A Review of the Potential Health Risks of Radiofrequency Fields from Wireless Telecommunication Devices

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Sep 6, 2010, 2:49:30 AM9/6/10
Correspondence to Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health

Dr. Arlene King,

Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health

Sept 4, 2010

Further to my letter of August 28, via Nina Arron, when I explained why your public statement that WiFi in schools ``does not pose a public health risk`` is a false statement, I am deeply concerned that you have not corrected this statement in public.


  On September 7th tens of thousands of children in Ontario will enter schools with blanket WiFi systems emitting microwave radiation that is proven to cause biological changes. These proven biological changes are accepted by the Royal Society of Canada, Health Canada, and the general consensus of the scientific establishment in both Canada and the United States.


  These biological changes caused by microwave frequencies used in WiFi devices, specifically the increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier which is linked to Alzheimer`s, Multiple Sclerosis and the development of psychiatric disorders later in life, are not proven to be benign.

   The application of a blanket microwave transmission system inside a school could certainly pose a potential public health risk. As referenced in my last letter, children are understood to be among the most vulnerable to microwave exposure due to their undeveloped bodies absorbing more of the radiation, and it is children who are being irradiated with microwaves in our schools. In fact the entirety of the population in Simcoe County ages 4-18 are being exposed for 6 hours daily. This is an unprecedented exposure with unknown and unmonitored results on the most vulnerable population in your jurisdiction. There is no foundation on which to declare that there is no public health risk.  


   It is accurate to say that WiFi systems operate below the threshold of heating human skin and internal organs, on which Health Canada's Safety Code 6 is based. However it is false to suggest there is zero health risk. 
  Parents, students and teachers should be fully informed by you that biological changes are proven to take place from microwave exposure well below the threshold of Health Canada's guidelines, and that the potential health risks of these biological changes are unknown but have been associated with Cancer, psychiatric disorders, and other illnesses.

 The people of Ontario trust in the public declarations of their Chief Medical Officer of Health. Therefore it is incumbent on you to correct this misleading public statement that may guide parents into a false sense that there is no potential harm to their children when they return to schools with microwave transmitters after Labour Day.


  One example of a statistical alarm is that in Simcoe County public schools the incidence of adolescent cardiac arrest is now more than 40 times higher than the expected national average (O/E= 40+). The rate of this sudden cardiac failure, which has struck children as young as 13 years old while at school, has been observed and reported in the local media but not investigated by public health officials.


  The Simcoe County School Board has now installed defibrillators in 100% of its schools, but has not investigated the potential reason for the profoundly elevated instance of heart failure among students. As you know heart rate is documented to be elevated by exposure to microwaves at levels below the limits set in Health Canada`s Safety Code 6.


  As you also know from reading the Royal Society report of 1999 that I forwarded to you on Aug 28th, some of these proven biological changes occur within a few hours of exposure and at levels of intensity well below those outlined in Health Canada`s Safety Code 6 guidelines on which you based your original public declaration regarding the safety of school WiFi systems.


   It is possible that if this misleading statement is not corrected prior to September 7th, then children whose biology is altered by microwave exposure inside the school may unwittingly begin to experience some of those unknown health effects, the type of which we have been reporting in Simcoe County for 6 months, without any authority investigating on behalf of the children.




Rodney Palmer

Simcoe County Safe School Committee

Aug 28, 2010:
 To:   Nina Arron, Director of Public Health Protection and Prevention

        Tony Amalfa, Manager Environmental Health Programs

        Gloria Rachamin, Toxicologist, Dept of Public Health Protection and Prevention

        Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

 cc.     Vivek Goel, Heather Manson, Brian Schwartz, Samir Khalil,

          Ontario Agency for Health Promotion and Prevention.


Further to our conversation in your offices on Aug 24, 2010 when you met with myself, Barrie Trower, Magda Havas and Patricia Naylor, and specifically regarding the Chief medical Officer of Health Arlene King’s public statement that “wireless communications systems do not pose a public health risk”:

Regarding my comment in our meeting that this statement is false, I am attaching a document to verify this.  It is a review of the health risks associated with wireless communications devices from The Royal Society of Canada. It was commissioned by Health Canada in 1999, and it will inform you that the opposite of Dr. King’s statement is true.

This document from the highest scientific authority in our country clearly outlines that biological effects and health effects do occur from microwave radiation used by “wireless communication devices” including the specific frequencies transmitted by our school WiFi devices, and at well below the established “safe” guidelines printed by Health Canada in Safety Code 6, based on the thermal effect.

Specifically, the Royal Society of Canada concludes that well below thermal effects the microwaves used by WiFi devices can compromise the integrity of the blood-brain barrier (Sect 6.6 pg 44).

It also concludes that microwave radiation from wireless communication devices at intensities below health Canada’s Guidelines can activate ODC salivary enzymes known to promote cancer in humans.  (Sect 6.3.3 pg 41-42)

It concludes that microwaves at these frequencies and below Health Canada’s Guidelines disrupt calcium regulation. (Sect 6.2 pg 35)

It also concludes that there is “strong evidence that microwave irradiation produces behavioural and associated biochemical changes at or below the occupational exposure limits in SC6”. (Sect 6.7 pg 46)

We want to ensure that we are quoting “the right information” and we believe the Royal Society of Canada, in an expert panel report to Health Canada is an irrefutable source on the subject in this country. It cites 468 peer reviewed studies, scientific reports and high court rulings. We believe you will consider this to be sufficient “weight of evidence” to stand by the Royal Society’s conclusion that exposure to microwaves can indeed change physical biology at frequencies transmitted using WiFi devices, at levels below health Canada’s limits. And that it is currently unknown whether this is safe.

The Royal Society’s conclusions strongly suggest that blanketing an entire school system with constant exposure is an application that will predictably pose a public health “risk”, especially among children.

This is because scientific consensus declares that children are among the most vulnerable to microwave radiation (ICNIRP General Approach to Protection against Non-Ionizing Radiation, pg 546). 

Microwave exposure limits in Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 as you know are based on heating the skin of a grown man after 6 minutes of exposure to microwaves, not changing the biological function of a 4 year old girl after microwave exposure for 6 hours per day, five days per week over fourteen years. These limits have not been scientifically set, there is no consensus that this is safe, and therefore statements regarding their safety are without foundation.

No study has been conducted to determine whether these proven biological changes are expressing in health effects. It would contravene accepted criteria of scientific ethics to expose children to harmful agents such as microwaves from Wifi in order to prove harm or no harm. Yet that is exactly what we are doing in schools without any notification or informed consent.

We have observed heart irregularities and other symptoms requiring emergency room treatment. We have reported this to our school Board, the public health unit of Simcoe Muskoka District, the provincial Ministers of Health and Education, and the Federal Ministers of Health and Industry. To date we have been dismissed by all despite the scientifically accepted evidence that biological changes do occur from the microwave exposure to which our children are being subjected daily.

Furthermore, in response to Dr. King`s statement that the local health unit is unaware of this, I am attaching correspondence dating back to May of 2010 when I provided detailed information about the problem and requested an investigation. You are advised that the statement that “they are not aware of any illness in the community that could be traced back to the use of wireless systems in the schools,” is also false.

An accurate statement would be “The local health unit has received a report of a suspected illness cluster that parents believe is associated with microwave exposure from a WiFi system in their children’s school. The local health unit has dismissed the complaint without investigating.”

Finally, I suggest that after you and your staff confirm the above information that you urgently recommend Dr. King issue a new statement based on this critical information, such as:

“Microwaves used in current WiFi technology are shown to produce biological, medical and behavioural changes. These changes can occur at levels much lower than Health Canada’s current protection guidelines. Exposure to such microwave radiation from WiFi devices should be avoided, especially for children and pregnant women, until further testing can prove it to be safe.”

I strongly request this statement be widely publicized before school starts on Sept 7th of this year.


Rodney Palmer

Simcoe County Safe School Committee


Royal Society of Canada.pdf
Report to SMDHU.doc
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