Bionitiative Report’s findings are flawed regarding GBE

Editor’s note: The following letter was sent in response to the July 23-29 guest column “Beware: GBE would create health risks,” by Jeanette Carothers.

As a project manager at Clean Line Energy and someone who has a background in the wind industry and would like to see it continue to grow, I would like to address some of the misleading statements made in the recent article published in The Rock River Times, “Beware: GBE would create health risks.”

This article, published July 23, states that the Grain Belt Express project would “impose health hardships upon residents.” As support for this claim, the author cites a document (The Bioinitiative Report) posted on the Internet by a group of individuals who have expressed concern about extremely low frequency (ELF) fields from alternating current (AC) transmission lines, distribution lines, home wiring, and appliances and radio frequency fields (RF) from mobile phones and similar sources. These ELF and RF fields are of an entirely different frequency and character than the direct current (DC) static fields from a DC transmission line. For example, unlike ELF magnetic fields, the static magnetic field from a DC line is the same as that produced by the Earth itself (which causes a compass needle to point north) and is of lower intensity.

The fact is that none of the studies in the Bioinitiative Report pertain to DC lines, and effects of DC fields are not discussed at all. Because of the differences between AC ELF and DC fields, none of the quotations from the Bioinitiative Report in the July 23 article regarding AC ELF fields are relevant to exposures to DC fields.

Despite extensive research, neither the International Agency for Research on Cancer, one of the world’s leading authorities on cancer, nor the World Health Organization, have found that there is an adequate basis to conclude that DC fields at levels produced by DC lines contribute to cancer or other health effects. See http://www.who.int/peh-emf/publications/facts/fs299/en/.

I strongly urge folks to gain a full understanding of direct current technology from nationally and internationally trusted sources. At Clean Line Energy, safety is among our chief concerns as we strive to treat landowners with the utmost respect.

Adhar Johnson
Manager, Clean Line Energy
St. Louis

From the Aug. 20-26, 2014, issue

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