Many people are concerned about the dangers from EMF radiation that is often overlooked but can be potential damage to someone’s health. When we think of EMF, we often think about cell phones and Wi-Fi connections, but there is another source that is significant to consider, which is the power lines. Although they are not in our sight, as opposed to our devices, they can be equally threatening for your health, especially if you are living near the power lines.
This is because power lines emit high-voltage electrical current, and just like other devices that have current running through them, they transmit high-frequency electromagnetic fields. If that is the case with you and this is something that you are interested in, you are probably wondering how to measure EMF from power lines.
In that case, keep reading as in the article we will discuss the dangers of EMF and how you can measure it when it is emitted from the power lines.
What Is EMF and How Do the Power Lines Produce It?
EMF is a field of both electromagnetic and magnetic compounds that emit energy known as electromagnetic radiation. A significant thing to know is that they can come from both natural and man-made sources. This type of radiation is known as non-ionizing, meaning it is a low frequency but can still be harmful to your health. The electromagnetic fields are also invisible, so they are challenging to detect if you don’t have tools for measuring.
Natural EMFs come from the electric charges in the atmosphere, also known as thunder. There is also an earth magnetic field that is used by both fish and birds for navigation. Aside from these, there are also human-made sources such as high-frequency radio waves from TV, radio stations, etc.
However, power lines are also a source of EMF, which can also negatively impact your health. They connect electricity from the power stations to the homes and carry high voltages of up to 400,000 volts. When the current flows through the lines, the two magnetic fields are made, and they have the ability to penetrate your body and your cells.
When it comes to strength, it also depends on the amount of current that goes through these power lines, the voltage, and how close they are to each other. One thing is certain, the higher the electric current is, the stronger the EMF and the radiation is.
Is Living Near Power Lines Safe?
In order to know whether it is safe to live near a power line, you need to measure the strength of the EMF. As mentioned, this is known as electromagnetic radiation, which must be measured to determine if there are any potential dangers when it comes to living near power lines.
Although many researchers claim that such radiation is not harmful to one’s health, many studies have shown potential dangers. A German study conducted by researchers Wertheimer and Leeper has shown that children who lived near power lines have developed or were most likely to develop cancer as opposed to those who weren’t.
Other studies have shown that EMF exposure can be a cause of many complications and conditions such as cancer, blood and heart diseases, reproductive issues, Alzheimer’s disease, leukemia, depression, sleeping disorders and decreased libido, and other life-threatening symptoms and conditions.
There is also a study published in 2002 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer which speaks on health effects from such radiation. With this in mind, if you are worried and wondering whether you are affected by such dangerous radiation, what you need to do is establish what EMF distance from power lines is safe and how you can measure the EMF strength.
Do Underground Power Lines Also Emit EMF?
When it comes to underground power lines, you don’t have to be worried about the electrical radiation but about the magnetic radiation that can negatively impact your health. Since the lines are close to the surface, the radiation can still be high, so they also need to be taken into consideration. Although underground power lines are rarer, as they are more expensive than others, they can still be dangerous for people who are living near them.
What EMF Distance From Power Lines Is Considered Safe?
Regarding safety, you shouldn’t worry about the size of the power lines but the current intensity that flows through them. Although it is difficult to measure the safe distance from them, there are some guidelines that you can follow.
It is known that street power lines can be hazardous as well, and the strongest ones produce 0.5 milligauss when it comes to a distance of 25. So if your house is less than 24m away from the power lines, you should be worried.
When it comes to main power lines, if there is only a 50m distance from where you live to the power lines, then you can expect to deal with increased chances of developing cancer, while on 500m, you can notice EEG’s abnormalities.
Furthermore, for a distance of 800m, you can expect calcium decrease and altered biorhythms if your house is at least 1000m away from the power lines. Moreover, studies have shown that a 2000m distance can be a cause of stunted growth.
How EMR Levels Affect Your Body
Aside from these guides, what you also need to take into consideration is the EMR levels that affect your body. If they vary from 2mG-12mG, the chances of cancer can increase, while 4mG can be a cause of leukemia. The smaller power lines can also emit EMR but to a much lesser degree than a transformer.
When it comes to the ideal amount or number of radiation, it should be less than 5mG when you are at least 800m away from the power line. An equally important thing to know is that the closer and longer you stay next to power lines, the more your body will be affected by EMF.
The Best Methods for Measuring EMF From Power Lines
Now that you are familiar with the dangers that come from EMF, let’s take a look at how you can measure EMF from power lines quickly and effectively.
Use EMF Meter
One way you can check whether you are safe is by using an EMF meter for magnetic radiation. The meter will present you with information about the amount of radiation and the harmful radiation that comes from the power lines.
To use it, you need to simply hold it in your hand facing the power lines and change the parameters according to your preferences. Also, make sure that you activate AC Magnetic Mode to receive a proper reading.
Check the EMF by Using Gaussmeter
To detect the power line radiation, you might want to choose a low-frequency gaussmeter that can help you get accurate measurements in places in your home where you spend most of the time. It is recommended to measure during different times of the day if it is possible and cover the outdoor area as well.
If the meter shows more than 1.0 mG, you need to be aware of the risks. What is more, the gaussmeter can also measure magnetic radiation from kitchen appliances as well which is also something worth considering. Other devices that you can use for measuring are AM radio to detect low radio frequencies and dirty electricity.
Use RF Meter or Stetzer Meter
If these two methods are not suitable for you and you are still wondering how to measure EMF from power lines, what you can do is use two other types of meters. You can use an RF meter to detect radiation from devices that we use daily such as cell phones and wireless computer networks. To measure dirty electricity, you can also use a Stetzer meter and receive the results on a digital scale.
Tips for Measuring EMF with Gaussmeter
When you are considering measuring the radiation with a gaussmeter, what you need to do is measure it during different times in the day and around 6:00 pm when the electrical usage peaks to measure the highest strength that comes from them.
Another tip to consider is measuring by starting underneath them and noticing the measures as you start moving towards your home. If the measures are really high when you are at your front door, you might want to consider moving.
If you are not familiar with the measurement procedures, you can also contact your local power company or hire a building biologist who can perform an assessment of the property before you move to the place.
Moreover, you can use an EMF calculator that you can find online to measure the approximate levels of the magnetic fields by selecting the type of the power line and the distance between the place you live in and them.
Protection Tips From Daily EMF Exposure
The radiation produced by electronic devices is significantly lower than the one from the power lines. However, it can still impact your health if you are not very cautious.
One of the best ways to avoid such radiation is to keep a distance from home appliances. Although they are frequently used, you can do your daily tasks by opening the fridge and loading your washing machine as quickly as possible and avoiding sitting on the appliances.
Another thing to take into consideration is your phone. When you are not using your phone during the day, or while you sleep, it is recommended to place it in another room.
Another thing often overlooked but equally important is to occasionally unplug the electronic devices as well as the electricity from time to time or when possible for you.
What Can You Do if You Live Next to a Power Line?
As it can be noticed, the risks from such radiation exposure can be very dangerous, so there are certain things that you can implement if that is the case for you. One thing that you can do to protect yourself is to relocate and distance yourself from the power lines. However, that solution is not possible for everyone, so you might need to shield your home, which is not an easy and cheap solution.
The main thing to do is to measure the EMF in your house, and then, if they are above safety, you can implement protection measures such as getting radiation protection paint, shielding fabrics, or plant trees and other physical blocks. If nothing works, then relocating might be the best solution for you.
What Is the Difference Between Electric and Magnetic Field?
The main difference between electric and magnetic fields is that electric fields arise from voltage, while magnetic ones come from current flows, and they are more dangerous. As long as there is a current flow, the magnetic field exists. It is also much easier to shield from electric fields and magnetic fields, but it is not impossible.
When it comes to strength, their strength decreases as you distance yourself from the source. For that reason, if you are in a harmful exposure, it is recommended to distance yourself from the source.
Important Notes to Mention
Now with the advance of technology, everyone is surrounded by both electric and magnetic fields at home or at work by using industrial equipment and domestic appliances. For this reason, scientists are still researching this topic as low level frequencies from such exposures can affect your overall health.
In this regard, power lines are not often considered when it comes to dangerous radiations, but they can still significantly impact your wellbeing. This is because they carry a high current level, and they create EMF in the surrounding area.
To find out if your home is at a safe distance from the power lines, we recommend implementing measures and determining whether any protection measures need to be taken. Studies have shown that such exposures can be a cause of many threatening diseases, so it is necessary to take this matter very seriously.
Now you know how to measure EMF from power lines. Whether you are planning on moving to a new place, or you are worried about your health and the health of others, knowing that power lines can be dangerous and cause threatening conditions and diseases can be scary. Therefore, we recommend that you measure EMF to be sure to determine the levels.
Unfortunately, there are many people who are at risk from the power lines and their EMF, as well as the radiation from kitchen appliances and Wi-Fi connections. What you can do is implement one of the methods for measuring and protecting your health and the health of the others who are at risk.