by Joyce Nelson
During three days of hearings on health impacts of Wi-Fi and wireless technologies, which wrapped up on Oct. 28th, 2010, Canada’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health heard from some of the top international experts in the field, many of whom roundly criticized Health Canada’s protection of Canadians from the dangers of non-ionizing microwave radiation.
Dr. Olle Johansson, testifying by teleconference from Sweden, said Canada’s Safety Code 6 is “completely out of date and obsolete” in terms of protecting people from “prolonged low-intensity exposures” to microwave radiation from cell phones, cell towers and masts, and Wi-Fi. The safety level in Canada’s Safety Code 6 is some 6,000 times less stringent than the safety level advocated in the 2007 BioInitiative Report, which was released by the University of Albany and includes expert international research (such as that of Dr. Johansson) on electromagnetic radiation (EMR), electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and brain tumours, leukemia and other illnesses [see the Sept.-Oct. 2007 Watershed Sentinel]. http://www.watershedsentinel.ca/content/jumping-wireless-bandwagon-wifi-and-you
Dr. Martin Blank, Columbia University researcher in bioelectromagnetics, told the Committee, “The European Union voted to review their own [safety] standards on the basis of The BioInitiative Report.” But Brenda Peterson of Health Canada countered: “The BioInitiative Report was biased. We do not support the findings,” she told the Parliamentary Committee. In spring 2010, Health Canada issued this statement: “Health Canada has no scientific reason to consider the use of wireless communications devices, such as cell phones, BlackBerrys, wireless laptop computers and their supporting infrastructure, dangerous to the health of the Canadian public.”
“I have heard over and over again that the levels of [EMR] exposure are low,” Dr. Johansson told the Committee. “In the room you’re sitting in right now, just from the third generation [3G] mobile telephony…you are sitting in levels that are approximately one million billion times above natural background [radiation]. There you have your question mark: are we really built for a microwave life at such extreme levels?” 4G mobile telephony is set to be released in Canada within months.
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