Home Buying in Sunnyvale>Question Details

Adhya, Home Buyer in Fremont, CA

The powerlines which run parallel to 280 between sunnyvale and cupertino -- are they high voltage power lines.

Asked by Adhya, Fremont, CA Mon Oct 5, 2009

The powerlines which run parallel to 280 between sunnyvale and cupertino -- are they high voltage power lines. If yes -- what is the minimum safe distance to live from these power lines. I am looking to buy a home in the area. Who should I talk to regarding this?

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Jose’s answer
They'll tell you that the EMF levels are less than the microwave. TRUE.
However remember that you don't have the microwave running 24/7!
The power towel will be there 24/7...
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 13, 2011
Recently, I visited my friends' house which is next to the high power line and I told him that his house is not safe because of the power line radiation. Then my friend bring out his EMF meter and a report (he has done, he got a Ph.D in physics) to show that it is not as serious as I think. Interestingly, he lend me his meter and ask me to do some measure in my house (not close to high voltage power line) in different time of the day and within the week. Very sad to find out that my house, not close to any high voltage power line, has a much higher meter reading than my friends' house (close to high voltage power line), especially in night time. The root cause is the old electric wiring in my house. It makes the big difference. I didn't realize that I am sleeping close to the socket outlet which has a reading of 3. The magnetic field from my computer is close to 1.5 with a distance of 1 foot. Very scarer. The hidden EMF problem in your house is even worse because we are not aware of it.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 16, 2011
Nothing is better than hard data. You will find radiation emitting from your cell phones. People have lived close to power lines for years with no statistical difference. However, PC monitor, cellular phones, microwave ovens all emit a detectable level. I will not be surprised to hear brain tumor is likened to prolonged usage of cell phones. That is how these devices are based on electro-magnetic radiation.
Flag Tue Dec 25, 2012
Hi Adhya

You want to avoid homes close to power lines and yes they are.
When clearly there are so many choices.

Best regards
P. Mistry
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 30, 2011

Save the time and energy of finding someone to talk to and don't buy a home that is directly underneath or within 300 ft of those types of wires. I have seen a special on 60 minutes on these power lines and it is just to risky to live near them. They will tell you you have nothing to worry about, right, because people live under them all over the place. There are many other homes to choose from in this area. If you have any questions you would like to talk to a Realtor about without ANY obligation of using my services please feel free to contact me. You can find me at either of my websites. http://www.UltimateHomeRequest.com or below. Born, raised, work and still living in Sunnyvale I know the area like the back of my hand.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 5, 2009
Hello Adhya and thanks for your post.

Thankfully, Joe Wilson has certainly done his homework on the issue of EMFs, which surfaces on this site every month or so--and I'm so glad to see it as I am also trying to logically address EMFs too. PG&E, as well as the WHO have monitored EMFs and ELF(Extremely Low Frequency) radiation for a long time. In one study, a European agency found that workers in an electrical plant (where EMFs are hundreds of times stronger than out in the city) exhibited no statistically variant health effects than those who were not exposed to high EMFs. The study also could not find any link between EMFs or ELFs and health hazards often cited as resulting from electromagnetic fields, such as leukemia and certain cancers.

For more information about EMFs, check out PG&Es site at http://www.pge.com.
For information published by the United States EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) see http://www.epa.gov/radtown/power-lines.html
and finally, for the results of the European studies of the World Health Organization (WHO) can be found at http://www.who.int/peh-emf/about/en/Static%20and%20ELF%20Fie…

However, if this continues to be a concern, EMF monitors are available at many hobby stores and electronics retailers so that you can monitor the amount of EMFs in your home. You'll be surprised, I'm sure, to find that the EMFs from the high voltage lines may be far less than the microwave in your home or the electrical panel on the side of the house. The constant barrage of EMFs from wiring in the home has lead to studies involving the effects of ELFs on the human body.

Hope this helps!!

Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
San Jose, CA
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 5, 2009
Also, remember from your physics class in high school, that the DISTANCE to the source of the EMF is extremely important. The strength of the EMF is inversely related to the SQUARE of the distance to the source. That's why being a couple feet away from a microwave exposes you more than being a few hundred feet from high voltage power lines. I always walk away from the microwave whenever it's in use.

You can search through my blogs for more information about high voltage power lines.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 16, 2011
Better to be safe than sorry. Your health is more important than any "good deal" you can get for a house that has high EMF.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 16, 2011
Jerry and Jose

Great points but the power is circulating 24/7 in your wires at home.

Just because you dont tap it does not mean there is no radiation !!


Web Reference: http://www.ruthandperry.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 17, 2011
There has been numerous studies done and the results are always inconclusive. To say how cautious the enforcement is. By SFO a phone line fell off across 101, the entire highway was shut down for 6 hours to make sure proper procedures. The power from phone line can not even zap an ant. Normally the time it takes to sell is slightly longer as buyers always worry about the line breakage. They are not as annoying as living next to I-280 although residents who moved in do not hear the traffic.
Web Reference: http://sam.shueh.net/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
Hi Adhya,

"High" is a relative term but yes, these are high voltage lines. Any power lines regardless of voltage create an electromagnetic field (EMF) that radiates out in all directions from the power line, even the 120/240 volt lines in your walls and ceilings. Of course, the higher the voltage, the higher the magnitude of the field. The good news is that the field strength falls off as the square of the distance from the power line, so if you're on the ground, the field strength at that point is greatly diminished. I researched this several years ago and PG&E has lots of scientific information they can send you if you call them. The bottom line is that you'll expose yourself to a greater EMF by using a blow dryer or an electric shaver than you will by living near a high voltage power line. The more significant issue is likely to be your re-sale value when it comes time to sell because like you, there are lots of Buyers who are concerned (rightly or not) about the potential health effects of high voltage power lines. I'd avoid them for this reason alone. Good luck.
Web Reference: http://www.josephwilson.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 5, 2009
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