EirGrid statements on health and use of child images a disgrace

October 11, 2017

Eirgrid has no expertise on this matter. It relies on bought in consultancy to support its claims

EirGrid has taken to the regional press and airwaves stating that there are no reasons to worry about your health in relation to the North-South Interconnector. Specifically the latest company advertising in regional press states:

  1.  “So, its good to know that research over the last 20 years has found no evidence that there’s any reason to worry”. And:
  2.     “In fact, you are exposed to less emissions from power lines than from electrical devices we use every day – like fridges or televisions”.

“So, its good to know that research over the last 20 years has found no evidence that there’s any reason to worry”

Current scientific data confirms that exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) above 0.4 microtesla increases the risk of leukaemia, particularly for children.  Additionally, increasing evidence shows that it is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, brain tumours, Alzheimer’s and motorneurone disease. Eirgrid’s voluntary compliance level is set at 250 times above the level associated with childhood leukaemia.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is currently undertaking a large programme of research on the health effects of EMF. In 2003 it released a public advisory stating that there was sufficient evidence for regulatory bodies to take a precautionary approach to actively prevent or reduce exposure.

In 2001, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is a specialised agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), classified ELF magnetic fields as a possible human cancer causing agent.

In 2006, an influential paper by UK scientists, Draper and colleagues, was published in the British Medical Journal confirming that EMF was associated with childhood leukaemia, and more importantly that the effects of EMFs were seen over a greater distance than previously reported. The large-scale formal review in 2007 by the World health Organization (EHC238), upholds this concern and says for example “Implementing other suitable precautionary procedures to reduce exposure is reasonable and warranted”.

 

There is therefore a clear evidence-based public concern, officially endorsed in WHO assessments, about exposure to EMF from power lines.

Indeed the increased funding and research into the impacts of EMF from electricity infrastructure is in itself a clear message that there are increasing concerns of the linkage to health effects.

  “In fact, you are exposed to less emissions from power lines than from electrical devices we use every day – like fridges or televisions”.

The Eirgrid advert statement is in direct contradiction with its own formal written planning application submissions to An Bord Pleanála in June 2015:

“Magnetic fields are not easily blocked by objects, so exposures encountered in daily life can range widely from as little as 0.01microtesla away from specific sources and as high as 1-2 microtesla at 50 centimetres from home appliances” (Volume 3A P.63).

“Based on an average loading on the (North-South Interconnector) line the magnetic field is calculated to have a maximum level of approximately 16 microtesla” (Vol 3A P.65)

“The maximum magnetic field calculated for the proposed (North-South Interconnector) development is 49 microtesla..” (Vol 3A P.65)

 How can a State company be allowed to spend taxpayers’ monies to deliberately mislead the public on the health risks from the North-South interconnector?

What action will the Government take to call EirGrid to account on this serious abuse of responsibility?

What level of unethical behaviour will EirGrid be supported by Minister Naughten for Fine Gael to take some action?

NEPPC has sent a formal complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI)

Ends –

Further information:

087 680 36 66;www.nepp.ie

Filed under: Press Releases 2017


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NEPP is the overall representative group for the people of Ireland's North East who advocate that high power electric cables should go underground.

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