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Electromagnetic Radiation – Learn the health effects

By Diana Daghofer

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Electromagnetic radiation is all around us. Wireless phones, Internet, cell phones and their accompanying transmission towers are cropping up like mushrooms on a damp day.

Humans are electrical beings, and as the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health heard in October, we really don’t know the effects of ongoing exposure on our health. At levels that can be “one million billion times above natural background [radiation]”, we are all part of the largest “experiment without consent” in history. Considering parents have to sign permission forms for lunch content, field trips and umpteen other school events, it’s more than a little odd that we have no input on whether our children are exposed to microwave signals all day long at school.

A movement is beginning to protest that. Centered around researchers like Dr. Magda Havas at Trent University and the newly formed “Citizens for Responsible Technology”, people and groups like the Simcoe Safe School Committee are starting to ask questions and demand action. Given the restrictions being put in place in Europe, and warnings issued by governments from India to the City of Toronto, it’s time that our government step up its research and revisit Canada’s Safety Code 6 – currently 6,000 times less stringent than the safety level advocated in a recent scientific report on the issue.

In this issue of An Ounce, we bring you a report from the Watershed Sentinel on the Parliamentary Health Committee hearings on the health impacts of wireless technologies. We’re also pleased to highlight a presentation given in Ottawa by Dr. Devra Davis, author of the new book Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family.

Armed with all this information, what can you do? First, protect yourself:

  • Use your cell phone for short calls only;
  • Always use an earpiece or speaker phone and don’t use cellphones in moving vehicles (including buses and trains);
  • Text, rather than talk;
  • Keep your cell phone in a purse or briefcase rather than against your body;
  • Don’t allow children to use cell phones at all, except for emergencies;
  • Get rid of cordless and mobile phones in your home – only use phones that plug into a phone jack in the wall (if you do have a cordless phone, keep it in its cradle when not in use); and
  • Don’t use wireless Internet in your home. Most routers can be used in ‘wired’ mode, with the wireless function disabled. Urge your neighbours to do the same.

Then, act to protect everyone:

  • Ask your school principal and trustees to block the use of wireless Internet in schools and stick to wired computers;
  • Ask your local library to stick with wired Internet access; and
  • Write to your MP, MPP and City Councillors about strengthening the regulations on the use of wireless technologies.

See the PCN website for the email addresses of all MPs. A list of all members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health can be found here.

 
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