Home prices are often lower when the residence is located near power lines. Unfortunately, while financial cost may be lower, there’s a high health cost to pay: a greater risk of Alzheimer’s and senile dementia.
A 2009 Swiss study of close to 5 million people looked at how living near power lines affects the risk of death from certain neurodegenerative diseases. The results were just released by the American Journal of Epidemiology.
The research shows that the closer you live to residential power lines (these lines were 220-380 kV) and the longer you live there, the greater your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and senile dementia. The researchers did not find an increase in Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis.
In particular, they looked at living 50 meters (54 yards) or less from the power lines compared to 600 meters (about 1/3 mile). Those who lived in close proximity for 15 years had twice the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia as those who lived far away. Those living close to the lines for fewer years had an increased risk, just not as high.