Letter writer: Studies show mixed effects of low-level radiation

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Dr. [Holly] Musgrove raises the issue of [electromagnetic fields’] effects on human health from a Duke Energy substation [“Duke Energy Substation Risks Are Unacceptable,” June 3, Xpress]. The effects of low-level radiation from substations, radio transmission towers, cellphones, cellphone towers and many other sources have been studied extensively.

The results of these studies are mixed (see the literature review, item 3). A Google search for EMF gives more than 7 million hits; the list below gives a good starting point for those interested in this issue:
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/emf/
2. National Institutes of Health:
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/emf/
3. And a review of the epidemiological literature on EMF and health:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11744509

In regard to Stephen Schulte‘s [letter] of June 10 [“In Substation Issue, Electrical Current Law Doesn’t Bend for Kids,” Xpress], here is some clarification as to the function of the grounding wire.

The following was taken from the [following] site: http://www.psc.state.fl.us/consumers/utilitypole/en/default.aspx: “Static Wire: The static wire is the pole’s top wire which bleeds lightning surges off the power lines during a storm. Without a static wire, lightning-induced voltage would otherwise build up on power line conductors during a lightning strike and cause damage. The static wire is connected to the grounding conductor. Grounding Conductor: The grounding conductor is a wire that connects the static wire to the ground rod. You can recognize the grounding conductor because this wire runs the entire length of the pole.”

― Arnold Gnilka
Weaverville

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