Pibrac (Toulouse) - living next to high-voltage power line

we are looking for a house to buy, primarily in Pibrac (West of Toulouse). We live in a nearby village and heard a lot of great things about schools, community, life generally in Pibrac. Except one “tiny detail”, that no one talks about: a 220kV high-voltage power line crosses the village. First I thought we would avoid buying a house under, next to the line, problem solved. However to my biggest shock I realized that one of the 2 public schools and the only public “college” is 60 meters from the line. We have young kids, who would be spending years and years in these buildings. My understanding is that currently it is not recommended in France to build schools in the “proximity” of power lines (due to highly possible health issues). This line was probably built 15 years ago, the school has been there for decades.
I tried to find some information about it online, whether other parents are/were equally concerned. Whether there were some petitions/public outrage earlier against the line. I found nothing at all! I know that many kids go to some nearby private schools, but that cannot be the solution! The impacted public school/college is also popular, am I missing something here??? Is anyone perhaps from this area and could share his/her views on this please? Thank you!

Hello. We don’t live in your area but I was very interested in this subject when we were in the UK (up to 2008). I had information on various organizations who were researching the subject. I haven’t really done any research whilst we have been in France but when we were house hunting, I did used to be wary of any that had close power lines and mobile phone masts.
I have found a few references (not French though) that might be interesting reading for you.
These are just a couple that I have found when doing a quick search but there are lots of other resources. Your post has reminded me of this subject and I will perhaps try to find some other useful articles in due course.

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I think a bit of fact checking is required.

I don’t believe that a 220kV line would ever cross a village - that’s “super grid” level distribution & would be kept well away.

There is very likely to be a 10kV line in such a setting, but the lower voltage means that the potentially harmful effects are a lot less.

10kV lines are the last bit of the high voltage grid, before it gets stepped down to the levels used by most consumers.


Indeed :slight_smile:

I think this is the line in question

Could that be carrying 220kV - it does look like it to my eye (@Badger will have a better idea).

The IGN map confirms that it passes close to (but not within 60m, more like 300m) of the Ecole Maternelle


The location of the school is outlined in red.

Is this a risk?

The short answer is “no”, even if it is a 220kV line - no causative link has been shown, of the two websites EM Watch seems rather questionable - they seem to be mostly about scaremongering (though not the worst I’ve seen) and pushing various EMF products from which they will get a kickback as they are an Amazon associate.

The National Cancer Institute piece is more balanced - it acknowledges that there might be a slight effect from the strongest magnetic fields but that very few people are exposed at that level and even then the evidence does not provide proof, a twofold increase in leukaemia rates means it could increase from 0.005% of the population to 0.01% - but only in the small percentage of the populations studied that had the highest exposure. It is just as likely that some other factor is at play (correlation is not causation and all that).


(Whether or not the school distances are correct… )

thanks for a reasoned reply about the dangers of High Voltage… :+1:

I have a concrete pylon carrying a cable… in a divorced garden. The previous owner died of cancer and knowing my family’s sad links with cancer… I’ve not been using the garden for anything but a quick visit to the compost heap.

You’ve given me food for thought… cheers.

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Thanks for the info. I was also trying to find other references for a more balanced view :wink:

I would doubt it. Their size looks too small for that level of grid, & their location almost guarantees that it’s not “super grid”.

20kV is more likely.

Edit; further investigation points to the length of the insulators suggesting that it could be THT i.e. 225kV upwards…

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You beat me to it - I was going to reply with a “chunky insulators for 10kV” comment - they look about a metre in length.

Does France do much ~ 110kV distribution?

Dug up a link in google lotissements à Pibrac(31) et ligne haute tension - Bulle Immobilière where it is suggested by someone called op that it is 225kV, it is an old thread and the link to the map of oh line didnt work for me. So it seems there have been concerns for a few years about the line.

Geoportail seems to think it’s 225kV.

Of course “concerns” != actual danger.

I should probably add to my longer post that I’m not sure if the school I identified is the one @verocs was worried about - there do seem to be a lot of schools in the area (many private as was hinted in the first post). Possibly the line passes closer to one of the others.

Would I choose to live under that pylon (it passes directly over housing) - probably not TBH, but it would not be because of health concerns.

I didn’t realise you could get that info directly (I copied the IGN map out of geoportal). How do you find out what voltage the line is?

It was certainly discussed from 2010 to 2011 on the forum link you attached… and the line had been inplace for 4 years at that time…
looks as if the housing went up none the less, so presumably no outcries …
EDIT: there should be a way of checking health results in any part of France… which might or might not identify a possible/?? at Pibrac… or show it to be clear… (seems the line’s been in place for some 15 years…)

There’s a key, but you have to be at the right scale.

The 225kV lines are black, or maybe green.

400kV is maybe red, but it’s hard to see if you have a red/green colour vision deficiency.

OK, thanks. Is “lignes électriques” one of the available overlays?


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Biggest dangers for poor health come from fast food, larders and refrigerators. Proof everywhere, no one marches down the streets for that one.

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we’re trying to se if there are links/complaints about the lines…
I know that phone masts have been refused in certain situations…

Based on superstition mainly as others have said. I just felt the need to point out where the biggest danger actually is from medically tested, huge meta studies. But as usual the human is always looking to blame something else.