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     MindNet Journal - Vol. 1, No. 5a * [Part 1 of 3 parts]
     V E R I C O M M / MindNet         "Quid veritas est?"


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Editor: Mike Coyle 

Contributing Editors: Walter Bowart
                      Harlan Girard

Assistant Editor: Rick Lawler



BY: Richard W. Woodley
    Bridlewood Residents Hydro Line Committee

EMF Files - November 23, 1993 For more information, contact

May/September 1984 
     Ontario Hydro states at public information meetings that the
existing corridor through Bridlewood was ruled out for the new
500 kV lines because it was too narrow and did not meet their
guidelines for community impact. Ontario Hydro's environmental
assessment study stated the corridor width requirement for 500 kV
lines to be between 100-130 metres (the Bridlewood corridor is 
80 metres wide).

November 20, 1984
     Joint Board (Ontario Municipal Board and Ontario
Environmental Assessment Board) hearings begin. 

November 4, 1985

     Joint Board chooses the existing Bridlewood corridor for the
new 500 kV lines. This decision contradicts all the expert
evidence presented at the hearings, including that of Ontario
Hydro. Public health concerns were barely touched. The location
of the Bridlewood school was not considered by the Board because
it was not built yet.

May 9, 1986

     Appeal of Joint Board decision by City of Kanata to Ontario
Cabinet is denied. 

September 26, 1986

     Ottawa Citizen carries an article by April Lindgren on
health effects of electromagnetic radiation. Lynn Barrett and
Judy Hunter, along with other concerned residents, form the
Bridlewood Residents Hydro Line Committee (BRHLC). Research into
health effects and lobbying campaign begins.

December 1986

     City of Kanata and Ontario Hydro fail to reach agreement on
mitigating measures as required by previous Joint Board decision.
On December 15, 1986 the Joint Board holds a one and a half hour
hearing on Ontario Hydro's proposed mitigating measures. The
BRHLC is not given notice or adequate time to prepare for the
hearing. They are denied full standing and not allowed to call
witnesses or cross-examine Ontario Hydro's witnesses.
January 1987

     BRHLC engages legal counsel and announces it will seek a
judicial review of the routing decision. On January 20, 1987 200
Bridlewood residents protest outside the official opening of the
new Ottawa Court House by Premier Peterson.

March 1987

     Joint Board accepts Ontario Hydro's proposed mitigating
measures in a March 9, 1987 decision. On March 31, 1987 the BRHLC
appeals the Joint Board decision to the Ontario Cabinet. 

April 1987

     BRHLC survey finds that if the lines are built as planned
34% of parents would definitely not send their children to the
new school and another 16% would probably not. 

June 4, 1987

     Ontario Hydro starts construction  in the Bridlewood
corridor and are met by mothers and children who physically
prevent construction from continuing. Later that day, in the
Legislature, the Energy Minister orders Hydro to stop
construction until the BRHLC appeal is decided on by Cabinet.

July 8, 1987

     The results of the New York Power Lines Project are
released, including a study linking electromagnetic fields from
power lines to childhood leukemia and brain cancer.
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December 1987

     On December 8, 1987 the Ontario Cabinet announces that it
had denied the BRHLC appeal on November 26, 1987. On December 10,
1987 Ontario Hydro begins construction and is met by protesters
who disrupt gravel deliveries for several days. On December 20,
1987 the Bridlewood struggle is featured on the CTV television
program W5.

March 1988

     On March 7, 1988 the Carleton Board of Education announces
that it will undertake it's own study into the health risks from
electromagnetic radiation at the Bridlewood school. A March 1988
BRHLC survey finds that if the lines are built as planned 40% of
parents would definitely not send their children to the new
school and another 30% would probably not. 

May 9, 1988

     Ontario Hydro states in a letter to the community that the
magnetic field strength at the edge of the right-of-way would be
less than 10 milliGauss (mG) under normal everyday conditions.

May 13, 1988

     300 residents demonstrate outside the new Bridlewood school
while 67% of the students are kept home by their concerned

June 13, 1988

     Carleton Board of Education releases the findings from the
first phase of its health study which finds that at that time
(without the new lines in place) the school is safe.

July, 19, 1988

     BRHLC announces it has hired Jeff Cowan of the Toronto law
firm of Weir and Foulds (which has successfully fought Ontario
Hydro in the past) to represent them in their legal actions.

October 1988

     Joint Board agrees to consider a BRHLC request that it hold
new hearings and requests written submissions on the matter.

March 1989

     CBE issues preliminary report on the Bridlewood school.
Magnetic field readings have increased 10 times in and around the
school and are at levels associated with childhood cancer and
leukemia by the New York Power Lines Project. The readings at the
edge of the right-of-way exceed Ontario Hydro's 10 mG forecast of
May 9, 1988.

May  1989

     BRHLC holds DAY OF CONCERN on May 5, 1989. Over 100
residents demonstrated outside the Bridlewood school while 40% of
the students were absent. CBE issues another report which claims
there is no health risk to students at the Bridlewood school.
BRHLC spokespersons call the report "totally wrong, false
inaccurate, untruthful and deceptive". 

May/June 1989

     The May/June 1989 issue of Intervenor, the Newsletter of the
Canadian Environmental Law Association, published an article on
hydro lines and health written by Richard W. Woodley of the

October 1989

     BRHLC  application for judicial review is withdrawn. BRHLC
continues to fight for new Joint Board hearings. Lobbying efforts
are intensified. BRHLC continues ongoing monitoring of the
electromagnetic field levels using its own dosimeter. On October
27, 1989 Ontario Hydro upgrades the voltage on one of the lines
from 230 to 500 kV. 

January 25, 1990

     BRHLC Field Measurement team releases a report, at a public
meeting attended by over 100 residents, indicating that magnetic
field readings at the Bridlewood school site were up to 27 times
higher than readings at the control school in the CBE study
(Henry Larson Elementary School). Readings in the school were as
high as 14 mG. Ontario Hydro had stated on May 9, 1988 that the
magnetic field strengths at the edge of the right-of-way would
not exceed 10 mG. Readings above 2 mG have been associated with
increased risks of childhood leukemia. 
February 20, 1990

     BRHLC representatives meet with Ontario Energy Minister Lyn

Spring 1990

     BRHLC engages in a series of meetings with Ontario Hydro.

April 16, 1990

     CBC The Journal broadcasts a documentary on the issue of
electromagnetic radiation, including the Bridlewood struggle.

May 14, 1990

     CBE issues another report on the Bridlewood school magnetic
field readings which states that Bridlewood magnetic field levels
are among the highest of the six schools tested. It also states
that these conditions occur at other schools, particularly
Greenbank/Knoxdale public school in Nepean which borders a 230 kV
and 115 kV power line. BRHLC says the report is trying to
downplay the potential health risks from the lines. A BRHLC
spokesperson states "They are trying  to perpetuate the myth that
the new lines haven't had an impact on the readings at the
school, but they have had a serious impact".

June 20, 1990

     BRHLC plans to hold a public meeting to update the
community. Ontario Hydro officials have been invited to attend
the meeting to explain their position and answer residents


     The BRHLC participated in Public Focus's Visions 2020
program by means of a background paper provided by Richard W.
Woodley. Visions 2020 is an educational program designed to
provide students with the tools that will be needed in their
lifetime to understand and take part in the shift towards
sustainable development. The program involved thousands of senior
secondary school students from across Canada in developing their
vision for Canada on various topic areas. 

January 1991

     BRHLC meets with senior aide to newly elected New Democratic
Party Energy Minister Jenny Carter. Also BRHLC begins
preparations for Environmental Assessment Board Hearings on
Ontario Hydro's Demand/Supply Planning Study. The BRHLC has
received intervenor status and funding to present independent
evidence on the EMF issue before the Board.

May 1992

     Kanata councillor Marriane Wilkinson raised the issue of
EMFs at City Council stating that the health concerns should be
taken into consideration in planning and zoning decisions and
that staff should look further into the issue.

June 1992

     BRHLC makes a deputation to a special meeting of the Ontario
Hydro Board of Directors held in Ottawa on June 7, 1992. On June
16, 1992 the BRHLC holds a  public information meeting at the
Bridlewood school to bring update the community on the EMF issue
and the committee's activities.

September 1992

     Carleton Board of Education makes a conscious decision to
locate new portables at the school site as far away from the
hydro corridor as possible

Fall 1992

     Swedish study confirms findings of New York Power Lines
Project study linking electromagnetic fields from power lines to
childhood leukemia.

Winter 1992

     Ontario Hydro upgrades lines to full operating power with 1-
230 kV line and 2-500 kV lines.

March 1993

     BRHLC begins series of EMF measurements at Bridlewood school
site to determine if a continuous monitoring program is
warranted. BRHLC continues preparations for Ontario Hydro
environmental assessment panel. Environmental Assessment Board
has been replaced with an advisory panel due to Ontario Hydro's
withdrawal of its Demand/Supply Plan. In March 1993 the BRHLC
also joined the National EMR Alliance composed of public interest
groups from across North America concerned about the health
effects of electromagnetic fields.

May 1993

     BRHLC joins the National Capital Freenet as an information
provider. The committee has established a section within the
environment section of the Freenet providing information files
and a discussion group on electromagnetic fields and health. This
also provides the BRHLC with access to Internet e-mail and the
ability to communicate internationally at no cost and distribute
information throughout the world. Since then we have received
numerous requests for information from all over the world.


BY: Richard W. Woodley
    Bridlewood Residents Hydro Line Committee
     Ionizing and non-ionizing radiation are separated on the
electromagnetic spectrum by visible light - a frequency of
roughly 500 trillion cycles a second. Above that frequency is
ionizing radiation which contains enough energy to physically
alter the atoms it strikes, changing them into charged particles
called ions. Below visible light the low frequency waves are non-
ionizing - they do not possess enough energy to charge atoms.
Ionizing radiation, such as nuclear radiation and X-rays, have
long been known to be harmful. However, the question of the
health effects of electromagnetic radiation, which is non-
ionizing is a controversial one.

     Some of the first warnings came in 1972 when scientists in
the Soviet Union reported strange health effects in switchyard
workers who were routinely exposed to high levels of
electromagnetic fields. The workers experienced increased heart
disease, nervous disorders, blood pressure changes, recurring
headaches, fatigue, stress and chronic depression.

     Although concerns had been raised earlier, one of the first
epidemiological studies to indicate a health risk was a 1979
University of Colorado study by Dr. Nancy Wertheimer and Ed
Leeper which reported a two to three fold increase in cancer
deaths among children living near high current power lines in
Denver, Colorado. 

     In November 1986 Dr. David Savitz, of the University of
North Carolina, reported the results of a study done as part of
the New York Power Lines Project which confirmed Wertheimer and
Leeper's findings. The study found increased incidences of
childhood cancer and leukemia associated with EMF exposures above
2.5 mG. Dr. Savitz's final report to the New York State Health
Department stated: "The degree of confidence placed in these
findings is open to varying interpretation, but the tentative
conclusion that the study is supportive of an association of
electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and cancer risk is warranted." 

     Dr. David Carpenter, the Executive Secretary of the New York
Power Lines Project, in response to statements that the Project
"revealed no evidence that magnetic fields pose a health hazard"
stated: "Any logical person cannot conclude that there are no
effects." He said "It's just wrong to imply that there are no
hazards." Plans are now underway for a second New York Power
Lines Project.

     The findings of the Wertheimer and Leeper and Savitz studies
were confirmed by a 1991 study by S.J. London et al., published
in the American Journal of Epidemiology. 

     A University of Southern California study undertaken by John
Peters and colleagues and published in the American Journal of
Epidemiology in November 1991 also confirmed these findings.
Public Power Weekly reported on January 28 1992 that: "The most
comprehensive study to date of childhood leukemia and exposure to
electromagnetic fields offers additional evidence that proximity
to power lines may increase leukemia risk." 

     When wire codes were used to measure exposure, the risk of
leukemia among children with the highest exposure to magnetic
fields was about two times greater than the risk of leukemia
among children with the least risk.

     There was no clear association shown when direct
measurements of magnetic fields in the children's residences were
used as an indication of exposure. However the discrepancy
between results based on measurements and those using wire codes
may mean that wire codes are a more accurate predictor of
magnetic fields, according to the researchers. They stated:
"Although magnetic fields are imperfectly approximated by wiring
configuration, the wiring configuration is determined with little
error, is unlikely to change over time within a residence, and
therefore, may actually be a superior indication of long-time
field exposure than the measurements taken." "Even though our
24-hour measurements were longer than measurements made in
previous studies, they're still just snapshots", said Peters.
"The estimates based on wiring configuration may better reflect
the long-term exposure."

     These findings were further confirmed by a 1992 Swedish
study by Maria Feychting and Anders Ahlbom which reported a
higher relative risk of 2.7 times for childhood leukemia and 1.7
times for leukemia in adults for subjects exposed to higher
magnetic field levels compared with the control group in the

     Christine Gorman in the October 26, 1992 issue of Time,
stated: "One of the most telling results was that the cancer risk
grew in proportion to the strength of the electromagnetic field."
She reported that children with constant exposures to the weakest
fields (less than 1 mG) had the lowest incidence of cancer. Those
exposed to 2 mG had a threefold increase in risk and those
exposed to 3 mG had a fourfold increase in the risk of leukemia.
As Gorman stated: "Such a clear progression makes it difficult to
argue that factors other than exposure to the electromagnetic
field were responsible for the extra cases of leukemia."

     As well a 1992 Danish study found a five-fold increase in
the risk of childhood leukemia, lymphomas and brain tumours where
children living near power lines were exposed to 4 mG.

     Children are not the only ones at risk. Microwave News
reported in March/April 1990 that "there are now at least 12
studies pointing to an EMF-brain tumour risk". Researcher Dr.
Samuel Milham Jr. stated: "There are far too many positive
studies to dismiss an EMF-brain tumour connection".

     As well, Microwave News reported in July/August 1990 that
epidemiologists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in
Seattle, WA, had uncovered new evidence for an association
between occupational exposures to electromagnetic fields (EMFs)
and the development of male breast cancer. The study supports the
preliminary findings of a Johns Hopkins University (JHU) study,
reported last year, showing an increased risk of male breast
cancer among young New York telephone workers.

     Paul Demers, working with Dr. David Thomas's research group
at the Hutchinson center, has found that telephone linemen,
electricians and electric power workers have six times the
expected rate of male breast cancer - a statistically significant
increase. For radio and communications workers, the risk was
almost tripled. Overall there was a doubling of the cancer risk
for all EMF-exposed workers. 

     Over 40 occupational studies have shown that adults who were
routinely exposed to high EMFS in their work environment had a
significantly increased chance of dying of cancer when compared
to other workers.

     Laboratory studies have also shown health effects from
electromagnetic radiation. Cass Peterson, writing in The
Washington Post, states: "Similarly, numerous animal studies have
demonstrated neurological or reproductive effects from low
frequency electromagnetic fields. Chick embryos show a higher
rate of abnormalities when exposed to low-frequency fields, mice
suffer a higher rate of abortion and abnormal fetuses when
exposed to slightly higher frequencies, approximating those
emitted by video display terminals." Peterson further stated: "In
separate experiments, scientists at the Cancer Therapy and
Research Centre in San Antonio discovered human cancer cells
exposed to 60 Hz fields (the frequency of a high-voltage line)
grew as much as 24 times as fast as unexposed cells and showed
'greatly increased resistance to destruction by the cells of the
body's defense system.'"

     While doing research for the New York State Power Lines
Project Dr. Jerry Phillips and Dr. Wendell Winters discovered
that human cancer cells proliferated like crazy when exposed to
magnetic fields. As well, the exposed cells became increasingly
resistant to the body's immune system. Drs. Phillips and Winters
stated that their observations led them to believe that it was
possible that magnetic fields stimulate the rate of cancer cell
growth, or act as a cancer promoter.

     We only have room here to cite a sampling of the hundreds of
laboratory studies that have shown a link between EMFs and health

     Scientific research studies are not the only indicators of
health effects. The Middletown, N.Y. Sunday Record carried a
report about a farmer with two 345 kV lines through his farm. it
reported: "Rodney Grogan got blisters on the back of his head
after a day spent working under the lines. Then his wife got
them, too, when she helped. Still, he didn't blame the line until
his father came to help out, and he got the same, runny
blisters." Other farmers in the area have similar stories.

     In the United States several courts have ruled on the health
risk issue.

     In late 1985, after parents brought suit, a Texas court
ruled that Houston Lighting & Power had shown "callous disregard"
of their children's health by siting a 345 kV line within 200
feet of a school and playground. The court ordered the utility to
relocate the line.

     In June 1989 a Florida judge ruled that children may not
play in a Boca Raton school yard which borders on high voltage
power lines. The suit was brought by three local parents who
sought to close the Sandpiper Shores school because of potential
electromagnetic field health hazards.

     The judge noted that children have "no choice" about going
to school and therefore EMF exposure at school is an involuntary
risk: He stated that "a 1% chance that there is substantial
danger is unacceptable". 

     Official recognition of the health hazards of electro-
magnetic radiation is slowly coming. In a report issued June 19,
1989 the United States Congressional Office of Technology
Assessment stated: "Electric and magnetic fields produced by
electric power systems may pose public health hazards." The
report states that a growing amount of evidence now indicates
that, under certain circumstances, even relatively weak extremely
low frequency (ELF) fields can cause biological changes and that,
although the implications are still unclear, "there are
legitimate reasons for concern".
     Among the report's proposals is a strategy of "prudent
avoidance": attempting to route new transmission lines so that
they avoid people; widening transmission line rights-of-way;
developing designs for distribution systems - including new
grounding procedures - which would reduce the associated fields;
and redesigning appliances to minimize or eliminate fields. 

     Further official recognition comes from a United States
Environmental Protection Agency draft report which, according to
The New York Times (May 23, 1990), says that there is a possible
link between cancer and the electromagnetic fields generated by
power lines. In particular, the agency's survey of existing human
health studies found that children exposed to such radiation
seemed to face a higher than normal risk of developing leukemia. 

     The findings on the possible health effects of exposure to
radiation from electromagnetic fields generally agree with those
in the report issued previously by Congress's Office of
Technology Assessment.

[Continued to part 2]
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