How Everything Works
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Question 740

How dangerous is the radiation from high voltage power lines? - K
Probably not very dangerous. The radiation itself is so weak that it can't cause significant heating in your body (as the microwaves used in diathermy treatment do) and so low frequency that it can't do chemical damage (as the X-rays from a CT scan do). The only possible source of trouble is the small electric and magnetic fields from the power lines and there is still no credible evidence that these affect biological tissue. Moreover, there are sound physical arguments why those fields should not be able to affect biological tissue. Only in rare cases of an organ that is devoted to sensing magnetic fields (e.g., in migratory birds) is there any reasonable interaction between tissue and small magnetic fields.

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