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Electromagnetic Radiation Pollution from High Speed Rail?

Original post made by Susan Hong, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 16, 2010

This is just food for thought and I haven't done a lot of research into this area, but I am curious about the possibility of electromagnetic radiation pollution emanating from the high speed trains.

The World Health Organization, in 2001, issued a fact sheet stating that electric frequencies of about 50-60 Hz can cause cancer in humans.

Here is the excerpt:
"Whenever electricity is conducted through transmission lines, distribution lines or is used in appliances, both electric and magnetic fields exist close to the lines or appliances. The power frequency used is 50 or 60 Hz. Use of electric power has become part of everyday life. However, questions have been raised as to whether these and other ELF fields are carcinogenic.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) -- a specialized cancer research agency of WHO -- has recently concluded the first step in WHO's health risk assessment process by classifying ELF fields with respect to the strength-of-the-evidence that they could cause cancer in humans.

This Fact Sheet updates findings of recent reviews on the health effects of static and ELF electric and magnetic fields conducted by IARC (June 2001), by the Health Council of the Netherlands (May 2001), and by an expert Advisory Group of the National Radiological Protection Board in the United Kingdom (AGNIR) (March 2001)."
Web Link

My question is what kind of electric frequency will these trains emit? What kind of power usage? Will it be at a level safe for those living with 30 feet of these trains?

Just curious. Thanks.

Comments (9)

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 16, 2010 at 8:30 pm

How about the effects on those riding these fantasy trains-- for which there is -- no market--no need and -- no private money

Anyone in such a train would be exposed to high levels of toxic radiation for hours-- think about the children-- brain cancer-- reproductive cancer-- bone cancer etc
On a plane trip to LA you are exposed to potentially damaging radiation for 5 minutes as you reach max altitude, on the fantasy train it could be 6 hours of intense radiation

Another reason it will never happen.

Let us see the private investors fully commit before we spend 1 dollar of tax payers money, the private sector knows that HSR is a toxic investment-- they will not even invest other peoples money-- let alone their own

Cold fusion had enormous prospects at one time--- until we took a look at the fundamentals--- hype and smoke and snake oil-- we have been here before and will not get fooled again


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 16, 2010 at 8:40 pm

That's a good question and one many of us had not thought of. I can't imagine this train really being built, at least I hope not.

Sharon, great points.


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Posted by Sparks
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2010 at 3:25 pm

From the study Susan Hong cites: "ELF [powerline] magnetic fields were classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans based on epidemiological studies of childhood leukaemia. Evidence for all other cancers in children and adults, as well as other types of exposures (i.e. static fields and ELF electric fields) was considered not classifiable either due to insufficient or inconsistent scientific information.

"Possibly carcinogenic to humans" is a classification 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."

"insufficient or inconsistent scientific information" That's the story in a nutshell.

The potential for getting cancer (or any other favorite dread incurable condition) from powerlines has been investigated for decades. The results are comical. People who attempt to replicate studies purporting to associate brain cancer with powerlines find no brain cancer, but do notice a tendency to lefthandedness. Following up on lefthandedness, they turn up only a slight tendency toward blue eyes. Looking for clusters of blue eyes reveals an excess of ingrown toenails. And so on. The only outcome common to all these "studies" is hysteria.

Think I'm making this up? Check the literature and keep looking. It'll turn up eventually. Hint: BART is electric. Have you or has anybody you know gotten a bad cold after riding it? Aha!!

You have a far greater chance of meeting Elvis on a flying saucer than getting cancer from your friendly neighborhood power grid, or from electric trains.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2010 at 3:59 pm

they used to say that smoking was good for you-- they used to use x rays to fit shoes- they used to recommend radium irradiation for TB


Aside from the potential health risks to children, the facts are that HSR has no market, no need and no private investors--
it smells like a dead duck, it looks like a dead duck and it is a dead duck.


China wants to build HSR along the old silk road to Europe, but not for passengers they want to do the old robber baron scheme of controlling and exploiting the transport of natural resources-- good luck with that

The fact is that if HSR were a viable business proposition then private investors would have built it during the 80s oil crisis

HSR did not make rational economic sense then and it does not make business sense now.

It is in the same category as cold fusion, perpetual motion and living to 200yrs--- a scam and a fraud that would enrich real estate predators, and others with conflicts of interest to the detriment of tax payers and residents.
It aint going to happen-- no way no how--- unless we are stuck on stupid


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Posted by 60Hz
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 17, 2010 at 4:15 pm

60Hz is the frequency of household AC electricity. If you think that is bad for your health, you'd better cut yourself off from the grid. Maybe convert your house to solar DC exclusively.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Most of the people who die of cancer have consumed carrots at some time.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2010 at 4:33 pm


Re carrots

The UK secret service in WW 2 spread the rumor that UK pilots had keen night vision that allowed them to shoot down Nazi planes.

The rumor was designed to conceal the fact that RADAR was the cause

Anyway-- HSR is a scam, where are the private investors?

It is a dead duck and we need to investigate the conflict of interests of HSR proponents and get them in court for depositions under oath.
That will put a stop to it real fast


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2010 at 11:59 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

You can, of course, always live in a Faraday's Cage, which see. The subset of Faraday's Cage, the aluminum foil lined hat, would be effective only if solidly grounded.
I was, alas, born in a house belonging to the now InterCounty Electrical Co-op in Missouri adjacent to their local generator station and have thus been subject to 60 Cycle [now more accurately referred to as 60 Hertz{only when you laugh} waves for 78 years. This has led to whitening of my hair, disappearance of my 6-pack, and a pronounced tendency to repeat stories. I also tell the same jokes over and over.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by SteveU
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm

SteveU is a registered user.

Poor people live under High Voltage lines because the rents cheaper because of ugly lines.
Poor people do not have high end health care (if any)
Hmmmm! Demographics, not power lines?

Now, I would recommend not being exposed to high EM fields for long periods if you have metal plates/pins implanted. Those plates are subject to induction heating from AC low frequency fields.


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