(NaturalNews) Stray voltage, also known as stray electricity, ground current or neutral-to-earth voltage, is generally defined as a current that arises both from the distribution systems of the electrical utilities, e.g., underground wires, power lines, and from the electrical systems of consumers. These currents come from the earth and are primarily the by-product of the distribution systems' design; electrical current uses the earth as the path of least resistance rather than the neutral wire provided by the existing electrical system. Stray voltage levels can become so high that people and animals can feel the electrical shock.
Stray voltage was originally thought of as something that only affected farm animals, e.g., cows, due to their prolonged periods of contact with the ground; however a southern California community in South Redondo Beach believes stray voltage is making families in their neighborhood ill. Power lines are located in the immediate vicinity of their homes and an electrical substation, cleverly hidden by hedges, is located in the middle of the neighborhood.
Types of health problems residents are experiencing:
Unexplained gastrointestinal problems.
Southern California Edison is the energy provider for this community along with an additional 14 million customers. There have been cases reported as early as 1999 to Edison utilities regarding illness and a possible link to stray voltage.
Southern California is not an isolated incident. The Toronto Hydro-Electric System, the provider of electricity in the greater Toronto area, found over 1,600 incidences of stray voltage in February of 2009. "Stray voltage can originate from anything with electricity, said Toronto Hydro spokesperson Tanya Bruckmueller, "including street signs, lampposts and TTC shelters (transit shelters)." Stray voltage is thought to be responsible for several dogs and a New York woman dying. The woman was electrocuted by simply walking down the street and making contact with a metal plate. Why is this happening?
Current takes the path of least resistance. The human body is generally a much better conductor of electricity than the ground; therefore, electricity will flow through the body when given the opportunity.
According to Dr. De-Kun Li, Ph.D., of the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute, "There's no evidence to say EMFs are safe." Li has studied electromagnetic fields for well over a decade. Li's research found links between exposure to stray voltage and miscarriages and asthma. He believes people need to be cautious. "My study shows radiation above two milligauss could be potentially problematic, particularly when exposed for a long time." CBS Los Angeles reports Edison has documentation showing one milligauss as the average reading in most homes. The same report also showed this South Redondo community's EMF readings fell within the range of 4.1 - 32.6; ranges which are well above average.
What can be done?
It is easy to test for stray voltage with an inexpensive AC Voltmeter. A qualified electrician can identify and correct sources of stray voltage inside the home. Outside exposure is more complicated, short of moving, communities exposed to external stray voltage have limited solutions. Action must be taken on a larger scale through community and political activity. Confronting the perpetrators of the leaking electricity and taking legal action if necessary, as well as seeking support from local and state politicians, is the only other recourse for this form of EMF pollution.
About the author: Lloyd Burrell is the founder of http://www.electricsense.com/. Since falling prey to a violent reaction to his cell phone in 2002 Lloyd has spent more than 10 years researching the effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) on health. He is the author of an eBook entitled "How To Beat Electrical Sensitivity" which offers a solution to the growing number of people whose health is being compromised by exposure to wireless and similar technologies.