Have you ever wondered if overhead power lines could cause health problems? You may be asking this question if you’re getting ready to sell a current home or purchase a new residence. It’s a fact that residences located near overhead power lines are more difficult to sell or maybe cheaper to buy. What’s more, these homes sometimes come back on the market quickly.
So, if you’re wondering what a safe distance from power lines, UK is, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the health issues attributed to power lines and more.
How Do High Voltage Power Lines Affect Health?
First, it’s important to understand that electric and magnetic fields are all around us. Some sources are natural; in fact, our bodies produce their own electromagnetic fields. Not many people realise this.
Other sources are man-made and include overhead power lines, the electric devices and appliances we use, and more. EMFs are a type of radiation. The strength of the radiation is affected by a number of variables. However, we can say that the strength and amount of the EMFs can be significant. Plus, the closer you are to an EMF source, the stronger the radiation will be. As you put distance between yourself and the source, the strength of the EMFs falls.
EMFs can be considered a type of pollution. What’s more, it’s almost impossible to shield against this type of radiation. When a home is located near powerlines, it’s necessary to have the residence tested to see how high the radiation exposure is.
Legally Safe Exposure Limit
The amount of exposure that’s considered “legally safe” was set years ago and is based on old data. The strength of low-frequency EMFs is given in milligauss (mG) or nanotesla (nT), as well as other values. In most countries, the maximum safe exposure to EMFs is considered to be 1000mG.
Symptoms of EMF exposure have been shown to cause:
- Lack of concentration
- Changes in memory
- Loss of appetite
- Skin burning/tingling
- And more
While 1000mG has been set as a safe minimum, exposures smaller than that can result in different health issues. For example:
- 2mG to 12mG have been shown to block the production of melatonin in the body, which can fight cancer.
- 4mG can increase the risk of childhood leukaemia.
- 1.6MG can cause sperm abnormalities.
- 1 to 2mG can increase the mortality rate in children with leukaemia.
So, if your home has 1000mG exposure to EMFs, you could be faced with significant health issues. Even 1mG of exposure can be considered dangerous.
Government’s Can’t Change the Exposure Limits
Because governments have set the exposure limits and allowed residences to be located close to overhead power lines, there’s no way they can change the limits now. Think of the legal issues, alone that would arise from such a move.
The sheer number of homes affected would also present a huge problem. Many homes would need to be declared uninhabitable, which would mean many households without a home, as well as wreaking havoc on the economy.
What is a Safe Distance from Powerlines in the UK?
That’s a value almost impossible to set. What would a safe distance be? To calculate this distance is too challenging. Think of it this way, if the distance was not conservative enough, then it would be possible to purchase a home near powerlines. This could have a dramatic effect on your health and wellbeing.
On the other hand, if the number was too conservative, it would be difficult to buy a home that was safe to live in.
Distances & Instances That Require EMF Measurements
While it’s not possible to set a safe distance, we can say that if a home is within the following distances from an EMF source, then it must be measured to ensure safety.
- High voltage power lines: between 1200m to ¾ of a mile
- Transformer box: 150m to 165 yards
- Electrical substation: 150m to 165 yards
- Street powerlines (on your side of the street) above or below ground
- Solar panels being used on the residence
What if My Health is Affected by Powerlines?
It is possible to purchase a home and not know about the EMF pollution on the property. In that case, it’s necessary to move yourself from the home. This is because, in most cases, it’s simply not possible to remove or relocate the source of the EMFs.
How to Determine a Safe Distance from Powerline in the UK?
While it’s not possible to set a specific “safe distance,” it is possible to get a reading of your home’s EMF exposure. You can also use the same method when purchasing a new home in the UK. This method is to hire a professional EMF inspection service.
An EMF inspector is a person who has been specially trained to detect this form of radiation. They have the knowledge and experience to detect EMF radiation from a wide variety of sources and, in some cases, can provide advice on how to handle radiation exposure.
The EMF inspector can provide detection services for your current residence, as well as a home you’d like to buy. Then you’ll have peace of mind knowing your property is safe to put on the market or the new residence is safe for you and your family.
When the inspection is finished, in most cases, the inspector will provide a written report. The reports may include real-time data charts, with a clear breakdown of the EMF radiation and its sources.
If you’re worried about EMF exposure for your current home or a new residence, then give us a call. We’ll be happy to answer any questions and book an inspection at a time that works for you. Call us today!