The Honourable James Moore:
I am writing this as a personal plea for help in a very serious matter that involves not only my daughter, who is fighting for her life after a bone marrow transplant, but the safety of all children and families who live in Bronte and within a close proximity to where Bell Canada plans to erect a new cell phone tower at 3135 Lakeshore Road W. in Oakville, Ontario.
While Bell Canada says no public consultation is required since what this telecommunications giant plans to erect is a 14.9 meter tower, below the limit of 15 meters, and claims Electromagnetic Radiation is within Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 – cell phone towers in close proximity to residential areas have become a burning issue around the globe. Just google cell phone towers, and a number of news stories appear with heart-wrenching stories of families diagnosed with cancer after these towers were erected near their homes. In one particular story, within four months two brothers were diagnosed with brain cancer, while even the family pet was inflicted with the disease.
Through research by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), The World Health Organization has now classified Electromagnetic Radiation as a Class 2B carcinogen or possible cancer-causing agent. Eighty countries use standards set out by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), which claim to keep us safe. But while study after study show no demonstrated short term effects of electromagnetic fields on health, the scientific community agrees there are still open and serious questions on long-term effects. That is why countries like Switzerland have clamped down and set limits that are below the ICNIRP standards, especially in areas where there are classrooms. And on Sept. 1, 2012, India set electromagnetic frequency exposure limit for all mobile phone base stations to one-tenth of the existing ICNIRP standards.
Bottom line is we cannot afford to take chances with the health of our citizens. In the end we all pay, especially our strained health care system. I beg you to visit the cancer ward at Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto, where my daughter was a patient for five years, after contracting Hodgkins Lymphoma at age 9. The eighth floor is cramped with children suffering from this dreaded disease, and though the miracle doctors saved my daughter’s life with a stem cell transplant, many others never make it. In Oakville alone, a school friend of my daughter’s contracted Hodgkins Lymphoma and passed away. Right next door, her neighbour’s son was also diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and died. I ask, is this a cancer cluster? I think so, as there are others.
Ten years later, my daughter is now a patient at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, after being diagnosed with leukemia. The doctors have again saved her life, this time with a 10 out of 10 bone marrow match through Canadian Blood Services One Match. But we are not out of the woods yet.
Thanks to research, doctors are finding protocols with better outcomes for cancer patients. Research in time will also uncover why so many more young people are being inflicted. Skye begs you all to have a heart, to think of her long journey and to protect all the children who could be adversely affected with decisions which may seem right now, but could be wrong in the long term.
Yes, our economy thrives on technological advancements that allow us to communicate in a nano second and enjoy spectacular entertainment. Even my family is a customer of Bell and its new FIBE TV. But I ask, can we not find locations more suitable for these cell phone towers than a residential area? My home is located in ground zero. I ask, profit at what price?
Thank you for listening, and please heed my plea for help.
Freelance journalist, radio commentator and former Money Editor, Sun Media
VP, Marketing and Business Development, Cambria.
(a pdf of this letter can be found here: lindaleatherdale.pdf)