Hybrid electromagnetic fields

How dangerous are electomagnetic fields in hybrids? Can’t seem to get definitive information. Was seriously considering purchase of a Prius, but now not so sure. Thanks.

This whole theory of dangerous electromagnetic fields in hybrid vehicles is Internet BS, and not something to worry about. You can’t get any “definitive information” because there isn’t any.

The house you live in has electric wires in the walls, and they create an electromagnetic field. Do you worry about living in a house?

Watch TV? Use household appliances? Electromagnetic fields are all around us, all day, every day. The vehicle you currently drive has its own electromagnetic field. Your cell phone creates an electromagnetic field, and you expose your brain to that field every time you use the phone.

I’d be much more concerned about the cell phone than the Prius.

I’d be more concerned about the cell phone IN the Prius.

Electromagnetic fields in cars (including hybrids) are harmless, but cell phones in cars can be dangerous. Buy the Prius without worry, but don’t use the cell phone while driving it.

I’ll never understand why folks are worried by electrical fields from high tension wires, cell phones, or microwaves. Now your car! The very first cars had a magneto and over a hundred years later, no definitive information. You get more electromagnetic field from an electic blanket.

The only thing to worry about would be erasing cassettes, computer disks, and credit cards, and I don’t think those would be in much danger, since there is a steel passenger compartment between you and the motors.

The fields in question are no where near strong enough to do any of that.

The reason folks are worried about electrical fields from high tension wires is that neighborhoods near high tension wires have higher occurrences of cancer than those that are not near high tension wires. Combine that with the fact that the only studies that disprove this concern are funded by power companies, and there is a lack of unbiased data that refutes this concern.

While there is no evidence that proves a cause and effect link between high tension wires and cancer, there is no unbiased evidence that proves otherwise either.

Now, having said that, we are surrounded by electromagnetic signals all the time, from wireless computer networks to cell phones. Janiszee, do you walk through metal detectors at the airport or at the courthouse? Do you walk through the entrances to retail stores that have scanners at the door to catch shoplifters? Do you talk on a cell phone? Your exposure to these devices and their magnetic fields is far worse than what you would experience in a hybrid vehicle. So unless you are going to line your home and your head with aluminum foil and never come out, you are already exposed to harmless magnetic fields every day.

The magnetic fields in a hybrid should not be enough to worry about unless you have an implanted pacemaker or defibrillator. If you have an implanted pacemaker or defibrillator, ask your technician if you should worry about hybrid vehicles.

I have a pacemaker, which means I need to remember not to expose it to strong magnetic fields. Basically, I follow these restrictions:

  1. Use the cell phone or cordless phone on the right ear, not the left ear.
  2. Don’t go through metal detectors. I usually get patted down above the belt and wanded below the belt. (Why does that sound so dirty?)
  3. Don’t linger near the anti-theft devices at retail stores.
  4. When I use a CB radio, I must keep at least 7’ between the antenna and myself if the radio is transmitting.
  5. When working on the car, I don’t get too close to the engine compartment while it is running.
  6. I can’t put my iPod in my shirt pocket on the left side.

Even with all of this to worry about, I would feel fine riding in a hybrid. I also have a wireless computer network at home, talk on a cell phone, ride a motorcycle, work on my car, and use a small FM transmitter to play my iPod in the car. None of these exposures to magnetic fields has caused any harm to my pacemaker. If I was thinking about buying a hybrid, I might ask my technician if she has any concerns, but I would not worry too much about it.

Henry Ford was convinced of the dangers of alternating current as was Thomas Edison. As I understand it, the Prius hybrid has an AC motor with an inverter to convert the battery power to AC. I’m sure if either Henry Ford or Thomas Edison were alive today, neither would drive a Prius. Henry Ford even generated his own DC power for his home. If you think that these electromagnetic fields are dangerous, then you should not have any appliances with electric motors in your house. If you want a refrigerator, you’ll have to find an old Servel gas refrigerator. You can’t have a furnace fan. In fact, you probably should not have flourescent lights, because the ballast coils give off an electromagnetic field. I do share rides to a band rehearsal with a person who drives a Prius. I blame the magnetic field generated by his Prius for the notes I miss.

Remember when it was required for a store to post “microwave oven in use”? Anyone ever hear of someone keeling over?

Fortunately, today’s pacemakers are insulated far better than they were back then. I should have mentioned that I also use a microwave without leaving the room.

The real danger wasn’t that someone could suddenly keel over. There are/were two dangers:

  1. The implanted pacemaker or defibrillator can be disabled and might not activate when needed.
  2. The implanted pacemaker or defibrillator can be activated (in testing mode) when it isn’t needed. With a pacemaker, this isn’t a big deal. The patient would probably not even notice. However, with a defibrillator it would be another story, but the shock would probably stop as soon as the signal stops.

When I first got the pacemaker, I wanted to get rid of every wireless device in my home (except the TV remote), but I soon realized that would be overkill.

Edison was not really worried about any “dangers” of AC. His equipment was all DC and he was in financial competition with Tesla and his AC power distribution. His demonstrations about the dangers of AC were only about his attempt to prevent loss of market share to AC systems. Funny that Ford had an aversion to AC. The ignition system of his car engines relied on it.

Worried about AC but cable brakes on his cars was OK.How long did it take FORD to go to hydraulic brakes?

“The reason folks are worried about electrical fields from high tension wires is that neighborhoods near high tension wires have higher occurrences of cancer than those that are not near high tension wires. Combine that with the fact that the only studies that disprove this concern are funded by power companies, and there is a lack of unbiased data that refutes this concern.”

Show me an unimpeachable source that proves electromagnetic fields from poser lines cause cancer. I’ll even help you find one: It has to be a major research hospital or the National Institutes of Health.

Tardis is correct that it was solely profit motive that led Edison to talk about the " great dangers" of AC and the relative “safety” of DC. If he had not been so heavily invested in the less-efficient DC technology, it would not have been an issue for him. And, Edison knowingly lied about AC current in order to try to preserve his market share with DC current.

As for old Henry, it is important to distinguish between intelligence and insanity. Henry Ford was a mechanical genius, but he was also as crazy as a loon, irrational, and virulently anti-Semitic . His mental problems, coupled with his superstitions, caused him to adhere to cable brakes and an antiquated suspension design, and also led him to ban 6 cylinder engines from his cars, following the marketing failure of one of his early designs (the Model F if I recall correctly). Only after his death did Ford Motor Company begin to use hydraulic brakes and to resume manufacturing 6 cylinder engines.

If you want a Prius then buy a Prius, don’t live in fear. Many people buy a Prius thinking that they are going to usurp global warming. So pick your poison, drive a Prius and get cancer or destroy the Earth! (Tongue in cheek of course)

The problem with asking me to do find evidence is that I don’t believe high tension power lines cause cancer. I believe it is nothing more than a correlation that has no causal relationship. The neighborhoods near most high tension power lines are poor neighborhoods. The people who live there can’t afford health care. Most of them smoke. They generally live unhealthy lifestyles. That could easily explain why people who live near high tension power lines have higher cancer rates.

So you might get a better response if you pose your challenge to someone who really believes that high tension power lines cause cancer. Please don’t ask me to defend a position to which I don’t subscribe.

Since DC current does not create EMF fields (AC does it) I seriously doubt that there would be a problem. In addition there is little evidence that EMF is a real danger. As I recall from my college days one of our projects was to look into those studies.

While the data was still sketchy, but it appeared that most of the increase in cancer could be accounted for statistically by other common factors. The one I remember was the rate of cancer for people living in the same general area away from the power lines but with similar income to those near the power lines. As it turned out the income group had the same increase even if they were not near the power lines, so maybe something about the income (diet, doctor care etc) might have been the rear factor and the location, near the power lines simply clustered lower income families since homes near power lines tend to sell for less than like homes in the same area.

Actually, Henry Ford was alive when Fords adopted hydraulic brakes. This was in 1939. Henry Ford died in 1947. Edsel Ford pushed Henry to offer a flat head 6 cylinder engine in the Fords in 1941. This engine replaced the 60 horsepower V-8 that was introduced about 1937 as a low cost option engine to the 85 horsepower V-8. The 6 cylinder reportedly could outrun the V-8 up to 50 mph or so. The V-8 engines after WW II were rated at 100 hp, while the 6 was rated at 95 hp. In 1952, Ford introduced a redesigned 6 cylinder engine with overhead valves. This engine was replaced with a newly designed 7 bearing 240 cubic inch 6 in 1965. This engine had a 300 cubic inch version that was available for a long time after that in pick-up trucks.