FAQs - Exposure from electrical sources

A series of questions and answers about exposure from electricity generation, powerlines and electricity in your home.

What type of emissions are produced from electrical sources?

Electrical sources such as powerlines, electrical wiring and common appliances (electric blankets, televisions, hair dryers, computers, etc) all produce extremely low frequency (ELF) electric and magnetic fields.

How close can I live/buy a house next to high voltage powerlines?

There is no established evidence that electric and magnetic fields at any distance from a high voltage (HV) powerline cause health effects. There are some population studies that have reported that living very close to a HV powerline (less than 50 metres) may slightly increase the risk of leukaemia in children. The evidence related to childhood leukaemia is not strong enough to justify undue concern; however people should be aware of the issue in order to make informed decisions. For more information see the fact sheet Electricity and Health.

I have an electricity substation/transformer next to my house. Is it dangerous?

There is no established evidence that electric and magnetic fields at any distance from a substation/transformer cause health effects. At more than about 5-10 m away, the typical electric and magnetic fields from substations and transformers are indistinguishable from normal background levels in the home. For more information see the fact sheet Electricity and Health.

My bedhead where I sleep is on the other side of our house's electricity meter box. Am I affecting my health by sleeping so close?

There is no established evidence of health effects from exposure to electric and magnetic fields at the levels near electricity meter boxes. If you want to reduce your exposure, the simplest way may be to move your bed further away. For more information see the fact sheet Electricity and Health.

See FAQs regarding radio waves from smart meters.

My children spend a lot of time on the computer/laptop/tablet. Will this affect their health?

There is no established evidence that spending a lot of time on electrical appliances, including computers, laptops and tablets presents a radiation health risk to children. The electric and magnetic fields emitted by these devices is very low.

See FAQs regarding radio waves from Wi-Fi.

How safe are solar inverters?

There is no established evidence of health effects from exposure to electric and magnetic fields at the levels near solar inverters. If you want to reduce your exposure the simplest way may be to increase the distance between you and the inverter.

My office is next to our company's computer server room. Is this dangerous to my health?

There is no established evidence that working next to a computer server room is a risk to human health. The easiest way to reduce the electric and magnetic fields, is by simply moving people away from electrical sources and facilities and by rearranging room layouts.

I have to use the computer all day at work. Is this dangerous?

There is no established evidence of any health effects from exposure to the electric and magnetic fields at the levels typically produced around computers. There is also no known evidence of adverse health effects from wireless devices often associated with modern computers (such as a modem/router, printer, wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, etc.).

See also FAQs regarding radio waves from Wi-Fi.