Are New Zealand’s EMR regulations sufficient to protect public health?
A one word answer to this question is, sadly, no,
To give one example, the legally allowable electromagnetic fields (such as are present around power lines and household wiring in home connection to the national electricity grid) is 2000 milligauss.
Research has shown the risk of childhood leukaemia is increases when children live in homes with higher electromagnetic fields from household wiring or too close to high voltage powerlines.
In terms of exposure levels, at as little as 3-4 milligauss for a home the risk of ALL (the most common form of leukaemia in children) is approximately doubled. (See: http://www.who.int/peh-emf/publications/facts/fs322/en/)
Yes, that is not a typo, the risk of this form of childhood leukaemia doubles at 1/500th of the maximum legal exposure limit.
Does it seem to you like the standard is adequate to protect health?
Here’s another example:
The standard* for radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in the microwave range (let’s just call it microwave radiation for short) varies according to exact frequency produced by the many different devices that are designed to produce microwave radiation.
Devices that produce microwave radiation include microwave ovens, cordless phones, cell phones, cellular phone infrastructure, “smart” or “advanced” electricity meters, wi-fi routers, wireless baby monitors etc. etc.
*For example, for devices that produce microwave radiation at the frequency of 900MHz, the allowable limit is as high as 4,500,000 microwatts per square metre when the device radiates continuously. (See this link for a discussion of one device that produces microwave radiation and how lax the safety standard can be in practice: http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/latest-news/smart-meter-emissions-graph/ )
Microwave radiation is considered to be a has been classified by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a possible carcinogen (Class 2B) on the basis of increased brain tumour rates in longer term users of wireless phones. (See; http://microwavenews.com/short-takes-archive/iarc-publishes-rf-cancer-review)
In a more recently published paper, the authors called for microwave radiation to be upgraded to a probable carcinogen due to more evidence. (https://www.spandidos-publications.com/ijo/46/5/1865)
Cordless and mobile phones have to comply with regulations in order to be sold. An increased risk of cancer in their longer term users suggests that the safety standards for wireless phones are not adequate to protect public health.
Research on the health effects of microwave radiation is available at the following website: http://www.bioinitiative.org/
If you read the Bioinitiative website (above) you will see that adverse health or biological effects from exposure to microwave radiation begin at levels that are very much lower than the legal limits for devices that produce microwave radiation.
In NZ, the legal limits for exposure to microwave radiation are among the highest (i.e laxest) in the world, and one reason for this appears to be that people in the telecommunications industry played a major role in setting these standards. You can read more about this by going to this link: https://blog.greens.org.nz/2010/12/14/cellphone-towers-health-and-democracy/
The health risks associated with cordless and cellular phones (and from cellular phone infrastructure see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21741680 ) are one reason why New Zealand needs to protect and enhance its traditional copper-based landline phone system.
Our copper landlines are now under threat. Please visit this LINK for more details and take action.
Thank you for visiting www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz the site that provides New Zealanders with non industry information about smart meters.
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