The thing about this question is that nobody really knows. Now, I
did a bit of looking and found a lot of articles that 'prove' that
living near high voltage lines is horribly dangerous and can cause all
sorts of problems, mostly emphasizing cancer. However, there are also
lots of articles that 'prove' that there is absolutely no danger
whatsoever. In the end, this means that no one has actually 'proven'
It is true that your brain uses electricity to send signals to the
rest of your body, and your body uses electricity to send signals back.
This means that being exposed to a strong electro-magnetic field has
the potential to interfere with the way your body (specifically, your
nervous system) works.
Proof of this fact lies in cases where people have stuck their
heads (for whatever reason) in REALLY strong electro-magnetic fields
like the ones in the center of cyclotron machines (normally used for
research). Doing this is a pretty stupid idea because it causes you to
black out - your optic nerves (the nerves that connect your eyes to
your brain) actually get temporarily 'shorted out', so they stop being
able to send signals.
However, the human body is extremely
resilient. As long as
the field isn't too strong, there will be absolutely no effect, since
your body is capable of compensating for the electrical field around
it. The trouble is that nobody knows for sure 'how much is too much'.
High voltage lines produce no where near as strong of an
electro-magnetic field as the one I described above. But they certainly
do produce fields that are stronger than what you'd encounter
elsewhere. The question is, is this more than your body can make up
In my personal opinion, it's not. Having looked at articles
'proving' both sides of the coin, it appears to me that the ones saying
it's perfectly safe have a lot more scientific (and statistical) basis.
But like I said, until one side disproves the other, we won't really
know for sure.
(republished on 07/17/06)