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Employee questioning health risks from 600VAC cables...

Employee questioning health risks from 600VAC cables...

Employee questioning health risks from 600VAC cables...

(OP)
An employee has a concern for his safety that I must address ASAP.  He is worried about ‘carcinogenic’ EMR (electromagnetic radiation)from some Feeder cables in a close proximity to his office in our plant.

His concerns are strengthened by the fact that the previous person to have that office died of a brain cancer a few years ago.  Another trigger for this was the fact that his computer monitor flickers and waves about constantly.  The Computer department assures me that the problem is not the monitor.

I feel that the problem is simply noisy power from the receptacle in his office.  Probably from some inverters on the same feeder cct.  Either way, I need to assure this guy that there is no danger to his health.  It seems very obvious to me that there is no danger, considering that there is no voltage over 600VAC in that area.  And the equipment in the plant is nothing more that motors…. Lots of motors (textiles plant).  I probably need a survey of some sort done by an outside company.. with a gieger counter or something.

If you have any advice on how to smoothly resolve this I would appreciate it.

cfordyce

RE: Employee questioning health risks from 600VAC cables...

CRT monitors can be highly sensitive to magnetic fields caused by 50/60Hz current.  It is the amount of current that creates the problem, not so much the operating voltage.  We have had projects that required shielding of the electrical room due to this problem.  

As for health risks - unless you live in California, there are none.  Seriously, a lot of studies have been done and this was basically considered a dead issue until the California Health Department issued an opinion to the contrary.  Most people who have studied the problem don't believe that there is a link between electromagnetic field exposure and cancer, or anything else.  But I doubt that you will convince this person of this.

The local utility should be able to provide someone to come over to measure the field strength.  If not, a testing outfit such as electrotest can probably do it.  But utilties have been dealing with this issues for about 15 years and can be a good resource.  

Cheapest solution might be to relocate this person, if possible, and/or buy an LCD monitor.

Hope this helps.   

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