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Power lines safe from radiation: Transco (it's ICNIRP really)
Philippines Created: 7 Apr 2008
CAGAYAN DE ORO - The National Transmission Corporation (Transco) assures the public that all its electrical pylons and facilities are safe from radiation overexposure.

In a paper presented during a forum on electromagnetic fields on Sunday in Cagayan de Oro, Transco environmental management department head Julia W. Echavez said extremely low frequency electric field and magnetic field radiation emitting from its electric power lines are well below the international exposure limit.

In the absence of a Philippine or a United Nations (UN) law, the Department of Health (DOH) follows the exposure limit set by an international private group of scientists - the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

Physicist Agnette Peralta, who sits as one of ICNIRP's 15 commissioners, represents the Philippines in the organization.

According to the group, the ideal tolerable maximum exposure of magnetic field for people working near the facilities should only be 4200 milliGauss and 8.3 kilovolts per meter electric field.

For the public, on the other hand, the ideal tolerable maximum exposure of magnetic field near an electrical facility should only be 833 milliGauss and 4.2 kilovolts per meter electric field.

Echavez presented the magnetic field and electric field exposures of its transmission lines.

For its 69-kilovolt line, the magnetic field is said to be 60.78 milliGauss and the electric field is 0.961 kilovolt per meter, while for the 138-kilovolt line, the magnetic field is 30.63 milliGauss and the electric field is measured at 1.28 kilovolts per meter.

For the 230-kilovolt line of Transco, Echavez said its magnetic field was registered at 186.44 milliGauss and 3.58 kilovolts per meter electric field.

Along this line, Echavez explained that all Transco facilities are monitored regularly by a team composed of representatives from Transco, DOH, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), National Academy of Science and Technology, ICNIRP, World Health Organization (WHO) and its distribution utilities like the Cagayan Electric Power and Light Company (Cepalco).

Overexposure to extremely low frequency can cause stimulation of peripheral nerves and muscles.

According to the late British physiologist William Richard S. Doll in his 2001 research contracted by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety, "the possibility remains that intense and prolonged exposures to magnetic fields can increase the risk of leukemia in children" despite the absence of supporting laboratory evidence.

Supporting studies by the ICNIRP showed that the UN's International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Institute of Health in the United States did not also find any laboratory evidence linking extreme low frequency overexposure to any chronic disease.

But for the group and members and those from the Health department, it's better to be safe than sorry, resulting to the imposition of the radiation limit in the country. (Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro/Sunnex)
Click here to view the source article.
Source: Sun Star, Mark D. Francisco, 07 Apr 2008

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