Dr. Magda Havas, PhD Environmental Studies Research Papers


Posted on October 13, 2009

Below are publications on low frequency electromagnetic fields.

Havas, M., S. Shum, and R. Dhalla. 2004. Passenger exposure to magnetic fields on go-trains and on buses, streetcars, and subways run by the Toronto Transit Commission, Toronto, Canada. Biological Effects of EMFs, 3rd International Workshop, Kos, Greece, 4-8 October, 2004, pp.1065-1071. Click here for pdf.

Havas, M and J. Mackay. 2004. Street level magnetic fields within the City of Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Biological Effects of EMFs, 3rdInternational Workshop, Kos, Greece, 4-8 October, 2004, pp. 318-325. Click here for pdf.

Havas, M. 2004. Biological Effects of Low Frequency Electric and Magnetic Fields. Derek Clements-Croome (Ed.). 2002. Electromagnetism and Health, Taylor & Francis Books, Ltd., London, England. 25 pp. Click here for pdf.

Havas, M. 2002. Intensity of Electric and Magnetic Fields from Power Lines within the Business District of Sixty Ontario Communities. Science of the Total Environment 298:183-206.

Havas, M. and D. Hanna. 2000.Magnetic Fields in Peterborough Schools: the findings and strategies to reduce exposure. Presented to the Peterborough-Kawartha-Pine Ridge School Board, Health and Safety Committee, October 2000.

Havas, M. 2000.Biological effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic energy: A critical review of the reports by the US National Research Council and the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences as they relate to the broad realm of EMF bioeffects. Environmental Reviews 8:173-253. Click here for 80 page pdf.

Power Quality/Dirty Electricity

Posted on October 13, 2009

Below are reports on dirty electricity.

Havas, M., D. Stetzer, E. Kelley, R. Frederick, and S. Symington. 2009. Energy efficient light bulbs, Electromagnetic Emissions, and Health. 19 pp. Journal of the Ramazzini Institute, Annual Series on Environmental Health Issues, Italy. in press.

Havas, M. and D. Stetzer. 2006. Electromagnetic Pollution and your Health. Centre for Health Studies, Trent University, Peterborough, ON September 2006.

Stetzer, D. and M. Havas. 2005. High frequency electrical pollution in the homes of residents in South Bend, Mishawaka and Roseland Indiana, Mary 2005. 5 pages plus waveforms.

Havas, M. and D. Stetzer. 2004. Dirty electricity and electrical hypersensitivity: Five case studies. World Health Organization Workshop on Electricity Hypersensitivity, Prague, Czech Republic, 25-26 October, 2004.

Havas, M., M. Illiatovitch, and C. Proctor. 2004. Teacher and student response to the removal of dirty electricity by the Graham/Stetzer filter at Willow Wood School in Toronto, Canada. Biological Effects of EMFs, 3rd International Workshop, Kos, Greece, 4-8 October, 2004, pp. 311-317.

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.

Environmental Education Articles

Posted on October 12, 2009

Below are references dealing with environmental education.

Regoczei, S. and M. Havas. 1995. Group Problem Solving: If we could save the earth, how would that be done? Proc. 4th Can. Conf. on Foundations and Applications of General Science Theory. Knowledge Tools for a Sustainable Civilization. Ryerson Polytechnical University, Toronto, June 8-10, 1995, 9 pp

Loney, R.K., P. Northrop, and M. Havas. 1995. Enviro Mystery Revisited. Eighth Instructional Show & Tell for Ontario Universities and Colleges, May 29, 1995, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario.

Havas, M. 1993. Environmental Education: Changing Role of the University. Seminario Internacional Sobre El Ambiente, Toluca de Lerdo, Estado de Mexico, February 22-25, 1993, 16 pp.

Havas, M. (Ed.) 1992. Packaging, KEYnotes 2(2): 16 pp [these newsletters are distributed to every school in Canada, approximately 15,000 copies].

Havas, M. (Ed.), 1992. Feeding the World's Population, Part 1: Distribution of Food, KEYnotes 2(1): 16 pp.

Havas, M. (Ed.), 1991. Environmental Report Card, KEYnotes 1(2): 12 pp.

Loney, R.K. and M. Havas. 1990. Enviro Mystery: An Educational Computer Game, Third Instructional Show & Tell for Ontario Universities and Colleges, May 29-29, 1990, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario

Tagged as:

Acid Rain & Metal Pollution

Posted on October 12, 2009

Below are references restricted to acid rain and metal pollution in reverse chronological order.

Woodfine, D.G., M. Havas, and J. Acreman. 2002. Nickel and copper tolerance of phytoplankton isolated from a recovering lake near Sudbury, Canada. Geochemistry, Exploration, Environment, Analysis, Vol. 2 203-207

Woodfine, D.G., R. Seth, D. Mackay, and M. Havas. 2000. Simulating the response of metal contaminated lakes to reductions in atmospheric loading using a modified QWASI model. Chemosphere 41:1377-1388.

Havas, M., D.G. Woodfine, P. Lutz, K. Yung, H.J. MacIsaac, and T.C. Hutchinson. 1995. Biological Recovery of Two Previously Acidified, Metal-Contaminated Lakes near Sudbury Ontario, Canada. Water, Air and Soil Pollut. 85(2): 791-796

Havas, M. and B. Rosseland. 1995. Response of Zooplankton, Benthos, and Fishes to Acidification: An Overview. [Invited Paper] Water, Air and Soil Pollut. 85(1): 51-62.

Havas, M. and E. Advokaat. 1995. Can Sodium Regulation be used to Predict the Relative Acid-Sensitivity of Various Life-stages and Different Species of Aquatic Fauna? Water, Air and Soil Pollut. 85(2): 865-870.

Woodfine, D.G. and M. Havas. 1995. Pathways of Chemical Recovery in Acidified, Metal-Contaminated Lakes near Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Water, Air and Soil Pollut. 8 797-803Havas, M. 1995. Aluminum. In: Paehlke, R. (Ed.) Environmental Review.

Havas, M. 1994. Recovery and Rehabilitation of Large-Scale Ecosystems: Rapporteurs Report. In: Rapport, D. and P. Calow. Evaluating and Monitoring the Health of Large-Scale Ecosystems, NATO Advanced Research Workshop, Chateau Montebello, Quebec, Canada, October 10-15, 1993, 10 pages.

Brakke, D., J.P. Baker, J. Bohmer, A Hartmann, M Havas, A. Jenkins, C. Kelly, S.J. Ormerod, T. Paces, R Putz, B.O. Rosseland, D. Schindler, and H. Segner. 1994. How does Acidification affect Biota and What are the influences of Biota on the Process of Acidification? In: Dahlem Workshop on Acidification of Freshwater Ecosystems, Berlin, September 27 to October 2, 1992.

Hutchinson, T.C. and M. Havas. 1994. Chapter 22. Ecological Impacts of Acid Deposition on Natural Ecosystems. In: Calvert, J. (Ed.) The Chemistry of the Atmosphere: Its Impact on Global Change, American Chemical Society, pp. 297-315.

Woodfine, D.G., D. Mackay, and M. Havas. 1993. Using QWASI Model to Predict Fate of Copper and Nickel in Two Metal Contaminated Lakes near Coniston, Ontario. In: Nriagu, J.O. and R.J. Allan (eds.), International Conference, Heavy Metals in the Environment (Vol.2), Toronto, September 1993, pp 379-382.

Havas, M. 1993. OMB Hearing regarding Eutrophication of the Indian River, Township of Dummer , Warsaw, Ontario, December 6, 1993. Havas, M. 1990. Recovery of Acidified and Metal-Contaminated Lakes in Canada. In: Norton, S.A., S.E. Lindberg, and A.L. Page (Eds.), Advances in Environmental Science, Acid Precipitation Series, Volume 4, Soils, Aquatic Processes and Lake Acidification, Springer-Verlag, N.Y., pp. 187-205

Havas, M. 1990. Chemical Indicators. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 15:287.

Stokes, P., M Havas, and T. Brydges. 1990. Public participation and volunteer help in monitoring programs: An assessment. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 15:225-229.

Creed, I.F., M. Havas, and C.G. Trick. 1990. Effects of arsenate on the growth of nitrogen- and phosphorus-limited Chlorella vulgaris (Chlorophyceae) isolates. J. Phycology 26(6).

Havas, M., R. Loney, M.G. Scott, and T.C. Hutchinson. 1988. Needle Chemistry as an Early Warning Indicator of Decline in Balsam Fir, Red Spruce, and Norway Spruce. Forest Decline Symposium, October 20-21, 1988, Rochester, N.Y.

Loney, R. and M. Havas. 1988. Influence of Climate and Air Pollution on Decline of Sugar Maple in Eastern North America. Forest Decline Symposium, October 20-21, 1988, Rochester, N.Y.

Havas, M. and T.C. Hutchinson. 1987. Aquatic Macrophytes as Bioindicators of Metal Pollution, Smoking Hills, N.W.T., Intern. Conf. Heavy Metals. September, 1987, New Orleans.

Havas, M. 1987. Does hemoglobin enhance the acid-tolerance of Daphnia? Annls. Soc. R. Zool. Belg. 117, 151-164.

Creed, I.F., M. Havas, and C.G. Trick. 1987. Mechanisms of arsenate tolerance in the green alga, Chlorella vulgaris. Abstract. American Society for Limnology and Oceanography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, June 14-18, 1987

Havas, M. 1986. A hematoxylin staining technique to locate sites of aluminum binding in aquatic plants and animals. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 30:735-741.

Hutchinson, T.C. and M. Havas. 1986. Recovery of previously acidified lakes near Coniston, Canada following reductions in atmospheric sulphur and metal emissions. Water, Air,and Soil Pollution 28:319-333.

Havas, M. 1986. Effects of acid deposition on aquatic ecosystems. In: Stern, A. (Ed.), Air Pollution, Volume VI, Academic Press, pp 351-389 .

Havas, M. Aluminum chemistry of inland waters. 1986. In: Havas, M. and J.F.Jaworski (Eds.), Aluminum in the Canadian Environment, National Research Council of Canada, Associate Committee on Scientific Criteria for Environmental Quality, pp 51-77.

Havas, M. Effects of aluminum on aquatic biota. 1986. In: Havas, M.and J. F. Jaworski (Eds.), Aluminum in the Canadian Environment, National Research Council of Canada, Associate Committee on Scientific Criteria for Environmental Quality, pp 79-127.

Havas, M. 1986. Groundwater quality and acid-sensitivity in south-central Ontario. Contract No. 1325, Health and Welfare Canada, 176 pp.

Havas, M. and G.E. Likens. 1986. Aluminum uptake and toxicity to Daphnia magna in soft water at low pH. In: Geen, G.H. and K.L. Woodward (Eds.), Proceedings of the Eleventh Annual Aquatic Toxicity Workshop, November 13-15, 1984, Vancouver, B.C., pp 71.

Havas, M. and G.E. Likens. 1985. Toxicity of aluminum and hydrogen ions to Daphnia catawba, Holopedium gibberum, Chaoborus punctipennis, and Chironomus anthrocinus from Mirror Lake, New Hampshire. Can. J. Zool. 63:1114-1119.

Havas, M. 1985. Aluminum bioaccumulation and toxicity to Daphnia magna (Straus) in soft water at low pH. Can. J. Fish.Aquat. Sci. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 42:1741-1748.

Havas, M. and G.E. Likens. 1985. Effects of aluminum on sodium regulation by Daphnia magna at low pH in soft water. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 82:7345-7349.

Havas, M. and D.W.H. Walton. 1985. Fate and transport of radionuclides in freshwater ecosystems. In: Harwell, M.A. and T.C. Hutchinson, The Environmental Consequences of Nuclear War. Volume II, J. Wiley & Sons Ltd., Chichester, pp 3-50 to 3-56.

Havas, M., T.C. Hutchinson, and G.E. Likens. 1985. Acid rain research. Environmental Science and Technology 19:4-26.

Havas, M., T.C. Hutchinson, and G.E. Likens. 1985. Comment on "Red Herrings in Acid Rain Research" Environmental Science and Technology 19:646-648.

Havas, M., T.C. Hutchinson, and G.E. Likens. 1984. Red herrings in acid rain research. feature article Environmental Science and Technology 18:176A-186A.

Havas, M., T.C. Hutchinson, and G.E. Likens. 1984. Effect of low pH on sodium regulation in two species of Daphnia. Can. J. Zool. 62:1965-1970.

Contributed to: New Perspectives in Ecotoxicology, 1984. Levin, S.A. and K.D. Kimball (Eds.), Environmental Management 8:375-442.

Havas, M. and T.C. Hutchinson. 1983. The Smoking Hills: Natural acidification of an aquatic ecosystem. cover article Nature 301:23-27.

Havas, M. and T.C. Hutchinson. 1983. Effect of low pH on the chemical composition of aquatic invertebrates from tundra ponds at the Smoking Hills, N.W.T., Canada. Can. J. Zool. 61:241-249.

Havas, M. and T.C. Hutchinson. 1982. Aquatic invertebrates from the Smoking Hills, N.W.T.: Effect of pH and metals on mortality. Can. J. Fish. Aquatic Sci. 39:890-903.

Sheath, R.G., M. Havas, J.A. Hellebust, and T.C. Hutchinson. 1982. Effects of long-term natural acidification on algal communities of tundra ponds at the Smoking Hills, N.W.T., Canada. Can. J. Bot. 60:58-72.

Havas, M. and T.C. Hutchinson. Long-term consequences of acidification: The Smoking Hills Study. 1982. In: Johnson, R.E. (Ed.), Acid Rain/Fisheries, Proc. Intern. Symp. on Acidic Precipitation and Fishery Impacts in Northeastern North America, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., August 2-5, 1981, pp 352-353.

Munn, R.E., D. Mackay, and M. Havas. 1982. Impacts of coal on natural environmental systems. In: Chadwich, M.J. and N. Lindman (Eds.), Environmental Implications of Expanded Coal Utilization, Pergamon Press, Oxford, pp 230-272.

Havas, M. 1981. Physiological response of aquatic animals to low pH. In: Singer, R. Ed.), Effects of Acidic Precipitation on Benthos, Proc. Symp. Acidic Precipitation on Benthos, 1980, North American Benthological Society, Hamilton, N.Y., pp 49-65.

Hutchinson, T.C.. W. Gizyn, M. Havas, and V. Zobens. 1978. Effects of long-term lignite burns on arctic ecosystems at the Smoking Hills, N.W.T. In: Hemphill, D.D. (Ed.), Trace Substances in Environmental Health XII:317-332.

Need worldwide ban of DECT Phones

Posted on October 10, 2009

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.


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.

Intensity of radiation generated by a DECT phone

Intensity of radiation generated by a DECT phone

Click here for pdf of environmental petition.

Breast Cancer and EMFs: a response

Posted on October 10, 2009

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 . . .

Threshold magnetic field to protect workers and public

Threshold magnetic field to protect workers and public

Energy efficient light & health

Posted on October 10, 2009

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).

Emissions of radio frequency from an incandescent and CFL bulb

Emissions of radio frequency from an incandescent and CFL bulb

Click here for pdf.

Breast Cancer and EMFs

Posted on October 10, 2009

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).

San Francisco Wi-Fi and Health

Posted on October 10, 2009

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.

Inconsistencies among exposure guidelines for RFR

Inconsistencies among exposure guidelines for RFR

Click here for pdf.

Five Case Studies: DE and EHS

Posted on October 10, 2009

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.

EHS filters

Reduction of symptoms with GS Filters Installed