Do High Voltage Lines and Substations Cause Harm to Humans ?
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Do High Voltage Lines and Substations Cause Harm to Humans ?


In recent years, the construction of substations has been subject to strong resistance in some cities. The people, who are opposed to constructing the HV line and substation, list several major possible harm done to human health. The HV line and substation can generate large amounts of radiation so it is feared that people living near the substation may have developed serious illnesses, such as leukemia and cancer. Also, pregnant women are likely to have miscarriage or bear babies with deformities. Then, do the HV line and substation affect the  human health?    

The electrical facilities do not generate the radiation but electromagnetic filed, which is often called super-low frequency electromagnetic field or power frequency electric or electromagnetic filed. This kind of electric or electromagnetic field belongs to the induced field. Because the length of its waveform is so long that it cannot be directly absorbed by human body. However, the current can be induced in the human body, which needs us to control. 

In order to protect the human body, it is necessary to keep current density under the threshold value. Based on related researches, the International Commission on Non-lonizing Radiation Protection (ICNIPR) issued a code in 1998, which stipulated that the safety value of power frequency electric field strength to the public is 5kV/m and the limit of power frequency electromagnetic induction strength is 100mt. This standard was officially recommended by WHO in 2007 and adopted by most countries. At present, China adopts 4kV/m and 100mt as safety standards.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection of PRC measured a 220kV substation and HV lines passing through some community in Beijing. All obtained numerical values are far lower than those stipulated in the standards and regulations, and even amount to the electromagnetic environment of home appliances. Meanwhile, staff of China Electric Power Research Institute have also tested the electromagnetic environment of home appliances. The numerical values of home appliances such as hair drier and electric razor are well within the stipulated range. Hence, the electromagnetic environment around electrical facilities are strictly controlled.  

It is a nonsense that the HV line and substation generate electromagnetic radiation. Besides, the intensity of electric and electromagnetic fields is similar to that of home appliances. We can conclude that there is no need for us to feat that.