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Can Power Lines Cause Health Problems?

The scientific community has sought to answer this question for many years.  However, there is still no consensus on whether exposure to power lines will cause health problems.  Some studies have found a strong link, while other studies have found no link at all.  Regardless, much litigation regarding exposure to power lines have occurred and courts have rewarded large sums of money for people's injuries.  

What Kind of Injuries Can Power Lines Cause?

As stated, studies vary widely on whether exposure to power lines cause harm.  Here are a few of the common conclusions from studies that have found a strong link between exposure to power lines and health problems: 

  • Cancer - Exposure to power lines have been linked to all kinds of cancer.  The most common type is brain cancer, but links to breast cancer and leukemia have also been found.
  • Tumors - Some studies have established links between brain and other cancerous tumors with exposure to power lines.
  • Miscarriages
  • Exposure to power lines can make children more susceptible to disease 
  • A study has even linked power line exposure to depression!

What Problems Will I Encounter if I Sue the Owner of the Power Lines? 

Despite the many studies linking exposure to power lines to different health ailments, courts often will not reward plaintiffs in such cases.  There are many reasons why this is the case: 

  • Causation - It is difficult to establish that exposure to power lines caused a certain illness.  Illness and disease can be caused by numerous other factors.  Instituting a class action lawsuit will make proving your injury easier.
  • Inconsistent studies - Which studies do you rely on?  The inconsistency of the scientific community in this matter leads many courts to question the validity of your claim.
  • Nature of illnesses - Some illnesses or diseases may take years to develop.  Again, you would have a hard time proving exposure to power lines caused the illness to develop in the first place. 

Given these Major Hurdles, What Should I Do?

If you truly believe that exposure to power lines has caused an illness, the first thing to do is to contact an attorney.  An experienced attorney will be able to assess the situation and determine your chances of winning a suit. 

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 07-24-2012 04:22 PM PDT

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