Friday, September 17, 2010

Wi-Fi opponents not convinced / Cell tower is health risk / End smart meter hydro program: Ont. opposition

W.E.E.P. News

Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News

18 September 2010

Wi-Fi opponents not convinced

Owen Sound Sun Times

Some Meaford-area parents aren't giving up on convincing the Bluewater school board to take seriously a growing international concern about how Wi-Fi radio waves may affect children's health.

They say kids in some schools are still getting sick, trustees have dismissed their fears too easily, and board officials have since refused further communication.

The school advisory council unanimously agreed in May to ask that Wi-Fi be removed from St. Vincent-Euphrasia school until studies conclude the radiation doesn't harm children.

Instead, the board released to the media, but not to parents, portions of what the group says is a worrying report following tests at two Bluewater schools.

"I think the school board is doing a disservice by just throwing out two numbers in a press release and saying everything is cool. That's just not the way it is," SVE parent and SAC member Andrew Cooper said.

Now the parent advisory committee at the school, where former co-chair Angela Klein has pulled her daughter from Grade 3 immersion to home school because of Wi-Fi, was last night to consider demanding that board officials make the entire report, done by LEX Scientific Inc., available to all parents.

"I think a little bit more of the story should come out," Cooper said Thursday. "As long as people can see the true story, I think they'll be worried enough to press on with us."

Klein and Cooper, who has not withdrawn his children in Grade 2 and Grade 4 from class, both said the LEX report assures parents the radiation level in the school is insufficient to heat internal organs, according to accepted Canadian standards.

But board officials did not highlight where the document notes that Health Canada has said Wi-Fi radiation well within acceptable safety limits is known to cause biological changes.

"I would be a terrible parent, knowing what I know and putting my daughter back in that environment," Klein said Thursday. "I'm keeping my daughter home because I saw the whole LEX report. If parents had this report, they would all be keeping their kids home."

Ron Motz, the Bluewater board's health and safety officer, said he has no doubts that Wi-Fi in Bluewater schools poses no health and safety risk.

"As far as I'm concerned the issue is settled," he said Thursday. "Based on generally accepted science in this area, there's no hazard."

The LEX report, which has been publicly available at the school, said biological changes due to Wi-Fi radiation have never been proven to have links to any health disorders.

Cooper and Klein dispute that, and point to a long list of reports circulating online and within a growing, concerned, international movement opposing Wi-Fi as a health hazard. They also said there have been several reports in Bluewater schools and in nearby Simcoe County, where the Wi-Fi opposition movement originated locally, of children ill at school, but well when they're away from the Wi-Fi environment.

In the absence of any conclusive evidence Wi-Fi is safe, it should be removed from the school, they said.

Rodney Palmer, a member of the Simcoe County safe schools committee, has critiqued Bluewater's LEX report. In an e-mail document provided by Klein, he details what officials should highlight for parents.

" ... it is incumbent on the School Board, if it intends to quote this LEX Report, to include the caution that 'while levels of microwaves in the school will not overheat internal organs, students will be exposed to microwaves at levels suspected to damage the integrity of their blood-brain barrier, which can create a risk of psychotic disorder, and physical symptoms of multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's and Lupus, and possibly stroke,'" Palmer wrote.

"Any statement based on this report that the Wi-Fi system is completely safe, is false and misleading," he wrote.

Motz said it's scientifically impossible to prove something is not harmful, only that it is harmful, which has not been proven in the case of Wi-Fi radiation.

"The conclusion from the LEX report is that there is no health and safety reason for removing the wireless system," he said. "What I have to go by and what I test to is the standards and guidelines available for the professional agencies and they are consistent across the western world as far as radio frequency exposure goes."

Motz did confirm he has investigated complaints from at least one family claiming Wi-Fi in a Bluewater school is making their three children unwell. Wi-Fi and lighting were well within required safety levels, but there were air quality problems requiring some repairs. Despite that, complaints of headaches and feeling unwell at school continue, and Motz said there's nothing left to test.

"There may be other causes other than the school environment," he said.

With hard wire connection still available in the school, and with growing doubts about how safe is wi Fi, Klein and Cooper both said they can't understand why school board officials would not turn off the radio waves and return to wired connections until a conclusive study confirms Wi-Fi is safe for kids.

"It's not just one little group from Simcoe County and us at SVE," she said. "People from all over the world are arguing the same point."

Klein said Bluewater parents should make it an issue in the current municipal election for new school board trustees.

"We've basically been ignored," she said. "If the trustees and the board are not acknowledging any of this, I think that we need to clean house a little bit."


Guest column — Cell tower is health risk

Written by Gail Merrill
Thursday, 16 September 2010 14:32

This statement is addressing the attempt to put a cell tower at the site of Silver Hill psychiatric hospital in New Canaan.

I believe I live approximately one-quarter mile from Silver Hill. I, as well as so many other women in Fairfield County and around the country, have had breast cancer. Then, five years later, lung cancer caused by the radiation treatment for breast cancer. As a result, I am very careful to protect my health, I have chosen not to have a cell phone, in order to not put myself at risk for a brain tumor. I am aware the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) has documented that the greatest pediatric cancer is in the northeast. The highest pediatric cancer is brain tumor, according to the CDC. I have been told by several mothers in New Canaan that, about two years ago, there were four children with brain tumors in New Canaan. The youngest was only three years old, the next only four, then a six-year-old and then an 11-year-old who very sadly died of brain cancer. A mom in Darien told me of an 11-year-old who died of brain cancer in Darien. A mom in Wilton told me about her three-year-old niece with a brain tumor in Westchester, N.Y.

In the same time period, I learned that three mothers of high school students died of brain cancer in New Canaan, in one year. The epidemiologist at Radiation and Public Health Project ( said he would be surprised to find one child with a brain tumor in a town the size of New Canaan.

He was shocked to hear there were four cases. The Tumor Registry of Connecticut documents cancer rates. I think the Connecticut Siting Council should examine its data before deciding another cell tower location.

Recently, I saw a documentary film called "Full Signal." It depicted the map in Israel indicating locations of brain tumor clusters and cell towers. The two correlated across the country. I then looked at a Web site called to gather more information from scientists, doctors and attorneys. I learned that the incidence of adult brain tumors is happening within one quarter mile of cell towers.

Children's developing brains are apparently more at risk. If a person under the age of 20 uses a cell phone, they have a five time more risk of developing a brain tumor. I fear for our younger generations, who have environmental exposures like cell towers and nuclear plants that the older generations never had to cope with, especially as an infant and fetus.

As is well known, 95 percent of all cancer is not genetic, but caused by the environment. I want the Connecticut Siting Council to be very aware of this data, for they are affecting our home environments.

I can choose not to shop near a cell tower to reduce my risk. My home is where I need to feel safe; I will not feel safe living near a cell tower at Silver Hill. If it is installed at that location, I will choose to leave my home, taking my money from the town of New Canaan and the state of Connecticut. I would also use good judgment and never refer a patient to Silver Hill with a cell tower.

Last night I sat with a 47-year-old friend with terminal brain cancer in Norwalk Hospital. How many more?

Too many decisions are made placing profits before public welfare. I choose brain health over cell signal!

Gail Merrill of New Canaan is a cancer survivor and a local therapist. She submitted this op-ed after a July Connecticut Siting Council hearing.


End smart meter hydro program: Ont. opposition

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The Canadian Press

Premier Dalton McGuinty says there should be a wider differential between peak and off-peak electricity pricing. (CBC)

Ontario's smart meter program needs to be scrapped, the opposition demanded Wednesday after Premier Dalton McGuinty refused to rule out a price increase for electricity during peak demand hours.

After saying Tuesday that off-peak electricity rates should be lowered to convince people to change their habits to take advantage of time-of-use pricing, McGuinty wouldn't say Wednesday if that could mean a rise in rates at peak demand times.

"I'm not going to get into that because I'm not the expert, but what I can say is that we've got to make sure the differential between peak and off-peak is significant, so significant that it motivates people," said McGuinty.

"We've got to make sure people understand the opportunities there, the options available to them."

The New Democrats said McGuinty's comments have them worried about an increase in the peak rate for hydro, which is already nearly double what Ontario residents used to pay for power 24 hours a day.

"It's quite disconcerting that the premier dodged that question," said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.

"I really don't want to see the government making more decisions that make life less affordable for folks."

'People deserve a choice'

The Opposition accused McGuinty of forcing people to dramatically alter their behaviour in order to get the lowest electricity rates, and said consumers should be able to opt out of the smart meter program.

"Who's looking out for the senior citizen who is being lectured by Dalton McGuinty to do her laundry at two in the morning? Who's looking out for the family with multiple kids who's being told by Dalton McGuinty to get them showered and ready for school at five or six in the morning?" asked Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak.

"I think people deserve a choice whether they want to engage in using smart meters or not."

The government has spent about $1.5 billion to install 4.1 million smart meters in homes, with a goal of 4.4 million, but the cost of the meters is added to electricity bills, which were already on the rise because of the HST and green energy charges.

A survey by Toronto Hydro showed about 80 per cent of people using smart meters are seeing increases, not decreases on their bills.

Hudak said the program should be halted immediately because it's not helping lower hydro bills or convincing consumers to switch their heavy electricity use to late at night.

"Dalton McGuinty's smart meters have been nothing but a tax machine to take more money out of people's pockets," he said.

"This project has gone dangerously off the rails."

Hudak's plan "would return Ontario to the days of weak, unreliable and dirty power," said Energy Minister Brad Duguid.

"That's the way the system was that we inherited from him, when he was in [the PC] cabinet, and that's why we've worked so hard over the last six years to ... build up our system so we've got the power and reliability in it that Ontario families can count on."

The smart meters will help consumers keep a lid on rising hydro bills, but won't mean lower electricity bills.

"Smart meters are one factor that will help consumers mitigate some of the increases, but smart meters are not meant to be the panacea that's going to provide consumers with the ability to completely avoid all potential increases down the road," added Duguid.

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