Thanks for the great article. I want to point out one more issue about power lines.
Children exposed to high level of magnetic fields have higher chances to develop brain cancer and leukemia. This is especially important for sleeping areas.
Overhead power lines are more dangerous than you might think! Although they are not as strong as high voltage towers, they're much closer to residential homes. Magnetic field inside a home under power poles might be as high as 2-3 milligauss (you can easily test it with this: Web Link).
Underground power lines are much better for EMF (Web Link):
"A study prepared by eight major New York State utilities showed that when a 345 kV transmission line is placed in steel pipe filled with oil and buried at a depth of five feet, the strength of the magnetic field measured one metre above the ground over the pipe is only about 1 mG during normal current flow, as compared with magnetic field strengths as high as 60 mG that can be measured at the edge of a 100 foot right-of-way for an overhead 345 kV transmission line."
Vote to continue the underground project, for our children's health!
Posted by Good Point, a resident of the Leland Manor/Garland Drive neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2013 at 8:06 am
While this is all a good point, the power lines are actually too far overhead to make much of an impact. The larger problem is electrical appliances in the home, especially those at kitchen counter level. They line up with adults' abdomens and children's heads.
This told to me by my father, a retired physicist, long ago.
Posted by tina, a member of the Palo Verde School community, on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:08 am
If you test with the EMF meter (the Amazon link in the original post), you'll see the natural magnetic field is much smaller (around 0.1-0.2mg) without an overhead pole. It gets much bigger (5-100mg) with an overhead pole.
As to home appliance, the magnetic field decrease very quickly, although utility companies always want to claim that the home magnetic fields are from home appliance instead of power line. From my testing, the magnetic field is almost at the background level (0.1-0.2mg) if you're a few feet away from the appliance. Besides, people usually don't sleep or spend 8 hours a day close to fridge or microwave.
Posted by Rresident, a resident of the Charleston Meadows neighborhood, on Jan 26, 2013 at 1:43 pm
The City's argument for not putting anymore power lines underground is it is too difficult and expensive to repair them. Meanwhile, North Palo Alto has about three-quarters of their utility wires under-grounded while South Palo Alto has about one-quarter under-grounded.
So, it's now time to stop under-grounding because South Palo Alto is not important enough!!