• 01 OCT 06
    • 0

    #561: Gosford Hospital: A case of irresponsible design

    The weblog version of this message is at:

    #560: Question on hospital substation & cancer

    Robert’s question (last message) prompts me to mention an unfortunate case of bad building planning and design. It is at the Gosford Hospital complex in New South Wales, Australia. This complex is currently undergoing a major re-development in the vicinity of $126 million.
    See: http://www.centralcoast.health.nsw.gov.au/healthaccessplan/gosredv.html

    “Construction is well under way on a new paediatric unit and perioperative suite costing $8.7 million. The paediatric unit will include a section for seriously ill children; better facilities for parents to stay beside their child; and an adolescent lounge where patients can mix, have time away from their bed, and play and watch television.”

    Now the problem is that in planning for the re-development, which involved demolishing older buildings, there was a question of what to do with a large external electrical substation that already occupied part of the site. The solution that the building firm came up was simply to build the children’s wing immediately above the substation with a meter space between the top of the substation and the floor of the new building.

    Now is placing seriously ill children and newborns on top of a substation really advisable? Magnetic field levels spot measured on the footpath alongside the substation found levels of about 25 mG at 1.5 meter distance from the large cooling screens on the side wall of the substation. What will they be inside the new building? The site is currently a building site with restricted access to building workers only.

    Apparently when the plan was first proposed there were concerns expressed about the wisdom of placing a hospital wing on top of the substation but the expert advice given was that the EMF levels would be well under the acceptable level of 1000mG. Acceptable to whom?

    This is one good reason why basing so called “health based” exposure standards on outmoded ICNIRP limits, considering what we now know about childhood leukaemia and EMF exposures of 4 mG (0.4 uT), is not only irresponsible, it is downright immoral.

    I have photos of the substation with the new wing immediately above and can email upon request.


    Leave a reply →