Electricity either from natural sources, e.g., earth, weather conditions, or from Dominion’s power facilities and anything connected to it, e.g., appliances, is the source of electric and magnetic fields (EMF). Sometimes customers contact Dominion with their concerns about possible health hazards associated with EMF. Dominion, like other utilities, relies on information from federal, state, and international health agencies, which review EMF research and monitor this issue, to help evaluate potential risks, to respond to these concerns. Such agencies have not concluded that exposure to either electric or magnetic fields EMF at levels found in our communities poses a health hazard and, therefore, neither the federal government nor the Virginia State Corporation Commission has proposed limits on exposure to EMF from utility facilities or transmission lines.
The Virginia Department of Health in its final report evaluating EMF research concluded:
"Based on the review and analysis of the exhaustive literature review and other research projects completed under the EMF-RAPID program, the Virginia Department of Health is of the opinion that there is no conclusive and convincing evidence that exposure to extremely low frequency EMF emanated from nearby high voltage transmission lines is causally associated with an increased incidence of cancer or other detrimental health effects in humans. Even if it is assumed that there is an increased risk of cancer as implied in some epidemiologic studies, the empirical relative risk appears to be fairly small in magnitude and the observed association appears to be tenuous. The studies published in the literature lack clear demonstration of a cause and effect relationship as well as a definitive dose-response gradient."
International scientific agencies, including the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2007 and the European Commission’s European Health Risk Assessment Network on Electromagnetic Fields Exposure in 2010, have sponsored reviews of EMF research and reached similar conclusions. While the conclusions of these reviews are reassuring, Dominion strives to site and design its facilities in ways that minimize EMF levels while balancing environmental, aesthetic, and cost factors. This approach is consistent with recommendations of the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the WHO.