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General News · 20th December 2022
Dan Peters
Hello again community. From one of my previous posts, as well as other conversations, I have received requests for the sources I have used to arrive at my concerns surrounding cell towers and that is a welcome inquiry. Also, there has also been further dialogue around the aspect of emergency response communication that I will respond to here. Thanks for listening.

I want to acknowledge again that this is a complex issue. We might have different levels of trust or perception of the relationships between corporations, regulators, government, and the peer review process itself. I’m not looking to change your mind or encouraging you to trust in anything that doesn’t resonate with you. For example, if you don’t believe that industry can directly influence scientific studies in pursuit of profit (known as regulatory capture) then we have some differences in worldview that will likely result in different conclusions made about the information explored here.

A bit further below are some links to scientific studies and articles, of which there are many and have I selected a few. I pulled a brief excerpt from each for those who want the gist of it without reading through an academic paper or article.

And of course, one can also go search and find studies that say there is no harm or that results are inconclusive.

So it ends up boiling down to who do you trust? The billion dollar industries and the studies that support their assertions or studies illuminating harm? Who has more incentive to be dishonest in these scenarios? I have seen scientists, experts, researchers, etc. share the ways in which certain fundamental studies that underpin the safety claims for regulatory industries are limited, flawed, disingenuous, or outdated, so that is part of how the puzzle makes sense to me. I post links to articles of that sort below. They display that the claims of safety made by industry are not genuine or accurate; these conclusions are drawn in equal parts to harm discovered, as well the fact that certain studies have not been done at all or have serious limitations, which displays that it is not possible to claim that the products are safe.

And in terms of these particular towers, Telus and their lobbyists claim that they are in compliance with Safety Code 6 from Health Canada. There are many compelling concerns with the validity of Safety Code 6. So when lobbyist Brian Gregg is doing his obligatory public consulting and states “I am required to reply to reasonable and relevant concerns…” any questions about health concerns of the towers or references to other peer reviewed studies and/or policies from other countries are summarily dismissed. They are not in the purview of his consulting as Telus’ industrial activities are compliant with Safety Code 6. They are deemed unreasonable and irrelevant. Period. Full stop. This is one angle of the various concerns that have been raised by residents about the lack of meaningful consultation from Telus.

Here is a site that collates all sorts of information about safety code 6, stating “Canada’s Safety Code 6 is among the countries with the worst guidelines in the world.”

And here is a small sample of studies covering various topics:


Health effects of electromagnetic fields on children

“The nervous systems of children are more vulnerable to the effects of electromagnetic waves than those of adults. Although studies on the effects of EMFs on children’s health are unestablished, precautionary principles should be followed for children and the exposure to EMFs among children should be minimized. The fact that EMFs are possibly carcinogenic according to the IARC should not be overlooked or interpreted with bias, and the opinions of clinicians should be given more weight than those of industries in the establishment of safety policies for EMF use…”


The Sensitivity of Children to Electromagnetic Fields

…”Concerns about the potential vulnerability of children to radio frequency (RF) fields have been raised because of the potentially greater susceptibility of their developing nervous systems; in addition, their brain tissue is more conductive, RF penetration is greater relative to head size, and they will have a longer lifetime of exposure than adults…”


Biological effects from exposure to
electromagnetic radiation emitted by cell tower
base stations and other antenna arrays

“8. Long-term exposures and cumulative effects

There are many important gaps in the RFR research. The
majority of the studies on RFR have been conducted with
short-term exposures, i.e., a few minutes to several hours.
Little is known about the effects of long-term exposure
such as would be experienced by people living near tele-
communications installations, especially with exposures
spanning months or years….

…There is some evidence of cumulative effects. Phillips et
al. (1998) reported DNA damage in cells after 24 h exposure
to low-intensity RFR. DNA damage can lead to gene muta-
tion that accumulates over time. Magras and Xenos (1997)
reported that mice exposed to low-intensity RFR became
less reproductive. After five generations of exposure the
mice were not able to produce offspring. This shows that
the effects of RFR can pass from one generation to another.
Persson et al. (1997) reported an increase in permeability of
the blood–brain barrier in mice when the energy deposited
in the body exceeded 1.5 J/kg (joule per kilogram) — a
measurement of the total amount of energy deposited. This
suggests that a short-term, high-intensity exposure can pro-
duce the same effect as a long-term, low-intensity exposure,
and is another indication that RFR effects can accumulate
over time…”


Neurobehavioral effects among inhabitants around mobile phone base stations

“Conclusions and recommendations: Inhabitants living nearby mobile phone base stations are at risk for developing neuropsychiatric problems and some changes in the performance of neurobehavioral functions either by facilitation or inhibition. So, revision of standard guidelines for public exposure to RER from mobile phone base station antennas and using of NBTB for regular assessment and early detection of biological effects among inhabitants around the stations are recommended. “


Evidence for a health risk by RF on humans living around mobile phone base stations: From radiofrequency sickness to cancer

“…There is a specific symptomatology linked to radar and RF exposure at low levels, characterized by functional disturbances of the central nervous system (headache, sleep disturbance, discomfort, irritability, depression, memory loss, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, appetite loss, difficulty in concentration, dizziness, etc.), that has been termed ‘RF sickness’ (Lilienfeld et al., 1978; Johnson Lyakouris, 1998; Navarro et al., 2003).
The objective of this study was to perform a complete review of the existing scientific literature to update the knowledge on the effects of base stations on humans living around the antennas…”


Effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields on flora and fauna, part 1. Rising ambient EMF levels in the environment

“…Biological effects have been seen broadly across all taxa and frequencies at vanishingly low intensities comparable to today's ambient exposures. Broad wildlife effects have been seen on orientation and migration, food finding, reproduction, mating, nest and den building, territorial maintenance and defense, and longevity and survivorship….

…Wildlife loss is often unseen and undocumented until tipping points are reached. Long-term chronic low-level EMF exposure standards, which do not now exist, should be set accordingly for wildlife, and environmental laws should be strictly enforced.”


United States Department of Interior Letter

“…the electromagnetic radiation standards used by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continue to be based on thermal heating, a criterion now nearly 30 years out of date and inapplicable today…

…The placement and operation of communication towers… impact protected migratory birds in two significant ways. The first is by injury, crippling loss, and death from collisions with towers and their supporting guy-wire infrastructure, where present. The second significant issue associated with communication towers involves impacts from non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation emitted by them…

Report of final results regarding brain and heart tumors in Sprague-Dawley rats exposed from prenatal life until natural death to mobile phone radiofrequency field representative of a 1.8 GHz GSM base station environmental emission


…These experimental studies provide sufficient evidence to call for the re-evaluation of IARC conclusions regarding the carcinogenic potential of RFR in humans…

…Experimental studies defining the potential carcinogenic effects of exposure to RFR have been largely inadequate because of the exposure conditions applied, because of the limited number of animals used in each experimental group and because of the short duration of the experiments….”


So those studies, along with other research and presentations I have seen (Frank Clegg, the former president of Microsoft Canada turned whistleblower, has some informed and compelling information) is another part of the reason that I am concerned with and hoping these towers can be reconsidered.

The reason I am taking the time to speak about these topics is that I am concerned for all of us. And of course I have deep concern for my two young children. I do not trust that this stuff is safe. We choose to use ethernet connections instead of wifi in our house and the notion of a giant (14 story, 207 ft., roughly 30m above the canopy) tower going up takes any choice away of exposure to introduced electromagnetic frequencies. Studies acknowledge that children are more susceptible to electromagnetic frequencies and so I take this stuff seriously. My daughter has impaired vision and the thought of further developmental or medical health challenges to my family from avoidable technology is daunting, exasperating and scary to me. We are considering moving if this tower gets built, but that begs the question, where do you go? They are trying to put these up everywhere and there are fewer and fewer refuges without them- which is one of many things that has made Cortes so valuable to us. But at least not having one within 800m of my children would be a start.

And I understand the complexity of having precedents set for emergency communications available to us and considering not using them. But there is more to that picture in terms of other things Telus could do to provide emergency services that do not include enormous base stations and cell phones, if they were inclined. My hope is that we could explore some of these other ways that might meet our shared needs for safety and communication instead of pursuing cell towers. I believe this topic addressing other options is going to be discussed further by other community members in the near future.

A point was put forward that “Increased connectivity might also allow folks struggling with depression to reach for help and those considering suicide to have access to crisis support…” I wonder about the implications of that. I care deeply about people having access to support in times of crisis. I have worked with youth in crisis as a facilitator of youth programs on this island and elsewhere over the past decade and this is in large part what informs my concerns for the rising levels of depression, anxiety, self harm and suicide we are witnessing in our youth. I see other ways people can access support by phone that does not include cell phones, while acknowledging the challenging reality that some people do not have a landline or a trusted person in the community to speak with. My hope would be for exploring possibilities that create a climate of support and true connection for community members that would not revolve around or require technology that I observe to be unsafe and even further fuelling the crisis at hand.

Again, to any of you who disagree with the information I am basing my conclusions on, or the opinions and hopes I am expressing here, I understand. My hope is that you can at least see where I’m coming from, even if you don’t agree. I’d be happy to speak with any of you in person and hear where you’re coming from.

To those of you who share my concern about these towers and their various implications, please consider writing Telus a brief letter telling them you do not want more towers on Cortes. The two files that are public at this point, which you can specify are BC 109114 - Mansons Landing and BC 109130 - Whaletown. Send a letter with your name and address to these 3 addresses:

TELUS C/O Brian Gregg, SitePath Consulting Ltd. -
Phone: 778-870-1388

ISED Innovation,Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) - Phone: 250-363-3803

Safe Tech Cortes - Concerned Cortes residents & the Safetech Team