Reader expresses concern about danger of electromagnetic radiation from the Enerdu project

This is a letter sent to the Millstone, published as received.

July 31, 2014

Open letter to the Mississippi Mill City Counsillors:

An important detail that seems to have been overlooked in the discussion of the ENERDU project is the electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and Electric magnetic fields (EMF) produced and its potential negative impact on the people in the area. I urge you to read the details below and to consider the health of residents of Mississippi Mills whom you represent when deciding the future of ENERDU.

The preponderance of evidence continues to be inconclusive about electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and Electric magnetic fields (EMF) from power plants and power lines such as from the proposed Enerdu project. Google searches will confirm my claims.

This proposed project is planned to be built in the midst of a village which will be exposed to potential EMR and EMF for 24/7 from this structure. In addition, the fact that in some countries EMR and EMF are considered harmful and not in others proves that the science is inconclusive or subject to vested interest. This makes it subject to the Precautionary Principle (PP) as explained next:

Precautionary Principle

The precautionary principle or precautionary approach states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the action. This principle allows policy makers to make discretionary decisions in situations where there is the possibility of harm from taking a particular course or making a certain decision when extensive scientific knowledge on the matter is lacking. The principle implies that there is a social responsibility to protect the public from exposure to harm, when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk. These protections can be relaxed only if further scientific findings emerge that provide sound evidence that no harm will result.

Many people are concerned about potential adverse health effects. Much of the research about power lines and potential health effects is inconclusive. Despite more than two decades of research to determine whether elevated EMF exposure, principally to magnetic fields, is related to an increased risk of childhood leukemia, there is still no definitive answer. The general scientific consensus is that, thus far, the evidence available is weak and is not sufficient to establish a definitive cause-effect relationship.

However, in 1998, an expert working group, organized by the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), assessed the health effects of exposure to extremely low frequency EMF, the type found in homes near power lines. Based on studies about the incidence of childhood leukemia involving a large number of households, NIEHS found that power line magnetic fields are a possible cause of cancer. The working group also concluded that the results of EMF animal, cellular, and mechanistic (process) studies do not confirm or refute the finding of the human studies. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO) reached a similar conclusion.

It is suggested that people concerned about possible health risk from power lines can reduce their exposure by:

  • Increasing the distance between you and the source – The greater the distance
  • between you and the power lines the more you reduce your exposure.
  • Limiting the time spent around the source – Limit the time you spend near power lines to reduce your exposure.

Please note that none of these options are open to the citizens living nearby. A plant such as Enerdu should not be located in the middle of a town!



Peter Heise, Golden Line Road, Almonte, ON, K0A 1A0
– A people of sheep will eventually invite a government of wolves.
Millstone editor
Ministry of the Environment