Investigate wireless for future news story

Letter writer's sources prompt further questions on electromagnetic fields

Re: Questions remain on wireless effects, but evidence growing (Letters, Feb. 8)

Tammy Jeske’s letter raised some compelling questions and prompted me to check the two references she gave.

She wrote, essentially, that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radio-frequency electromagnetic fields, including those emitting from wireless phones, as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B).

She also pointed to WorkSafeBC’s occupational health and safety regulations, which state: if an IARC Group 2B substance “is present in the workplace, the employer must replace it, if practicable, with a material which reduces the risk to workers.”

In short, the references provided checked out with information available on the IARC and WorkSafeBC websites.

For schools in B.C., the obvious implication is that wireless connections must be replaced, if practicable, with wired connections. “Possibly carcinogenic” is certainly not conclusive, but it is safe to assume that the label is not provided without good reason and evidence.

I also wonder how many schools and workplaces are in contravention of the OHS regulations – and what WorkSafeBC has to say on the issue. This is a good story for a media investigation, whatever the outcome.

In our culture, so many of us automatically give technology the benefit of the doubt since it meets so many needs quickly and cheaply. But when agencies that understand these issues better than most of us are applying labels like “possibly carcinogenic,” it is prudent to better understand what we know and don’t know about REFs.

As a user of computers with a wireless connection, a smart phone and smart meter, it would be an article I would like to read.

Michael McGee


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