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Old 06-01-2009, 07:55 AM   #16
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can i use an electric mower near a transformer box?


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Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
But at any rate, it is NOT the voltage that determines the strength of the field, it is the current.
That's right... if you are talking about only the magnetic field. But the voltage field is determined by the voltage.

This is why you can stand under the big lines and light up a florescent light just by holding it.

So it's not entirely a given that living under the big lines for an extended period has no health effects. There's no acute danger though.

--big lines being the 700k+ ones... a 13.2 ... don't sweat it.


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Old 06-01-2009, 08:00 AM   #17
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can i use an electric mower near a transformer box?


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That's right... if you are talking about only the magnetic field. But the voltage field is determined by the voltage.

This is why you can stand under the big lines and light up a florescent light just by holding it.

So it's not entirely a given that living under the big lines for an extended period has no health effects. There's no acute danger though.

--big lines being the 700k+ ones... a 13.2 ... don't sweat it.
But we have lived under high electric fields for all of our human existence. Every time a thunderstorm comes over the field gradient can be several thousand volts/m. I think it is pretty natural for humans to be exposed to electric fields, that's why I didn't mention it.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:13 AM   #18
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can i use an electric mower near a transformer box?


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But we have lived under high electric fields for all of our human existence. Every time a thunderstorm comes over the field gradient can be several thousand volts/m. I think it is pretty natural for humans to be exposed to electric fields, that's why I didn't mention it.
I guess that's a difference of chronic and ocassional. Since those transformers will be sitting in front of the houses forever while a thunderstorm is a thunderstorm.
Is there any way that we can measure the electric or maganetic field of those transformers? I also have some other utility boxes in front of my house, not sure what they are though. Is there a county department to contact or a tool to use?
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:25 AM   #19
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can i use an electric mower near a transformer box?


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I guess that's a difference of chronic and ocassional. Since those transformers will be sitting in front of the houses forever while a thunderstorm is a thunderstorm.
Is there any way that we can measure the electric or maganetic field of those transformers? I also have some other utility boxes in front of my house, not sure what they are though. Is there a county department to contact or a tool to use?
http://www.google.com/search?q=trifield+meter

You can use a trifield meter to measure electric and magnetic fields. But there's really no scientific consensus as to what levels are dangerous, if any.... So really you shouldn't worry about it too much. I wouldn't choose a house right under major transmission lines... but I also wouldn't worry about utility boxes in my front yard. These fields fall off quickly.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:57 AM   #20
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can i use an electric mower near a transformer box?


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I guess that's a difference of chronic and ocassional. Since those transformers will be sitting in front of the houses forever while a thunderstorm is a thunderstorm.
Is there any way that we can measure the electric or maganetic field of those transformers? I also have some other utility boxes in front of my house, not sure what they are though. Is there a county department to contact or a tool to use?
Well, even "chronically" there is an ever present electric field from the sky overhead, it just isn't as strong as a thunderstorm, and is probably higher than the fields presented by power lines.

I don't want to say there is no effect, but is it dangerous? We don't know. Like Gigs said above, and I said about the inverse square law, the fields rapidly decrease in strength as the distance is increased. The TV has more of an effect than the power lines. Your hair dryer washes you with EM radiation much more powerful than the transformer. Your cell phone beams radiation straight into your head. TV and radio stations broadcast high frequency radiation continuously and from every direction.

There are worse things to fear than power lines and transformers.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:57 AM   #21
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can i use an electric mower near a transformer box?


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Will such transformer have potential healh risks to human?
The elec. chair uses 2400vac at 4A to 8A.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:48 AM   #22
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can i use an electric mower near a transformer box?


A very long time ago (about 20 yrs) The New Yorker magazine published a series of articles on ELF (Extremely Low Frequency) radiation. The article was pretty much the work of one man who claimed to be someone of knowledge, and claimed that certain cancer rates were higher in areas that had high ELF fields.

This data changed the way electric blankets, and some other appliances are made. I believe the blankets now rectify the AC so that it's flowing in only one direction (if that makes a difference?).

Recently (within the past couple of years), someone else did some investigating into the original data, and found it had been falsified. The guy who collected the data apparently admitted to it.

So, no. There is absolutely no real data that says fields surrounding AC conductors, transformers, and other equipment is dangerout to humans.

I would not operate sensitive electronic equipment like a notebook computer in the vicinity of the transformer.
In the case of the computer, a strong field could eventually damage data on a hard drive.

I certainly would not worry about using an electric mower.

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Old 06-01-2009, 04:21 PM   #23
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can i use an electric mower near a transformer box?


I think the rates of leukemia are higher near power lines, and probably near cell phones.
I live 1500' NE of an AM radio tower and the field strength is 100x below what the government says is safe. The field is intentionally weakened in that direction to avoid interfering with an AM station in Rhode Island. And, a 6' high person is not a very good antenna for AM freqs.
Still, if I had kids I'd move. Cell damage on a molecular level can take 20 years to show.

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Old 06-01-2009, 07:46 PM   #24
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can i use an electric mower near a transformer box?


In line work there are guys called 'barehanders'. This is where you put on a suit made of conductive mesh, and you're lowered from a helicopter directly onto high voltage lines. Like 500,000 volts. The reason for the mesh suit is because the capacitance in your body is enough that you'd be electrocuted just by touching one wire and nothing else. The 'bird on a wire' effect applies only to birds, which are much smaller than humans.

There was talk a few years ago about these guys developing health problems because of the ELF radiation, (being in direct contact with a 500 KV line, there'd be a LOT of ELF radiation!), but nothing was ever proven. A lot of us think this was rumors started by guys wanting to retire early, and receiving large sums of money to be used during said retirement. The same lot of us think the health problems are due mostly to excessive consumption of alcohol, among other things.

Rob
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Old 06-01-2009, 07:54 PM   #25
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In line work there are guys called 'barehanders'. This is where you put on a suit made of conductive mesh, and you're lowered from a helicopter directly onto high voltage lines. Like 500,000 volts. The reason for the mesh suit is because the capacitance in your body is enough that you'd be electrocuted just by touching one wire and nothing else. The 'bird on a wire' effect applies only to birds, which are much smaller than humans.

There was talk a few years ago about these guys developing health problems because of the ELF radiation, (being in direct contact with a 500 KV line, there'd be a LOT of ELF radiation!), but nothing was ever proven. A lot of us think this was rumors started by guys wanting to retire early, and receiving large sums of money to be used during said retirement. The same lot of us think the health problems are due mostly to excessive consumption of alcohol, among other things.

Rob
A high correlation between health problems and occupation X only means causality if they run an experiment (ethically impractical in this country) where a group is exposed to the purported hazard and another group, the control group, is not. The judgement on the hazards of smoking is one exception to this rule.
Factor Analysis should be able to put likelihoods on all these causes, even with people abusing their health from other sources.

But I'd think that mesh suit would totally protect them
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage

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Old 06-01-2009, 09:46 PM   #26
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can i use an electric mower near a transformer box?


As has been summarized by all the sages on this Blog, the consensus is that the Magnetic field of High Voltage Transmission Lines (and it is there) is NOT harmful to Humans! The magazine Popular Mechanics had several articles about this subject many years ago. (I believe they were the first to show the test with the Fluorescent light that lit up)! They left the question inconclusive! However, the Statistics (over the years) prove the Transmission lines to be harmless, or we would have had hundreds of thousands of additional cases from people who live near those Transmission lines everywhere!!!
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:51 PM   #27
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can i use an electric mower near a transformer box?


Does it improve one's health to live near power lines?
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:12 PM   #28
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can i use an electric mower near a transformer box?


It is an interesting task trying to prove something as contentious as this. We know some animals are extremely sensitive to ELF radiation (whales). We know that cattle are sensitive to currents flowing in the earth. So, what does this mean? What it says to me is that, yes, obviously there is some effect. Is it harmful is the question.

Because radio frequency waves cause the electrons to jiggle in an antenna, that means that any conductor should respond to the signal, including the conductive parts of our brains and bodies. So the question isn't whether there is an effect, but rather what is the effect. Perhaps this explains autism or ADD/ADHD in our children. Or maybe it's the fluoride in the water, or preservatives in our food. The point is, we expose ourselves to so many radiations and chemicals everyday that there really is no telling what the hell we are doing. No one knows the long term effect of the stuff we ingest or expose ourselves to, because we haven't been doing it but for about 100 years. Maybe our mutant grandchildren will be able to look back and see with the benefit of hindsight, but for us, it may be too soon.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:11 PM   #29
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can i use an electric mower near a transformer box?


Don't know about ELF, but some years ago (and one crappy Eddie Murphy movie called "The Distinguished Gentleman") there was a lot of controversy over EMF, or Electric/Magnetic Fields. If memory serves, the whole hysteria revolved around an epidemiological study done in Denver (or somewhere in Colorado) where researchers were trying to find out why the cancer rate in one area was double the norm.
Bear in mind that "double the norm" meant they found two cases of cancer where they had expected to find one. Somebody looked out the window, saw a transformer hanging there, and decided it was the culprit. It never occurred to them that "2" instead of "1" could have been nothing more than a statistical fluke, but researchers get paid to publish, not to find inconclusive results.
By the way, to my knowledge no subsequent study has ever supported this finding.
Yes, you can measure EMF fields (generally with a Gauss meter) and you will find exactly what has been stated earlier in this post. The EMF around the transformer will be negligible, thanks largely to the shielding effect of the steel case surrounding it. I have measured fields in substations on 138 Kv /69 Kv 30 MVA autotransformers (the ones the size of your house) and found lower levels two feet away from it than I did at the breaker box of a home.
The fact is that no studies have ever proven these fields to be harmful. The other fact is that if you want to take advantage of the luxuries of the electric world, you will have to endure EMF fields (unless hauling your water from the creek, heating it over a wood stove, doing without A/C, and reading with a kerosene lamp is your idea of fun).

I'd worry much more about having radio frequencies one inch from my brain while talking on a cell phone for hours on end.

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