Exposure to Electrical Radiation/Chronic Exposure


Old 01-04-08, 08:24 AM
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Exposure to Electrical Radiation/Chronic Exposure

Hi all,

I realize this might fit better in a health forum, but I love this place and thought one of you experts would have come across this question in the past.

My wife is a bit of a hypochondriac and loves to find new ways to get brain tumors, cancer, heart failure etc. by reading media hyped horror stories online. Last night she (after 3 years in the room/bed) suddenely told me she refuses to sleep in that room due to the electrical main being about 2 feet away from our heads when in bed - telling me this will cause chronic exposure and brain tumors...

There's about a 80% chance she'll forget all about this fear by tonight, but I was wondering what an electrician's opinion was on sleeping or spending long periods of time next to the meeter/junction box (between 2 and 5 ft away). In my opinion, the entire world is full of radiation, good and bad, and it's nothing to worry about.

Any sane thoughts/comments or references that could help me out are appreciated! thanks!
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Old 01-04-08, 09:32 AM
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I have seen no scientific or medical evidence that shows health problems caused by proximity to residential voltages.

This site has a lot of information about homes located near power lines and other sources of EMF (electromagnetic fields). I can't vouch for them on this specific topic, but this site has high quality information about other safety issues, so I trust that this topic is well researched as well.


One thing to keep in mind is that much of this data is based on 120kV-500kV transmission lines, which is 1,000 to 4,000 times higher voltage than 120V home wiring.
Old 01-04-08, 09:54 AM
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Get one of these tools and you can show her that the EMF does not extend out very far from the wire. At 120 volts you have to almost touch the wire.


Then take her out to some very high power line towers and pull it out and that sucker will beep like crazy because the higher the volts, the larger the EMF is. Home wiring does not have a very large EMF.
Old 01-04-08, 01:42 PM
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Rent the movie "Neighbors" and then move the bed across the room--not because of any technical issues, but to keep the peace.
Old 01-04-08, 04:48 PM
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Electric service has been in homes for a hundred plus years. Ask her if she can find a single case of this in a reputable peer reviewed professional journal such as the the AMA's journal. Then suggest she do research on the difference between ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation.

Last resort cover the back of the headboard of the bed with aluminum foil.
Old 01-04-08, 10:09 PM
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Foil won't block the magnetic field (but she doesn't have to know that). The magnetic field increases with current. If you don't have electric heat, you probably aren't using much power (little EMF) at night anyway. Now, if your house backed up to a substation; or a utility transformer that serves an energy-hungry neighbor, I would give that a second thought. Don't let this worry lead to moving to another house; like my parents did when they realized they lived near 230kv lines.
Old 01-07-08, 07:05 AM
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I worked for the local power company for almost 10 years and we used to hear of these complaints all the time. The EEs used to say that after 100 years of running even high voltage lines, IF there was problem, we should be seeing two headed dogs and cats, etc ALL THE TIME by now. Then you ask these people if they've ever seen anything like that, anything AT ALL and they ALWAYS say no.

Of course, we used to get anti-nuclear protests at the power plant that had a parabolic cooling tower BUT NO NUCLEAR POWER, too.

Some people just need something to complain about.

Good luck,
Old 01-07-08, 06:42 PM
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Put it this way: A static shock will produce in a split second all of the energy in the air that sleeping 2 feet from a household power box will produce in 1,000 years.

It's cheaper to buy a hypocondriac a humidifier to reduce static electricity than it is to rewire the house. Tout the benefits of Vick's Vapo-Rub as an aromatic supplement to the humidifier in your argument for the less expensive fix.

Or as John said, you could just move the bed.

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