During early 2015, the Canadian Government conducted a series of meetings in which witnesses provided testimony about the country’s health standard (Safety Code 6) and exposure to electromagnetic fields.
These meetings were conducted by a Panel of the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Health, which published its report in June. The report concluded that ‘Safety Code 6 provided adequate protection from established adverse health effects’. However, in light of the evidence brought to the Committee, the Panel made the following 12 recommendations to Health Canada.
1. That the Government ... examine existing cancer data collection methods to improve the collection of information relating to wireless device use and cancer.
2. That Statistics Canada consider including questions related to electromagnetic hypersensitivity in the Canadian Community Health Survey.
3. That the Government ... consider funding research into electromagnetic hypersensitivity testing, diagnosis and treatment, and its possible impacts on health in the workplace.
4. That the Canadian Medical Association, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the World Health Organization consider updating their guidelines and continuing education materials regarding the diagnosis and treatment of electromagnetic hypersensitivity to ensure they are based on the latest scientific evidence and reflect the symptoms of affected Canadians.
5. That the Government ... continue to provide reasonable accommodations for environmental sensitivities, including electro- magnetic hypersensitivity, as required under the Canadian Human Rights Act.
6. That Health Canada ensure the openness and transparency of its processes for the review of Safety Code 6, so that all Canadians have an opportunity to be informed about the evidence considered or excluded in such reviews, that outside ex- perts are provided full information when doing independent reviews, and that the scientific rationale for any change is clearly communicated.
7. That the Government ... establish a system for Canadians to report potential diverse reactions to radiofrequency fields.
8. That an independent scientific body ... examine whether measures taken and guidelines provided in other countries, such as France and Israel, to limit the exposure of vulnerable populations, including infants, and young children in the school environ- ment, to radiofrequencies should be adopted in Canada.
9. That the Government ... develop an awareness campaign relating to the safe use of wireless technologies, such as cell phones and Wi-Fi, in key environments such as the school and home to ensure that Canadian families and children are reduc- ing risks related to radiofrequency exposure.
10. That Health Canada conduct a comprehensive review of all existing literature relating to radiofrequency fields and carcino- genicity based on international best practices.
11. That the Government ... consider funding research into the link between radiofrequency fields and potential health effects such as cancer, genetic damage, infertility, impairment to development and behaviour, harmful effects to eyes and on the brain, cardiovascular, biological and biochemical effects.
12. That the Government ... and manufacturers consider policy measures regarding the marketing of radiation emitting devices to children under the age of 14, in order to ensure they are aware of the health risks and how they can be avoided.
About The Author - Lyn McLean is a consumer advocate, author and educator and has been monitoring and writing on the subject of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) for over 20 years. She is the director of EMR Australia.