Should Utilities Warn Us About Cancer?
By Heather Legg
For more than 30 years, researchers have been studying the possible risks of cancer related to outdoor power lines and household electrical products, like electric blankets.
And if they do pose risks, do electric and utility companies need to post warnings? Is this the government's responsibility?
Do Power Lines Cause Cancer?
Unfortunately, there is limited evidence and most studies have mixed findings. Most recent studies are showing that there is little evidence to relate power lines to leukemia and/or brain tumors in children.
Do Electrical Appliances Cause Cancer?
Again, these studies have mixed reviews and researchers are having trouble showing the link between electrical appliances to cancer risk.
It has been believed that electrical appliances should have greater cancer risk because the output of magnetic fields is greater than those of power lines, but the appliances are usually only used for short duration as opposed to generating a continuous output. It is advised to not sleep with too many electrical devices plugged in around you.
People are concerned about the electromagnetic output of cell phones related to cancer as well, especially brain cancer.
Like the other electronic appliances and power lines, it is hard to find evidence supporting the link between cancer and cell phones. However, the high use of cellphones is relatively recent, so many believe that limiting use and/or using hand's-free devices are good ideas.
The major concerns are cancers to children and risk to pregnant women of their unborn children.
Studies with animals have not shown that exposure to magnetic fields at these levels is related to increased cancer risks.
Some states and lobbyists have tried to enforce warnings about power lines and other household electronics and the cancer risk, however, implementing this is difficult due to the inconclusive findings in this area.
For now, no news may be good news.
About the Author: Heather Legg writes on a variety of topics including health issues, social media and Cydcor.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.