Letter writer: Why risk children’s health with new Duke Power substation?

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I am writing in strong opposition to the Duke Power substation that is being built next to the new Isaac Dickson Elementary School.

As a parent of children that attend the school as well as a proponent for the staff at IDES, I am deeply troubled by the specter of a power station being built in such close proximity to the school.

The recent explosion at the substation in Candor, N.C., highlights my concern. Also, [electromagnetic fields] radiation is listed as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization and can double the risk of childhood leukemia.

Why risk the health of our children and teachers? Why risk the excellent reputation and academic achievements of the elementary school? Would you want your children to attend a school next to a power station?

— Dr. Cameron Kurowski

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3 thoughts on “Letter writer: Why risk children’s health with new Duke Power substation?

  1. Citizen scientist

    Non-ionizing electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation quickly diminishes with distance. This is why you only pickup your neighbor’s wifi with a spotty signal and not the whole city’s. A 2011 UK Parliament report titled “Electricity substations and health” that investigated EMF radiation found “at distances varying between 5 and 10 m from the boundary fence, magnetic fields due to substations were undetectable.” So nothing to worry about here! Such banal things like pollution from automobile traffic and certainly traffic accidents are far more risky.

    Also, the WHO does not list EMF radiation as a carcinogen. Here is what they actually say according to their fact sheet on EMF:

    “In 2002, IARC published a monograph classifying ELF magnetic fields as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”. This classification is used to denote an agent for which there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and less than sufficient evidence for carcinogenicity in experimental animals (other examples include coffee and welding fumes). This classification was based on pooled analyses of epidemiological studies demonstrating a consistent pattern of a two-fold increase in childhood leukaemia associated with average exposure to residential power-frequency magnetic field above 0.3 to 0.4 µT. The Task Group concluded that additional studies since then do not alter the status of this classification.

    However, the epidemiological evidence is weakened by methodological problems, such as potential selection bias. In addition, there are no accepted biophysical mechanisms that would suggest that low-level exposures are involved in cancer development. Thus, if there were any effects from exposures to these low-level fields, it would have to be through a biological mechanism that is as yet unknown. Additionally, animal studies have been largely negative. Thus, on balance, the evidence related to childhood leukaemia is not strong enough to be considered causal.”

  2. peter moss

    How about the high voltage power lines that DOOK was able to run above the Buncombe Democratic Party office? Yikes!

    • Jim

      Long time ago there were power transformers strewn about at the then South French Broad junior high that contained PCB’s. Just imagine the copter parents of today dealing with that. I’d love to see them pop their blood vessels over it.

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