Havas, M. 2005. Health Effects Associated with Radio Frequency Radiation. Expert Tetstimony prepared by Magda Havas, Courtesy Public Hearing for Z-01-05, Exhibit for Mt. Ulla, North Carolina Hearing, October 13, 2005.
Our use of radio frequency radiation started with the invention of the radio that allowed wireless communication at great distances. During World War II, the higher end of the radio frequency spectrum was used for radar. After the war, television and then mobile telecommunications technology (i.e. pagers) became popular followed by the most recent revolution of the cellular phone industry.
Today, more than at any other time in history, this planet is being inundated by radio frequency radiation from man-made sources. The electromagnetic energy is used to send voice and visual messages within frequency bands that range from thousands (kilo-Hertz, kHz) to billions (giga-Hertz, GHz) of cycles per second. Currently there is no international consensus on exposure guidelines, which range orders of magnitude in various countries around the world.
Exposure to radar installations was a concern in the 1950s until the 1980s and interest in this area has been reignited because of our growing reliance on cell phones and the need for more antenna and base stations. Research on the health effects associated with exposure to radio frequency radiation from antennas is at an early stage of development. However, results from many of the studies that have examined adverse health effects for residents living near antennas are alarming. For my expert testimony I propose to introduce scientific studies of exposure to broadcast antennas (both TV and radio), military radio frequency installations, mobile phone antennas, as well as other studies that indicate adverse health effects of radio frequency radiation. I also propose to introduce a medical condition, known as electrohypersensitivity (EHS) that is becoming increasingly common and appears to be related to exposure to radio frequency radiation (RFR) at levels well below existing guidelines.
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Legislative Assembly of Ontario re: Bill 143, Oct 19 2006. page 1/11
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO
Thursday 19 October 2006
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BUSINESS
LAND RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES ACT, 2006
GROUND CURRENT POLLUTION ACT, 2006
GROUND CURRENT POLLUTION ACT, 2006 / LOI DE 2006 SUR LA POLLUTION CAUSÉE PAR LE COURANT TELLURIQUE
Mrs. Van Bommel moved second reading of the following bill:
Bill 143, An Act respecting ground current pollution in Ontario / Projet de loi 143, Loi concernant la pollution causée par le courant tellurique en Ontario.
The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bruce Crozier): Mrs. Van Bommel has moved second reading of Bill 143. Pursuant to standing order 96, you have up to 10 minutes.
Mrs. Maria Van Bommel (Lambton-Kent-Middlesex): Private members' time is set aside for MPPs to address issues that are of particular interest to themselves and to their constituents. My private member's bill is intended to advance the understanding of ground current pollution and to establish a time frame and process for remediation.
As a farmer, I've been long aware of this issue for probably well over 30 years, but it wasn't until I met a constituent whose life was completely changed and affected by ground current pollution that I started to really understand the impact that it has on all Ontarians. Should the Ontario Legislative Assembly pass this private member's bill, it is my hope that we will see a special focus on the state of our electrical infrastructure and the important role that it plays in the overall delivery of safe energy to our homes and to our businesses.
We are not the only jurisdiction to experience this type of pollution. The hazards resulting from ground currents have been recognized as a problem in both Canada and the United States and, as a matter of fact, right across the world. New York State spent $100 million in one year to clean up electrical pollution.
To understand the problem, it is important to appreciate what ground current pollution is and its impact on humans and animals. Many people refer to this phenomenon as stray voltage, transient voltage or tingle voltage. Regardless of what we call it, the impact on farms, manufacturing and humans is demonstrable.
Note: Dr. Havas helped to draft Bill 143.
Click Bill 143 for a pdf of Bill 143.
Havas, M. 2008. Request that first generation DECT phones be banned in Canada. Environmental Petition submitted to the Auditor General of Canada, June 2008, 16 pp.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON DECT PHONES
DECT is an acronym for (Digitally Enhanced Cordless Technology, previously known as Digital European Cordless Telephony). It is a technology that originated in Germany and has spread to other countries, including Canada.
DECT phones operate at 2.4 and 5.8 GHz and provide a digital signal that is both powerful and clear. DECT phones can be used up to 300 meters from their base station (cradle that holds the phone). Several manufacturers including Panasonic, GE, Motorola, AT&T, and V-Tech use this technology.
Unlike other types of cordless phones, DECT cordless phones continuously emit microwave radiation at full power as long as the base station is plugged into an electrical outlet. These phones emit radiation 24/7 whether they are being used or sitting idle in their cradle. This exposes people to unnecessary microwave radiation and has been raised as a potential health concern by scientists and doctors in Germany and Austria.
Click here for pdf of environmental petition.
Havas, M. 2009. Breast Cancer and Occupational Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields. Response to Request from Heidi Evelyn, Tribunal Counsel Office, Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal, Dated January 7 & 9, 2009. Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Response submitted February 9, 2009, 42 pp.
excerpt from testimony, from page 7 . . .
Havas, M. 2008. Health Concerns associated with Energy Efficient Lighting and their Electromagnetic Emissions. Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) Request for an opinion on “Light Sensitivity”, June 5, 2008. 11 pp.
I write this mini report in response to your request for information about Light Sensitivity as it relates to energy efficient light bulbs. It is based on research we are currently conducting that has not yet been peer-reviewed. For this reason I am able to share only a small portion of our results with you at this time.
Governments around the world are banning energy inefficient light bulbs in an attempt to reduce consumption of fossil fuels and the emission of greenhouse gases. However, the energy efficient light bulbs that are currently available may be harming both the environment (mercury content of bulbs is high) and human health (electromagnetic pollution).
The main function of light bulbs is to generate light, which is part of the electromagnetic spectrum (see Figure 1). The original incandescent light bulbs also generate heat (infrared radiation, also part of the EM2 spectrum), which makes them energy inefficient. The newer compact fluorescent light bulbs generate radio frequency radiation as well as ultraviolet radiation (see Figure 1) and many still generate heat although less of it. These frequencies (RF3 and UV4) have been associated with adverse health in numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies and a growing number of people are complaining that these bulbs make them ill.
Instead of promoting compact fluorescent light bulbs, governments should be insisting that manufacturers produce light bulbs that do not produce radio frequency or UV radiation and that are safe for the environment and for human health. Alternative light bulbs are available that are much more energy efficient than CFL, do not contain mercury, do not produce radio frequencies or UV radiation, and do not make people sick. Unfortunately these bulbs are still too expensive for residential use (CLED lights produced by www.realuvcorp.com).
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Havas, M. Breast Cancer and Occupational Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields. Report to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal, November 18, 2008, 20 pp.
On October 28, 2008, Mr. Gary Newhouse asked me to address the following questions:
1. What is the current level of evidence that EMF and/or ELF is cancer causing or promoting, with particular reference to breast cancer? Please explain.
2. What is your opinion on this comment from Dr. M. Bitran found at page 14 of Exhibit 20:
Comprehensive reviews of epidemiological and laboratory studies carried out by authoritative organizations have consistently concluded that the evidence does not substantiate a cause-effect link between ELF magnetic fields and cancer. Recent epidemiological studies on breast cancer and occupational and residential exposure to ELF magnetic fields are negative on balance. A meta-analysis found a small risk increase that may be due to artifacts. Recent reviews of epidemiological and animal data conclude that ELF magnetic fields are most likely not a risk factor in breast cancer.
3. What is your opinion on this comment from Dr. M. Bitran found at page 23 of Exhibit 20:
The link between ELF magnetic field exposure and female breast cancer has become more tenuous as newer, larger epidemiological studies with better exposure assessment have become available.
4. Please comment on the elements of average exposure, transient peak impact exposures, and cumulative dose estimates of exposure for each of the three workers in terms of the relationship between those exposures and whether or not exposure to EMF would have been a significant contributing factor in the development or onset of breast cancer in each case.
My expert testimony regarding each of these questions follows:
Excerpt from page 5 . . .
To address this issue I would like to quote from a document written by Dr. Martin Blank at Columbia University (Blank 2007).
We should be reminded that ‘scientific proof’ is not symmetric (Popper, 1959).
One cannot prove that EMF is harmless no matter how many negative results one presents. One single reproducible ([statistically] significant) harmful effect would outweigh all the negative results.
Scientific method is not democratic. The word ‘proof’ in ‘scientific proof’ is best understood in terms of its older meaning of ‘test’. It does not rely on an adversarial ‘weight of the evidence’, where opposing results and arguments are presented and compared. Answers do not come from keeping a scoreboard of positive versus negative results [note: positive and negative results refers to studies with and without statistically significant effects] and merely tallying the numbers to get a score.
The above characteristics of science are generally acknowledged to be valid as abstract principles, but in EMF research, it has been quite common to list positive and negative findings and thereby imply equal weights. . . .
Negative studies play an important role in science, and there is good reason to publish them when they are failures to replicate earlier positive results. This can often lead to important clarifications of the effect, the technique, etc.
However, negative studies are being used in another way. Although they cannot prove there is no positive effect, they do have an influence in the unscientific ‘weight of evidence approach’. In epidemiology, where it is difficult to compare studies done under different conditions, it is common to make a table of the positive and negative results. The simple listing has the effect of a tally, and the overall score substitutes for an evaluation. In any case, one can write that the evidence is ‘not consistent’, ‘not convincing’ or claims are ‘unsubstantiated’ and therefore ‘unproven’. The same is true in experimental studies . . . the contradictory results are juxtaposed and a draw is implied. This is a relatively cheap but effective way to neutralize or negate a positive study (Blank 2007).
Havas, M. 2007. Analysis of Health and Environmental Effects of Proposed San Francisco Earthlink Wi-Fi Network. Sent to Board of Supervisors, City and County of San Francisco, May 31, 2007, 51 pp.
During the early part of the 20th century the world underwent a chemical revolution and many new chemicals were formulated to promote the growth of plants (nitrogen), to kill pests (DDT), to keep our food cold (CFCs) and to prevent transformers from over heating (PCBs). After decades of use science showed that each of these chemicals had unwanted side effects including polluting water, killing birds, and putting holes in the ozone layer. Now these chemicals are banned or their use is strictly regulated.
During the second half of the 20th century the world underwent an electromagnetic revolution and many new frequencies were used for radio and TV broadcasting, radar, mobile phones1 and for a variety of wireless devices. After decades of use science reported that this form of energy has unwanted side effects. Some of that evidence is provided in the pages that follow.
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Havas, M. and D. Stetzer. 2004. Dirty Electricity and Electrical Hypersensitivity: Five Case Studies. World Health Organization Workshop on Electrical Hypersensitivity, Prague, Czech Republic, 25-26 October, 2004, 13 pp.
Deteriorating power quality is becoming increasingly common in developed countries. Poor power quality, also known as dirty electricity, refers to a combination of harmonics and transients generated primarily by electronic devices and by non-linear loads. We have assumed, until recently, that this form of energy is not biologically active. However, when Graham/Stetzer™ filters were installed in homes and schools, symptoms associated with electrical hypersensitivity (such as chronic fatigue, depression, headaches, body aches and pains, ringing in the ears, dizziness, impaired sleep, memory loss, and confusion) were reduced. Five case studies are presented that include one healthy individual; one person with electrical hypersensitivity; another with diabetes; and a person with multiple sclerosis. Results for 18 teachers and their classes at a school in Toronto are also presented. These individuals experienced major to moderate improvements in their health and wellbeing after Graham/Stetzer filters improved power quality in their home or work environment. The results suggest that poor power quality may be contributing to electrical hypersensitivity and that as much as 50% of the population may be hypersensitive; children may be more sensitive than adults and dirty electricity in schools may be interfering with education and possibly contributing to disruptive behavior associated with attention deficit disorder (ADD); dirty electricity may elevate plasma glucose levels among diabetics, and exacerbate symptoms for those with multiple sclerosis and tinnitus. Graham/Stetzer filters and meters enable individuals to monitor and improve power quality in buildings and they provide scientists with a tool for studying the effects of dirty electricity. For the first time we can progress from simply documenting electrical hypersensitivity to alleviating some of the symptoms. These results are dramatic and warrant further investigation. If they are representative of what is happening worldwide, then dirty electricity is adversely affecting the lives of millions of people.
Havas, M. and D. Stetzer. 2004. Graham/Stetzer Filters Improve Power Quality in Homes and Schools, Reduce Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics, Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms, and Headaches. International Scientific Conference on Childhood Leukaemia, London, 6th –10th September, 2004
Graham/Stetzer filters significantly reduce radio frequency electrical noise on indoor wiring generated by computers, energy efficient lighting, dimmer switches, and entertainment units within the home or workplace and transported into buildings by power lines from neighbouring property. The resultant improvements in power quality in homes and in schools are associated with fewer and less severe headaches, more energy, lower blood sugar levels for diabetics, and improved balance for those with multiple sclerosis. Results are observed within a matter of hours or days. Cases studies for blood sugar, multiple sclerosis, and general wellbeing are presented.