News & Updates


Power lines pose no risk

Re the March 5 story Residents to FPL: Power lines a risk, about electric and magnetic fields (EMF):

The use of electricity in our everyday lives creates electric and magnetic fields. Common sources are the wiring in our homes and schools, power lines and utility facilities that bring electricity to us and electrical equipment and devices we use at work and home.

The federal government’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) has examined EMF. In its question-and-answer booklet, it says: “Magnetic fields close to electrical appliances are often much stronger than those from other sources, including magnetic fields directly under power lines.”

For example, a Florida Power & Light 230-kilovolt transmission line will have a maximum EMF level of 150 milligauss (the unit of measurement) at the edge of the right-of way. By comparison, a typical microwave oven at six inches has a reading of 200, and a typical hair dryer has a reading of 300, according to NIEHS.

Only two states nationwide have put limits on electric-and-magnetic-field exposure. Florida is one of them. Florida first established limits on EMF exposure in 1989. At that time, the state Legislature required the Department of Environmental Protection to establish rules regulating EMF exposure. FPL’s facilities are in full compliance with those rules.

Some of the most prestigious national and international scientific organizations have evaluated EMF research, including the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health and the National Academy of Sciences. Their evaluations conclude that scientific studies overall have not demonstrated that exposure to power-frequency EMF causes or contributes to cancer or any other disease or illness.

FPL has almost 11,000 employees in the state who work and live in the same communities as our customers. We are committed to ensuring that the electrical service we provide is affordable, reliable and safe.

MANNY J. RODRIGUEZ, regional director, external affairs, FPL, Miami