Open Letter to Health Canada
February 22, 2009
The Honorable Tony Clement
Minister of Health,
I am a Tsawwassen, BC resident living under the High Voltage Overhead Transmission Line (HVOTL) on the Right-Of-Way (ROW). The HVOTL is being upgraded to 230 kV x 1,200 megawatts (MW) - up from 138kV x 50 MW - under the Vancouver Island Transmission Reinforcement (VITR) Project. To help the project, Health Canada took a position on electromagnetic field (EMF) by declaring "the scientific evidence is not strong enough to conclude that typical exposures cause health problems." As a result, the BC Transmission Corporation (BCTC) chose 833 milligauss (mG), the World Health Organization's (WHO's) EMF exposure limit as their system design guideline. However, 833 mG is derived from the measured thermal effects of short-term (24 -hour) EMF exposure on biological organisms. In the process of adopting this 833 mG recommendation made by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), the former WHO EMF project manager, Repacholi allowed utility companies' deep involvements as reported in WHO & Industry: EMF Partners , received utility company payments and became a consultant for power companies shortly after retiring from the position.(Microwave News.)
While Health Canada is doing nothing to protect the general public, other countries are working hard to save their citizens from the WHO's licensed-to-kill 833 mG EMF exposure limit. After reviewing more than 2,000 reports, an international working group of scientists, researchers and public health policy professionals (BioInitiative) has released its comprehensive report on August 27, 2007 as an alternative to the ICNIRP/WHO guidelines. The BioInitiative recommends 1 mG for inhabitable space adjacent to all new or upgraded power lines and 2 mG for all other new constructions. (The BioInitiative Report).
In our cases, the power line EMF is already 20 times over 1 mG recommendation and more than 50 times that of normal houses. The European Parliament is greatly concerned about the BioInitiative report on EMFs. It has voted 522 to 16 to recommend tighter safety standards. In light of the growing body of scientific evidence implicating cell phone use in brain tumors, the Parliament states, "The limits on exposure to electromagnetic fields [EMFs] which have been set for the general public are obsolete." (EU looks to tighten mobile emission regulation and Create Healthy Homes) It should be remembered that radio frequency amplitude modulation (am) could produce effects similar to that of power frequency (PF). "Without am there was no effect although the RFR intensity was the same" (SECTION 14 EVIDENCE FOR DISRUPTION)
Dennis Kucinich, Domestic Policy Committee Chairman wrote to Kevin Martin, FCC Chairman on Nov. 3, 2008, "The NAS Report support the NTP's conclusion that the research record upon which FCC's RF Safety Guidelines are based does not adequately safeguard the public from non-thermal chronic exposures." (US Congress letter to FCC). The Bamberg Appeal sent to the President Obama on February 12, 2009 states, "Since immediately, after digital television stations had started transmitting, adverse health effects have occurred, the review of the Guidelines announced by the ICNIRP is imperative." (Warning Against Adverse Health Effects)
In the UK, the Stakeholder Advisory Group on ELF EMFs (SAGE) was established and equally funded by the Department of Health, the Electricity Industry and the charity organization Children with Leukemia. The onset of childhood leukemia at above 4 mG was implicated in the epidemiology and it requires 60 m from 275 kV line for the magnetic field to fall below 4 mG. On the basis of these, SAGE put out the first report on April 27, 2007. "We have therefore identified the best-available option for obtaining significant exposure reduction (in fact, it avoids new future exposures that would otherwise occur). This is a restriction on new homes and schools close to existing lines, and on new lines close to existing homes and schools." The suggested distance is 60 m from 275 KV line. (HREG - SAGE)
The 5 MP (UK) Cross-Party Inquiry was formed in 2006 to consider the evidence for an association between EMF from HVOTL and an increased risk of childhood leukemia. The Inquiry stated, "the Government recognise the potential risks to children's health caused by exposure to EMF and introduce a moratorium on the building of new homes and schools within at least 60 metres of existing HVOTL of 275 kV and 400 kV and on the building of new HVOTL within 60 metres of existing homes and schools." (ePolitix.com :) In our cases, the distance is barely over one third of this recommendation.
On November 17, 2008, Microwave News wrote, "A couple of weeks ago, a group led by Martin Röösli at Switzerland's University of Bern reported that people living within 50 meters of a high-voltage power line were more likely to die with Alzheimer's. The longer they lived near a 220-380 kV power line, the greater the risk: After 15 years, the odds of dying with Alzheimer's were double the expected rate. It is this striking dose-response —with the risk increasing over time- that makes the Swiss study compelling." (Power-Line EMFs: Alzheimer's)
Dear Minister, you must pay special attentions to these three landmark court rulings. For the first time ever in France, a power company was ordered to compensate cattle farmers for EMF damages to animals. On November 14, 2008, AFP (Agence France Presse) reported, "In ordering the management of the French company RTE (responsible for the distribution of electricity) to pay almost 400,000 euros to cattle farmers, the courts have established for the first time that there is a link between the effects of electromagnetic radiation from a very high voltage power line and symptoms of diseases among animals" (An RTE power line of very high voltage) Similarly, telephone company Bouygues Telecom was ordered on February 4, 2009 by a Versailles appeals court to dismantle cellphone towers in the Lyons area on the basis of the precautionary principle and the potential health risk for nearby residents. The ruling is significant because it draws on the latest research such as the BioInitiative Report as well as recent doctors' Appeals of Salzburg (Austria), Freiburg and Bamberg (Germany) and Helsinki (Finland). (http://www.powerwatch.org.uk), (Versailles Appeal Court Judgement 4 February 2009 ) Vaculuse Martin reported on February 22, 2009, "At Chateauneuf-du-Page, the relay phone mast belong to the mobile phone operator SFR must be demolished. The judge acknowledges 'a potential health risk'" "Judje orders demolition"
Dear Minister, I have briefly shown that: large scale research found low-level EMFs are health hazards, the SAGE and MPs recommend a 60 m distance from power lines and the courts ruled power line EMFs and cell phone antenna radiations are health hazards based on the BioInitiative Report. Under such circumstances, it is very wrong for bureaucratic and industrial scientists and engineers, including those from Health Canada, to force the public to accept that long-term (60 year) < 833 mG exposure is safe. I am hereby going to present my explanations, based on scientific principles, about how low-level EMFs act on biological organisms. Please also note that the fundamental mistakes made in applying science, physics and engineering to the biological system is that the human body has been treated as an electrical or electronic device without life:
- Root mean square (RMS) is used instead of the peak-to-peak.Most Gauss meters measure RMS value, which is equivalent to the DC amplitude that can deliver the same amount of power to a resistive load. But to the living cell in our body, the peak-to-peak amplitude is more meaningful than the RMS value. For a PF sine wave, the peak is equal to 1.414 times the RMS value and the peak-to-peak is twice the peak value. The crest factor (CF), 1.414 is defined as the peak amplitude divided by the RMS value. (59886916en Better RMS) . For example 150 mG, the calculated maximum EMF under the power lines, will translate into a 424 mG swing ( +150 x 1.414). (This 1- phase approximation can be applicable to a 3-phase system with vertical configuration because the closest line will give the prominent peak value.)
- Geomagnetic field (GMF) is ignored.The GMF has been thought to minimally affect living organisms. However, many symptoms related to the combination of PF magnetic field (PFMF) and GMF are reported in Geomagnetic Fields. Also the risk of childhood leukemia may be related to the combinations of AC and GMF. (Hypothesis: the risk of childhood leukemia). Due to the GMF, the PFMF oscillation becomes lopsided as follows: When the power line magnetic field is parallel to the GMF (500 mG), the resulting magnetic field is 712 mG (500 mG + 212 mG), and 288 mG (500 mG - 212 mG) in the opposite direction. This approximation is very close to the case in Vancouver area where GMF dip angle is almost 75 degree, which reduces the dependence on line directions.
- The WHO uses a flawed assumption. This assumption is that for any incoming EMF signal to affect cell functions, it must have a signal-to-intrinsic noise ratio greater than one, the best defence of the WHO against the reports of low-level health hazards. (The intrinsic noises in a cell are thermal, shot and 1/f noises.-EHC 238 Ch. 4). Their claim even contradicts the ICNIRP Statement that explains the summation of EMFs. (ICNIRP Statement), (ICNIRP Statement GUIDANCE). The cell is not an electronic device designed to retrieve useful signals and does not need to discriminate between signals and noises. In fact, it is quite the contrary: any signal coming into the cell will combine with the intrinsic noises to affect particle motions according to Fleming's left hand rule, and subsequently the biological system. The Revolt editor agreed with my argument in Revolt news255 . The diagram in Fig. 1 below was borrowed from Enrico Simonotto et al's work to visualize my claim, combination of two waves.
(Sorry I had to remove diagram and photographs, for e-mail purposes - Martin)
Threshold (Cell Homeostasis)
Signal (Power line EMFs)
Super-threshold EMFs: Body EMF noises combined with power line EMFs
Fig.1 Signal (sub-threshold power line EMFs) + Noise (sub-threshold body EMFs) = Super-threshold EMFs
As a consequence, the total EMF swings from (712 + X + Y) mG in the geomagnetic field direction to (288 – X -Y) mG in the opposite direction, where Y is the total intrinsic noise). Ordinary Gauss meters cannot detect this elevated and lopsided field, but the body's cells will detect it very well because ions in it will be deflected to one side much more than the other. It takes only 10 mG to deflect the electron beam of a VDU sufficiently to cause the picture on the screen to wobble. The childhood leukemia onset threshold, 4 mG, appears to be >12 mG peak enough to deflect electrons in the cell. Accordingly, this elevated and lopsided magnetic field combined with the body noises may help explain many biological mechanisms at very low sub-guideline EMFs including reduced adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production in mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) (Microwave effects on energy metabolism of rat brain), the dislodge of structurally important calcium ions from the cell membrane causing a leakage of toxic materials (www.mcs-america.org/Goldsworthy), (The Cell Phone and The Cell:), caused leakage of albumin across the blood-brain barrier (EMFacts Consultancy) and other such effects.
Thanks to Health Canada's assurance, BCTC erected 120-foot tall power poles about 75 feet away from Tsawwassen residents' homes (as well as a school and senior home) as shown in Picture 1 &2, and abandoned two perfect alternative routes as shown in Pictures 3 and 4. As a shabby aftermath solution, the BC government offers a buy-out scheme, which is similar to the Communists' 'Purge' but disguised under a democratic system. This forced move created more anxiety, fear, anguish, and distress over losing homes before finding proper places, amongst residents living along the ROW especially the elderly who have planned to live in their homes for their lives. These residents are squeezed in between the EMF dangers and the forced move.
Dear Minister, WHO defines health as the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Many of ROW people are not healthy because of Health Canada's irresponsible EMF position.
I ask you to direct Health Canada to answer my letter if all the scientists behind the BioInitiative Report, the recommendations of SAGE and 5 MP Cross Party Inquiry, 522 European Parliament members, the judges' rulings and my scientific arguments are wrong. If Health Canada cannot say they are all wrong, please have them account for their position statement and rectify the situation immediately by issuing the right statement that "even low level power line EMFs are health hazards"
Dr. Kyong H. Nam
Ph. D. – High Power Laser, P. Eng. – Alberta
Tsawwassen Resident, 604-943-1947
Wendy is allergic to electrical gadgets of the modern world
Monday, March 09, 2009, 07:40
WENDY Boland, from Dawlish, went to her doctor afraid that she had become allergic to her television.
Her problems started three years ago when using a cordless phone gave her earache. This developed into migraines, numbness and loss of balance. The symptoms diminished when she stopped using the phone.
She had internal bleeding and it was thought she might have stomach cancer. She got sores and rashes all over her body.
She started burning when watching television. "It's like the worst sunburn," said Wendy, 69, who uses a pencil with a rubber on the end to push buttons on the remote control.
"I sit as far away as I can and pad up with cushions and towels to try to stop the buzzing, but I can only watch it in short spurts. Sometimes it's so frustrating because I have to miss the end of a film."
Doctors couldn't explain it and Wendy began to think she was mad, but then someone told her about electrosensitivity, and she discovered there are at least 3,000 people in this country who get similar problems when exposed to electromagnetic fields.
Radiation from computers, wi-fi networks, mobile phones, power cables and transmitting aerials also triggers symptoms, which differ from one sufferer to the next, and also vary in severity from day to day.
Electrosensitivity is not officially recognised in this country. Wendy's doctor, however, is very supportive.
"I need an operation on my feet but I can't have surgery because the theatre lights burn me," said Wendy, who cannot go into some shops for the same reason. "I have to sit in the dark and I use a flashlight if I have to. I miss reading so much."
She loves music but she can't be in the same room as her CD player as it makes her buzz.
The thing Wendy misses most is going on holiday. She can no longer travel, except for short distances by bus. Even then, it is unbearable if too many people have gadgets such as mobile phones and MP3 players.
"I know who's got a mobile phone when they get on," said Wendy. "I buzz all over and cough as it's like a vapour. I get dreadful stomach ache.
"I have to ask people to turn them off and sometimes people just laugh at me."
Some people with electrosensitivity have relocated, but Wendy does not want to move.
"I came here 10 years ago and it was going to be my last home," she said. "I don't want to be forced out. Anyway, in the end there will be nowhere to run."
She loves her home, despite being unable to sleep in the bedroom since becoming electrosensitive. "I get terrible pain like I'm in the ring with Mike Tyson," said Wendy. "A couple of guys have been round with radiation meters which went absolutely mad, especially in spots I'd been having most trouble."
Fellow sufferers have been in touch and suggested remedies, but the condition affects everyone differently and Wendy has not yet found one that works for her.
She has tried carrying a crystal in her pocket, wrapping herself in foil, sleeping on an earthing blanket and all sorts of lamps. She has changed her carpet to one made of natural fibres, which has helped to a degree.
"It's a nightmare we have to get on with every day and do the best we can," said Wendy. "I don't think I'll survive the digital switchover as the signals will be much stronger. I know there's no going back but I wish people could be more understanding."