Residents raise electromagnetic health questions

Article published May 7, 2006
By MARY REEVES mreeves@dnj.com

While many Eagleville residents are concerned about the loss of prime farmland or their homes, there are other concerns associated with the potential 500-kilovolt substation TVA plans to build there, especially health concerns.

"Some of the literature ... pointed out that there is an increase in leukemia with power lines," said Lisa Matson of Rockvale. "There is a link between cancer and electromagnetic fields, and my concern is they are going to put this directly behind the school."

Electric and magnetic fields are generated by all sorts of power sources, from nature's thunderstorms to the office photocopier. With man-made power sources, the electrical fields result from the energizing of the wiring, and the magnetic fields result from the flow of power (current) as it serves the load being applied. "EMF" refers to electric and magnetic fields and "ELF" refers to extremely low frequency, the sort found in the transmission power lines.

Since America's use of power surged in the late 1950s, studies have been done on the effects of high voltage lines on the environment, but other than accidental electrocutions, it appears the magnetic fields may be the culprit of the health concerns.

"Although a cause-and-effect relationship has not been established, several expert panels have concluded that higher rates of childhood leukemia are statistically associated with higher levels of magnetic fields in homes," stated a report of the Electric Power Research Institute, which is conducting long-term multidisciplinary EMF research through major universities, laboratories and consulting organizations.

Matson, like many concerned with the proposed substation, had found information about the possible links between childhood leukemia and magnetic fields at http://www.poweroutrage.com , a Web site devoted to fighting the TVA plan.

Findings of the EMF RAPID Program (Electric and Magnetic Fields Research and Public Information Dissemination) completed in 1998 agree that there seems to be a link between proximity to EMF and increased rates of childhood leukemia, and, in adults who work in the electric industry, increased rate of adult CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia), which is a different disease.

The EMF RAPID program was conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Energy. Although it was primarily funded by the government to comply with the Energy Policy Act, it was also funded by utility companies.

The Executive Summary of the EMF RAPID report stated : "The scientific evidence suggesting that ELF-EMF exposures pose any health risk is weak. The strongest evidence for health effects comes from associations observed in human populations with two forms of cancer: childhood leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia in occupationally exposed adults."

The problem was, the evidence was epidemiological — that is, it showed an association between magnetic fields and in increase in incidents, but no cause-and-effect relationship could be recreated in the laboratory.

The RAPID report also indicated that "interface from EMF can affect various medical devices, including cardiac pacemakers and implantable defibrillators."

In the summary, the working group of scientists and other experts concluded that "ELF EMF are possibly carcinogenic to humans."

The report stated there was "inadequate evidence" that EMF ELF caused Alzheimer's, ALS, breast cancer, suicide and depression, adverse effects on pregnancies and other health concerns. The study did find, however, that "exposure to electric and magnetic fields affects bone repair and adaptation."

Power substations and powerlines are not the only source for ELF EMF, however. According to lessemf.com, "2.5 mG is the generally accepted limit of ELF magnetic field exposure, but no one tells you that the average hair dryer, vacuum cleaner, or can opener you use emits and amazing 300 mG or more."

Another concern, one voiced the Vaughn family in Eagleville, who produce organically grown animals and crops for human consumption, was the effect the ELF EMF may have on their produce, and on those who consume the produce.

"Nobody's ever really said anything about that," said Pettus Read with the Tennessee Farm Bureau about the effect on plants. "We've had soybean fields and such under these powerlines. We've never had any complaints."

Read said he didn't believe the amount of ELF EMF created at that level would have an adverse affect on the plants, but said he did not know for sure and was not aware of any studies.

"The biggest complaint we've had is losing the farm land," he added.

Roger Sparry, TVA manager of siting and environmental engineer, said that while there has been some epidemiological evidence between the possibility to ELF EMF and some cancers, he, too, had heard of no negative effects on plants.

"I've never heard of any reports of it directly affecting plants," he said.

— Mary Reeves/278-5157

Copyright ©2006 The Daily News Journal.



Schäden an Bäumen durch Mikrowellen
Dr. Ferdinand Ruzicka (Univ. Doz) has in his web page:


several pictures with the phone masts effects on the trees

In the page 56 of the article: “Umweltprobleme Luft” from Kathrin Oldag, Anna Glyk, Monique Irrgang (Hanover University) (I send you also) appear plagiarized, without having requested authorization to the Doctor Ruzicka these pictures (in the section corresponding to damages for the ozone!!!!!!).

Years ago already it was tried to accuse the acid rain of the radar effects in the forests of Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

With best regards.

Alfonso Balmori

See also: The effects of microwaves on the trees and other plants in


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