Living near overhead power lines in the UK

Electric and magnetic fields (EMF) are usually present everywhere electricity flows, from the inside to the outside of your home. All electronic devices produce them in your homes, including refrigerators, TVs, and mobile phones. Furthermore, they are also emitted by power lines or a substation. Although both the electric and magnetic fields are always mentioned together, they are two separate entities.

Electric fields usually occur due to the voltage in a wire. The strength of the electric fields does not change even when there is no electricity being used, meaning the electrical wiring within your home is constantly emitting electric fields even when your appliances aren’t in use.

The electric fields from distribution lines have a minimal variance because of the transmission line’s stable voltage and can easily be shielded naturally by trees, fences, and buildings. Further, the roofs and walls of your home help reduce the electric field strength.

Magnetic fields are usually produced by electric current, meaning they are emitted when electricity flows. Therefore, they are produced when your electrical appliances are running, and they increase with the rise in the current. More so, magnetic fields can bypass most objects and are not easily shielded. However, it’s essential to note that both the magnetic and electric fields decrease significantly as the distance from the source increases.

EMFs from overhead power lines
Magnetic fields produced by everyday appliances can be at times higher than those emitted by the power lines. The magnetic field varies with the amount of electricity being consumed at a given time, the wiring configuration, the current flowing through the line, and your distance from the line. The standard alternating current (AC) is around 60HZ, meaning the current makes cycles sixty times per second, therefore making them produce extremely low frequency.

Power lines produce EMF waves with lower frequency than the waves produced by microwaves or radio waves. Similarly, the EMR from power lines is still of low frequency and is usually found near the power line. As the current flows along the power line, it produces a magnetic field known as an electromagnetic field. Therefore, the electromagnetic field strength is proportional to the current flowing in the wire and reduces as you move away. Those with great concern regarding the health hazards posed by EMFs should ensure they maintain a considerable distance from the source and minimize the time they are near it. In doing so, it will significantly reduce the exposure.

Is there any health risk to living near overhead power lines?
The debate for whether living near overhead power lines or an Electricity pylon is dangerous to human health was raised in 1979 in a study that linked the increased risk of childhood leukemia to the proximity to power lines. The study declared there was the possibility of the power lines causing childhood leukemia for those living near the lines though there was insufficient evidence. However, experts and power companies refuted those claims. The World Health Organization decided to look into the findings and safely noted that they found no significant health issues in connection to the levels exposed to the public.

Therefore, if you’re wondering whether it’s safe to live near high voltage Electricity pylon – there isn’t strong evidence to back up cancer claims in connection to the power line proximity. Although the power lines emit the low-frequency EMFs, there is still no explanation on how the EMFs can cause leukemia.

When it comes to understanding the health effects of living near a Substation or an Electricity pylon, decades of study have yet to provide a definite correlation for any biological cause associated with the proximity. As your distance increases further, about 100 meters from the electricity pylons and overhead wires, both voltage and magnetic field strength decrease drastically.

How far should I live from overhead power lines?
Under the current UK laws, it’s recommended that you maintain a distance of at least fifty meters from power lines since any less than that is considered a safety risk. Surveyors’ reports should clearly show power lines, electricity pylons, or a Substation for residential property so that you can be aware of where to put up your home.

In conclusion, the National Radiological Protection Board, the UK government body tasked to monitor radiation levels, discounted the theory linking power lines and electricity pylons proximity to cancer and said that from the evidence, the electric and magnetic fields produced by power lines don’t affect human health.

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Georgina McCooke
Georgina McCooke
2022-05-03
Verified
I was so relieved by EMF Inspections' amazing service. I found out about the need for an EMF survey following a survey of the property I was buying, and they came to inspect the next working day and gave me the result on site, with a follow up report sent the next day, meaning I could progress with the property purchase. So grateful!
Nikolay Dichev
Nikolay Dichev
2022-04-05
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Roman Grigorjev
Roman Grigorjev
2022-03-21
Verified
Very efficient, quick turnaround - thank you very much!
Jane Altmann
Jane Altmann
2022-03-01
Verified
Prompt and informative help -would highly recommend- received my detailed EMF report within a day. Useful in the house buying process as a telephone mast is nearby.
Miranda Chan
Miranda Chan
2022-01-29
Verified
During the purchasing of our property, we are concerning about the small electric substation near the back garden. We then contact EMF Inspections Ltd. to do the low frequency EMF survey. They arrange an appointment for us, and reply with a clear survey report efficiently. We are confident and look forward to move in to our new house.
kostas chrysandrea
kostas chrysandrea
2022-01-06
Verified
I used their services yesterday. Very fast , came out the next day very professional. I highly recommend this company for an EMF report. Thank you so much...We have a small sub station on our land and wanted the EMF done as we are building a house next to it.
Mustafa Dagdelen
Mustafa Dagdelen
2021-12-05
Verified
Excellent service, quick response, a quality report.
Pamela Rolfe
Pamela Rolfe
2021-11-30
Verified
Pre house purchase, a low frequency EMF survey was undertaken by EMF Inspections Ltd, due to a sub station being located adjacent to the property. Easy online booking service and no lengthy wait for an appointment. Clearly produced report received within 24 hours of the survey being undertaken. Happy with the fee too. Thank you for making this so easy.
Nicola Cross
Nicola Cross
2021-11-26
Verified
We requested a low frequency survey from EMF Inspections Ltd because of the electricity substation near our home. The service was rapid, efficient and Covid precautions were taken. The engineer was very knowledgeable and explained everything fully and clearly to us. The report was well constructed, readable by a layperson and came two days later as promised. All round excellent service.
Sarah Lotherington
Sarah Lotherington
2021-11-16
Verified
`Lovely inspector who explained his readings and what this would mean. He arranged it all with estate agents too, so we didnt have to lift a finger. Would highly recommend.