Pick of the Week #8: Repacholi Revises Safety Code 6.
Dr. Michael Repacholi, prior to becoming the Coordinator of the Radiation and Environmental Health Unit at the World Health Organization, was involved in formulating Canada’s Safety Code 6 Guideline for microwave radiation. In 1977, he and Maria Stuchly gave a talk at the I.E.E.E. meeting in Toronto entitled “Emission and Exposure Standards for Microwave Radiation.”
In this presentation Repacholi and Stuchly proposed a Canadian maximum permissible level (MPL) for microwave radiation that was between the then U.S. guideline (10 mW/cm2) and the Russian guideline (0.01 mW/cm2). The recommended MPL was 1 mW/cm2 for occupational exposure and 0.1 mW/cm2 for public exposure. These proposed guidelines are much lower than what we currently have (5 mW/cm2 for occupational exposure and 1 mW/cm2 for unlimited public exposure).
Here are a few key statements in this document:
- “The fact that maximum permissible exposure levels are recommended indicates that confirmed biological effects have been found, and that definite health hazards exist.”
- “ . . . there is increasing dissatisfaction in the U.S. with the 10 mW/cm2 figure since it does not contain sufficient safety factors to allow for the increased effects observed with pulsed beams . . . (Note WiFi and mobile phones have a pulsed beam.)
- The USSR allows its workers to be exposed to 1 mW/ cm2 (current 24-hour public exposure limit for Canada and U.S.] for only 20 minutes a day and to 0.1 mW/ cm2 for only 2 hours a day (proposed guideline for public exposure that was NOT adopted).
- Although most of the non-thermal effects have not yet been confirmed in the West, this does not mean the effects do not exist.
- The general public represents a much larger population than the radiation workers and so one cannot accept as high a risk probability.
Unfortunately the recommended lowering of Safety Code 6 was not accepted in 1977. Today we have a much larger population exposed to even higher levels of microwave radiation and we are exposing this population to an even higher probability of risk.
What is most disturbing is that on August 31, 2010 Health Canada issued a statement on their website that . . . “As long as exposure is below these established limits [i.e. Safety Code 6], there is no convincing scientific evidence that this equipment [WiFi] is dangerous to schoolchildren or to Canadians in general.”
If this radiation is so safe then why did Dr. Repacholi recommend a reduction in existing guidelines more than 30 years ago?
The truth is that we have no scientific evidence that this equipment (WiFi) is safe or dangerous to students as the studies with children have not been conducted! Instead we are in the middle of one of the largest human experiments ever and we are using children as guinea pigs. It will take a few years until we learn what the short-term effects are and possibly generations to learn what the long-term effects are of this technology.
What Health Canada should be saying is “There are no scientific studies of the effect of WiFi on children and we have no convincing scientific evidence that microwave radiation at levels below Safety Code 6 is safe.”