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Living Next To Transmission Lines: Will I Get Sick?

 

The internet is great. It facilitates access to essentially all of the accumulated knowledge on Earth. The open source architecture of the internet allows anyone to create content, which for the most part is in the public interest. However, as most people are aware, there is content on the web which is created either for malicious intent (ie. to sell you something), or simply out of plain old ignorance. This brief blog aims at dispelling a certain myth perpetuated by both of those latter circumstances.

 

That myth is: Transmission lines cause, among other ailments, cancer and neurological disorders.

 

Transmission lines are so commonplace that most people are simply immune to their presence within their field of vision. However, when you are purchasing a house, they stick out like a sore thumb. Other than the obvious aesthetic drawbacks to a large transmission line neighboring your backyard, there is a worry about the negative health effects which accompany them.

The debate around the harmfulness of transmission lines is fueled directly from a fundamental misunderstanding of what “radiation” is. There are two types of radiation, non-ionizing and ionizing. Non-ionizing radiation does not possess the energy required to strip electrons (or ionize) from atoms. Ionizing radiation carries enough energy to knock electrons from their orbit, thus being able to change molecular compositions, which in turn may alter cellular DNA.

Transmission lines, microwave ovens, cellular telephones, FM and AM radio, and all household electrical appliances emit non-ionizing radiation.

Ionizing radiation can come from many sources, which may include cosmic radiation, medical imaging, industrial sterilization, and smoke detectors.

At this point, the debate should be over. Transmission lines do NOT emit the type of radiation necessary to impact humans in any negative way.

 

However, as this common misconception is still alive and well, below is further discussion on the subject.

Here are some excerpts from sources asserting that electromagnetic fields (EMF) from transmission lines are a direct cause of health ailments in humans.

From safespace (www.safespaceprotection.com):

“Strong, artificial EMFs that radiate from power lines can scramble and interfere with your body’s natural EMF, affecting everything from your sleep cycles and stress levels to your immune response and DNA!”

There is no evidence to suggest that the EMF propagated from transmission lines have any causal relationship with anything stated above. A 2002 study commissioned by the WHO (World Health Organization) titled “IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans” says the following:

“There is little experimental or theoretical evidence that mutations could be directly caused by ELF [extremely low frequency] magnetic fields… There is little evidence that ELF electric or magnetic fields can cause malignant transformation of cells in culture.”

A convenient graphic is also shown, which based on your proximity to the transmission line, puts you at risk of many illnesses and disorders.

This graphic, while hilariously incorrect, does raise an important question: what exactly is the field strength based on the proximity to transmission lines?

 

Well, this is easily determined with a high amount of accuracy, and is shown by the below graphic.

Source: Atco Electric

A typical 240kV transmission line right-of-way is about 60m in width. This means that if you are standing directly adjacent to the right of way, the highest magnetic field you would be exposed to is about 8 milligauss. For reference, standing a foot away from your electric stove or a fluorescent desk lamp would expose you to over three times that amount.

From Life Energy Designs (www.lifeenergysolutions.com):

“Another, well researched, way in which EMF interacts with our bodies is through the pineal gland and melatonin reduction… Cancer and other serious conditions are possible results of interrupting this bodily repair cycle.”

Again, this statement is easily refutable. A study produced in 2013 by Elliott et al (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23337237), came up with the following conclusion:

“Our results do not support an epidemiologic association of adult cancers with residential magnetic fields in proximity to high-voltage overhead power lines.”

 

Of course, as per the scientific method, it is impossible to prove that there is anything on the planet which is correlated with no known health risks. Research can only tell us that no observable correlation to negative health effects exists in any one study. After that, it all comes down to a simple risk/reward approach.

Transmission lines do not cause cancer or any other illness as some may suggest.

They may however, block a tad bit of your view.

 

Daniel Lang, P.Eng.

 

Connect with Daniel here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Use a Realtor to Buy a New Home?

why-use-a-realtor

Many people think that when you are purchasing a new build, you might not need a Realtor. However, I highly recommend you have a Realtor to represent you – there are so many factors that go into buying a new home! As your agent, I can help with all aspects of your transaction, including:

  • The location, design, layout, and features of your new home – I have a unique aspect and can help you see what qualities are better for resale value in your new home
  • I can help you understand all that paperwork – what it all means, what can go wrong, and what to expect
  • I have so much experience in negotiating, and I can help you get the right price, the perfect upgrades, and the contract terms that suit you
  • I will be facilitating in the buying process from beginning to end – going through step by step and what to expect after each phase, including who to call and talk to, and when
  • I can give you objective professional advice and insight during all phases of the process, such as contract, construction, walkthrough, and closing
  • While the sale representative will always give the appearance that sales prices are non-negotiable, I am able to use recent and historical sales data to aid in the negotiation, data that is not available during new construction.
  • I have knowledge of and the ability to leverage contracts, real estate law and the real estate community when/if things go awry with the builder
  • Working with me will give you access to my contact sphere of vetted professionals who I have spent many years building relationships with, including mortgage brokers, bank managers, builders, contractors, tradesmen, lawyers, and home inspectors
  • I can help you with information on Alberta New Home Warranty

When buying a new home, it is easy to forget that the salesperson is working for the builder. They are friendly, knowledgeable, and trained to make you feel comfortable. When working with a Realtor you have someone who is legally mandated to look out for you and your best interests before, during, and even after your transaction!

Just the other day I had a client who had purchased a brand new Brookfield home. He spotted a foundation crack with water leaking in to his basement. He was obviously panicked. He sent me a text at 10:00 pm at night, and because I am a bit of a workaholic I was up and working and jumped at the chance to help. I connected him with his warranty partner, explained how the process will work, and within 24 hours he had all he needed to start the process of fixing the issue.

Buying a new home is a very emotional and exciting time, and sometimes this can cause some “blindness” in buyers. My ten years of experience selling homes (old and new) has made me immune to the emotion when buying. This allows me to be unbiased and because I always align myself with my client’s goals I am able to see things from your point of view but as a professional realtor.

Still have questions about buying a new home? Let’s chat! Click here to send me a quick email.

Why Get A New Home Inspected?

SINCE 1972

I am very particular with the referral partners I work with. Referring my clients to a house inspector who will educate, understand, and go the extra mile for my clients is so important. Brad Hanson from Hanson Inspections has proven himself to be one of the best home inspectors I have had to privilege to work with over the years. Here is Brad letting giving us a few tips on why a new home should be inspected.

There are some very important reasons why new home buyers should always get a home inspection done before purchasing. Buying a new home is an exciting experience, with great opportunities to pick your finishes, choose your colours, and to decide what floor coverings you want.  But with all the excitement of choosing your decor and finding your new daily route to work, don’t forget to have your new home inspected.  While it’s best to have your first home inspection when the home is in the early phases of construction, when more of the home is visible, it’s still a good idea once it is all finished.

New homes can have a wide variety of problems. Building a home is a complex and often complicated orchestration involving many different subcontractors and their employees, each working on a different system of the house. Each subcontractor has their own set of priorities and commitments. These are not always in line with the builder or the homeowner! While the vast majority of home builders want to build the best home possible, it is very difficult for any builder to carefully inspect each and every portion of each phase of the construction process. With all the different phases happening at once, even the best builders will likely miss something.

Municipal building inspections are not the same as home inspections. The responsibility of the municipal building inspector is to check for compliance to the local building codes for that area.  Building codes are based on minimum industry standards. Even so, while most municipal building inspectors are doing their best to keep a close eye on things, they are often hindered by factors and circumstances beyond their control, and this alone will not be effective enough for quality control.

Problems found before you purchase the home can be fixed before moving in to your new home. This can save you from having to deal with dust and noise from repairs being made, or from the inconvenience of having to stay home from work while workers are in your home. While there will likely be some small touch ups and repairs required after you move in, you will want the builder to fix any significant repairs right away.

Defects can be repaired before they result in serious or substantial damages or costs to you. Safety items, such as gas leaks or electrical hazards need to be addressed to protect you and your family. Missing attic insulation that will result in higher utility bills can be installed. Raised shingles, which can lead to water damages such as rotted roof sheathing, should be repaired before you take possession of your new home.

These issues, and having the proper repairs made, matter for resale and they will matter for your peace of mind. When you decide to sell your formerly new home, the buyer will likely get a home inspection. Deficiencies that date back to the original construction will undoubtedly be discovered, even if you did not know that they existed. At this point, it is usually too late to get the builder involved, and these problems are now your own.  Your potential buyer will, in all likelihood, either ask that you have these repairs made, or they will lower their offering price to cover the cost of the repairs.

A home inspection on your new home will also allow you to learn about the necessary upkeep and maintenance of your home. A proper home inspection will do more than just identify deficiencies and necessary repairs to be made.  It will also highlight many important maintenance steps and requirements that will enable you to protect your investment and the ongoing enjoyment of your problem free home.

As you can see, having a home inspection on your new home can more than pay for itself, both monetarily and with the peace of mind and confidence that comes with knowing your new home is ready to for you to fully enjoy well into the future.

Have a few more questions about home inspections? Connect with Brad through his website.