From Dr. Magda Havas :
Thought you might be interested in reading this letter published in the Toronto Star earlier this week.
Test exposure levels
The Toronto Star
Tue 12 Jul 2005
When will the government invest in research to find what are probable safe standards for all Canadians?
Is her cellphone safe?
I was pleased to see that you have devoted space to the important issue of cellphones and health. I am one of many Canadians living with electrohypersensitivity (EHS) – an “allergy” to all forms of wireless and electrical activity, a condition brought on in my case, in part, by cellphone use. Some people with EHS cannot have cellphones in the same room with them without experiencing great discomfort, cannot tolerate being near wireless modems, or even portable telephone handsets and base-stations. I have, for example, purchased old-fashioned “wired” phones for all of my neighbours and wear special protective clothing to resist wireless and cellphone radiation from the devices carried by my colleagues and students at work. The World Health Organization has been slow to acknowledge this condition.
Indeed, the concluding report from its recent 2004 Prague conference on EHS excluded the findings of Olle Johansson (whose work on acoustic nerve tumours you cited in a recent article) and of other similar research to determine that it was too early to suggest that cellphone and other wireless devices led to biological effects in the human body. Ever-progressive Sweden, however, has an entire association of thousands of people with EHS and its government recognizes that up to 200,000 Swedes may be in some way sensitive to wireless technology. Even our own provincial government has recognized that people’s level of sensitivity to wireless emissions vary.
The following is a statement included in an Ontario Ministry of Labour report written by radiologist Peter Fuhry following a site inspection to a call centre at which a worker claimed to have developed EHS “A number of health effects have been linked to exposure to time-varying electric and magnetic fields and electromagnetic radiation which are generally called ‘non-thermal effects.’ These effects include cancer induction, cancer promotion, ALS, flu-like symptoms, etc. Though the large majority of scientific reports do not support these links, a number of scientific studies do make the connection. All recognized bodies promulgating exposure standards and guidelines recognize these studies but have stated that these effects have not been demonstrated with sufficient force to be included in the exposure limits at this time.
“It is recognized by the Ministry that certain workers may be more susceptible to a given workplace condition exposure and the exposure standards may not be sufficiently protective for those individual workers.”
My question When will the government invest in research to determine what are probable safe exposure levels for all Canadians? What is the government doing to inform individuals of the risks in the mean time?
David Fancy, Chancellor’s Chair in Teaching Excellence, Department of Dramatic Arts, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ont.
“¢ Charla Jones toronto star A growing number of Canadians are “allergic” to all forms of wireless and electronic activity, a condition aggravated by cellphone use.
Length: 466 words
Dr. Magda Havas
Environmental and Resource Studies Program , Trent University
Peterborough, ON K9J 7B8, CANADA
phone: 705-748-1011 x1232