Electromagnetic Radiation: Who’s Looking Out for You?

Permalink +

Tue, Jul 14, 2015, 4:13 pm  //  John Lesow

Last month, a Superior Court judge in Montreal, Quebec, ordered three Canadian tobacco companies to pay over $15 billion in damages to Quebec smokers.  The judgment was the largest in Canadian legal history.  In its decision, the court held that, “By choosing not to inform either public health authorities or the public directly of what they knew, the tobacco companies chose profits over the health of their customers.”

Given the certainty of appeal, it is unlikely that many of the estimated one million affected smokers will receive their $30,000-$80,000 windfall from Big Tobacco anytime soon.  What is certain is that this judgment is reflective of the trend in both Canadian and American jurisprudence to hold corporations liable for the production, sale and distribution of hazardous products, even those that are completely legal and on whom governments rely for tax revenue. The judgment also represented a disregard for the time-honored legal defense of “assumption of risk.” Evolving science and technology continue to play an increasing role in court decisions and monetary damage awards that would have been unheard of just a decade ago.

I’ll make my own decisions on whether or not to smoke.  And if I do, I won’t expect a payday from the tobacco companies if I develop health problems.  Smoking is a risk that I can choose to assume, which was the main argument from the Canadian tobacco companies in the Quebec case.  Apparently not a persuasive one, given the $15 billion judgment against them.

However, I do expect my government to take reasonable steps to protect my health and safety from the acts of others that I cannot avoid. Electromagnetic radiation from the proposed Point Roberts radio towers is a case in point.

For over two years, the citizens of Point Roberts and neighboring Tsawwassen, British Columbia, have been waging a protracted and expensive legal battle to prevent the construction of five 150 foot radio towers on the Point Roberts peninsula.  The towers would broadcast at 50,000 watts, 24 hours a day.  The matter is now before the Superior Court in Skagit County, with a decision to allow or prohibit construction expected this fall.

If the towers are permitted and become operational, the citizens of Point Roberts and Tsawwassen will be exposed to high levels of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) on a continuous basis.  In terms of risk to human health, EMR from radio towers may be the most insidious as they greatly exceed the power levels from cellular towers, FM radio and television.  AM radio waves from towers travel horizontally through the air and along the ground, penetrating trees, walls of homes, human tissue and anything else in their path. If you live near a tower, there is no way of avoiding this risk, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for as long as you occupy your home.

EMR has been linked to increased risks of leukemia in children, even in those living over one mile away.  In Point Roberts and Tsawwassen, there are over 3300 school-age children within range of the EMR these towers will produce.  For a detailed account of the health effects from radio towers, see the articles posted here

Unfortunately, neither the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) nor Industry Canada have addressed growing citizen concerns over the effects of electromagnetic radiation.  The primary function of these bureaucracies is permitting.  Research into the effect of prolonged exposure to radio waves on human health is not a high priority.  It should be.  For recent scientific opinion, see the articles posted here

Like tobacco 50 years ago, radio waves are considered relatively harmless by government regulators.  If the FCC was really doing its job, they would be reviewing the growing body of research on EMR and the adverse effects on public health.  Sadly, their advocacy is weak and their standards of measurement outdated. If these radio towers are built, the residents of Point Roberts and Tsawwassen will be unwilling test subjects for the near and long term effects of electromagnetic radiation.

Unlike the activist judiciary in Quebec, the regulatory bureaucracies in the United States and Canada have largely ignored the threat to public health that is part of their government mandate.  They are not looking out for us.  And unlike tobacco, electromagnetic radiation is a risk that we, and our children, cannot avoid.

For additional information and updates on the continuing radio tower fight in Point Roberts, see our facebook page:  No RadioTowers Tsawwassen, or visit our website at:  www.notowers.webs.com

Luba Pekisheva  //  Wed, Jul 15, 2015, 7:25 pm

Thank you for shining a light on the danger of EMR towers, this insane project is a real outrage. As nervous as leaving these decisions at the mercy of fallible judges makes me feel, I’m so grateful for all the courageous hard-working people who persevere to prevent the towers from being built.

Please keep us posted and let us know how we can be of help. What’s the Skagit Co case # of the action pending now (I’m not on Facebook)?
I sure hope the judge on that case is impartial, able to process the scientific evidence, and respects the precautionary principle. Finding credible, deep-thinking, non-money centric judges and scientists can sure be daunting.
Is anything about this project, and Industry Canada’s decisions, actionable in Canadian courts? From the periodic scathing rulings about all matter of governmental abuse I hear about on CBC, Canadian judges seem to be more honest.

There are also good links about effects of EMR in Truthout and related articles about Navy War Games in the Olympic Peninsula, incl. Olympic National Park. Bellingham area is also among the other places in the NW the supersonic planes will fly over. As far as I know, citizens have really mobilized and the State denied the permit for now. If the Games are ever allowed, much more radiation than was ever studied will be emitted.


John Lesow  //  Thu, Jul 16, 2015, 10:58 am

Thank you Luba

This matter is now before the Superior Court of Skagit County
No. 15-2-00326-0
In the Superior Court of the State of Washington in and For the County of Skagit
BBC Broadcasting, Inc.,
Petitioner
v.
Whatcom County
Respondent
and BBC Holdings, Inc., as Contract Successor in Interest to Gurdial S. Badh and Narinder Kaur Badh, and POINT ROBERTS CONSERVATION SOCIETY,  Additional Parties
Order
No. 15-2-00326-0
(PROPOSED)
ORDER GRANTING CROSS BORDER COALITION TO STOP THE TOWERS
MOTION TO INTERVENE


Beverly Adler  //  Wed, Jul 22, 2015, 1:39 am

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is using the very outdated “thermal heating” standard to determine if electromagnetic radiation (EMR) is safe.  Recent research on cellular changes with EMR exposure shows that EMR has serious health risks much below thermal heating.  Dr. Martin Blank, PhD a prominent researcher on cellular changes and EMR concludes that continuous exposure to EMR would predispose an individual to the accumulation of DNA damage and the development of cancer.

In May, 2015, 201 scientists from 40 countries issued an appeal to the UN and WHO urging stricter standards to protect the public from non-ionizing electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure.  These scientists list the EMF effects on human health as: increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damage, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders,changes in the reproductive system and negative impacts on general well being.

Five AM radio antennas are proposed to be built in Point Roberts, 1000 feet away from 23,000 people living in Tsawwassen, BC. These powerful 50,000 watt radio antennas  will subject Tsawwassen families and their children to constant, high levels of EMR. This would create serious health risks and is a very high price to pay for the 23,000 people in Tsawwassen. Both Canadian and  FCC standards for locating radio antennas away from dense populations are violated with these proposed antennas.  These antennas would pose a public health risk.
 
Beverly Alder, Tsawwassen, BC


Electromagnetic Radiation: Who’s Looking Out for You?

Tue, Jul 14, 2015, 4:13 pm  //  John Lesow

The fight to keep Point Roberts from becoming a Radio Tower Farm is not over.

3 comments; last on Jul 22, 2015

County proposes free pass for vacation rentals

Sun, Apr 26, 2015, 2:05 pm  //  Guest writer

Tani Sutley writes a second article on the increasing number of vacation rentals - and the County Council bill to let them expand dramatically.

4 comments; last on May 02, 2015


Coal Ship Collisions Study Is Released

Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 5:04 pm  //  John Servais

One part of the environmental study for the proposed Cherry Point mega coal terminal has been completed and released. It deals with ship collisions - they call it…

2 comments; last on Dec 22, 2014

Twas the Week Before Christmas…

Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 12:26 pm  //  John Servais

Bellingham Public Works shows how tone deaf they can be to business concerns. They insisted on street work that takes away up to 80 parking spaces in Fairhaven…

0 comments

Reliable Prosperity

Thu, Aug 14, 2014, 3:13 pm  //  Guest writer

Sandy Robson guest writes of the need for real prosperity at Cherry Point, not a destructive short term coal port that destroys the fishing grounds.

5 comments; last on Oct 02, 2014

What Landlords Need to Know about Rental Registration

Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 5:30 am  //  Guest writer

Landlords are so caught up opposing a licensing and inspection ordinance, they cannot see the upside for them in ridding the city of bad rentals.

19 comments; last on Aug 01, 2014

Reid Boiler Works Burns Down

Sun, Feb 09, 2014, 10:13 am  //  John Servais

The old empty Reid Boiler Works industrial building in Fairhaven burned to the ground Saturday night.

0 comments

Krugman Spells It Out In Plain English

Sun, Apr 28, 2013, 10:30 pm  //  John Servais

New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman, has a masterful short article that explains why austerity is not working.

3 comments; last on May 23, 2013

PeaceHealth Merger Threatens Women’s Health in Whatcom County

Tue, Feb 26, 2013, 7:39 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley details upcoming merger between PeaceHealth and a much more conservative entity

1 comments; last on Feb 26, 2013

Petition to Establish a Bellingham Art Market

Mon, Feb 25, 2013, 6:51 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein artists have to eat, too!

0 comments

Doug Ericksen’s Opening Moves

Tue, Jan 15, 2013, 5:53 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley looks into Ericksen's legislative efforts this session

1 comments; last on Jan 22, 2013

Slaughterhouses and Rendering Plants - Videographers Needed

Mon, Dec 03, 2012, 4:26 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein citizens must hold their representatives' feet to the fire

6 comments; last on Dec 09, 2012

Honky Tonk Friday at Marlins’ Cafe

Thu, Nov 29, 2012, 9:23 am  //  Paul deArmond

Hoss Unplugged, November 30 will Honk the York Neighborhood's Tonk

0 comments

Lummi Nation Opposes Coal Terminal

Fri, Sep 21, 2012, 9:53 am  //  John Servais

Bellingham Business Journal breaking story - Lummi's to hold meeting today at noon to speak against the Cherry Point project.

7 comments; last on Nov 04, 2012

The Political Junkie interviews “Power Past Coal”

Mon, Aug 20, 2012, 9:00 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley sits down with Matt Petryni with Power Past Coal to get the latest scoop

0 comments

The REAL Problem With Costco

Fri, Aug 17, 2012, 12:50 am  //  Wendy Harris

The Mayor's Negotiations With Costco Undercuts City Permit Procedures And Public Process

4 comments; last on Aug 17, 2012

Motivated Reasoning Yields Useless Planning

Mon, Jul 23, 2012, 7:05 pm  //  John Servais

Where a planning staff desire for view corridors in the Fairhaven plan yields a view corridor that does nothing for views.

1 comments; last on Jul 25, 2012

A Worm’s Eye View of our local WorkSource Center

Wed, Jan 25, 2012, 11:42 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley visits the local WorkSource center and interviews the regional director

0 comments

Dan Pike Issues Order to Evict Occupy Bellingham

Tue, Dec 27, 2011, 1:55 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley questions Pike's timing, and Occupy's choice of tactics

2 comments; last on Dec 28, 2011

Sam Crawford Faces Ethical Concerns . . . AGAIN

Thu, Dec 15, 2011, 2:44 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

Local blogger Shane Roth files ethical complaint over Crawford's sweetheart deals

3 comments; last on Dec 16, 2011

The Cole Train: Loads of BS

Sun, Dec 04, 2011, 6:53 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein the sooty prospect of economic necessity rears its ugly head

2 comments; last on Dec 05, 2011

UPDATE: City’s response focused on favoritism, not lost revenue

Wed, Nov 30, 2011, 7:51 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

More on the city employee moonlighting issue

0 comments

TPJ Exclusive: Little Documented Oversight for City Employee Moonlighting

Mon, Nov 28, 2011, 6:29 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

The Political Junkie breaks a story of employee moonlighting within city of Bellingham

7 comments; last on Nov 30, 2011

Padden Trails Rezone – You Should Be Worried

Tue, Nov 15, 2011, 11:43 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The Padden Trails rezone effort is a misuse of the Infill Tool Kit on the outskirts of Bellingham.

8 comments; last on Nov 16, 2011

Bellingham Bank of America hires security guard

Wed, Nov 02, 2011, 4:00 pm  //  Dick Conoboy

Occupy Bellingham is already creating jobs for the 99% - but this raises some interesting questions.

8 comments; last on Nov 04, 2011

Bad Idea, Wrong Place, and Wrong Time

Mon, Oct 31, 2011, 4:07 pm  //  Guest writer

Bob Ferris of Re-Sources takes a values based perspective on our community and a possible coal port.

9 comments; last on Nov 02, 2011

Doug Ericksen Continues to Attack Working People

Wed, Oct 19, 2011, 8:20 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley continues his examination of Ericksen's anti-working people values

1 comments; last on Oct 19, 2011

The Political Junkie Occupies Bellingham

Sat, Oct 08, 2011, 3:29 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley reports on the Occupy Bellingham Rally

11 comments; last on Oct 13, 2011

From the Political Junkie: Why is Dan Pike talking about Coal Trains?

Thu, Sep 08, 2011, 10:37 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Look at the title, it spells it out.

6 comments; last on Sep 12, 2011

SSA already started construction at Cherry Point

Fri, Jul 29, 2011, 11:11 am  //  John Servais

The Gateway Pacific coal port appears to be under construction now - secretly and w/o permits.

36 comments; last on Aug 05, 2011

The Political Junkie Interviews Christina Maginnis

Mon, Jul 18, 2011, 10:03 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

The Political Junkie interviews Christina Maginnis

4 comments; last on Jul 22, 2011

The Debt isn’t the issue . . .your approach is!

Wed, Jul 06, 2011, 1:40 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley rants about the economy, and the solutions to our ills

6 comments; last on Aug 02, 2011

Just say no to unneeded regulations

Mon, Jun 20, 2011, 10:45 am  //  Sheri Ward

Proposed landlord licensing for Bellingham is on today's city council agenda.

10 comments; last on Jun 30, 2011

Running blog on Coal Port

Fri, Jun 03, 2011, 12:56 pm  //  John Servais

A running update of links and info on the Coal Port and Trains of proposed Gateway Pacific at Cherry Point.

15 comments; last on Jun 29, 2011

Flash mob for coal meeting

Wed, Jun 01, 2011, 5:32 pm  //  Guest writer

Guest writer Mark Flanders' call to action for June 1 flash mob at coal port meeting

7 comments; last on Jun 09, 2011

From the Political Junkie: Patti Brooks is a Socialist

Wed, May 18, 2011, 10:31 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Patti Brooks' war on gophers shows how she is a socialist

3 comments; last on May 28, 2011

If You Need a Loan, Own a Bank

Wed, Mar 30, 2011, 10:44 am  //  Guest writer

Elisabeth Marshall explains that Washington is one of several states looking at the advantages of a state-owned Public Bank

1 comments; last on Apr 03, 2011

Cross-County Coal Train is Coming

Fri, Mar 25, 2011, 5:00 am  //  John Servais

Coal trains will probably pass Lynden on their way from Sumas to Cherry Point, after coming across on the Canadian rail roads.

16 comments; last on Aug 14, 2011

Port punts on commercial moorage rates

Thu, Feb 17, 2011, 7:30 pm  //  Guest writer

Guest writer Doug Karlberg follows up with report from Tuesday's Port Commission meeting

7 comments; last on Feb 20, 2011

Showdown at the Port of Bellingham

Mon, Feb 14, 2011, 7:35 pm  //  Guest writer

Why the price of moorage matters to all Whatcom County. A guest article by Doug Karlberg.

5 comments; last on Jun 30, 2011

Questions on Health Care

Sat, Mar 27, 2010, 6:45 am  //  Craig Mayberry

Some questions on health care reform to our Congressional delegation.

0 comments

From One Political Junkie to Another: Investing in Infrastructure

Tue, Mar 16, 2010, 6:59 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Supporting the proposed sales tax increase for the WTA - by new writer Riley Sweeney.

3 comments; last on Mar 21, 2010

Intraprising Government

Fri, Mar 05, 2010, 12:30 pm  //  Craig Mayberry

A novel approach to government monoplies

0 comments

Where Have We Been- Where Are We Going?

Mon, Feb 15, 2010, 7:00 am  //  Craig Mayberry

People and businesses have had to make changes in what they do, when will government do the same?

1 comments; last on Mar 02, 2010

Political Ethics

Sat, Jan 16, 2010, 7:00 am  //  Craig Mayberry

Contrasts business ethics and political ethics

4 comments; last on Jan 18, 2010

WA State Government Spending

Tue, Dec 15, 2009, 5:00 pm  //  Craig Mayberry

It is always fascinating to watch the government budgeting process. With the recent reduction in revenue forecast, the Governor and other state politicians announced a severe cut in…

0 comments

Hope for Chuckanut Ridge

Thu, Oct 01, 2009, 5:20 pm  //  Larry Horowitz

If you are interested in saving Chuckanut Ridge, there is some glimmer of hope for preserving this ecologically-rich and environmentally-sensitive property. If you are willing to make a…

3 comments; last on Oct 04, 2009

Economic Stress Index

Thu, May 21, 2009, 7:00 pm  //  Larry Horowitz

The Associated Press (AP) has created an interesting interactive chart measuring the economic stress by County.

According to the AP, Whatcom County has a Stress Index of 9.86 for…

1 comments; last on May 22, 2009

Consuming earth’s assets

Wed, May 20, 2009, 1:25 pm  //  Larry Horowitz

“At present, we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product.” So says renowned entrepreneur and visionary Paul Hawken at his…

1 comments; last on May 21, 2009

Shocking Revelation: President Impotent

Thu, May 14, 2009, 7:28 pm  //  g.h.kirsch

Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, asks, “What do you suppose it is like to be elected president of the United States only to find…

4 comments; last on May 16, 2009

Preserving Farmland

Sun, Apr 05, 2009, 9:59 pm  //  Craig Mayberry

This week a study suggested that one of the most important issues in Whatcom County is the preservation of farmland. The Whatcom County Council has talked for years…

1 comments; last on Apr 28, 2009

Moron Money

Sun, Mar 15, 2009, 6:25 pm  //  g.h.kirsch

"I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers…

6 comments; last on Mar 17, 2009

Infill, Sinfill & Sprawl

Thu, Feb 12, 2009, 8:36 pm  //  Larry Horowitz

Have you ever wondered how truly livable cities become undesirable hell holes? Do the people who run these highly attractive areas into the ground merely fail to comprehend…

2 comments; last on Feb 16, 2009

Top ten list for the next buyer of Chuckanut Ridge / Fairhaven Highlands

Sat, Feb 07, 2009, 11:17 am  //  Larry Horowitz

If you happen to find yourself in the market for an 82-acre hilly swamp wholly encumbered by critical areas like steep slopes and mature-forested Category 1 wetlands in…

0 comments

How Horizon Bank chose greed over the safety of its community

Tue, Feb 03, 2009, 1:05 am  //  Larry Horowitz

I really pity Horizon Bank’s CEO Rich Jacobson. His predecessor, Laury Evans, sure left him a bad hand to play. Not only is Mr. Jacobson faced with the…

2 comments; last on Mar 02, 2009

Fairhaven Shipyard to gain larger drydock

Fri, Jan 02, 2009, 7:23 pm  //  John Servais

Coming to our Fairhaven waterfront - this magnificent floating drydock. The above aerial photo is of the Fairhaven Shipyard with the new drydock placed as a computer image…

1 comments; last on Jan 03, 2009

Where Do You Draw the Line

Fri, Dec 12, 2008, 12:46 am  //  Craig Mayberry

Another day another bailout by our government. After facing fierce opposition from regular people, our federal government decided to bail out banks, now the latest effort is to…

7 comments; last on Dec 14, 2008

Population Projections: Victims of the past or Masters of our own destiny

Fri, Oct 17, 2008, 1:20 pm  //  Larry Horowitz

When it comes to planning for the future of our county and cities, must we be victims of the past or can we become masters of our own…

1 comments; last on Oct 18, 2008

What’s in a name?

Thu, Sep 11, 2008, 12:18 pm  //  Larry Horowitz

People everywhere like to use labels to compartmentalize things - as well as other people. In the context of our local growth debate, we hear terms like Pro-Growth

25 comments; last on Sep 18, 2008

Uncharted Future

Fri, Jul 04, 2008, 2:21 am  //  Myron Wlaznak

Over the past few years, I’ve written in other venues about profound impacts we can expect to our daily lives from fundamental changes in a rapidly evolving world.…

2 comments; last on Jul 23, 2008

 

Election Info

County Candidate Filings

State Elections Website
Whatcom County Elections

Coal, Oil & Trains

Coal Stop

Community Wise Bellingham
Powder River Basin R. C.

Local Blogs & News

Bellingham Herald

Bham Herald Politics Blog
Bham Politics & Economics
Bhm Biz Journal
Cascadia Weekly
Ferndale Record
Friends of Whatcom
Get Whatcom Planning
KGMI
Latte Republic
League of Women Voters
Lynden Tribune
MikeatthePort
Northern Light
Sweeney Politics
Twilight Zoning
Western Front - WWU
Whatcom Watch

Local Causes

Chuckanut Community Forest

City Club of Bellingham
Conservation NW
Futurewise - Whatcom
Lake Whatcom
Lummi Island Quarry
N. Cascades Audubon
NW Holocaust Center
RE Sources
Salish Sea Org.
Save the Granary Building
Transition Whatcom
WA Conservation Voters
Whatcom Peace & Justice

Governments

Bellingham

Port of Bellingham
Skagit County
State Elections Website
US - The White House
WA State Access
WA State Elections
WA State Legislature
Whatcom Auditor
Whatcom County

Weather & Climate

Cliff Mass Weather Blog

Climate Audit
Nat Hurricane Center
NW Radar
Two day forecast
Watts Up With That? - climate

Leisure

Adventures NW

Edge of Sports
Entertainment NNW
Famous Internet Skiers
Recreation Northwest
Sailing Anarchy

Good Web Sites

Al-Jazeera online

Alaska Dispatch
AlterNet.org
Antiwar.com
Arab News
Asia Times
Atlantic, The
Change The Mascot
Common Dreams
counterpunch
Crosscut Seattle
Daily Kos
Daily Mirror
Doonesbury
Drudge Report
FiveThirtyEight
Foreign Policy in Focus
GlobalPost
Guardian Unlimited
Gulf News
Haaretz
Huffington Post
Innocence Project, The
Intrnational Herald Tribune
Irish Times
James Fallows
Jerusalem Post
Joel Connelly
Juan Cole
Julia Ioffe/New Republic
Le Diplo
Media Matters
Michael Moore
Middle East Times
MoveOn.org
Nation, The
New American Century
News Trust
NMFA
numbers
Online Journal
Palestine Daily
Palestine News
Paul Krugman - economics
Personal bio info
Portland Indy Media
Progressive Review
Project Vote Smart
Reuters
Sea Shepherd
Slate
Stand for the Troops
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Talking Points Memo
TED
The Crisis Papers
The Intercept
the Oatmeal
Tom Paine.com
truthout
Vox
War and Piece
Washington Votes
WikiLeaks.ch
ynetnews.com

NwCitizen 1995 - 2007

Early Northwest Citizen

Quiet, Offline or Dead

Bellingham Police Activity

Bellingham Register
Bob Sanders
Carl Weimer
Chuckanut Mountains
Citizen Ted
Citizens of Bellingham
Cordata & Meridian
David Hackworth
Facebook Port Reform
HamsterTalk
Jack Petree
N. Sound Conservancy
No Leaky Buckets
Northwest Review
Orcinus
Post-Oklahoman Confessions
Protect Bellingham Parks
The American Telegraph
Wally Wonders