Unsupported Conclusions – Magda Havas on CCST Report

Dis-Invited to Contribute
Professor Magda Havas is a leading Canadian researcher and public educator on the subject of electro-magnetic radiation health impacts. Her site’s video page and her YouTube Channel offer short, entertaining briefings on various aspects of the topic.

According to Havas, “In October 2010, I was invited to submit a report to CCST on Smart Meters as part of a “Technical Response Team…. My report does not support the overall conclusions in the CCST document that appeared on the CCST website in January 2011. I was informed that the none of the submissions was going to be appended to the final document, nor was any going to be made available….
“I have great concern regarding the current levels of microwave radiation in North America. Instead of promoting wireless technology, we should be promoting wired technology and reserving wireless for situations where wired in not possible (while one is traveling for example). Shortly after X-rays were discovered, they were used in shoe stores to determine shoe-size for young children. Fortunately, we recognized that X-rays were harmful and we restricted their use to essential medical diagnoses. We need to recognize that microwaves are also harmful and we cannot use this technology in a frivolous manner. With more frequencies being used, with the levels of radiation increasing, and with so little research on the long-term, low-level effects of this technology we are creating a potential time bomb. If smart meters are placed on every home, they will contribute significantly to our exposure and this is both unwise and unsafe.”

You can download a PDF of the report full she submitted here. Here are some of her points:
“In my opinion, the FCC standard for Smart Meters is not sufficient to protect public health. This is based on the following facts:

“1.1 Thermal vs. Non-thermal Debate. The thermal vs. non-thermal debate is largely a red herring that has been perpetuated for decades and has influenced the type of research done in the United States. The FCC standard is based on a thermal effect. It was originally based on the amount of radiation that would heat an adult male in the US military exposed to radar. While the heating effect is not disputed, biological effects, some of which have adverse health consequences, occur well below the thermal guideline (Inglis 1970). As a consequence various countries in the world are opting for a “biologically” based guideline rather than a “thermal” guideline, which takes into account not only adult males in peak physical conditions but children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those who have developed electro-hypersensitivity (EHS). I will return to the concept of EHS later.

“1.2 Guidelines in Russia, Switzerland, Poland, and China are well below the FCC standard (i.e. 10 vs. 1000 microW/cm2 or 1% of FCC guidelines). Some military and government insiders tried to get U.S. guidelines reduced decades ago but were not successful (Pollack and Healer 1967, Dodge 1969). Steneck et al. (1980) provides an excellent account of how the U.S. standards were established for radio frequency radiation.

“1.3 Our exposure to radio frequency radiation (RFR) is increasing exponentially as
we design more equipment that relies on higher frequencies in the electromagnetic
spectrum. Prior to World War II, this type of radiation was negligible. Today we have
radar (military, marine, aviation, and weather), we have cell phone antennas, radio and
TV broadcast antennas, and a growing number of WiFi hotspots, citywide WiFi and
Wi-Max antennas. Inside buildings we have cordless phones, many of which emit
microwave radiation even when they are not being used; wireless alarm systems;
wireless baby monitors, wireless computers, iPads, and Smart Phones that can connect
to wireless internet or WiFi. More children are playing wireless video games than
ever before and radio frequency identification devices (RFID) are placed into merchandise to provide information to the manufacturer about consumer habits. The “smart meter” is just another source of exposure that will be placed on every home and in every apartment. Smart meters are being used to monitor use of electricity, gas and water. As part of this system, appliances are being designed to communicate directly with smart meters, all in a wireless mode, which will ultimately increase levels of radiation in the home.

“1.4 I work with people who have become electrically hypersensitive (EHS) and I have received emails and phone calls from those who have had smart meters placed on their homes. They complain of ill health and many are unable to use the room closest to the smart meter. These individuals have no place to “hide” from the growing levels of electrosmog especially in densely populated urban centers….”

“2.1 Technology specific standards are definitely needed for Smart meters as well as
cordless phones, DECT baby monitors, wireless routers, and all of the other devices that emit radio frequency radiation….

“2.2 We have evidence that pulsed microwave frequencies, that are generated by WiFi and cordless phones are more harmful than continuous wave and yet this is not considered in the FCC guidelines (Reno 1975).
The key microwave emitting devices in the home/office/school environment are:
Cordless phones (some are labeled DECT and others pulsed digital 2.4 GHz). These
radiate all the time even when no one is using them. They should be replaced by wired
phones or cordless phones currently available in Europe, which are “on-demand” phones that radiate only when the handset is not in the cradle of the base station. These phones are so dangerous that I recently submitted a Petition to the Auditor General of Canada to have DECT phones banned (Havas 2008).
The DECT baby monitor also radiates all the time, as does the receiver that is often
carried on the Mother’s waist. Here we need a voice-activated baby monitor that is used in Europe.
Wireless Internet (WiFi or WLan) is not as common in Europe as they are in North
America. There they prefer using wired service in the form of fiber optic and Ethernet
connections. Germany hotels ask that you bring an Ethernet cables with you, as they
don’t provide WiFi. The Swiss government is providing free fiber optics to schools
provided they don’t install wireless routers.

“2.3 An additional point I would like to make relates to dirty electricity. Wires can act like antennas and the radiation produced by radio frequency generating devices can flow along and reradiate from wires both inside and outside the home. This contributes to dirty electricity and localized radiation exposure. Dirty electricity has been associated with cancers (Milham and Morgan 2008); health and behavior problems in schools (Havas and Olstad 2008); and both diabetes and multiple sclerosis (Havas 2006).
From a human health perspective and to protect sensitive electronic equipment it is important to maintain good power quality and to prevent radiation from smart meters
flowing along wires….”

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