Re: Firefighters identify more cancer cases
Libby and Martin,
I started a dialogue with the Vancouver firefighters about EMR risks
back in 1997. Gradually their health and safety people got involved
and concern gained momentum. For a year or two I worked with Joe
Foster to raise awareness among union members, management and city
hall. The two fire halls in Vancouver that have transmitters on their
hose towers were measured and the readings were predictably below
"safety regulations". Dozens of published studies showing readings
lower than those shown on the tests were brought up as concerns. This
is particularly concerning because these first responders sleep in
dormitories on the top floor, with shifts of 4 days on and 4 days off.
Their social room was also on the same floor. The city brought in
their "expert" who, while he admitted knowing nothing about these
health effects, proclaimed the situation to be safe.
After Joe made his tremendous presentation in Boston and the IAFF
passed the resolution for a moratorium on fire hall cell towers, the
city of Vancouver allowed more transmitters to be erected on Hall No.
5. They were quoted as saying, "Yes, that's your resolution, but it's
our fire hall", confirming once again how loud money talks. City hall
got the rent and first responders got the risk.
A couple of years ago, Magda Havas and I took measurements at a fire
hall in nearby Richmond, which had a 30 foot transmitter on the roof.
The measurements there were similar to those in the Vancouver halls.
Also, the readings at head level in the fire trucks was very high from
all of the communications equipment aboard.
It may be of interest to readers that the British Columbia government
passed legislation in October 2005 recognizing 7 cancers as
occupational hazards for firefighters. These are brain, bladder,
ureter, kidney, and colorectal cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and
leukemia. This presumptive legislation means that the firefighter or
his family can be compensated for a disease that is work related,
rather than having to prove each case separately.
Interestingly, Joe was attacked constantly from all quarters for his
brave stand and is no longer a vice president of the union. This just
proves the old adage that no good deed, no matter how small, goes