Newsletter Issue 6 No 2

Is Electricity Radioactive?

By Alan Daniell


Hydro Dams –
Outdated Technology?

Declaration of Curitiba

Home Scheme

Principles for
Sustainable Building

Environmental Policy

Notice Board



In July 1996 an "Assignment" documentary on TV1 described a possible link between power lines and cancer; and that a conceptual barrier had been crossed at Bristol, UK.
The following e-mail question was sent to Professor Denis Henshaw, Physics Dept. Bristol University U.K.

Subject: Radon physics etc.
Prof. Henshaw

Is it safe to say that "the radioactive gas 222 Radon is attracted to power frequency electromagnetic fields and this phenomenon is not hypothetical, theoretical, or imaginary; it is simply a plain fact of physics?"

Or, is the jury still out on this question?

I look forward to your reply.
Thank you in anticipation.

Respectfully, Alan Daniell

The reply:

Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 11:59:56 BST

Subject: RE: Radon physics etc.

Radon gas is not attracted to sources of emf. Rather it is the radon daughter aerosols that behave in this way.

In nearly all cases of radon exposure, the radiation dose arises not from radon itself but the alpha-radioactive daughters polonium-218 and polonium-214.

These attach to natural aerosol particles in air. All aerosols are attracted by power frequency emf by basic physics that was known to Michael Faraday in 1826! In fact there is a picture of Michael Faraday giving a lecture at the Royal Institution in 1826 on the back of every UK 20-pound note.

So, to answer your question, there is absolutely no doubt about the physics phenomenon and it is quite pointless for some people to try to deny it - the effects described in our paper are indeed cast in stone.

Best wishes, Denis Henshaw

For more information see Internet address;

or the paper; "Enhanced Deposition Of Radon Daughter Nuclei In The Vicinity Of Power Frequency Electromagnetic Fields" Henshaw D.L. et al; Int. J. Radiat. Biol, Vol.69, no.1 pp25-38

So what does all this mean to you?

In a fleeting moment of fantasy let us imagine a conversation between a Citizen of Roman times (CR) and a Modern Citizen (MC).

MC. Hey Roman! They say you went insane from drinking out of lead goblets.

CR. Yeah, Modern Citizen - we had a great time for a while - then we got hyperactive and some of us got listless, unmotivated and plain bored. Our speed cameras showed that we suffered from chariot-rage round our rotundas. With the benefit of hindsight, there was just too much lead in our diet.

MC. Them’s the breaks.

CR. Don't count your Romans before they rage, Modern Citizen. Look at what you’re doing. You fill your modern electric kettle and boil your water, which you now know attracts the radioactive gas 222 Radon into it. You make tea and coffee with radioactive water, which, in a short time turns in to 218-Polonium. When this happens an Alpha-particle zaps off into your internal wilderness, then, almost instantly, it happens again as 218 Polonium becomes 214 Polonium, with yet another Alpha particle pinging off into the organic drizzle of 600 million-odd cells contained in every cubic centimetre of your own human flesh. And then it lingers. For a considerable time 214 Polonium has a free lunch inside your body, and then ... it changes into Lead.

MC. Hang on! You're saying that we're drinking nuked water that's going to change into Lead anyway.

CR. Yeah…and what's more, you're paying $$$$ Gold for it.

MC. Blimey!

CR. The Golden Age of Rome may have ended by the lead goblet, but the Modern era has now got to learn how to use electricity safely.

MC. ...and if it doesn't?

CR. DNA makes proteins, proteins make cells, and cells make people. Broken mis-repaired DNA? ...Them’s the cancerous breaks.


An article in The Dom.(18/08/97) entitled: "End To Cancer Studies Sought" reports that both the "New England Journal, and "New Scientist" have published a thorough study showing there is no link between childhood cancer and MAGNETIC fields.

For those who have the inclination to read the Henshaw et al paper, they will find that it is the ELECTRIC component of the electromagnetic field that does the damage.

An excellent visual animation of the electromagnetic wave can be found in Encarta by typing "Electromagnetic Radiation Theory"

In my view, the Henshaw paper should be nominated for a Nobel prize in physics, for the simple and profound reason that it has changed the electricity paradigm in a way that the energy industry will not be able to recover from. We must deregulate properly NOW!

Would the leader of the Green Party please address the following question to Max Bradford, Minister of Energy:

In BENCHMARK terms, how much lead does one kilowatt-hour of electricity produce?