
Research on Living near Power Lines
In 2007, R.M. Lowenthal in Hobart, Australia, conducted a research study published in the “Internal Medicine Journal” focusing on the incidence of cancer and exposure to high power lines. The study established a link between its survey group of 850 Australians and adult onset of lymphatic and bone marrow cancers. Results showed that the risk of developing cancer increased by 106% for people who lived within 50 meters of a power line, as compared to those who lived 300 meters away.
Childhood Leukemia has been even more thoroughly studied in regard to power lines. In 1979, a study published in the “American Journal of Epidemiology” by Wertheimer and Leeper of the University of Colorado Medical Center reported a direct link between living by power lines and childhood leukemia.
Examining the relationship between the incidence of leukemia in children and living near power lines at various distances, they found that there was a higher incidence of leukemia in children who lived closest to power lines. The findings made headlines and spawned dozens of further studies over the years seeking to replicate the results.
For example, in 2005, the British Medical Journal published a study conducted by Dr. Gerald Draper, et al, which found that children who lived within 200 meters of a high voltage power line at birth were 70% more likely to develop childhood leukemia than those living more than 600 meters away.
Two more studies were published in 2010 linking childhood leukemia with living near high voltage power lines: The first involved 600 children and emphasized that “living close to high voltage power lines is a risk for ALL.” The second was a pooled analysis of seven studies with a total of 10,865 cases and 12,853 controls with similar conclusions.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Senile Dementia
A study in 2008, conducted by Dr. Anke Huss, et al correlated power lines and the risk of death due to neurodegenerative diseases. It was found that there was a dose-response relation between living by power lines and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and also senile dementia.
Another study by M. Fechting, et al supported the hypothesis that EMF exposure increases the risk of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and suggests that magnetic field exposure may represent a late-acting influence in the disease process.
In 2001, Dr. De-Kun Li, leading a team at Kaiser Permanente’s research division in Oakland, CA conducted an epidemiological study which found an up to six-fold increased risk of miscarriage among women living by power lines. Later, in 2002, Newsgroup Newspapers reported on a study in which it was found that 1 woman in 7 living within 25 meters of a power line suffered from miscarriage; whereas, those living further than 25 meters only suffered 1 in 29.
Depression, Anxiety and Sleep Disorders
The Pacific Northwest Laboratory in Washington published a study in 1988 that found that EMFs from power lines disrupted circadian rhythm cycles and altered serotonin and melatonin neurotransmitter levels—all of which cause sleep disorders and difficulty in regulating emotions, such as depression and anxiety.
So do you have to wait till someone in your family is diagnosed with one of these diseases to see if you’ve been affected by power lines near your home? No, there are symptoms that people often feel earlier on, such as:
- sleep disorders
- digestive disorders
If someone in your family has been experiencing symptoms since you’ve lived near power lines, you might want to consider the lines as a possible cause—or at least a contributing one.
It’s Not Necessary to Move
The good news is it’s not necessary to move. You can get EMF protection and prevent symptoms and diseases caused by living near power lines.
Read more on power line dangers.