To the Editor:
Referencing “ComEd project raises ire” (Sept. 1), the author notes, “High-voltage towers emit invisible waves of electricity that rapidly reduce in strength the farther a person moves away.” True.
Further, referencing the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, he notes, “Scientific studies have shown weak or nonexistent association between heightened exposure and cancers in both children and adults.”
In prior employment, I used sensitive scientific equipment, and learned that the above is true in limited context. The NIEHS scientists might have ignored, or ComEd chose to ignore, at least one key item in these studies. This is the level of power carried by the studied line, compared to “rated” line capacity.
If power is about half or less the “rated” capacity, then NIEHS is mostly correct. If power carried attains, or exceeds, about three-quarters of the “rated” capacity, then line losses start to rapidly rise.
This rise has two effects. One, a much higher level of “invisible waves” to initiate cancer, etc. The other, as the name suggests, is a loss of power. This is a direct energy loss to ComEd.
The “scientific studies” should have included power level of studied lines. If less than half rated capacity, concerns would be minimal. Hence, the term “weak or nonexistent.”
If high power levels are transmitted, then local residents become exposed to ever-greater dangers. This line, initially, may have power levels notably below line capacity. However, with future growth and rising demands, this line would become a danger. I hope this adds some clarification.
John C. Bierlein, Ph.D.