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     MindNet Journal - Vol. 1, No. 5c * [Part 3 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

[Continued from part 2]     
     Luciano Zafanella of EPRI states: "The two most common
sources of magnetic fields in this country today are the power
lines outside on the street and the home grounding system".

How to Avoid EMF Exposure in the Home

     The simplest way is to avoid purchasing a home with high EMF
levels. This can be determined indirectly by checking for the
presence of EMF sources such as nearby transmission or
distribution lines or transformer boxes close to the home. The
first or second home from a pole/ground mounted step-down
transformer will likely have high readings. 

     The EMF level can be determined directly by measuring the
fields in the home. If you choose to measure the fields (or have
them measured for you) the readings should be taken at a time of
peak power usage - around supper time is best. Susan Sugarman in
her book (cited below) sets forth a protocol for measuring EMFs
on your property and in your home.

     Often the utility company can reduce EMF levels by balancing
the loads in the distribution lines. Transmission line fields can
be lowered by using different tower designs or by burying the

     Sometimes high EMF levels in the home can be a result of the
way the electrical system is grounded to the municipal water
system, especially if the water pipes and electrical power lines
enter the home at opposite ends of the house. Even currents from
your neighbours house may enter your home this way and contribute
to high fields. It may be possible to make changes to the
electric grounding system or the water system to eliminate these
fields but anyone contemplating this should consult an
electrician to ensure the changes comply with the electrical

     Unusual wiring, such as having the positive and neutral
wires of a circuit not running together can contribute to higher
fields. Again, consult an electrician for possible solutions.

     Susan Sugarman provides greater details of these electrical
wiring problems in her book.

Electromagnetic Fields from Household Appliances

     Utility companies like to cite appliance use when discussing
EMFs -- mostly to confuse the issue. For the most part, magnetic
fields from appliances are not a significant factor. Although
some appliances have high fields they usually drop off within a
short distance and the appliances are usually used only for a
short period of time. For example the field within an electric
oven is extremely high. However, if one was to keep one's head
inside an electric oven when it is on for any length of time the
EMFs would be the least of their worries. 

     However there are some appliances where magnetic fields may
be a problem - electric blankets and water-bed heaters, hair
dryers, black and white televisions and electric heat.

     Studies have linked higher miscarriage rates to the use of
electric blankets. Water-bed heaters emit similar fields. It is
recommended that electric blankets be used to pre-heat the bed
and not plugged in while you are in bed; although some newer
models are being designed so that the fields cancel each other
out. As well electric clocks with motors should not be placed on
bedside tables.
     Electric hair dryers and razors are two devices that emit
high fields next to the head. Although used for short periods of
time there are alternatives that pose no EMF risk. It is
recommended by Dr. David Carpenter that  children not use
electric hair dryers. Children should also keep a reasonable
distance from the screen while watching television - 42" is cited
as a minimum distance - greater for large screen TVs. 

     Studies have linked electric heating coils embedded in the
ceiling with cancer and miscarriages. As well, electric heaters,
portable and baseboard, produce EMFs. Keep your distance from
electric heaters and do not place a child's bed immediately
beside an electric baseboard heater. 

     Also one should not needlessly stand beside a microwave oven
while it is operating, not only to avoid EMFs but to avoid
possible microwave leaks.

Electromagnetic Fields and Energy Conservation

     One way to challenge proposed new transmission lines in your
neighbourhood is to take a two-pronged approach. First raise the
health issue. But also question the need for the new lines in the
first-place. Utility companies are notorious for over-forecasting
future electricity needs. Often a proposal can be defeated by
demonstrating there is no need for the power it will be carrying
- and recent energy  use trends support this argument.

     Electromagnetic fields increase with the current in the
power lines. Reduce energy consumption and you reduce the load
and with that you reduce the fields. That is why Ellen Sugarman
states: "Energy conservation policy holds the key to an
immediate, sensible, inexpensive and safe resolution of the EMF
public health question. Energy conservation is also the answer to
everyone's concern about our continued ability, as a society, to
produce all the energy we need."


     Workers can be exposed to EMFs from the electrical system in
their buildings and the equipment that they work with.

     The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
(United States) has made recommendations on reducing EMF exposure
in the workplace. These include:

     - Studies to identify and characterize EMF sources.

     - Changes in the electric code to reduce exposures to EMFs
     that result from dispersed neutral return currents in the
     ground systems of buildings.

     - Designs for placement of wires in new construction that
     would reduce exposure.

     - Development of electrical wiring installation practices
     that would lead to lower EMF levels. 

     - Research into field cancellation techniques.

     - Wiring and circuit design of industrial equipment, power
     tools, and office equipment to reduce EMFs, and possible
     retrofit of existing equipment.

     - Development of more effective shielding materials.

     - Administrative controls of work practices to reduce
     exposure, such as increasing the distance between the worker
     and the source; minimizing exposure times, task redesign;
     work-station redesign; use of robotics.

     - Design of lower EMF equipment.

     - Modification of circuit design in equipment to reduce the
     generation of transient fields.

     - Development of better protective equipment,

     - Training and education of workers to reduce exposure.

     Electromagnetic field exposures from Video Display Terminals
(VDTs) are a major concern among office workers as studies and
anecdotal evidence have linked EMF exposure to increased risk of
miscarriages among pregnant workers.

     The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has
recommended that office space be arranged so that workers not be
exposed to emissions from the sides and backs of other people's

     Sweden has established a manufacturing standard for both ELF
and VLF emissions from VDTs. the ELF radiation limit is 2.5 mG at
20 inches. 

     Low EMF computer monitors are now being marketed in North
America as industry has recognized that it is a concern of

WITH INFORMATION FROM: Sugarman, Ellen; Warning: The Electricity
Around You May Be Hazardous to Your Health; A Fireside Book;
Simon & Schuster; 1992; and other sources.


Becker, Robert O., Cross Currents: The Perils of Electro-
pollution, The Promise of Electromedicine, Jeremy P. Tarcher
Inc., Los Angeles, CA, 336 pp., 1990.

Becker, Robert O., & Andrew A. Marino, Electromagnetism and Life,
SUNY Press, Albany, NY, 1982.

Becker, Robert O., & Gary Seldon, The Body Electric: Electro-
magnetism and the Foundation of Life, William Morrow and Company,
Inc., New York, NY, 1985.

Bridlewood Residents Hydro Line Committee, Bibliography on
Electromagnetic Radiation and Health, over 700 entries - updated
regularly.  [May be requested via e-mail from

Brodeur, Paul, Currents of Death: Power Lines, Computer Terminals
and the Attempt to Cover Up Their Threat to Your Health, Simon
and Schuster, New York, NY, 333 pp., 1989.

Casper, B.M., and P.D. Wellstone, Powerline: The First Battle in
America's Energy War, University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst,
Mass., 1981.

Coghill, Roger, Electropollution: How To Protect Yourself from
It, Thorsons Publishing Group, Wellingborough, U.K., 192 pp.,

Electric Power Research Institute, EMF and Human Health, A
Reprint, EPRI Journal, October/November, 1987.

Electromagnetic Field Health Report, serial, Information Ventures
Inc., Philadelphia, PA, USA, June 1993-.

Electromagnetic Field Litigation Reporter, "The monthly journal
of record of litigation involving power lines, cellular
telephones, radar apparatus and other EMF-emitting products",
Andrews Publications, Westtown, PA, USA., May 1993-.

EMF Papers, biweekly clipping service on non-ionizing radiation,
for information contact Louis Slesin at (212) 517-2800.

Feychting, Maria, & Anders Ahlbom, Magnetic Fields and Cancer in
People Residing Near Swedish High Voltage Power Lines, Institutet
for Miljomedicin, (IMM-rapport 6/92), Stockholm, Sweden, 1992

Landsbergis, Paul, & Eric Scherzer, A Worker's Guide to Electro-
magnetic Radiation, booklet, Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers
(OCAW) Union 8 Resource Centre, 1155 W. Chestnut St., Union, NJ,
07083, 1990.

London, S.J., D.C. Thomas, J.D. Bowman, E. Sobel, & J.M. Peters,
"Exposure to Residential Electric and Magnetic Fields and Risk of
Childhood Leukemia", American Journal of Epidemiology, 134, 923-
37, 1991.

Marino, Andrew A., ed., Modern Bioelectricity, Marcel Dekker,
Inc., New York, NY, 1136 pp., 1988.

Marino, Andrew A. & Joel Ray, The Electric Wilderness, San
Francisco Press, San Francisco, CA, 120 pp. 1986.

Microwave News: A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation, Louis Slesin,
ed. and publisher, P.O. Box 1799, Grand Central Station, New
York, NY, 10163, (bimonthly).

Morgan, M.G. Electric and Magnetic Fields from 60 Hertz Electric
Power: What Do We Know About Possible Health Risks?, brochure, 45
pp., Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon
University, Pittsburgh, PA, 1989.

National Electrical Manufacturers Association (United States),
Biological Effects of Electric and Magnetic Fields, brochure,

National Health and Welfare Department (Canada), Working Group on
Electric and Magnetic ELF Fields, Electric and Magnetic Fields
and Your Health: A Report, May 1989.

New York State Power Lines Project, Scientific Advisory Panel,
Biological Effects of Power Lines: Final Report, New York State
Department of Health, New York, NY, July 1987.

Ontario Hydro, Electric and Magnetic Fields and Human Health
Research, brochure.

Peters, J., "Childhood Leukemia and Exposure to Electricity",
American Journal of Epidemiology, pp. 215-230, November 1991.

Savitz, David A., Case-Control Study of Childhood Cancer and
Residential Exposure to Electric and Magnetic Fields, Final
Report to New York State Power Lines Project, 1987.

Smith, Cyril W., & Simon Best, Electromagnetic Man: Health &
Hazard in the Electrical Environment, J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd.,
London, U.K., 344 pp., 1989.

Sugarman, Ellen, WARNING: The Electricity Around You May Be
Hazardous to Your Health - How to Protect Yourself from
Electromagnetic Fields, A Fireside Book, Simon & Schuster, New
York, 238 pp., 1992.

Tomenius, L., "50-Hz Electromagnetic Environment and the
Incidence of Childhood Cancers in Stockholm County",
Bioelectromagnetics, 7, pp. 191-207, 1986.

United States Congressional Office of Technology Assessment
(OTA), Biological Effects of Power Frequency Electric and
Magnetic Fields, report, June 19, 1989.

United States Environmental Protection Agency, EMF In Your
Environment, booklet, 1993.

United States Environmental Protection Agency, Evaluation of the
Potential Carcinogenicity of Electromagnetic Fields, External
Review Draft, No. EPA/600/6-90/005B, October 1990.

Wertheimer, Nancy, & Ed Leeper, "Electrical Wiring Configurations
and Childhood Cancer", American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol.
109(3), 273-284, 1979. 

Young, L.B., Power Over People, Oxford University Press, London,
England, 1973.


Bridlewood Residents Hydro Line Committee 23 Riding Way, Kanata,

Electric Power Research Institute (industry funded) 3412 Hillview
Ave., P.O. Box 10412, Palo Alto CA, 94303, United States
National EMR Alliance 16269 11 Mile Road, Battle Creek, MI,
49017, United States

Ontario Hydro, 700 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1X6

     On May 16, 1992, the first National Conference on Citizen
and Union Action was convened in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Co-
sponsored by the Robert Carl Strom Foundation and the Michigan
Safe Energy Fund and attended by over 100 individuals and
representatives of local citizen action organizations and unions,
the Conference was a resounding success. The Conference
participants heard panels on the biological effects of
electromagnetic radiation, on the efforts of citizens groups to
oppose powerline construction and a panel on electromagnetic
radiation (EMR) exposures at the workplace. In each of these
panel discussions Conference participants were able to share
valuable information about the ways in which electromagnetic
radiation can be hazardous to our health and the tactics and
strategies that have been successful in calling public attention
to EMR's health hazards and in reducing, minimizing or
eliminating exposure of living things to those hazards. At the
end of the Conference, a motion was unanimously passed to create
a National Alliance of local citizens groups in order to share
resources, network on important local and national issues,
publish a newsletter and call into being a national
organizational form for accomplishing these goals.

     On Sunday, May 17, 1992, a group of individuals and
representatives of citizens groups convened in order to discuss
the tasks and steps to be taken to create this National Alliance.
It was decided that Michael Withey, on behalf of the Robert Carl
Strom Foundation, Cathy Smith on behalf of Michigan Safe Energy
Project and Clare Fogelsong on behalf of the Neighbours Opposed
to Powerline Encroachment were authorized to prepare this
proposal for creating the National EMR Alliance. This document
sets forth the political conception, principles of unity and
proposed organizational structure for this National Alliance.

     In the past several years, health concerns about the hazards
of electromagnetic radiation have risen dramatically. Numerous
articles in both the scientific and popular literature have
identified a clear and unmistakeable trend in scientific thought
that identifies electromagnetic radiation at levels experienced
by people in their homes and workplace as having hazardous
potential to life. Research work done in the realm of
epidemiology (including both residential and occupational
studies), animal studies, biophysics, cell level research and
cancer causation work have combined to produce a reputable body
of scientific research which provides clear support for the
hypothesis that electromagnetic radiation is hazardous to human
health and can cause cancer. Articles in the popular literature,
including the publication of Paul Brodeur's book, Currents of
Death, his articles in The New Yorker, and Dr. Robert Becker's
book, Cross Currents, together with numerous magazine and
newspaper articles, have pointed out how many Americans who are
exposed to electromagnetic radiation at home and at work have
begun to take seriously the need to protect the public health.
Reports of cancer clusters among utility workers, leukemia deaths
of children living near powerlines, cancer clusters near
substations, birth defects and adverse pregnancy outcomes by
women working with VDTs, testicular and other cancers experienced
by police officers who use radar, etc., have all heightened
concerns that efforts be taken now to protect our children and
ourselves from EMR.

     As a result of this wave of concern, numerous organizations
on a local level have organized in order to protect themselves
and their children from the adverse biological effects of
electromagnetic radiation. These organizations include those
local groups opposed to the construction of powerlines,
transmission lines, substations and other sources of
electromagnetic radiation in our homes, neighbourhoods and
communities. This movement has included concerted action by
unions and employees (including utility and telephone utility
workers unions, VDT operators, police radar technicians, MRI
technicians, etc.) to call for measures designed to assess these
workers' exposure to electromagnetic radiation to determine
whether excess cancer or disease effects have occurred and to
require employers to provide medical monitoring for their

     In addition, a number of public interest-minded attorneys
associated with the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice ("TLPJ")
Foundation have initiated precedent-setting lawsuits seeking
compensation for the victims of electromagnetic radiation. One
such TLPJ lawsuit, Strom v. Boeing, resulted in a favourable
settlement out of which Bob Strom and his family created the
Robert Carl Strom Foundation.

     These three trends in the scientific realm, the citizen
action movement, and the public interest plaintiffs trial bar
came together for the Ann Arbor conference. In response to these
developing trends, the electric utility industry and
manufacturers of products giving off electromagnetic radiation
continue to deny the health hazards and biological effects of
EMR. Claiming that the scientific evidence is "inconclusive" and
the "jury is still out," some in the electric utility industry
and product manufacturers have dragged their feet on taking steps
to reduce, minimize or eliminate hazardous forms of EMR in our
homes and workplace. Through the Electric Power Research
Institute (EPRI), the electric utility industry has attempted to
dominate the funding for bioeffects research and has sought to
discredit or defund those researchers whose studies show a
positive effect of electromagnetic radiation on biological
systems. EPRI is heavily funded and is engaged in a national
coordinated public relations campaign seeking to dissuade the
public from health concerns about EMR. 

     In recent years, a split has developed from within the
electric utility industry on the EMR public health debate. A
group of utilities have followed the lead of Granger Morgan of
the Carnegie Mellon Institute, who authored an assessment of EMR
for the Office of Technological Assessment of the U.S. Congress.
Morgan calls for a utility policy of prudent avoidance, i.e., to
take no or low cost steps to reduce exposure to EMR. He bases
this policy on the medical evidence which, though "inconclusive"
(in his view), warrants concern and further research. Morgan's
call for prudent avoidance has been picked up by the more
visionary utilities.

     Others in the industry are critical of prudent avoidance as
a policy. Taking a "head in the sand" approach, these utilities
refuse to admit there are any adverse health effects.

     We believe our approach must be to urge mitigation steps
that go beyond a "no or low cost" approach. At the same time, we
must be mindful of the differences of opinion within the electric
utilities and encourage those who advocate prudent avoidance to
increase their commitment to protecting the public health.

     On a local level, citizens and union groups are engaged in a
wide variety of activities, most with little national
coordination or exchange of information. Citizen action groups
seeking to stop powerline construction have sprung up throughout
the country, doing battle with their local utility at the Public
Utility Commission hearings, city or county hearing boards,
legislative bodies, and even through the initiative process.
These groups have organized, raised funds, held informational
meetings, provided testimony before administrative and
legislative bodies, published newsletters and held press
conferences. They have been opposed by powerful and well-heeled
efforts by electric utilities and manufacturers. In many
instances, these local citizen and union groups had to reinvent
the wheel. Although important lessons have been learned and
valuable victories have been won, these lessons and victories
cannot easily be appropriated by other citizen and union groups
around the country. Indeed, no national environmental or consumer
organization has taken up the fight to rid our communities of the
health hazards of electromagnetic radiation.

     It was the consensus at the Ann Arbor conference that a
national alliance of citizen and union groups would play a vital
role in enhancing communications amongst the grassroots
organizations, providing a network for the exchange of
information and resources, and conducting selective national
campaigns at the crucial junctures in the common interest.

     Based on this historical background, the proposal was put
forth and adopted to create a National Alliance with the
following principles of unity:

     1. We believe that electromagnetic radiation can be
hazardous to life, and constitutes a significant threat to the
public health.

     2. We are in favour of local, regional and national efforts
to reduce, mitigate and, where possible, eliminate hazardous
exposures to electromagnetic radiation.

     3. To organize and coordinate these efforts, a national
alliance of representatives of local citizen and union/workplace
organizations is needed to exchange information, educate the
public, and to conduct selective national campaigns.

     The National EMR Alliance plans to hold a founding
convention in the fall of 1993.

(Documents Dated: 93/10/12)

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