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    #553: Health Canada says power line poses no risk of illness

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    #553: Health Canada says power line poses no risk of illness

    Tuesday » September 19 » 2006

    Health Canada says power line poses no risk of illness
    Scott Simpson vancouver sun

    Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    TSAWWASSEN – Health Canada on Monday stepped into the fray about a controversial $250-million transmission line through Tsawwassen, stating bluntly in a commentary to the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office that there’s no health risk from the project.

    The office is reviewing health and environmental impacts associated with the installation of two new high-voltage power lines in transmission towers along a corridor of 147 residential properties and schools in Tsawwassen.

    The BC Transmission Corporation project, to improve quality and reliability of electrical service to Vancouver Island, has already been approved by the British Columbia Utilities Commission.

    Many Tsawwassen residents remain strongly opposed and have appealed to the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office to reject the project on the basis of their concerns about adverse health effects of electromagnetic fields near power lines.

    Last week the Canadian Cancer Society commented to the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) that there was reason to be concerned about adverse health impacts — despite an absence of evidence of risk.

    However a Health Canada submission posted on the EAO website restated the federal agency’s current position that there is “no compelling scientific evidence” that transmission lines cause ill health such as cancer.

    “This position is consistent with the overall opinions from most national and international scientific bodies.”

    Health Canada said the documents on electromagnetic fields as submitted to the utilities commission by BC Transmission Corporation had enough detail to satisfy an examination of the risks.

    Health Canada scientists also reviewed the documents that project opponents had submitted, the commentary stated.

    The agency says residents would be exposed to electromagnetic fields that are “well within” international guidelines — which are based on studies of humans, animals and cell systems.

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