So, you might be living near or thinking about living somewhere near a substation or pylon. You might be considering getting it checked. You want to know what could be at risk if you don’t get it checked (besides the properties residual value). Well, here is a quick look at answering the question: What substations and pylons are, what emf is and how it can be a potential danger.
Final distribution substations are (as the name suggests) the last phase on the electrical system that supplies our homes with power. These substations can be found in most residential areas and therefore, they are usually located in very close proximity to domestic properties as are their underground cables. They are fed by these underground cables which carry 11,000 volts (11 kV), the substation itself contains numerous different parts- one of which is the step-down transformer. The transformer is what’s known as a 3-phrase transformer, it reduces the 11Kv to 400v so its suitable for usage in homes etc. The 3-phase system allows the current output to be either 400v which is used for larger buildings (e.g. shops) or 240v which is the amount used in homes.
Pylons like substations are part of the electrical supply system but, unlike substations, they’re role is for transmission and not for distribution. The overhead power cables above pylons therefore carry significantly higher voltage with the most common amounts carried ranging from 132v to 400kv. Though most pylons were attempted to be placed in more rural areas, it is not uncommon at all to see them located right in the middle of residential areas and sometimes right inside property boundaries. Not only are they aesthetically unappealing but their significantly high voltage results in significantly high EMF levels which according to the SAGE remit can double the risk of serious illness to near-by dwellers.
Now we have all that out the way, we can talk about What actually is EMF? And Is it dangerous?
What is EMF?
The question is simple enough, Emf stands for electro-magnetic fields and is measured in the unit Tesla. Everything that uses or conducts electricity has an electro-magnetic field, this is simply due to the current. As the current moves it creates a magnetic charge. Add that to the present electrical field and you have your answer.
Is EMF Dangerous?
Now this question has been the subject of a lot of research and studies from companies and organisations such as SAGE, with their results showing that frequent exposure to high EMF levels corresponded with a significant increase in childhood leukemia. 40% increase to be exact. Not only this, it showed direct correlation between the same high EMF level exposure and the following health problems:
- Chronic Fatigue
This has led to a serious change in how people view EMF as you can imagine. The previously mentioned organisation SAGE produced a guideline that stated that no home should have EMF levels equal to or greater than 400 nanotesla (nT) or 0.4 microtesla (µT). This was then furthered by another organisation called SBM () who produced their own guidelines that were solely for sleeping areas in homes. This is because as I’m sure you’re aware, our bodies repair themselves whilst we sleep but due to effect high EMF exposure has on cell resonation our bodies would not be able to repair properly and therefore we can become susceptible to the aforementioned illnesses. With this in mind, SBM’s guidelines stated that no sleeping area should exceed 200 nanotesla (nT) or 0.2 microtesla (µT)
These are the guidelines used by ourselves in all our surveys and if a home exceeded any of these values, we as a company would not recommended living at this property until the problem has been corrected.