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is riding under electric pylons bad for you.

may sound like a silly question but i ride a 34 mile loop and ride under 8 electric pylons 3 times a week on my way to work ,been on the net but very little information .can feel a tingling through my arms and legs everytime i pass under them also when the weather is damp the pylons buzz.ive read living close to a pylon can cause cancer can anybody help? regards paul. ps please dont just say change your route.


  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,634 Various scary news stories have claimed this (just search the mail website :roll: ) - probably because of research that showed increased cancer risk in kids who grow up near pylons, but didn't take into account things like pylons being found in the grottier parts of town. Properly constructed trials have consistently shown no link to any adverse effects - from pylons, mobile phones or anything else.
  • homers_doublehomers_double Posts: 6,702
    You could always change your route...
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • whoofwhoof Posts: 756
    1. Try shaving your legs and see if you get the same tingling feeling.
    2. Leave the kite at home.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Growing up near Ferrybridge when it had all 3 power stations running I was constantly cycling under very high voltage power lines; especially atmospheric in the dense fog that plagues the Vale of York at certain times of the year.

    Not a randomised controlled trial I know, and with a sample size of N=1, not statistically significant, but at nearly 58 and AFAIK in rude health, I don't think they are as dangerous as the tin foil hat brigade would have you think.

    Unless one falls on you obviously...
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,213
    if you're directly under a 400kv line, it's still only a few thousand volts/metre at most, but the current is vanishingly small, in this position you may feel a slight tingle/tension, but as you move to the side the field strength drops rapidly

    in my adventurous electronic engineering days i'd be messing around with 40kv at close proximity (well over 200kv/metre field stength) it wasn't noticeable, though the purple ionized cfc vapour was, benchtop aurorae :)

    we live bathed in em fields from domestic power cabling, various electrical appliances, trains with overhead lines etc. etc., field strengths here can be high (much shorter distance than with a pylon)

    oh and the planet's fields too, the weirdos ignore these for some reason, it's only man made stuff that's evil, everything natural is sweet and nurturing, including of course the 100% natural radon that seeps into some homes
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • RutlandGavRutlandGav Posts: 144
    I'm not concerned about radiation/magnetic fields whatever, but after watching a few "Arc Flash" videos on Youtube, it's made me want to keep a healthy separation between myself and high energy electrical systems wherever possible.

    Those metal cages and exclusion zones around industrial / commercial switchboards and, of course, electric company switchgear/transformers , demarcate the area where a person in normal clothing is sufficiently close to receive second degree burns should the electrical equipment arc over, for whatever reason, in the split second it takes for the fuses to cut power upstream.

    I must admit, you'd have to be seriously unlucky for anything to happen to a powerline while you're riding past one, and be sufficiently close to the fault to get hurt by it. But many of the rural roads I ride along have 13kv lines to farms and villages running along them, and some of the power poles lean at odd angles or have tree branches getting perilously close to conductors.

    At least this one gave you some warning.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    I've seen houses underneath them. I cant think its great for your property value - but come on - cycling under some power lines ? Nothing to worry about. Don't believe the scare mongers. Throw the Daily Mail away...
  • gethincerigethinceri Posts: 1,124
    Do what my Uncle Bryn did:

    They did bang him up for it, mind.
  • It's fine- as already said the fields generated drop off very quickly and given the large distance to the ground you'll hardly be able to measure anything, let alone make an effect on the body (bearing in mind MRI scanners go up to 3T which is many orders of magnitude bigger than what you'd find right next to the power lines, and they are perfectly safe).

    The radio waves generated aren't worth worrying about either.
    Standing right in front of a TV relay dish won't do you much good, but apart from that most sources of radio are perfectly safe when you follow the warning signs.
  • Also you need to consider the difference between ionising electromagnetic radiation at many megaHertz and up (X-rays, gamma rays, ultraviolet) and non-ionising (radio waves, light below ultraviolet, magnetic waves from mains) up to many kiloHertz
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,496

    You'll probably be safe enough if you simply line your helmet with tinfoil. This also interferes with government conspiracies to read your mind. Kill two birds with one stone.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,213
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • Yes - but the French also (uniquely) suffered from a condition called "heavy legs" for which there was no medical evidence (but medical insurance paid out for it) - as soon as the insurance stopped paying out, the condition disappeared miraculously overnight.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Em fields do not cause any health problems. Decades of epidemiological studies have drawn a blank. -wheel building and other stuff.
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