Electric and Magnetic Fields

Effect on the Environment

Power transmission systems must frequently pass over farms to bring power to consumers. Several studies have looked at the biological effects on vegetation and animals.

Vegetation

The effects of EMFs on plant life have been investigated in studies conducted in the field, in greenhouses and in the laboratory. On the whole, their findings show that plant life is not affected by EMFs, except for a certain drying-out (browning) of leaves with pointed tips.

Bees

The electric field generated by high-voltage lines can be a serious disturbance to bees by direct induction of weak currents in their bodies or through the discharge of small, intermittent or continuous electric shocks when the bees come into contact with conductive objects such as the hive, or when the electric field is perceived by the bees' sensory organs, such as their hair. These biological effects of EMFs have repercussions on bees' behavior. Experiments conducted in the laboratory and under high-voltage lines have shown that EMFs and the electric shocks felt inside the hive have an impact on the bees' physiology, life expectancy and social behavior, as well as on honey production.

Description

Livestock

To date, several studies have been carried out to determine whether EMFs produced by high-voltage lines could affect the health, productivity, fertility, reproduction or behavior of livestock. The studies were based on investigations, database analyses and extreme case studies, and they were carried out on cattle, pigs, sheep and horses. Their findings seem to indicate that no biological disorder can be attributed to exposure to EMFs produced by high-voltage lines. No negative effect was observed on the health, productivity, fertility, reproduction or behavior of livestock exposed to EMFs.

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