April 9th 2008Dialogue on Electromagnetic Fields and Health
Dr. Magda Havas and Dr. Tony Muc
1:10 to 2:40 in Room - Pond Inlet, Brock University, St Catharine's, Ontario
Electromagnetic Fields and how they affect humans and other organisms is addressed from two different perspectives. Dr. Greg Finn will moderate this town hall meeting - two 15 minute presentations followed by a Q&A session.
Dr. Magda Havas:
We have been using electromagnetic energy in the form of electricity since the invention of the light bulb, but our growing reliance on electronic devices and wireless technology has increased our exposure to a broad range of electromagnetic frequencies especially during the past three decades. A growing scientific body of research documents biological effects and adverse health effects at levels well below the current Canadian guidelines for both power line frequency (60 Hz) magnetic fields and radio frequency radiation (kHz to GHz range).
However, neither Health Canada nor Industry Canada have recognized the
need to reduce existing guidelines to reflect the scientific evidence.
Studies show increased risk of various types of cancers with exposure to both magnetic field (60 Hz) and radio frequency radiation;
increased calcium flux;
increased permeability of the blood brain barrier;
changes in melatonin levels;
increased production of stress protein;
increased plasma glucose among diabetics;
and symptoms of electrohypersensitivity (EHS).
Those who suffer from EHS have difficulty when they are exposed to electromagnetic energy associated with computers, mobile phones, wireless routers/computers/antennas and certain types of energy efficient lighting. Their symptoms include any combination of the following: chronic fatigue, chronic pain, sleep disorders, skin disorders, neurological disorders, tinnitus, eye problems and/or digestive problems. With approximately 3% of the population severely affected and another 35% moderately affected by this energy, we have a serious environmental/health crisis emerging.
Dr. Tony Muc:
Electromagnetic energy has been an integral part of nature since the instant of creation of the universe as we know it. Indeed it may well be that the discharge of electric fields in the atmosphere and ultraviolet radiation from the sun were instrumental in the creation of life itself. At the present time humankind's knowledge of and experience with electromagnetic energy spans a range of 22 orders of magnitude. That range is only exceeded by those associated with space and time. Humans have built-in detectors of electromagnetic energy. The most important such detectors are our eyes (our skin is another). But our eyes only work over one third of an order of magnitude. That's only a tiny window on the whole spectrum of electromagnetic radiation and the fields associated with the generation, distribution and use of electromagnetic energy in all its forms.
Recent centuries, say since Newton's time, have seen a gradual growth in scientific knowledge related to electric and magnetic fields, how they are related to each other in the form of electromagnetic fields and how all three are related to humans and other organisms. Recent decades, say since Einstein's time, have seen an explosion in applications that exploit various properties and features of
electromagnetism to benefit modern society in innumerable ways in medicine, in communications, in industry, in commerce and, sadly, in war (yes, waging war effectively is a benefit to a ?hawk?). And, as with all aspects of human endeavour, along with benefits have come costs. What are the benefits and to whom do they accrue? What are the costs and who pays them? The ?eternal? elements of the debates that rage over occupational and environmental health and safety issues everywhere be the agents physical, chemical or biological. And, unfortunately, the debates rage between polarized groups: union vs management, environmentalist vs industrialist, liberal vs conservative, ?conventional? medicine vs chiropractic or homeopathic or ?traditional? medicine and so on. As a consequence, in these primal societal and often personal power struggles, it is all too often the case that the baby - science - gets thrown out with the bath water.
One must wonder what form of logic is operating when the foundations of society's present achievements are dismissed or ignored by those who claim a crisis? is emerging.
WEEPThe Canadian Initiative to stop
Wireless, Electric, and