Open Letter to Health Canada
February 24, 2009
The Honorable Leona Aglukkaq
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 inWHO & 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 byMartin 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.
- Power companies do not consider high frequency (HF) noises from power lines as health hazards. The HF sources are things such as power line carriers; corona discharge; HF inductions from radio, TV, cell phone signals and equipment operations; lightning; power line radiation amplified (~1000 times) by magnetosphere and ionosphere; and so on. Power lines are neither perfect HF transmission lines nor antennas, so the HF noises collected by the power lines re-radiate in short distances. These noise waves are aggregated to generate amplitudes higher than individual amplitudes (ICNIRP Statement GUIDANCE). Because of the pulsed nature of HF noises, the CF would be much larger than that of a sine wave posing health hazards. Assuming HF measurement is x mG and CF is 20, the peak HF is 20x mG.
- 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.
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 X is the total HF and 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
I do not know if you have seen this before.
The next story should be added to the insanity column. With all that is known about microwave radiation and how it causes severe health problems, how could people subject their children to cell phone emissions. Will these children reach their twenties before developing cancer? Should the parents be charged with child abuse?
Cellphones as parents' helpers: they teach letters, listen for crying babies
COLUMBUS, Ohio – When Annamarie Saarinen needed to soothe her ailing daughter, she used a rattle – downloaded to her iPhone.
Jeff Hilimire uses a white noise application on his phone to make shushing noises for his infant daughter. And Tracie Stier-Johnson lets her young daughters answer trivia questions on her phone while waiting in the doctor's office or at parent-teacher conferences.
"You can only play 'I spy' so many times," said Stier-Johnson, 40, of Racine, Wis., whose daughters like the Who Wants to be a Millionaire game she loaded on her iPhone.
Parents have handed their cellphones to children as distractions since they were invented, and toy versions tap into kids' love of pushing beeping buttons and playing with electronic gadgets like the ones their parents have. But a mushrooming number of applications on smartphones have parents using them more than ever as modern baby rattles.
These wired-up phones allow parents to play number and letter games with their preschoolers or to get a few minutes of quiet when children watch movie clips on a plane or while waiting for a restaurant table.
Jenny Reeves, 34, of San Antonio, lets her boys – ages 3 1/2 and two – type words or flip through pictures of themselves and their dog on her BlackBerry when they have to pass time without books. Her older son is learning to send emails to his grandparents and dad that say, "I love you."
"It's almost as good as lollipops," Reeves said.
People also are making their phones parenting helpers, downloading applications to turn them into impromptu baby monitors, to research nutrition information in grocery aisles and to check their babies' growth rate compared to average measurements.
Hilimire, a 33-year-old father from Atlanta, started putting his iPhone to use before his daughter was born, when he timed contractions with the phone's stopwatch and downloaded software that showed the size of the growing baby.
Now when his infant daughter gets fussy in the car or during a walk, he puts his iPhone in her carrier to play the free application called White Noise Lite. "It immediately relaxes her," he said.
Stier-Johnson leaves her iPhone near her sleeping three-year-old daughter to listen for her to wake when she sits near her pool, which is out of range for her regular baby monitor. An application she downloaded prompts her phone to call her home number or her husband's iPhone when her daughter makes a noise.
And the phones have been put to work in times of crisis, too. Saarinen and her husband Paul, of Minneapolis, used a program called Cardio Calc on his iPhone to track their infant daughter Eve's health information during a recent stay in a Boston hospital for heart surgery to repair problems including a leaking valve.
A free rattle application, Baby Rattle Bab Bab Lite, showed spinning graphics and chimes when Eve moved it around. It stopped her most intense crying when she was coming off pain medication, Annamarie said.
Smartphones can be an expensive child diversion, to be sure. Some parents set rules for kids to try to prevent damage, such as no shaking and no carrying the phone on hard surfaces in case it's dropped.
And some have trouble keeping their phones away from the children, or worry about limiting phone time once the children move into elementary school.
Brooks Duncan, of Vancouver, B.C., has to hide his iPod touch from his two-year-old. "If he sees it, he'll go for it and want to play with it," said Duncan, 35, who bought the device when his children started arguing over their grandfather's iPhone.
Sascha Seegan, lead mobile device analyst for PCMag's network of websites, said a good chunk of available apps are useless. Apple's App Store has 35,000 applications for iPhone and iPod touch.
Handango.com sells 140,000 titles for various phone brands, and a couple hundred of those are aimed at parents and young children, said Alex Bloom, president and chief executive officer.
Seegan suggests reading user ratings online and professional reviews, along with checking that all the application's features work smoothly and quickly. But he doesn't let his daughter, now three, play with the phone yet.
"Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I wouldn't use a $300 baby rattle," he said.
Still, other parents are stunned – and impressed – when their toddlers quickly figure out how to operate the phones, sometimes faster than their moms and dads.
When Byron Turner left his new iPhone alone with his 4 1/2-year-old twin boys for 25 minutes, they had figured out what many of the phone's touch-screen buttons did and started taking photos. The boys, now six, have improved their spelling with a hangman game and use an application that makes their parents' phones sound like lightsabers, said Turner, 46, of Grass Valley, Calif.
Duncan said his children can find what they want by browsing through icons.
"To be able to do that before you're four years old, just think what they're going to do," he said.