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Potential adverse health effects from phones using Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications

Petition: No. 253

Issue(s): Human health/environmental health, and other

Petitioner(s): Magda Havas

Date Received: 20 June 2008

Status: Completed

Summary: The petitioner is concerned that phones using Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) may expose people to adverse health effects from electromagnetic radiation. The petitioner requests a ban on these phones. In addition, the petitioner asks what the federal government is doing to protect Canadians from these potential adverse health effects and what research it is conducting or funding on the safety of this technology.

Federal Departments Responsible for Reply: Health Canada, Industry Canada

Petition

Environmental and Health Concerns
Associated with Compact Fluorescent Lights

Request that first generation DECT
Phones be Banned in Canada

Name of Petitioner:        Dr. Magda Havas

Address of Petitioner:     [Information withheld]

Telephone Number:        [Information withheld]

Email Address:               [Information withheld]

Signature:                     [Original signed by Magda Havas]

                                   Magda Havas

Date:                           19 June 2008

Document:                    16 pages

Environmental Petition submitted to the _Auditor General of Canada, June 2008

Request that first generation DECT
Phones be Banned in Canada

Dr. Magda Havas
[Information withheld]
[Information withheld]

COMMUNICATIONS WITH HEALTH CANADA REGARDING DECT PHONES

On March 9, 2007, I sent an email to Robert P. Bradley, Director of the Consumer and Clinical Radiation Protection Bureau, Product Safety Programme, Health Canada asking that he consider banning DECT phones in Canada.

Dr. Bradley responded on March 26, 2007 and told me he was unaware of DECT technology and that after receiving my email, he did a “google” search and also had a brief discussion with research staff of the Electromagnetic Division. He stated that he would have his staff look further into this technology. He also advised me that banning such devices came under the jurisdiction of Industry Canada. He went on to write:

“We provide advice regarding the potential health issues arising from any of the technologies that they regulate. This advice is considered in the decisions to allow or disallow any device for use in the Canadian market. Should our review of the DECT systems, or any other wireless devices in the future, lead us to believe them not to be safe you can be assured that we will so inform Industry Canada.”

Five months later, on August 19, 2007, I contacted Dr. Bradley again, via email, and asked for an update on progress to review the literature on DECT phones. Dr. Bradley failed to respond to that email. That was 10 months ago.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON DECT PHONES

DECT is an acronym for (Digitally Enhanced Cordless Technology, previously known as Digital European Cordless Telephony). It is a technology that originated in Germany and has spread to other countries, including Canada.

DECT phones operate at 2.4 and 5.8 GHz and provide a digital signal that is both powerful and clear. DECT phones can be used up to 300 meters from their base station (cradle that holds the phone). Several manufacturers including Panasonic, GE, Motorola, AT&T, and V-Tech use this technology.

Unlike other types of cordless phones, DECT cordless phones continuously emit microwave radiation at full power as long as the base station is plugged into an electrical outlet. These phones emit radiation 24/7 whether they are being used or sitting idle in their cradle. This exposes people to unnecessary microwave radiation and has been raised as a potential health concern by scientists and doctors in Germany and Austria.

CHRONIC EXPOSURE TO RADIATION FROM THE DECT PHONE BASE (CRADLE)

I own a DECT phone (which I no longer use). It is a 2.4 GHz phone made by AT&T. On June 16th, 2008 I measured the radiation coming from this phone while it was in idle. I used an Electrosmog Meter with an omni-directional antenna. This meter has an operating range of 50 MHz to 3.5 GHz. Background level (6-minute maximum) in my home immediately prior to testing was 0.000 microW/cm2. Clearly in parts of my home there is no radio frequency radiation within the 50 MHz to 3.5 GHz range. I then measured the radiation at various distance from the base of the phone. Values in Figure 1 represent a 6-minute maximum near the phone. The values decrease with 1/x2, with “x” representing the distance in cm.

I then compared the values I obtained for my DECT phone to studies in the literature that document adverse health effects from radio frequency radiation and superimposed the data (Figure 2).

What Figure 2 shows is that at a distance just beyond 3 meters from my DECT phone base unit (according to studies of RF radiation) EEG brain waves are altered. At 2.8 meters motor function, memory and attention of children are affected. At 1.7 meters sleep is disturbed. How many people have DECT phones near their bed? At 30 cm memory is impaired and at closer distances the immune system is affected, REM sleep is reduced, insulin levels drop, and there are pathological changes in the blood brain barrier. Studies also show that there is 100% increase in adult leukemia between 45 and 130 cm from the phone and a similar increase in childhood leukemia between 35 and 260 cm.

Figure 1. Radiation near a 2.4 GHz AT&T DECT phone while the phone was not in use.

Figure 2. Studies showing health effects of radio frequency radiation (RFR) at various power densities superimposed on radiation from a DECT phone (2).

What Figure 2 also shows is that all of these effects are well below Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 (1000 microW/cm2), which suggests that Safety Code 6 is failing to protect the health of Canadians.

Children are sensitive to DECT phones according to Dr. Leberecht von Klitzing, a German medical physicist and researcher at the University of Luebeck and one of the medical physicists who signed the Freiburger Appeal (1,3). His research on blood samples taken from children in the vicinity of DECT phones showed that the red blood corpuscles did not ‘ripen out properly’ (a direct translation). The physical signs were listlessness and/or aggression, pallor, and sleeplessness. These symptoms could be reversed with the removal of the phone.

Symptoms of 356 people under long time home exposure to high frequency pulsed electromagnetic fields associated with DECT phones and/or mobile phone base stations were evaluated (Appendix A). At levels well below those in Figure 1, the following symptoms increased with increasing power density: sleep disturbance, fatigue, depression, headaches, restlessness, dazed state, irritability, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, learning difficulties, difficulty finding words, frequent infections, Frequent infections, sinusitis, lymph node swellings, joint and limb pains, nerve and soft tissue pains, numbness or tingling, allergies, tinnitus, hearing loss, sudden hearing loss, giddiness, impaired balance, visual disturbances, eye inflammation, dry eyes, tachycardia, episodic hypertension, collapse, hormonal disturbances, thyroid disease, night sweats, frequent urge to urinate, weight increase, nausea, loss of appetite, nose bleeds, skin complaints, tumours, and diabetes. Many of these are the symptoms now associated with electrohypersensitivity (EHS).

Based on these studies DECT phones should not be in bedrooms or near children, who are likely to be more sensitive to this form of radiation.

Because DECT phones are so powerful and because the radiation can penetrate through walls people can be exposed to this radiation even if they do not own a DECT phone. If their neighbours have one they can also be exposed.

I have neighbours who have DECT phones and I can measure radiation from their phones coming into my home in the rooms nearest their phone. Homes in my neighbourhood are approximately 10 meters apart. Imagine living in an apartment building with a DECT phone on the other side of an adjacent wall.

Indeed a few years ago I visited a person in Toronto who was electrically sensitive. I measured the radiation in her home and found high readings in her bedroom. We traced the source to a DECT phone in her neighbour’s apartment. Without knowing it and without having any control over her own exposure, this person was exposed to microwave radiation while sleeping. Indeed she complained of sleep difficulties and often slept on the couch in the living room where levels of radiation were much lower. It is possible that her exposure to the DECT phone contributed to her electrical sensitivity.

A recent study reported that some young people who use mobile phones at least 15 times daily were more prone to have difficulty falling asleep, disrupted sleep, restlessness, stress and fatigue than those who used them less than 5 times a day (Appendix B).

Second and third generation DECT phones, with lower radiation levels, are now available in Germany but have not yet crossed the Atlantic to Canada. Furthermore, there are digital phones on the market that do not use DECT technology. So it is possible for people to have the benefits of digital mobile phones without being constantly exposed to microwave radiation. Unless the current generation of DECT phones is banned in Canada, there will be no incentive for Canadians to buy cordless phones that does not radiate continuously. In the meantime, Canadians will be unnecessarily exposed to these microwave frequencies.

HOW OTHER JURISDICTIONS ARE RESPONDING TO DECT PHONES

In 2002, a group of Physicians signed the Freiburger Appeal, which requests that immediate measures and transitions steps be taken to ban mobile phone use and digital cordless (DECT) phones in preschools, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, event halls, public buildings and vehicles. They go on to state that DECT standards for cordless telephones be revised with the goal of reducing radiation intensity (3).

In 2005, Dr. Gerd Oberfeld, MD with the Salzburg Region Public Health Department in Austria, wrote an open letter to teachers, parents about wireless technology and stated the following (4):

“The official advice of the Public Health Department of the Salzburg Region is not to use WLAN and DECT in Schools or Kindergartens.”

In 2006, the German Federal Agency For Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz – BfS) issued a health warning concerning DECT phones in their Press Release dated 31 January 2006 (5):

A cordless phone of DECT standard is often the strongest source of high frequency electromagnetic radiation in a private home. To renounce your cordless phone as a precautionary measure will contribute to minimise your personal radiation exposure…

Cordless landline telephones of DECT standard have no output control to regulate power output according to the actual power needed. Therefore, the base station and the handset are permanently emitting radiation at the same power level during a call, no matter whether the user holding the handset is one meter or 300 meters away from the base station…

To prevent possible health risks, the BfS recommends minimizing personal radiation exposure. The following tips will help you if you are not prepared to completely give up the benefits of a cordless phone: Put the base station in a place where you do not spend much time, for example in the hall. Do not put it directly on your desk. Only make short phone calls. Use the latest generation of phones, which are emission free when the handset in connected to the base station.

INFANTS RESPOND TO DECT PHONES AND DECT BABY MONITORS

According to Powerwatch in the UK (6):

“Over the past five years we, with the help of parents, have measured a variety of baby monitors and the DECT pulsing ones seem to be far more disruptive of the infant's sleep and state of contentment (causing restlessness, irritability and crying). The old wired ones and the older "analogue" cordless ones do not seem to cause the same problems if kept at least one metre from the cot / bed.

We have had a number of reports from parents that their babies did not sleep well and cried a lot when they used DECT monitors but were ok when no baby monitor was used. When they then tried a cheaper analogue monitor, the infant then slept as well as they did with no monitor.

A DECT monitor placed in your baby's bedroom will expose them to more pulsing microwave radiation that living near to a mobile phone base station mast would do. As a result, whilst there have been no studies done into baby monitors specifically, studies that cover mobile phone masts provide a good background to the effects that would be expected in your baby.”

Dr. von Klitzing reported that otherwise perfectly healthy infants had erratic heart beat when exposed to a DECT cordless phone. When the DECT phone was removed from the bedroom or neighboring apartment, the infant's heartbeat returned to normal (7).

ACUTE EXPOSURE TO RADIATION WHILE USING MOBILE PHONES

A secondary concern of mobile phones (cordless and cell, analog and digital) is that people who use them are exposing their brain to microwave radiation. Studies show an increase in various types of tumors (gliomas, astroycystomas, acoustic neuromas, uvealmelanomas) that range from a 30% increase to a 4.6 fold increase (8). Often the tumor is on the same side of the head that one uses the phone and becomes a statistically significant risk after 10 years of use, which is a relative short latency period for a brain tumor. See also Appendix C.

Once again children are likely to be more sensitive and authorities in the UK have warned that children should minimize their use of this technology (9).

INADEQUACY OF HEALTH CANADA’S SAFETY CODE 6 GUIDELINES

In 1999, an Expert Panel of the Royal Society of Canada (10) was convened to review the potential health risks of radio frequency radiation from wireless devices. In their report they state the following:

  • A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that exposure to RF fields at intensities far less than levels required to produce measurable heating can cause effects in cells and tissues.
  • These biological effects include alterations in the activity of the enzyme ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), which is associated with cancer growth; regulation of calcium; and permeability of the blood-brain barrier.
  • Some of these biological effects brought about by non-thermal exposure levels of RF could potentially be associated with adverse health effects.

Canada’s guideline for DECT phone frequencies (2.4 and 5.8 GHz) is 1000 microW/cm2 (11). In Russia the guideline is 10 microW/cm2 for the same frequency range, and in Salzburg, Austria the recommended level is 0.1 microW/cm2 (12). The Canadian Safety Code 6 Guideline is based on thermal effects, whereas the other guidelines are based on biological effects. It is Health Canada’s position that stricter guidelines are not required because if this radiation does not heat body tissue it will have no effect and the current guidelines protect us from such heating. Scientific evidence points to the contrary (2,12) as has been recognized by other governments (3,4,5) and has been recently documented in the Bioinitiative Report that calls for biological guidelines for microwave radiation (13).

The Canadian public needs to be protected against microwave radiation and it is Health Canada’s responsibility to do so. It seems that in this case, Health Canada is failing to protect the public and is not acting expeditiously to inform Industry Canada of the potential treat of microwave radiation presented by DECT phone technology. This situation needs to be changed. Under no circumstances should these early warning signals of adverse health effects be dismissed or disregarded. At the very least Health Canada should invoke the Precautionary Principle if they consider the scientific evidence inconclusive.

PETITIONS REQUESTS/QUESTIONS:

  1. Based on the fact that:
    1. DECT phones radiate 24/7 at maximum power, and that
    2. Levels of radiation within 3 meters of a DECT phone base station, while not in use, have been associated in various scientific studies with ill health, memory loss, sleep disturbances, cancers, etc. and that
    3. Newer versions of DECT phones are available in Germany that have lower emissions.
  1. Will Health Canada recommend to Industry Canada that these phones be banned in Canada? Could they also provide their rationale for their decision?
  2. Will Industry Canada consider banning DECT phones in Canada? If not, what kind of information is necessary to warrant a ban of this technology?
  3. What is Health Canada doing to warn Canadians about DECT phones?
  4. What is Health Canada doing to minimize the exposure of children to DECT phones and other types of wireless technology in schools and in the home?
  5. Since studies are documenting adverse health effects at levels well below Safety Code 6 why has Health Canada not revised this safety code so that it protects the Health of Canadians?
  6. What combination of scientific research results is required for Health Canada to revise Safety Code 6? In other words, what does Health Canada recognize as “conclusive scientific evidence” of harmful effects? Please provide specifics of the types of scientific studies required, the number of studies required, and the types of results needed to provide what Health Canada would consider “conclusive evidence”.
  7. What research is Health Canada conducting or funding to determine the safety of DECT phones and other types of wireless technology including cell phones, cell phone antennas, WiFi, WiMax, smart meters, radio frequency identification tags, and broadband over power lines (BPL)?
  8. Does Health Canada or Industry Canada know if DECT baby monitors are sold in Canada and, if they are, would they consider warning the public not to use them?
  9. In light of scientific uncertainty, will Health Canada recommend prudent avoidance and/or the Precautionary Principle to the Canadian public? If not, why not?
  10. Is any of the research conducted by Health Canada (including reviews of the literature as well as primary research) directly or indirectly funded by the wireless telecommunications industry and/or the electric utility? Could Health Canada provide a list of financial contributions made to them by these organizations during the past 10 years?
  11. Is any of the research conducted by Industry Canada (including reviews of the literature as well as primary research) directly or indirectly funded by the wireless telecommunications industry and/or the electric utility? Could Industry Canada provide a list of financial contributions made to them by these organizations during the past 10 years?

REFERENCES

  1. http://www.tetrawatch.net/science/dect.php
  2. Firstenberg, A. 2001. Radio Wave Packet. Cellular Phone Taskforce. 8 pp. (http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:CYzKkR1TkjkJ:www.goodhealthinfo.net/radiation/radio_wave_ packet.pdf+Radio+Wave+Packet&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=ca&client=firefox-a)
  3. Freiburger Appeal, 2002. (http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:vJd05vu277wJ:timleitch.net.nz/pdfs/freiburger_appeal.pdf+ IGUMED&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=9&gl=ca&client=firefox-a)
  4. Oberfeld, 2005. http://omega.twoday.net/stories/1579030/
  5. German Federal Agency for Radiation Protection. 2006. http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:DUOHjojpFmkJ:www.emfsolutions.ca/images/German%2520Federal%2520Agency.doc+German+Federal+AGency+for+Radiation+ DECT&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=ca&client=firefox-a
  6. Powerwater (UK), http://www.powerwatch.org.uk/news/20060222_baby_monitors.asp
  7. Maisch, D. 2006. Medical warnings needed on DECT cordless phone use. J. Aust. Coll. Nutri. & Env. Med. Vol. 25 No. 2.
  8. Kundi et al. 2004. Mobile telephones and cancer--a review of epidemiological evidence. J. Toxicol. Environ Health B Crit Rev. 7(5):351-384.
  9. Independent Export Group on Mobile Phones, 2000. http://www.iegmp.org.uk/report/index.htm
  10. An Expert Panel Report prepared at the request of The Royal Society of Canada for Health Canada. 1999. A Review of the Potential Health Risks of Radiofrequency Fields from Wireless Telecommunication Devices.
  11. Health Canada’s Safety Code 6. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/radiation/99ehd-dhm237/index-eng.php
  12. Havas, M. 2007. Analysis of Health and Environmental Effects of Proposed, San Francisco Earthlink Wi-Fi Network, 51 pp. http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:yCVV1o8QgMwJ:www.energyfields.org/pdfs/WiF-SNAFU-Havas-Science.pdf+SNAFU+Havas&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=ca&client=firefox-a
  13. Carpenter, D. and C. Sage. 2007. Bioinitiative Report. A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF), http://www.bioinitiative.org" __http://www.bioinitiative.org

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Minister's Response: Health Canada

22 October 2008

Dr. Magda Havas
[Information withheld]

Dear Dr. Havas:

This is in response to your environmental petition No. 253 of July 4, 2008, addressed to the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD).

In your petition, you raised concerns about digitally enhanced cordless technology (DECT) phones.

I am pleased to provide you with the enclosed Health Canada response to your petition. I understand the Minister of Industry will be responding to your other questions covered by his department.

I appreciate your interest in this important matter, and I hope that you will find this information useful.

Yours sincerely,

[Original signed by Tony Clement, Minister of Health and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario]

Tony Clement

Enclosure

c.c.: Mr. Scott Vaughan, CESD
The Honourable Jim Prentice, P.C., M.P.


Health Canada Response to
Environmental Petition No. 253 filed by Dr. Magda Havas
under Section 22 of the Auditor General Act
Received July 4, 2008

Request that first generation DECT phones be banned in Canada

November 1, 2008

Minister of Health and the Minister for the Federal Economic
Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

1. Based on the fact that:

a. DECT phones radiate 24/7 at maximum power, and that

b. Levels of radiation within 3 meters of a DECT phone base station, while not in use, have been associated in various scientific studies with ill health, memory loss, sleep disturbances, cancers, etc. and that

c. Newer versions of DECT phones are available in Germany that have lower emissions

Will Health Canada recommend to Industry Canada that these phones be banned in Canada? Could they also provide their rationale for their decision?

3. What is Health Canada doing to warn Canadians about DECT phones?

Answer to Questions 1 & 3:

Canadian and international scientists have looked long and hard at the possible health effects of radiofrequency (RF) fields. The results overwhelmingly indicate that there are no adverse effects observed when exposures remain below the safety limits recommended by science-based RF exposure standards, such as Health Canada’s Safety Code 6.

Safety Code 6 sets out safety requirements for the installation and use of radiofrequency (RF) and microwave devices that operate in the frequency range from 3 kHz to 300 GHz (such as DECT phones). It can be found online at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/radiation/99ehd-dhm237/index-eng.php. Since all DECT phones sold in Canada must meet the standards of Safety Code 6 as specified by Industry Canada, Health Canada does not anticipate any adverse health effects from DECT phones.
 
4. What is Health Canada doing to minimize the exposure of children to DECT phones and other types of wireless technology in schools and in the home?

The exposure limits for the general public, as specified in Health Canada’s Safety Code 6, were designed to take into account individuals of all ages of varying health status (which include susceptible groups or individuals such as children, pregnant women and the elderly). Again, when exposures remain below the safety limits recommended by science-based RF exposure standards, including Health Canada’s Safety Code 6, no adverse effects are anticipated.

5. Since studies are documenting adverse health effects at levels well below Safety Code 6 why has Health Canada not revised this safety code so that it protects the Health of Canadians?

Health Canada scientists continue to carry out internally funded studies on RF fields and to review the scientific literature on an ongoing basis either as participants in standard-setting bodies and international scientific meetings, as academic or peer reviewers for publications, or as part of a continuous program of literature surveillance. Based on information to date and the weight-of-evidence from this ongoing scientific review, the exposure limits specified in Safety Code 6 remain current and valid.

6. What combination of scientific research results is required for Health Canada to revise Safety Code 6? In other words, what does Health Canada recognize as "conclusive scientific evidence" of harmful effects? Please provide specifics of the types of scientific studies required, the number of studies required, and the types of results needed to provide what Health Canada would consider "conclusive evidence".

A weight-of-evidence approach is employed when considering peer-reviewed scientific publications and assessing the possible health risks of RF fields. This method takes into account both the quantity of studies on a particular endpoint (whether adverse or no effect), and also the quality of those studies. Poorly conducted studies (e.g. incomplete dosimetry or inadequate control samples) receive relatively little weight while properly conducted studies (e.g. all controls included, appropriate statistics, complete dosimetry, and reproducibility) will receive more weight. There are numerous concerns with the studies referenced by the petitioner; therefore, these studies have lower weight in the risk assessment process.

7. What research is Health Canada conducting or funding to determine the safety of DECT phones and other types of wireless technology including cell phones, cell phone antennas, WiFi, WiMax, smart meters, radio frequency identification tags, and broadband over power lines (BPL)?

Health effect studies on RF fields have been conducted for over 50 years. During this time, a great deal of scientific information has been obtained regarding the health impacts of these exposures. There are literally thousands of research studies and many of them have evaluated long-term exposures in experimental animals, while others have investigated the possibility of non-thermal effects. Based upon this large volume of information, it is Health Canada’s position that there is no convincing scientific evidence that human exposure to RF fields below the limits outlined in Safety Code 6 produce any adverse human health effects. Similar conclusions have been reached in a variety of reviews (see below for some examples) and by other international organizations. It is important to point out that all international science-based exposure standards are based on the same scientific literature.

Krewski D, Glickman BW, Habash RW, Habbick B, Lotz WG, Mandeville R, Prato FS, Salem T, Weaver DF. Recent advances in research on radiofrequency fields and health: 2001-2003. J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev. 10:287-318 (2007).
Valberg PA, van Deventer TE, Repacholi MH. Workgroup report: base stations and wireless networks-radiofrequency (RF) exposures and health consequences. Environ Health Perspect. 115:416-424 (2007).
Moulder JE, Foster KR, Erdreich LS, McNamee JP. Mobile phones, mobile phone base stations and cancer: a review. Int J Radiat Biol. 81:189-203 (2005).
Vijayalaxmi, Obe G. Controversial cytogenetic observations in mammalian somatic cells exposed to radiofrequency radiation. Radiat Res. 162:481-496 (2004).
Ahlbom A, Green A, Kheifets L, Savitz D, Swerdlow A; ICNIRP (International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) Standing Committee on Epidemiology. Epidemiology of health effects of radiofrequency exposure. Environ Health Perspect. 112:1741-1754 (2004).

Health Canada has been an active international partner in the global effort to understand and elucidate the potential health risks of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR). Health Canada and its scientists have participated in the World Health Organization (WHO) International EMF project, through attendance and organization of international foray and meetings and through the generation of new knowledge through scientific research of topics highlighted by the WHO EMF project as “high priority”. A list of relevant studies is included at the end of this document.

9. In light of scientific uncertainty, will Health Canada recommend prudent avoidance and/or the Precautionary Principle to the Canadian public? If not, why not?

All science-based EMF guidelines, including Safety Code 6, intrinsically use the precautionary principle in the design of exposure limits, in that the uncertainties in measurements and application of safety margins are incorporated in their specification. Safety Code 6 is based upon a review of all relevant scientific studies utilizing a weight-of-evidence basis.

10. Is any of the research conducted by Health Canada (including reviews of the literature as well as primary research) directly or indirectly funded by the wireless telecommunications industry and/or the electric utility? Could Health Canada provide a list of financial contributions made to them by these organizations during the past 10 years?

All Health Canada activities in this area have been funded entirely by the Government of Canada.

Studies Described in Question 7

Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) Studies done at Health Canada

McNamee JP, Bellier PV, Chauhan V, Gajda GB, Lemay E, Thansandote A. Evaluating DNA damage in rodent brain after acute 60 Hz magnetic-field exposure. Radiat Res. 2005 Dec;164(6):791-7.

Vijayalaxmi, McNamee JP, Scarfi MR. Comments on: "DNA strand breaks" by Diem et al. [Mutat. Res. 583 (2005) 178-183] and Ivancsits et al. [Mutat. Res. 583 (2005) 184-188]. Mutat Res. 2006 Jan 31;603(1):104-6.

McLean JR, Thansandote A, McNamee JP, Tryphonas L, Lecuyer D, Gajda G. A 60 Hz magnetic field does not affect the incidence of squamous cell carcinomas in SENCAR mice. Bioelectromagnetics. 2003 Feb;24(2):75-81.

McNamee JP, Bellier PV, McLean JR, Marro L, Gajda GB, Thansandote A. DNA damage and apoptosis in the immature mouse cerebellum after acute exposure to a 1 mT, 60 Hz magnetic field. Mutat Res. 2002 Jan 15;513(1-2):121-33.

McLean JR, Thansandote A, Lecuyer D, Goddard M. The effect of 60-Hz magnetic fields on co-promotion of chemically induced skin tumors on SENCAR mice: a discussion of three studies. Environ Health Perspect. 1997 Jan;105(1):94-6.

McLean J, Thansandote A, Lecuyer D, Goddard M, Tryphonas L, Scaiano JC, Johnson F. A 60-Hz magnetic field increases the incidence of squamous cell carcinomas in mice previously exposed to chemical carcinogens. Cancer Lett. 1995 Jun 8;92(2):121-5.

Scaiano JC, Mohtat N, Cozens FL, McLean J, Thansandote A. Application of the radical pair mechanism to free radicals in organized systems: can the effects of 60 Hz be predicted from studies under static fields? Bioelectromagnetics. 1994;15(6):549-54.

Stuchly MA, Lecuyer DW, McLean J. Cancer promotion in a mouse-skin model by a 60-Hz magnetic field: I. Experimental design and exposure system. Bioelectromagnetics. 1991;12(5):261-71.

McLean JR, Stuchly MA, Mitchel RE, Wilkinson D, Yang H, Goddard M, Lecuyer DW, Schunk M, Callary E, Morrison D. Cancer promotion in a mouse-skin model by a 60-Hz magnetic field: II. Tumor development and immune response. Bioelectromagnetics. 1991;12(5):273-87.

Stuchly MA, McLean JR, Burnett R, Goddard M, Lecuyer DW, Mitchel RE. Modification of tumor promotion in the mouse skin by exposure to an alternating magnetic field. Cancer Lett. 1992 Jul 31;65(1):1-7.

Stuchly MA, Lecuyer DW. Exposure to electromagnetic fields in arc welding. Health Phys. 1989 Mar;56(3):297-302.

Stuchly MA, Ruddick J, Villeneuve D, Robinson K, Reed B, Lecuyer DW, Tan K, Wong J. Teratological assessment of exposure to time-varying magnetic field. Teratology. 1988 Nov;38(5):461-6.

Stuchly MA, Lecuyer DW. Survey of static magnetic fields around magnetic resonance imaging devices. Health Phys. 1987 Sep;53(3):321-4.

Stuchly MA, Lecuyer DW. Induction heating and operator exposure to electromagnetic fields. Health Phys. 1985 Nov;49(5):693-700.

RF Studies done at Health Canada

Chauhan V, Mariampillai A, Kutzner BC, Wilkins RC, Ferrarotto C, Bellier PV, Marro L, Gajda GB, Lemay E, Thansandote A, McNamee JP. Evaluating the biological effects of intermittent 1.9 GHz pulse-modulated radiofrequency fields in a series of human-derived cell lines. Radiat Res. 2007 167(1):87-93.

Qutob SS, Chauhan V, Bellier P, Yauk C, Douglas G, Williams A, Berndt L, Gajda G, Thansandote A and McNamee JP. Microarray gene expression profiling of a human glioblastoma cell line exposed in vitro to 1.9 GHz pulse modulated radiofrequency fields. Radiation Research (2006, In Press).

Chauhan V, Mariampillai A, Bellier PV, Qutob SS, Gajda GB, Lemay E, Thansandote A and McNamee JP. Gene expression analysis of a human lymphoblastoma cell line exposed in vitro to an intermittent 1.9 GHz pulse-modulated radiofrequency field. Radiation Research (2006, In Press).

Moulder JE, Foster KR, Erdreich LS, McNamee JP. Mobile phones, mobile phone base stations and cancer: a review. Int J Radiat Biol. 2005 Mar;81(3):189-203.

McNamee JP, Bellier PV, Gajda GB, Lavallee BF, Marro L, Lemay E, Thansandote A. No evidence for genotoxic effects from 24 h exposure of human leukocytes to 1.9 GHz radiofrequency fields. Radiat Res. 2003 May;159(5):693-7.

Gajda GB, McNamee JP, Thansandote A, Boonpanyarak S, Lemay E, Bellier PV. Cylindrical waveguide applicator for in vitro exposure of cell culture samples to 1.9-GHz radiofrequency fields. Bioelectromagnetics. 2002 Dec;23(8):592-8.

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Minister's Response: Industry Canada

15 December 2008

Dr. Magda Havas
[information withheld]

Dear Dr. Havas:

I am writing to provide you with Industry Canada’s response to Environmental Petition No. 253, dated 19 June 2008, regarding Digital Enhanced Cordless (DECT) phones. This petition was forwarded to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Industry by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. I am pleased to respond to your questions that fall within Industry Canada’s area of responsibility.

Question 2: Will Industry Canada consider banning DECT phones in Canada? If not, what kind of information is necessary to warrant a ban of this technology?

All DECT phones that are to be sold on the Canadian market must be certified under Industry Canada’s Radio Standards Specification (RSS)-213, which provides technical regulatory requirements. In addition, DECT phones must comply with the requirements of RSS-102, entitled Radio Frequency Exposure Compliance of Radiocommunication Apparatus (All Frequency Bands), which incorporates the limits for such devices from Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 guidelines,entitled Limits of Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields in the Frequency Range from 3 kHz to 300 GHz.

Industry Canada requires that all radiocommunication apparatus comply with Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 guidelines for the protection of the general public. These guidelines are written for pregnant women, seniors, children, the chronically ill and persons with disabilities, as well as certain members of the general public who may be more susceptible than others. Safety Code 6 incorporates a safety factor to provide for all possible conditions under which the exposure might occur, and is based on the rationale that the exposure to the public is potentially 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Therefore, a ban on DECT phones is not necessary.

Question 8: Does Health Canada or Industry Canada know if DECT baby monitors are sold in Canada, and, if they are, would they consider warning the public not to use them?

Industry Canada is aware that DECT baby monitors are sold in Canada. DECT baby monitors containing Industry Canada’s certification label have met all technical requirements, including radio frequency exposure compliance, and may be sold on the Canadian market.

Question 11: Is any of the research conducted by Industry Canada (including reviews of the literature as well as primary research) directly funded by the wireless telecommunications industry and/or electric utility? Could Industry Canada provide a list of financial contributions made to them by these organizations during the past 10 years?

Industry Canada has not received funding, either directly or indirectly, from the wireless telecommunications industry and/or any electric utility for the purpose of carrying out research.

I appreciate this opportunity to respond to your petition, and trust that this information is of assistance.

Yours sincerely,

[Original signed by Tony Clement, Minister of Industry]

Tony Clement

c.c. Mr. Scott Vaughan
Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development