Proof of Health Canada's Deception

House of Commons Standing Committee on Health (HESA)

5 September 2010

Dear HESA Members,


Recent debate concerning WiFi in schools with concerned parents resulted in Health Canada releasing a press release on Aug. 31, 2010 at the following link:
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/ftr-ati/_2010/2010_142-eng.php
.
The major point of the release was to reiterate their consistent response to concerns: "Based on scientific evidence, Health Canada has determined that exposure to low-level radiofrequency energy, such as that from Wi-Fi equipment, is not dangerous to the public."


 

I am writing to give you evidence that this is not true; in fact, I would go so far as to call it a deception that has been perpetrated on the trusting Canadian public for more than a decade. To substantiate this strong statement, I will quote from the Royal Society of Canada Report of March 1999, "A Review of the Potential Health Risks of Radiofrequency Fields from Wireless Telecommunication Devices" prepared in response to a request from Health Canada.
http://www.rsc.ca/files/publications/expert_panels/RF/RFreport-en.pdf
At that time Safety Code 6 was essentially the same as it is today.

 

1. Page 2 - "Safety Code 6 was explicitly designed to protect workers and the public from thermal exposures." This means that wireless devices such as WiFi, cellphones, cell and radio transmitters, and DECT phones are not in the category protected by Safety Code 6 because they fall in the lower, non-thermal end of the electric spectrum. Health Canada has continued to state that Safety Code 6 applies to the entire spectrum. Clearly this is not true.
 

2. Page 2 - "There is a growing body of scientific evidence which suggests that exposure to RF fields at intensities far less than levels required to produce measurable heating can cause effects in cells and tissues." The Panel determined that studies show that somehow, at even very low levels which are significantly below what Safety Code 6 allows, the radiation emitted by wireless devices causes physical or biochemical changes not related to heat.

 

There are many "biological effects" that are addressed in this report, and two of them are blood-brain barrier leakage and cancer promotion.
 

The blood-brain barrier is a critical structure in the brain that separates the flow of blood through the brain from the brain matter itself. Leakage can lead to brain damage such as dementia. In the Report, pages 44-45 are devoted to studies showing such leakage occurs as a result of exposure to RF field at levels below Safety Code 6.
 

ODC stands for Ornithine Decarboxylase which is an enzyme found in cells. Increased activity in ODC has been found to promote aggressive and invasive tumours, which are often cancerous. Studies which demonstrate the relationship between RF radiation below Safety Code 6 and the increased activity of ODC can be found on pages 36-42.
 

I have provided only a couple of quotes and references from only the first few pages of an 150 page document, but I could have provided many more which are equally alarming. Even with this report in hand, Health Canada and even some members of the Royal Panel that wrote this report, such as Dr. Daniel Krewski, continue to declare that there is no evidence of harm below the level of Safety Code 6. As a result, the exposure to wireless devices has increased dramatically. The Royal Panel stated that as of 1998 close to 3.5 million people used cell phones and estimated increases of 30-40% annually. Teenagers are sleeping with cell phones under their pillows. Cell transmitters are being erected on top of buildings and apartments, near homes and schools. WiFi is being installed in elementary schools. Health Canada is allowing proliferation of this radiation exposure at levels they know to be dangerous, especially to our most vulnerable: children.

 

A new Health Canada guideline is required, one based on biological effects. Of course, industry in Canada will complain. It will insist that it cannot possibly adapt to a more responsible approach. But that same industry already has in other parts of the world. Hopefully when it does adapt, it will be more rigourous in its testing so that the mistakes of the past will not be repeated.
 

Respectfully,
Sharon Noble
Victoria, British Columbia

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