The warnings of Health Canada to practise cellphone safety has bolstered the cause of Val MacDonald, who’s leading the local efforts for a moratorium on B.C. Hydro’s wireless Smart Meters.
“We already follow some guidelines about cellphones to make them safer. Don’t hold them up to your head, that’s very important. Don’t keep it in your pocket. It’s not healthy to have those signals on your body.”
Instead, keep it in a bag or a purse, she says.
“If the technology is here to stay … then it’s a matter of being educated about how to use it safely,” said MacDonald, who has two teenage girls who already follow those rules.
She also says cellphones shouldn’t be used inside cars because the signal will bounce around inside the vehicle.
Last week, Health Canada issued guidelines for cellphone use that says people should limit the length of cellphone calls, and text instead of calling on cellphones, or use hands-free devices, and encourage kids under 18 to limit their cellphone use.
It made the announcement citing a “small number of … studies that have shown brain cancer rates might be elevated in long-term, heavy cellphone users.”
But it points out that other studies don’t support that conclusion.
The ministry also said that the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s recent classification of radio frequency energy as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” is an acknowledgement that limited data exists that suggests radio frequency energy might cause cancer.
But, at present, “the scientific evidence is far from conclusive and more research is required.”
MacDonald agrees that Health Canada’s advice vindicates what she’s been saying about wireless devices. “It’s actually all the same technology. You can’t escape it. It’s everywhere.”
MacDonald recently appeared at Maple Ridge council, asking it to request a moratorium on B.C. Hydro’s installation of Smart Meters to homes throughout the province.
Council deferred that to the B.C. Municipalities meeting, in which delegates supported a moratorium.
“I feel that’s a victory of sorts, absolutely,” said MacDonald.
But she said it’s maddening trying to campaign against them because it’s already a done deal.
Premier Christy Clark said the smart meter installations will continue, despite the UBCM resolution.
Hydro crews have already installed 100,000 Smart Meters across B.C. and that’s to rise to 250,000 by later this fall.
According to Health Canada, cellphones emit low levels of radio frequency electromagnetic energy, the same used in TV and radio broadcasts.
“The radio frequency energy given off by cellphones and cellphone towers is a type of non-ionizing radiation,” that unlike ionizing radiation, as emitted by X-ray machines, cannot break chemical bonds in the body.
Health Canada also says radio frequency energy exposure levels around cellphone towers are typically “well below the safety limits and are not considered a health concern.”
MacDonald agreed that Health Canada’s advice on cellphone use vindicated her position.
She also advises against having cordless phones at home. “Having a cordless phone is like having a cellphone tower in your home.”
Health Canada also addresses concerns about WiFi technology that allows wireless connections of computers.
“There is no convincing scientific evidence that exposure to low-level radio frequency energy from Wi-Fi causes adverse health effects in humans,” says Health Canada’s website.
“Radio frequency energy coming from Wi-Fi devices is similar to that emitted from commonly used household products, such as cordless phones, video game controllers, remote controls for garage door openers, and baby monitors.”