Magnetic fields and electronic pollution from transformers and power lines – part 1

We indulge in the luxury and convenience of having electricity every time we come home at night and turn on the lights. As nice as electricity is, there is always another side of the story.

In order for us to access this electricity, every residential area must have a transformer. This converts the electricity supplied by the power plant (6000-30000 volts) into the household alternating current we are able to use (110 – 400 volts AC).  These transformers consist of: high-voltage components, transformer and low-voltage distribution. This reduction inevitably produces strong magnetic fields. Depending on the number of households and consumers, a stronger or weaker radiation output will exist.

The hidden danger in your neighborhood

Danger High Voltage

Danger High Voltage

About every 30 houses in a residential area has a transformer amongst them. A transformer can be recognised by the warning stickers and words like:

High Voltage! Danger!

Go for a walk in your neighborhood and find out where these transformers are located.

In large apartment buildings with many units, there is often a separate transformer for the entire building. This is usually installed in the underground basement or garage.

Many people are unaware of the danger.

Why are magnetic fields so problematic? The risk of blood disorders increase.

Humans have iron in their blood, which responds to the magnetic fields!

It has been repeatedly documented that there is an increase in leukaemia cases where strong magnetic fields are present.  For example: transformers, electric railway, tram lines and power lines. In Volarlberg we had 5 cases of leukaemia in young children a few years back. Four of these originated in Montafon where three high-voltage power lines run through the valley and the houses were always in between…
Statistics from the GEOVITAL Academy regarding leukaemia cases over the past 10 years have resulted in a noticeable proximity between the homes/bedrooms and  transformers.  In the Academy reference book (German) one of these such stories is described on page 120.

150 meter (500 feet) distance!

From both the medical and environmental medicine community, the recommendation since the 1980’s has been to not live within a distance of 150 metres (500ft) from transformer stations, electrical train/tram lines and power lines.

What to do if a transformer is too close to the house?

Transformer in neighborhood

Transformer in neighborhood

It is unwise to generalise and put a theoretical safe/unsafe distance on this issue. The best approach is to have a measurement of both magnetic field and electric fields done by a GEOVITAL Geobiologist. This way you can see how much nanoTesla (nT) or milliGauss (mG) and volts per meter (V/m) this transformer produces.
From these measurements one can then estimate how serious the problems, produced by this transformer, really are.
Counter measures or strategies only make sense at that time, because otherwise unnecessary money could be spent without knowing what it is actually trying to address.


About the Author:

As Geobiologist and Building Biologist (IBN) Dip. Ing. (FH) Klaus Schwärzler has played an important role in the planning of many new buildings in his 18 year experience. He is not only familiar with the illness related side of patients, but knows the technical details and counter measures to create healthier living spaces and lives. His motto: “Only when one has experienced issues and implemented the improvements, do you know what you are talking about…”


  1. Tara 20/05/2020 at 3:04 am - Reply

    I live in Arkansas. Entergy has built a power station right next door to the apartment complex my family & I reside in. My hair has been falling out every since they powered it up. Why would the government allow them to build this right next to government housing complex? I am sure this is the reason I’m losing my hair & having a hard time sleeping. I’m not the only one suffering from these problems either. What can be done?

    • Patrick van der Burght 20/05/2020 at 12:37 pm - Reply

      Sorry to hear that. It can cause magnetic fields from the electricity and also from current in the soil. The levels are well below government allowable levels which are set way too high, and that is the problem. Magnetic fields cannot be shielded against. Best to measure them with a good amateur gauss meter like a TF2 trifield meter and do yourself a favour and pay a little extra to do my self-guided online course for the TF2 (or other amateur meters) with it so you know how to use it and what to look for. Find them on
      Good luck.

  2. Wendy 11/05/2020 at 2:25 am - Reply

    We are considering buying a house on the edge of a small rural market town in the UK. We have now found out there is an electricity substation at the rear of the property, hidden by the tall garden wall, approximately 16.25 metres from the house.
    We have had an emf survey carried out, which was carried out mid afternoon. This has come back with average exposure levels for each of the bedrooms, with 6.6nT being the highest, and a combined average figure of 5.83nT for the living areas. The graphs do show some spikes, the highest of which are 9.6nT in one of the bedrooms and 26nT in one of the downstairs rooms.
    We are encouraged by the findings but would welcome your thoughts.

    • Patrick van der Burght 11/05/2020 at 2:34 pm - Reply

      Hi Wendy, those are good reading, but of course it does depend on the quality of the meters used. If it was someone with very poor meters, the truth may be different, but it sounds like it was an OK assessment. Make sure its nT and not mG, or these findings would be terrible.
      Things to note:
      – Power consumption changes per time of day and more importantly increases over the years. You’ll have a front row seat to watch how this increase over time develops.
      – Sub stations can be or can become a focus point for stray current to track back to. This would/could affect near by homes more.
      – Most homes have terrible electric field exposure in the bedrooms (95% of homes we go into) and radio frequency radiation is always increasing. Chances are the bedrooms in ANY home are not good enough based on our experience and will need proper assessment by someone able to assess the body absorption of EF and RF (not the air).

      Good luck with your decision.

      • Wendy 14/05/2020 at 6:58 am - Reply

        Dear Patrick,
        Thank you for your reply. Please explain what you mean about the ‘terrible electric field exposure’ in most bedrooms. Is this something that we should be worried about and how is this quantified? Where do these electric fields come from – the wiring? Are they typically damaging to humans and what can be done to shield the effects?
        Thank you,

    • Ricardo Malla 01/09/2022 at 7:29 am - Reply

      Hello Patrick,

      Do you know if an underground tranformer (60hz) can be shielded?

      We have one on the border of our property, 10 meters.from one of our bedrooms, and using a TF2 we sometimes get 2-3 mgauss on that room.

      We were thinking on putting an additional thick concrete wall to try to attenuate the emf, but have read somewhere else this may be futile.

      Do you have any idea what could we do to attenuate this field.

      Note the rest of the house, which is farther away from the transformer is 0.4 mg.



      • Patrick van der Burght 17/04/2024 at 2:43 pm - Reply

        MU-Metal can shield magnetic fields but its costly and work only well when you enclose the problem which sound not possible.
        2-3mG is too high for a bedroom in my opinion. 0.4mG is pretty good (<0.3mG is better). Measure at night… it might be less at night.
        Regardless, most homes have problems from there wiring with electric fields and RF from phone towers.
        Get a professional assessment and get a good idea of what the whole picture is like and stategise from there.
        Good luck

  3. Lyndsey Lapolla 03/10/2018 at 4:34 am - Reply

    Hello Patrick, I was wondering if you may be able to assist me in some information about EMFs and what is acceptable. I currently live in New York, and my neighbors and I are arguing with central Hudson power company about building a electrical substation directly across the street from my home. This substation will be approximately 167 feet from my neighbor’s property. We are deeply concerned and would really love to have some insight as to how we can combat this project from taking place. I have 2 children and plan on having more so the EMFs are very concerning for me. I am not sure if you can provide some insight as to how we can properly convey our concern of EMFs being transmitted from their future substation. Maybe you have some information of the number of EMFs the substations give off and how they are to close in proximity to my home. What would you do if an electric company decided they want to build a substation across the street from your house?

    • Patrick van der Burght 03/10/2018 at 7:27 am - Reply

      Hi Lyndsey, thanks for the comment. I’m squeezing this reply in whist working through the UK this week.
      Problem is that the exposure standards are so high, the substation will ‘always’ be under it so they are doing ‘nothing wrong’ in installing it. Fighting against it from a health perspective means you are trying to prove the government is wrong.
      Instead a tact of fighting against the expected drop in value of the homes (get all your neighbours onside) might be more effective. Nobody wants to live near a substation or transmission line.
      The levels? Hard to say. It might not be so bad, or it can be terrible. It also has the chance to deteriorate (more magnetic fields) as electrical systems in the neighbour hood get faults and stray current track back to this substation. In that case you’d have front row seats to more magnetic fields. You won’t know what it will bring until they turn it on… therefor best avoided.
      Maybe get a valuation done of the home before it is there and if you have to sell and fall short of the value, you might have grounds to try recoup that… I don’t envy your situation.
      Down to 1 milligauss of magnetic fields should desperately be avoided in my opinion. What do you have now already is the question? What might be added.
      If you can’t avoid (more) exposure and moving is not on the cards, in that case you should address every other EMF in the home (of which there will be numerous) and make the overall burden as light as possible. (wiring, shielding bedrooms with T98 etc.)
      Good luck

  4. Judy 12/08/2018 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    Hi Patrick,
    I’m looking at a possible horse boarding ranch,, that happens to have high voltage gisnt electrical towers right on the property, next to horses in stalls and corrals.
    It’s the best ranch facility for miles.
    I’m frightened to think of putting my horse there to live, as I have learned its goid to be at least 1 mile away from these towers or cell towers or cellmasts.
    People ive mentioned this to, on the ranch, thimk im nuts.
    Should I avoid this place for my horse and my safely?
    When I looked at this property, all I heard was humming and crackling from above me.
    They even made a horse pen under the 4 legs of one of the towers, that they have since removed.
    Its an amazing facility though.
    Other places are more expensive, and further away, but I will not compromise our health.
    Is this an at risk area?
    Thank you

    • Patrick van der Burght 13/08/2018 at 11:55 am - Reply

      Hi Judy, thanks for the comment. Sounds like you already know the answer… it sounds like it would likely be a health risk. If you go measure wiht a gauss meter then you will know what the exposure is. – Interestingly, when we do our course in Australia, we do a field trip and we go to some transmission lines to practice with meters. The house right next to it, also close to the lines, has been for sale, been sold and on the market again about 3-4 times in the last 7 years. Given the readings we get there… we think we know why.
      Don’t commit before you measure, but be prepared for bad news. Having said that: ANY property must be measured for this for your own sake. Simple street power lines can be very potent too.
      Good luck.

  5. Derick 28/04/2018 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    Couild a transformer for underground wiring produce enough magnetic field that it could effect the accuracy of a smart water meter?

    • Patrick van der Burght 01/05/2018 at 12:24 pm - Reply

      I don’t know, but I’d doubt it would. Anyone else who has experience or similar concerns, feel free to comment here.

  6. Aziz Pawanchik 02/01/2018 at 2:59 am - Reply

    Hello Mr Marc Wirth,

    Work has just started fixing underground cable for a 30 storey office block across the road about 300 meters from our home. The cause of concern is the power lines to that building runs underground just outside our gate, just about 12 meters from our front door. What’s your opinion and advice?

    • Patrick van der Burght 03/01/2018 at 11:37 am - Reply

      Dear Aziz, thank you for your question. I’ve been asked to reply on Marc’s behalf.
      The placement of new cables and the magnetic fields that may result from them, is likely perfectly within the government guidelines and so there is little to do to prevent the installation. Magnetic field exposure should in our industries opionion stay below 1mG (100nT) and ideally under 0.3mG (30nT) especially for the bedroom. It seems the best thing to do it to measure your exposure at the moment with a quality gauss meter and again once the installation is completed. You can’t shield against magnetic fields very well but perhaps a significant change in exposure gives you some grounds to take some sort of action on. The alternative is moving home and measuring with a gauss meter again before committing to any property.
      Good luck.

  7. Cheryl Liston 07/02/2017 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    If a person who is over 50 and one over 60 lives within 200 ft of an electrical substation, could that affect longevity/health issues?

    • Patrick van der Burght 08/02/2017 at 5:06 pm - Reply

      Hi Cheryl, thanks for asking.
      With substations, lets agree that we are speaking about the medium scale above ground plants where wires from the transmission lines come in and from their distribute electricity around the area.
      It depends on the levels that people are exposed to, so going out and measuring this properly is clearly a must. Levels can vary a lot during the day and night so if levels were just about ok at the time of a spot measurement, then it doesn’t mean it will be fine 10min, 2 hours or 12 hours later.
      200ft is not very far at all. The problem is magnetic fields, and these are present at the station but also the cables going in and out of that substation. Current is supposed to return to the substation nicely along intended paths and cabling, but it there are wiring problems in the neighbourhood for example this can all affect the proper return of current and therefor cause an imbalance which would mean even more magnetic fields. As the substation is the root of distribution from there onwards it has the potential to produce a lot of exposure to magnetic fields.

      What is bad? What is too much EMR?
      We’ll that is all down to opinion. Governments have set their allowable exposure limits way too high in the opinion of many people and scientist in this field of environmental medicine. Many countries allow for 1000mG (milligauss) of exposure to the population and think that is fine and acceptable. Peer reviewed research shows serious increases in the risk of fertility issues, leukaemia, cancer and many other issues at levels only a fraction of the government limits. At 1mG serious affects to recovery rates of children with leukaemia were found for example (see our research link section). – So, you have to do your own research on what you think is acceptable and what risks you are willing to take. In our environmental medicine field, most recommend exposure ideally less than 0.2 or 0.3mG in the bedroom, and definitely not more than 1mG in the home. What someone does with that information is up to them. No EMF consultant would tell people to move if the problem can’t be fixed because it goes against what the government deems ok and opens up liability issues for the assessor… the residents have to come to the decision of staying or going on their own.

      So, long and short of it is: Until you investigate with proper equipment (spend at least about U$400 on a good gauss meter) you know nothing. 200ft could be ok… but it could vary or change over time, so needs to be monitored,
      I can tell you that magnetic fields, if caused by wiring errors have a chance of being rectified, but if they come from power supply installations, there is often nothing that can be done realistically.

      That is not to say that other homes away from substations are therefor automatically ok. Most homes have multiple sources of exposure to low level radiation from outside power lines, internal wiring, phone towers, smart meters, wifi gadgets and natural geopathic stress. Any home considered to be purchased or rented should be checked by one of our consultants or someone we know that could help you. You should check for magnetic fields whilst ‘shopping’ for a new home with a quality guass meter, and once you think you’ve found the one, let a trained expert verify your findings and investigate the other typically fixable issues of the home. This way you know what to update before you move in.

      Do check out this article too:
      You can find official Geovital consultants here
      or contact our office as we have many affiliates and freelance assessors we can maybe put you in contact with.
      Good luck,

  8. Cheryl Liston 07/02/2017 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    Would a person 50 to 60 develop medical problems that could effect longevity?

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