Jan 2016
Electricity Transmission
EPRI Research Collaboration on Electric & Magnetic Fields Health & Safety (P60) 2016
Jan 2016
Apr 2017
National Grid Electricity Transmission
John Swanson
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Network Innovation Allowance
ET - Safety and health and environment
Health and Safety and 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 2016 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 (preliminary results became selectively available on a confidential basis in 2015; submission of peer-reviewed publication expected in 2016);

  • 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 in 2015, workshop of investigators (including national Grid) planned 2016, first publication either 2016 or 2017);

  • 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 (peer-reviewed publication delayed and now expected in 2016);

  • investigate potential EMF/RF interference with active implanted medical devices (e.g., pacemakers and defibrillators, with possibility of supporting new research to extend previous results which have already proved valuable);

  • 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 2016).

The  purpose of EMF and RF Health Assessment and Safety EPRI program is to provide the following outputs:

  • 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
The overall project comprises multiple strands of work. Progress should be expected on each strand during 2016, 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.