It is very common to live near an Enel cabin, and the question arises whether there are risks associated with the electromagnetic fields that are inevitably produced.

Sometimes these are small/medium-sized cabins for the distribution of electricity, for example, in a condominium, whose presence can arouse anxiety especially for those who live in the nearest apartments. It is important to clarify one’s ideas on these aspects, in order to avoid unnecessary worries or to intervene effectively if any danger occurs.

We recently received a request from a user of our website about this topic:

Dear Doctor, I live in a building on the second floor; in the basement there is a small cabin of Enel, about ten meters far from my flat… can it radiate radiation? Are we at risk? I’ve been living here for 13 years now… thank you

And this is the answer from our experts:

Dear Sir,

an electrical booth, like all systems related to the transport and supply of electricity, produces magnetic field at a frequency of 50 Hz.

It deals with what we mean when we talk about radiation, in the sense that a fraction of energy is radiated at a distance in the form of electromagnetic waves, however, at this particular frequency, the effects that occur are very different from those we commonly mean by radiation.

At such a low frequency, the electrical component is shielded from any ground-connected structure, including the building itself.

The magnetic component radiates at a certain distance but can only take important values:

a) if the power consumption is very high, as in steelworks.

b) at a short distance or less than 30 cm from the turns of the transformer

All appliances equipped with an electric motor, that surely you own, generate, at 2 or 3 cm distance, magnetic fields at 50 Hz, which are tens or hundreds of times greater than those measurable inside the electrical cabin.

On the door of the cabin warning signs against the danger of electrocution (electric shock) should be present and also a signal indicating the danger of “electromagnetic fields”.

This signal (which for a condominium cabin is useless) is placed to protect any carriers of implanted devices, such as pace-makers, that could be sensitive to the magnetic field.

In fact, patients with these devices are given specific instructions on the need to keep appliances and other devices at a certain distance from the pace-maker.

Hoping to have been sufficiently clear, we cordially greet.(Francesco Frigerio)

Certainly, each person has an individual sensitivity, but the findings provided by the Medical Physicist we asked leave no doubt: the electric and magnetic fields generated by such electrical systems are not to be considered dangerous for health.