Jan 2017
Electricity Transmission
EPRI Research Collaboration on Electric & Magnetic Fields Health & Safety (P60) 2017 -2021
Jan 2017
Apr 2021
National Grid Electricity Transmission
John Swanson
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Network Innovation Allowance
Health and Safety and Electricity Transmission Networks
The nature of the programme 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 2017. Among the key expected areas of progress in 2017 are:

  • completion of the California Power Line Study with publication of the magnetic-field results, 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 (the distance findings were published in 2016)

  • analysis of pooled data on childhood leukemia and distance from power lines (will include data from the California Power Line Study as well as UK data). Analysis and drafting of paper expected in 2017.

  • progress on reaching international consensus on the best way to progress leukemia mouse model experiments to determine whether exposure to magnetic fields affects disease development using appropriate genetic models

  • facilitating in individual countries of large scale, international epidemiologic study (TransExpo) aimed at reducing selection bias and thereby providing an alternative perspective to existing studies which are known to be prone to bias

  • assessment of the relationship of magnetic field exposure and personal mobility with miscarriages in subjects treated at an assisted reproductive technology clinic

  • further investigation of potential EMF/RF interference with active implanted medical devices (such as, pace makers and defibrillators). Publication of results obtained in program to date and assessment of future needs.

  • completion of EMAlert - a personal monitor that informs workers of the presence of fields that may possibly disrupt an implanted pacemaker or defibrillator

  • additional research on magnetophosphene thresholds in human subjects

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

  • timely, reliable EMF and RF scientific research results, communication materials, relevant background information, and analysis 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 transmission and distribution infrastructure EMF in residential and occupational settings;
  • EMF and RF exposure characterisation 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 2017, but not necessarily that each strand would be completed or produce significant publications. The success criteria are that most of the milestones listed under Scope above should be achieved.