Sun, Mar 14, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Taipower accused of endangering health

OVER-EXPOSED A health association said electromagnetic waves in excess of 4mG can cause cancer and a 55.6mG wave was detected 1m from a residential complex

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

A Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor and a group of residents yesterday accused state-run Taiwan Power Co (­Taipower, 台電) of exposing local residents to a serious health risk by establishing a power distribution substation next to a residential complex.

The distribution substation, which is located on Jianguo S Road, is only 1.76m away from an apartment complex. At first glance the eight-story substation appears no different from a normal apartment complex.

KMT Taipei City Councilor Lin Yi-hua (林奕華) accused Taipower of disguising the substation and exposing residents to electromagnetic waves.

“How are people to tell that this building is actually a distribution substation? The city government should protect residents and establish regulations to keep such dangerous facilities away from residential areas,” she said.

A local resident surnamed Chang said many residents suffer from chest pains, earaches and anxiety, and that several neighbors have died from cancer.

Chiang Shou-shan (江守山), director of ROC Living Safety and Health Association, said the group detected a 55.6 milligauss (mG) electromagnetic wave 1m from the substation. Over-exposure to electromagnetic waves, which is classified as anything in excess of 4mG, can cause cancer in children and insomnia and depression in adults, Chiang said.

Lin said the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) and Taipei City Government should establish regulations governing the building of distribution substations and stipulating safety limits for exposure to electromagnetic waves.

The EPA said the recommended level for general public exposure to non-ionizing radiation in a non-­occupational environment is 833mG. There are no regulations on the building of distribution substations in residential areas.

Lin An-chi (林安志), a division chief at Taipower’s northern district office, said that electromagnetic waves from the distribution substations were under 833mG and should pose no danger to the health of residents.

Taipei City’s Building Administration Office said there were no regulations on the distance between distribution substations and normal buildings. The city government is proposing that the central government draft related regulations.

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