Ads by Muslim Ad Network
Ads by Muslim Ad Network

OnIslam.net

Electric Power Cables and Cancer

wind-it_1_gf2ln_69
They found that pollutants were intensified in areas near power cables and deposited on the skin of people living or working nearby.
Cables
Much controversy surrounds the effect of the electromagnetic fields of power cables on our health. A University of Bristol (U.K.) study involving experiments on 2,000 pylons concluded that electric cables are responsible for tripling the effect of cancer-carrying pollutants in the air.

Naturally, this claim has sparked disagreements between scientists working for the electricity industry and scientists involved in independent research. Professor Henshaw's team at the University of Bristol placed a number of metal spheres in fields near Bristol and recorded the amount of airborne particles deposited on them. They found that pollutants were intensified in areas near power cables and deposited on the skin of people living or working nearby. To compound this, their study registered that the pollutants falling on these people affected them three times more than the same pollutants in areas away from power cables. Their theory was that power lines ionize the surrounding air and make this "ionized airborne pollution" much more dangerous than non-ionized pollution (BBC).

We can understand Henshaw's theory by looking at the manner in which electromagnetic interactions take place between charged particles. All forms of matter in our environment are composed of protons, neutrons, electrons, and a fourth unit, photons, which have no mass and represent electromagnetic radiation.

In the earth's atmosphere, there is a continual flow of energy in the processes of creation and destruction. Magnetic fields are produced by charges in motion (electric currents), which our nervous systems transmit at a rate of 160 miles per second. These chemical and electrical charges (nerve impulses) are then sent from one nerve cell to another - like across an electric cable (Hutchinson, p. 401). The area around cables becomes charged (electric field), and causes anything else that comes into contact with it to become charged, including the human body (Freeman and Morgan, p. 179).

Henshaw's initial study was originally rejected by the National Radiological Protection Board (a government agency), and was later sponsored by the Foundation for Children with Leukemia (the Department of Health and the Medical Research Council). He stresses that his work deals with the electrical effects of power lines, not their magnetic fields (Kirby). The National Grid (who operate the power lines) refuted Henshaw's findings; however, recent research has vindicated the study. Dr. Preece, an epidemiologist at the Oncology Department of Bristol University Medical Center, told "Costing The Earth," BBC's Radio 4 program, "We found an excess, particularly of lung cancer, in a group of people who had been living within 400 miles of a line at the time of diagnosis. You are likelier to get cancer there, but only if you live downwind" (Kirby).

In 1999, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) said in their report to the U.S. Congress that they "... believe that the probability of electric and magnetic field exposure is truly a small health hazard." They went on to add that electric and magnetic fields (including those around power and smaller lines in the home and appliances) should continue to be listed as a possible cancer hazard although the data shows that the risk, if any, is minimal (NRPB, p. 1,2).

The radio wave part of the spectrum includes microwaves (cookers and mobiles), and ultra-high and very high frequency waves used for television, radio frequencies, and communication. Stars emit radio waves that are used as a means of detection with radio telescopes (Hutchinson, p. 205).

sunlightelectrics_P3VYGGSH1alminium_cables_and_copper_cables
Science has far to go in exploring the invisible world, which is made up of photons, neutrinos and much more. There are many unknown waves or vibrations, which carrying no mass, are still being discovered.

In addition to increasing the risk for cancer, researchers have found that the effects of EMF's (electromagnetic fields) can also cause changes in behavior, shifts in the activity of biological rhythms, changes in certain hormone levels, disturbances in bone fracture healing, and decreased response to drugs. However, it is believed that these effects disappear when the field is removed; hence, the question is whether or not the field around cables extends to a finite distance and for what period of time?

More than 23,000 homes in the U.K. are situated near power lines. In the U.S., the government has a policy of not building houses near cables (BBC).

If microwave transmissions from a mobile can effect the electronics of an airbus, then in theory, the bio-electrical workings of the human nervous system can also be effected because what is actually acting as a carrier of electricity are the charged spaces left by electrons (Kirtley and Tseui, p.51).

Science has far to go in exploring the invisible world, which is made up of photons, neutrinos and much more. There are many unknown waves or vibrations, which carrying no mass, are still being discovered. Our increased visibility bears nothing in comparison to what remains invisible to us (Ouspensky, p.69) .

References
  • Ar-Razi, Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Ya'qub ibn Is'haq al Kulayni. Al-Kafi. WOFIS. Tehran, 1980.
  • BBC. "Pylons Treble Cancer Particles." 1999
  • Capra, Fritjof. The Tao of Physics. Britain: Flamingo, 1983.
  • Couldwell, Clive & McTaggart, Lynne. "Radiotherapy Cancer Cure or Time Bomb?" WDDTY: London, 1996.
  • Freeman, Ira & Morgan, Wesley. Physics. London: Heinemann Books, 1985.
  • "Electric and Magnetic Fields."
  • Hutchinson. Dictionary of Science. Helicon Publishers, Ltd., 1994.
  • Kirby, Alex. "Cancer Rise Linked To Power Lines." BBC News Online.
  • Kirtley. John, R. & Tsuei, Chang, C. "Probing High-Temperature Conductivity." Scientific American, 275:2 (1996):51.
  • NRPB. "Power Frequency Electromagnetic Fields and the Risk of Cancer." 2001.
  • Ouspensky, P.D. "A New Model of the Universe." England: Routledge Kegan and Paul. (1978): 68-69.
  • Supporting Material On Health. "Power Lines Weak Link To Cancer." 1999.
Related Links:
Electromagnetic Implications Of Modern Warfare Technology
Cellphone Calls Alter Brain Activity: Study
Non-Lethal Weapons: Part 2
How Renewable Energy May be Edison's Revenge
The Most Dangerous Chemicals in the World
Hwaa Irfan is a staff writer for Health and Science section of Islamonline

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Banner