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The Young Masters Programme on Sustainable Development and

the Global Environmental Youth Convention 2008 in Beijing

Project Presentation Template, Batch 1

Group number: Greece 33

Participants: Balakos Kostas, Sagmatopoulou Stavroula, Menta Varvara, Venardou Brigkita, Banti Paschalia,
teachers: Chatzigeorgiou Georgios, Papadimitriou Efthimios
Project theme: Energy
Project title: High voltage pylons: quiescence or protection necessity? (Security or Hazard?)
Short description of the Project: In the urban area of our city, Thessaloniki, in which our municipality, the municipality
of Polichni belongs, high voltage electric pylons that convey electricity- which is produced by thermoelectric and
hydroelectric plants, mostly in central and Western Macedonia, Greece- are situated very close to houses. Assuming the
dangers to humans health, caused by electric energy generation, we focus on our neighboring environment, aiming at
highlighting the necessity of changing not only the way of energy generation, but the way of conveying it, as well. Our
team is going to record the present situation and map out ways to deal with this problem, having as criteria the
sustainable development of our region, in addition to, the residents life quality improvement.
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Explain your Project's link to Sustainable Development: It is believed, that Polichnis (our region) sustainable
development and generally Western Thessalonikis development one of the most degraded areas from economic, social
and environmental view, as it is near the industrial area of the city- is directly related not only with the improvement of
finances, but much more with natural resources and peoples health protection. We also reckon, that the way the electric
energy is generated and conveyed, brings out problems to both nature and humans.
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Objectives and Targets for Project: 1) We collected necessary information: a) we got in touch with the following
international and national Bodies and Organizations, in order to prove, if there is any relation between health problems
and electromagnetic radiation, due to high voltage pylons: WHO (World Health Organization), Bioelectromagnetics
Society, European Environment Agency EEA, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Health Protection Agency,
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization, International
Atomic Energy Agency, European Commission and some national organizations such as the National Committee of
Telecommunications and Posts, National Committee of Atomic Energy, the Public Power Corporation S.A. etc . They
replied stressing the fact that, there is actually danger and the installation of pylons in the residential parts of the city,
damages seriously inhabitants health. As a result, there is a minimum distance, that pylons should have from houses, in
order for the citizens not to be at risk. As far as scientists are concerned, we have to mention that scientific communitys
opinion on the issue, is controversial. Scientists and organizations - in Greece and in World generally support that
electric pylons are dangerous and cause problems to humans' health, when they are located close to houses. However,
there is another point of view that supports that the proof from the electric energys conveying lines electromagnetic
fields, that cause or are blamed for the appearance of cancer, are really weak or non- existing. We have also got informed

that, the maximum-distance set between pylons and houses in Greece, according to E.U. regulations, usually concerns the
danger, rarely the safe exposure to electromagnetic fields and never the continuous, external exposure for a long time.
For this particular reason, scientific teams that cannot agree turn up as a result some organizations adopt submultiple
limits that are difficult to be achieved. For example, having as limit, set by E.U, for Electric Field 10 Kv/m and magnetic
field 100 T (for electromagnetic lines), Salzburg in Austria imposed as magnetic limits 0,4 (250 times less) and
made the companies to be adjusted to. The above, are associated with an epidemiologic research, in which a static
doubling of leukemia cases in kids, that were exposed to average daily prices of magnetic field, bigger than 0,4., was
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2) We listed the steps for the electric energy pylons installation and operation and we focused on the following
clues: a) Contiguity with residential areas (houses, schools, entertainment places). High voltage pylons were placed
close to houses, kindergartens, schools and places of entertainment, in a distance of approximately 2-10 m. On the other
hand, the safe limit-distance is 30 m, for a line conveying 150KV and 80 m for 400KV. Moreover, the Authority of
Health Environment of the Ministry of Health, stresses the necessity for the pylons to be situated in a straight distance,
bigger than 100 m, from the nearest residential area. In Polichnis municipality, there are 50 high voltage pylons that is
the Public Company of Electricity substation, which is situated in a distance of about 25 m from an old peoples home.
The sub-station is in a distance of 150 m from a primary school, a small forest, an athletics Public Center and from the
area, that has recently considered as urban area.
b) Short distance between high voltage pylons wires and houses roofs (the problem was revealed after the death of a
35-years-old resident, who got thunderstruck, while he was repairing the roof of his house).
3) We decided on the criteria of our interference:
) sensitization local community contribution to cope with the problem.
) Highlight the importance to apply and keep the right of caution, for the residents health protection.
C) Protection of natural resources by imposing alternative ways of energy, in local level.
Results: We made an action plan to face the problem: 1) Estimate local communitys awareness:
We handed out questionnaires to 100 people, so as to check if residents are aware of the problems caused by pylons to
peoples health and if they themselves took any initiative. For example, if they appealled to the authorities or the Public
Power Corporation S.A. (PPC) and if they got supported. We have also interviewed some residents from the same region.

The surveys analysis showed that, most of them had realised the problems and the dangers, but only a few had appealled
to the Authorities. Moreover, the Authorities and the Public Power Corporation S.A. (PPC) showed some interest,
without taking any real action. Additionally, the Public Power Corporation S.A. (PPC) kept on insisting, that there is no
real danger from electric pylons.
2) Taking into consideration all the information and all the clues that we collected, in addition to the present situation and
the results from the questionnaires analysis, we proposed our suggestions to the responsible authorities, Bodies and
Organizations, such as the Public Power Corporation S.A. (PPC). We also took into account that the latter denies the
existance of any problem, concerning the issue. In our proposal, we reported possible ways, and gave solutions to this
problem, such as underground wires use, network transfer and land neighboring to pylons buying, by electric companies.
3) We printed informative brochures to highlight the following points:
a) Avoid living in areas, close to pylons.
b) Limited electric energy consumption.
c) Renewable sources energy importance.
4) In cooperation with the local authority, we presented our claims to have the pylons moved away, in writing signs on
high voltage pylons, in the centre of Polichni.
Lessons Learned: Evaluating the overall project, we reckon that, we contributed to the residents and Bodies awareness
and sensitization. We have also remarked to the Public Power Corporation S.A. (PPC) the necessity for alternatives,
which means underground wires use and network removal.
Nevertheless, we reckon that our efforts might be fruitless in the immediate future but we strongly believe, that the way
we approached the project, the methodology and the planning used, constitute our active and effective contribution and
participation, in what concerns our city, looking forward to a sustainable future.
Reference List: 1. FP6 project EMF-NET
2. COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION OF 12 July 1999 on the limitation of exposure of the general public to
electromagnetic fields (0 Hz to 300 GHz)(1999/519/EC) 199/1 19919990730en00590070.pdf
3. Electric power lines and cancer Lines cancer 2005 GR.pdf
4. Low frequency electric and magnetic fields xamilosixna.pdf
5. New high voltage pylons of Power Corporation S.A. (PPC)
6. Electric power electromagnetic fields impacts. ''Eleftherotipia'' newspaper article 3/7/2004
7. Electromagnetic fields and health
8. Electroshock death. Article of ''Eleftherotipia'' newspaper 1/6/2007
http:// text/c=112,dt=01.06.2007,id=99336428
9. UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development
10. Centre of renewable energy sources
11. Electromagnetic fields raise suicide risk http://
12. Fresh debate over pylon cancer risk
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