Electric and Magnetic Fields

Work and Position of Hydro-Québec

Hydro-Québec has helped to advance knowledge about EMFs through its own research. It has conducted a number of studies with universities, Health Canada and other power utilities, including Électricité de France, Ontario Hydro, BC Hydro and the Bonneville Power Administration in Portland, Oregon.

Corporate Position on EMFs

Although the health impacts of EMFs have never been confirmed, Hydro-Québec has made a commitment to be vigilant and prudent with respect to EMFs and their possible health effects. The company has also adopted a corporate position on EMFs. [PDF]

Work of Hydro-Québec

Research projects

Hydro-Québec has made financial and technical contributions to a number of research projects.

  • Characterization and measurement of exposure to EMFs generated by electrical facilities
    • Maruvada, P.S. and P. Jutras. 1991. Caractérisation des champs éléctrique et magnétique dans différents milieux (Characterization of electric and magnetic fields in various environments). Montréal: Hydro-Québec. 76 p. (Report in French)
      English abstract [PDF]
    • Maruvada, P.S., A. Turgeon and P. Jutras. 1996. Exposition résidentielle aux champs magnétiques produits par les lignes de transport et de répartition (Residential exposure to magnetic fields produced by transmission and distribution lines). Montréal: Hydro-Québec. 57 p. and apps. (Report in French)
      English abstract [PDF]
  • A joint France-Canada epidemiological study coordinated by McGill University and conducted on workers at Hydro-Québec, Ontario Hydro and Électricité de France
    • Thériault, G., M. Goldberg, A.B. Miller and B.G. Armstrong. 1994. Joint Électricité de France – Hydro-Québec – Ontario Hydro epidemiological study on the long-term effects of exposure to 50 and 60 hertz electric and magnetic fields. Montréal: Hydro-Québec. 8 vols.
      English abstract [PDF]
    • Thériault, G., M. Goldberg, A.B. Miller, B.G. Armstrong, P. Guénel, J.E. Deadman, T. Imbernon, A. Chevalier, D. Cyr and C. Wall. 1994. Cancer risks associated with occupational exposure to magnetic fields among electric utility workers in Ontario and Québec, Canada and France: 1970-1989. American Journal of Epidemiology, 139(6):550-572.
  • Study of the development of tumors in laboratory animals exposed to EMFs, supported by Health Canada, Ontario Hydro and Hydro-Québec, conducted at the Institut Armand-Frappier
    • Mandeville, R. 1998. Evaluation of the potential carcinogenicity of 60-Hz linear, sinusoidal, continuous-wave magnetic fields in F344/rats. Final report. Prepared by Institut Armand-Frappier for Hydro-Québec, Ontario Hydro and Health Canada. Laval, QC: Institut Armand-Frappier. Report and 4 apps.
      English abstract [PDF]
    • Mandeville, R., E. Franco, S. Sidrac-Ghali, L. Paris-Nadon, N. Rocheleau, G. Mercier, M. Désy and L. Gaboury. 1997. Evaluation of the potential carcinogenicity of 60-Hz linear sinusoidal continuous-wave magnetic fields in F344/Rats. The FASEB Journal, 11(13): 1127-1136.
  • Studies measuring the productivity of dairy cows exposed to EMFs, conducted by McGill University in cooperation with Hydro-Québec
    • Burchard, J.F., D.H. Nguyen, L. Richard and E. Block. 1996. Biological effects of electric and magnetic fields on the productivity of dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 79(9): 1549-1554.
    • Burchard, J.F. 1996. Effects of 60 Hz electric and magnetic fields on productivity, reproductive hormones, plasma minerals and minerals and neurotransmitter metabolites in cerebrospinal fluid in dairy cattle. PhD dissertation, McGill University. 319 p.
      English abstract [PDF]
    • Maruvada, P.S., P. Jutras and A. Turgeon. 1996. Caractérisation de l'exposition aux champs électriques et magnétiques des vaches et du personnel dans les fermes laitières typiques (Characterization of bovine and human exposure to EMFs on typical dairy farms). Montréal: Hydro-Québec. 26 p. (Report in French)
      English abstract [PDF]
  • Studies of human perception of the electric fields generated by high-voltage lines, conducted with the Université de Montréal
    • Blondin, J.P., D.H. Nguyen, J. Sbeghen, D. Goulet, C. Cardinal, P.S. Maruvada, M. Plante and W.H. Bailey. 1994. Perception chez les humains des champs électriques et des courants ioniques produits par les lignes à haute tension en courant continu (Human perception of electric fields and ion currents associated with high-voltage DC transmission lines). Montréal: Hydro-Québec. 150 p. (Report in French)
      English abstract [PDF]
    • Blondin, J.P., Nguyen, D.H., Sbeghen, J., Goulet, D., Cardinal, C., Maruvada, P.S., Plante, M. and Bailey, W.H. 1996. Human perception of electric fields and ion currents associated with high voltage DC transmission lines. Bioelectromagnetics, 17(3): 230-241.
  • Research on biophysical interactions involving EMFs and biological tissues, conducted at the laboratory of experimental tissue engineering (LOEX) in Québec City with the participation of Hydro-Québec
    • Méthot, S. 2002. Effets d'une exposition électrique sur les paramètres de la guérison des plaies cutanées: Analyse à l'aide de modèles humains in vitro (Effects of exposure to electricity on skin healing parameters: analysis with in vitro human models). PhD dissertation, Université Laval. 256 p. (Dissertation in French)
      English abstract [PDF]
    • Méthot, S., V. Moulin, D. Rancourt, M. Bourdages, D. Goulet, M. Plante, F.A. Auger and L. Germain. 2001. Morphological changes of human skin cells exposed to a DC electric field in vitro using a new exposure system. Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, 79: 668-677.
      English abstract [PDF]
  • A study of optical detection of microtremors in workers exposed to alternating magnetic fields is being conducted by the Université de Montpellier in France with the support of Hydro-Québec and Électricité de France.

    The objective is to understand the interaction between MFs and the nervous system, as this interaction is used by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) to establish exposure limits.

    • Legros, A. 2004. Effets d'un champ magnétique d'extrêmement basse fréquence sur les micro mouvements segmentaires humains (Effects of an extremely low-frequency magnetic field on segmentary microtremors in humans). PhD dissertation. Université de Montpellier. 253 p. (Dissertation in French)
      English abstract [PDF]
    • Legros, A. and A. Beuter. 2006. Individual subject sensitivity to extremely low frequency magnetic field. NeuroToxicology, 27(4): 534-546.
Communication and public information projects
Hydro-Québec contributions to the study of EMFs

Hydro-Québec has conducted and contributed to numerous research projects and studies on EMFs. A complete list of Hydro-Québec contributions by author is available as are lists by subject. All research reports listed can be consulted at Hydro-Québec's documentation centre.

Complete list of contributions by author [PDF]


Comments of the EMF action plan coordinating team

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