Electric Power & Utilities/electrical substation


hi,i have a question about electrical substations,we recently saw a very nice house that we would love to buy but my concern is my kids would have to walk past a substation each day to get to school.it is pretty big in size and is surrounded by a a mesh fence and wire.do these substations let off a lot of emfs,is it dangerous to a persons health to actually walk right by one every day.i dont know how these substations work but i could never understand why they are right in peoples neighbourhoods if they are so dangerous.would local towns allow the construction of these substations right next to peoples homes knowing there was a chance they could cause cancer.i hope you can help me with my question as i really worry a lot about this issue,thank you so much for your time

Michelle -
I'm not expert in the health hazards of electromagnetic fields, but I've worked in or near power plants, substations, transmission lines, etc for much of my career with no ill effects as yet. Personally I'm much more concerned about the constant exposure to cell phone emissions than about  brief occasional exposure to relative far more distant high voltage EMF emissions.

Here's a link to and a quote from the National Cancer Institute on the subject, for more info. Sounds to me like there's nothing to worry about.

Quote: Animal studies have not found that magnetic field exposure is associated with increased risk of cancer (2). The absence of animal data supporting carcinogenicity makes it biologically less likely that magnetic field exposures in humans, at home or at work, are linked to increased cancer risk.

Good luck!
- Bill

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W.A. (Bill) Stevens


I can explain the technical and economic tradeoffs of making electricity from natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, and biomass energy sources. I'm familiar with air pollution control technologies, including CO2 capture and sequestration. I have a good understanding of the science on global warming and can explain how energy use inefficiencies and various fuels and technologies contribute to that process. I can tell you why we have to build more new gas, nuclear, wind, and solar power plants, but will still have to keep using coal for a few decades to make elctricity. I can explain energy conversion efficiency and power plant operations. However ... I'm not an electrician, so probably cannot help with questions on motors or wiring. ;-)


Forty years as a registered professional mechanical engineer.

Graduate of Purdue University, School of Mechanical Engineering.

Past/Present Clients
EPA, DOE, State Department, USAID, World Bank, Bechtel Power Corporation, U.S. Generating Company, numerous electric utility and independent power companies.

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