EMF From An Electrical Substation In The UK

Electrical substations throughout the United Kingdom emit electromagnetic radiation which is called electromagnetic field or EMF. The electric field is not something people living nearby need be concerned about because it typically does not have enough power to be able to penetrate the walls of the substation. The magnetic field of the EMF is thought to have the potential to go through shields made of bricks or concrete and get into the human body.

Is It Dangerous To Live Near A Substation?

All electrical substations emit magnetic field radiation. Although this EMF is called non-ionizing, a growing number of healthcare professionals and body of evidence suggest it is dangerous to human health.

Some researchers believe high levels of or long-term exposure to this radiation could potentially cause people living or working close to an electrical substation to develop cancer and other ailments.

The health risks appear to be greatest among vulnerable groups. This includes pregnant women, infants, very young children, the elderly, people with chronic illnesses or who are electro-hypersensitive.

How An EMF Affects The Body

When the electric field from an EMF travels through the air and into the human body, it makes the cells in the body start oscillating at a very high frequency. This causes the cells to heat up. High-power EMF can result in damage to the cells in the human body. The varying magnetic field in an EMF also induces a measurable electric current in the human cells and tissues. When people’s skin experiences direct exposure to this type of radiation, research shows there is a high probability the skin can be badly damaged. Researchers say this can lead people repeatedly exposed to it to develop tumors or even cancer.

How Far Should You Live From A Substation

The detectable magnetic field usually generated by substations in the United Kingdom is between 3 metres and 8 metres from the substation. However, the EMFs produced by some substations are stronger than others and means a safe distance from a substation people should live or work can extend to as far as 15 metres in some cases. To ensure your home or workplace is outside of the electrical substation’s detectable magnetic field and you are far enough away so the substation’s EMF cannot negatively impact your health, some researchers suggest not living or working within 30 metres of an electrical substation.

Safe Distances

Determining safe distances from electrical substations in the UK requires employing the services of professionals using a high quality of EMF detection devices to measure the EMF’s intensity in microtesla, militesla or nanotesla. A substation’s EMF radiation is strongest closest to the installed equipment and rapidly fades the further you get from the substation. However, EMF intensity can vary from one room to another within the same property. For a report to provide accurate information about safe distances, it must include the actual magnetic field measurements taken from various locations in the building or property. Still, safe distances can range from 3 to 30 metres from the electrical substation.

UK Guidelines

The UK policy on EMFs set by government combines exposure limits and some precautionarymeasures. Input that formed the UK government guidelines on living and working in close proximity to electrical substations and the EMFs they emit comes from the scientific advice provided by the Health Protection Agency, as well as the stakeholder process SAGE and the ICNIRP guidelines. It requires the general public to comply with ICNIRP 1998 exposure limits and the 1999 EU Recommendation. The practical application of this means:

Electric fields of 9 kV/m
Magnetic field of 360 µT

However, the The 2010 ICNIRP Guidelines for general public exposure recommend the value of 100 µT (MicroTesla).

This applies to homes, schools and other places people might stay overnight where the exposure is significant. UK guidelines precautionary measures for power distribution substations simply encourage they be sited away from homes. However, it does not list any specific distance requirements. Electricity companies must design substations so the closest the public can get to them is the perimeter fence. The perimeter fence has to be the appropriate EMF level compliant.

How To Measure EMF From A Substation

The safest, most accurate and effective way to measure EMF from electrical substations is to call emfinspections.co.uk. We are well-trained, highly skilled, experienced professionals with the right tools and techniques designed specifically for measuring EMF from any of the substations in the United Kingdom. Some private citizens also use handheld pocket meters to measure the electric and magnetic fields created by substations that come in to their homes or businesses. Using the devices to get EMF readings from a substation nearby and comparing them to the ICNIRP guidelines is a good way to help protect the health of you and your loved ones.

EMF Readings From A Substation

When you hire professionals to measure EMF readings from a substation near your home, it’s essential to understand what the actual readings from an electrical substation are. Substations are very common in the U.K. While EMFs from small substations quickly fade away, the larger substations can bombard homes and businesses close to them with very high EMF levels. Being able to determine if the high EMF meter reading indicates the EMF the substation is emitting is at dangerous levels is a key to protecting your health at the health of your loved ones.

Electric and Magnetic Fields From Power Lines And Electricity Pylons

Lots of research has been done on electric and magnetic fields created by electricity pylons and power lines and the impact exposure to them have on human health. Although electric and magnetic fields from power lines can cause faint flickering visual sensations, create electric charges on the body’s surface and stimulate nerves and muscles, when walking below power lines, to cause negative health effects exposure would have to be very strong and for a long period of time. By simply limiting how much exposure a person has to those electromagnetic fields can prevent serious problems from occurring. Although corona ions, small charged particles created by power lines, can cause health issues, chances of it happening are infinitesimal and evidence supporting it is tenuous at best.

Electromagnetic Fields Generated By High Voltage Cables

High voltage cables and power lines generate electromagnetic fields. The question of do the EMFs they produce do harm to human health is hotly debated. Scientific evidence about the adverse health effects of EMF exposure has not established that there is a definitive causal link. However, the UK’s Victorian Department of Human Services warns people to avoid heavy exposure to EMFs if possible. Numerous comprehensive studies have been done on the link between power lines and cancer. They suggest at very high levels power line EMF may impact human cells and biological systems and recommend that people limit their exposure to very strong high voltage cable EMF.

Avoid Excessive Exposure To EMF

While scientists and researchers worldwide argue about how much impact the EMF from an electrical substation or power lines has on human health, the safest course of action is for people to avoid excessive exposure to EMF. Just the hint that there is even a tiny causal link between EMF and an increased cancer risk in children and the elderly should be enough to make people avoid prolonged exposure to high EMF levels if they can. If you are considering living near electricity pylons, power lines or an electrical substation, contact us to have the EMF levels inside and around the home measured before moving in to ensure the EMF levels are not dangerously high.

Protect Your Health

The UK guidelines and ICNIRP guidelines on limiting or avoiding EMF from an electrical substation, power lines and electricity pylons are designed to raise your awareness of the potential danger of being in close proximity to them for prolonged periods of time. There are also many people who feel those guidelines do not provide enough protection. It is up to you to protect your health and the health of the people for whom you are responsible. Just contact us to find out how you can have the EMF levels in your home tested to ensure they are at a safe level.

For more information or a price quote for an EMF survey, please contact us at



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Thank you EMF Inspectrions Ltd for doing our Low Frequency EMF Survey. We had Galin who came to do the survey and he was brilliant. Not only was he polite but very informative and knew his stuff. We were in the process of purchasing a propery next to an electrical sub-station and was worried that the EMF could be penetrating the property. Galin went round the entire property inside and out, down the alley and in the garden and took readings. He explained the different levels of readings and reassured us that all of our readings were below the government guidelines. We are so pleased with the service. We booked on a Monday and had the survey on Wednesday (we could of had Tuesday if we wanted). The report was with us on Thursday which is brillianty written out to explain the readings for people who are not "experts". Would highly recommend using EMF Inspections Ltd to anyone. Thank you again!