Answers to Your Questions About Electromagnetic Fields 
 
 
We support research to determine the impact of electromagnetic fields (EMF). Although studies have not determined a cause-and-effect relationship between exposure to these fields and any illness or disease, we have approached this issue by designing new facilities with minimal EMF exposure and providing free measurement of magnetic fields inside or outside of customers’ homes or businesses.

We appreciate your interest in this topic and hope you find this online information useful. If you need more information on EMF or Ameren companies’ services, please call our EMF information line at 314.554.2402.

    Electromagnetic fields are generated by anything that uses or conducts electricity. EMF consists of two components:<br><br> <ul><li> Electric fields are created by the voltage of electricity in a wire (similar to water “pressure” in a hose) - the higher that voltage, the stronger the electric field. Electric fields are produced on any energized conductor regardless of whether current is flowing.</li> <br> <li>Magnetic fields exist only when current is flowing (similar to water moving through a hose - the greater the current, the stronger the magnetic field).<br><br></ul> EMF field measurements taken in homes and businesses show most people receive far more exposure (on a short-term basis) from their own refrigerators, television sets, computers and other electrical devices than from power lines.<br><br> EMF research has focused on magnetic fields because no direct health-related effects have been attributed to the electric field component. Thus, in reporting EMF results, it is common practice only to identify the magnetic field portion, even though an electric field is present at the same time.
     
    The intensity of magnetic fields is measured with an instrument called a gauss meter. Field intensity is typically recorded in milligauss (one-thousandth of a gauss). Electromagnetic fields decline substantially with distance from the source. Lines that are many feet away from a person offer less exposure than appliances that are much closer. Measurements are merely a snapshot of values at a given time and are valid only for that moment. Values can change dramatically depending upon the amount of electricity flowing through power lines or appliances at any given time.
     
    The “weight of evidence” in the scientific community is that no one knows, with certainty, if any aspect of EMF exposure affects human health. The most comprehensive study to date done by the National Institutes of Health indicated “a small increased risk for childhood cancer based on epidemiological research, but emphasized the absence of supporting laboratory evidence to substantiate this link.”<br><br> There is not a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, state or local standard that imposes a specific limit on EMF exposure related to any power frequency level applicable to the Ameren companies’ service territories. The EPA has concluded that “there is no established cause-and-effect relationship between EMF exposure and cancer or other disease.”
     
    Typical ranges are 0.5 to 4 milligauss for a home’s background level. Actual levels measured by Ameren companies’ engineers in urban homes range from 0 to 50 milligauss - see the table of typical field levels compiled by the <a href="http://www.niehs.nih.gov/" target="_blank">National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)</a>.
     
    No one can tell you whether any distance is safe or unsafe. However, the magnetic fields typically drop to background levels within a few hundred feet. The magnetic fields next to power lines or substation equipment depend upon the amount of electricity carried and the design. For information about a specific location, call our EMF information line at 314.554.2402.
     
    Burying lines does not eliminate exposure. While electric fields are easily shielded, magnetic fields are not. At street level, magnetic field strength from underground power lines depends on the number of cables, the spacing of the cables, the amount of current flowing through the lines and the distance you are from them.
     
    A 1995 study by the Bonneville Power Administration showed homes near transmission lines were worth about 1% more or less than comparable homes located away from lines.
     
    <ul><li><a href="http://www.niehs.nih.gov/" target="_blank">NIEHS</a> has published a booklet called <a href="http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/emf/" target="_blank">EMF: Electric and Magnetic Fields Associated With the Use of Electric Power</a>, which explains the basic principles of electric and magnetic fields, provides an overview of the results of major research studies, and summarizes conclusions of the expert review panels to help you reach your own conclusions about EMF-related health concerns.</li><br> <li><a href="http://www.who.int/peh-emf/about/WhatisEMF/en/" target="_blank">The World Health Organization (WHO)</a> provides information about EMF and provides links to EMF research, an EMF international project and EMF standards, as well as links to fact sheets, publications and information sources.</li><br> <li>The State of Connecticut Siting Council commissioned the Gradient Corporation to prepare a report titled, <a href="http://www.ct.gov/csc/lib/csc/emf_bmp/emf_report.pdf" target="_blank">Current Status of Scientific Research, Consensus, and Regulation Regarding Potential Health Effects of Power-Line Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF)</a>. The purpose of this report was to compile information identified from EMF research articles, the conclusions from EMF scientific reviews, and the analyses by public health consensus groups that address possible health effects of 60 hertz (Hz) EMF exposure from power frequency sources.
             
Ameren, environment, electromagnetic fields, power lines, wiring, personal household appliances, safety, electric fields, magnetic fields, household sources, health
 
 
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