Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hybrid cars producing new problems

I'm sure readers are aware of some of the problems being highlighted by the proliferation of hybrid vehicles on our roads. Emergency departments are having to be very careful when dealing with accidents involving them, as the high voltages in their electrical systems are sufficient to electrocute someone.

Now there's a new twist.

Purchasers of hybrid vehicles, which are subsidized by the federal government and championed by environmental activists as a way to reduce gasoline consumption, are trading in their vehicles because of health fears concerning electromagnetic fields created by the hybrid batteries.

As noted in an April 27 article in The New York Times, some hybrid vehicle owners are complaining of a variety of health problems allegedly caused by strong electromagnetic currents from the cars' batteries. Reported ailments and concerns include rising blood pressure, drowsiness behind the wheel, and higher leukemia risks.

Drivers who have given up their hybrids have reportedly documented "dangerously high" electromagnetic fields, leading them to conclude driving the vehicles is not worth risking blood for oil.

"Their concern is not without merit," reported the Times. "Agencies including the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute acknowledge the potential hazards of long-term exposure to a strong electromagnetic field, or E.M.F., and have done studies on the association of cancer risks with living near high-voltage utility lines."

So the solution to one problem - high fuel consumption - brings with it a whole new set of problems. Who'd o' thunk it?



Billll said...

"Reported ailments and concerns include rising blood pressure, drowsiness behind the wheel, and higher leukemia risks."

I've got doubts about the leukemia, but if I had to drive what is arguably the most boring car in the world, I'd have those other symptoms myself.

Peripatetic Engineer said...

Murphy's Law of Unintended Consequenses strikes again!

phlegmfatale said...

It really takes time for the full picture to be revealed.