Sep 2015
Electricity Transmission
EPRI Research Collaboration on Electric and Magnetic Fields Health and Safety
Sep 2015
Sep 2016
National Grid Electricity Transmission
Iliana Portugues
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Network Innovation Allowance
Electricity Transmission Networks

The nature of the program is that almost all of the individual strands take more than a single year to complete, and therefore not all the component strands are expected to report specific milestones in 2015. Among the key expected areas of progress in 2015 are:

  • conclude the California Power Line Study, which uses California birth and cancer registry data and innovative GIS techniques to examine childhood leukemia incidence as relates to residential distance from transmission lines. This is a key follow-up to the sequence of studies from the University of Oxford/National Grid collaboration in the UK (submission of peer-reviewed publication expected in 2015);
  • a pooled analysis of childhood leukemia and distance from power lines (will include data from the California Power Line Study), which is designed to bring greater clarity to the various power-line studies published recently (significant progress on assembling combined dataset expected in 2015, first publication probably 2016);
  • assess the relationship of magnetic field exposure and personal mobility with miscarriages in subjects treated at an assisted reproductive technology clinic;
  • continue a study that replicates a recently reported association between maternal exposure to magnetic fields during pregnancy and asthma in the offspring;
  • implement testing of the mouse leukemia model to determine whether exposure to magnetic fields affects disease development (submission of peer-reviewed publication expected in 2015);
  • investigate potential EMF/RF interference with active implanted medical devices (e.g., pacemakers and defibrillators) (milestone for 2015: expect to see manufacturers changing their statements about interference as a result of this research);
  • complete a personal monitor that informs workers of the presence of fields that may possibly disrupt an implanted pacemaker or defibrillator;
  • test for magnetophosphene thresholds in human subjects;
  • evaluate the potential effects of EMF exposure on marine biota from underwater transmission cables (submission of peer-reviewed publication expected in 2015).

The Electric and Magnetic Fields and Radio-Frequency Health Assessment and Safety EPRI: the purpose of the program is to provide:

  • timely, reliable EMF and RF scientific research results, communication materials, relevant background information, and analyses of key external studies;
  • publicly accessible, up-to-date information on EMF and RF research, health risk evaluations, and regulatory actions;
  • experimental and epidemiologic research investigating high-priority residential and occupational EMF and RF health and safety questions;
  • EMF Workstation software for modelling T&D infrastructure EMF in residential and occupational settings;
  • EMF and RF exposure characterization research and exposure assessment software;
  • educational materials, including instructional EMF/RF DVDs, tutorials, and RF safety awareness training;
  • comprehensive assessment of the potential effects of EMF on aquatic life from submerged cables; and
  • investigation of potential EMF interaction with implanted medical devices
As already described, the overall project comprises multiple strands of work. Progress should be expected on each strand during 2015, but not necessarily that each strand would be completed or produce significant publications. The success criteria are that most, if not all, the milestones listed under “scope” above should be achieved.