Elizbeth May's statement on the controversy over cell phones, EMF and Wifi

Elizabeth May came under fire recently for raising concerns about (electromagnetic frequencies) exposure resulting from WIFI, cell phones and EMF technology. We have given her the opportunity to respond and what follows is her statement.

At this point, the scientific community is examining evidence form thousands of studies. Some show a link between cell phone use and brain cancers; others find no link or association. The increase in EMF (electromagnetic frequencies) exposure from many new technologies, including cell phones and their towers, is relatively new. Long-term health studies inevitably take time.

Recently, the International Agency for Research on Cancer held a major review of the existing research. Thirty scientists from 14 countries reviewed a large number of human and animal studies. It was published in The Lancet on line on June 22, 2011. (study see this link for the full ) As a result of the review, the World Health Organization has upgraded EMF to a class 2B human carcinogen. This rating only means that it is a possible carcinogen, but warranting further study.

Let’s hope there is nothing wrong with these technologies. But the current state of knowledge leaves it an open question. Our stance is simple and responsible. Exercise the precautionary principle. A risk of a health problem requires a cautious approach until the science is settled.

For me personally, that translates into using my blackberry, but not carrying it in my pocket. I do not hold it up against my head. I prefer land lines. Do I occasionally use cell phones? Sure. Do I want high speed internet in my house? Yes, and I have a cable. Am I happy to latch onto a signal in the airport by Wifi? You bet.

It is a matter of knowing there are unanswered questions and taking reasonable precautions. If you have Wifi in your home, turn it off when you are sleeping. Locate the router away from where your grandkids sleep. Urge your kids to text more than talk with the phone to their head.

The place where those reasonable precautions are most important is related to our children. That is why the European Union and Council for Europe urge much stricter standards than in Canada.