High voltage power lines harmful to nearby residents

Louis K. Berg’s letter about power lines as an election issue (Advocate letters, April 13) nicely summarizes concerns. We should examine political parties’ stands on that issue during the provincial election.

Louis K. Berg’s letter about power lines as an election issue (Advocate letters, April 13) nicely summarizes concerns. We should examine political parties’ stands on that issue during the provincial election.

Current high-voltage power line upgrades, re-routings and other changes by AltaLink around Red Deer give us an additional chance to intervene through the public participation hearings related to them. I attended a local open house presentation and received two hefty packages by Canada Post about AltaLink’s plans and applications to the Alberta Electric Services Operator, the Alberta Utilities Commission and so on.

AltaLink’s mailed package included a small pamphlet about radiation associated with electric and magnetic fields (EMFs). The open house materials included a 63-page booklet about it. AltaLink’s “selected” EMFs bibliography, too long to reproduce here, seems to have been chosen based on whether they find EMFs to have an acceptable level of risk. They avoid talking about hazards to humans. Most reports there are written by experts associated with nuclear-related and power generation industries, or government departments promoting energy use while regulating it — a conflict of interest.

Accessing other bibliographies about EMFs online or in journals, news reports or elsewhere produces another bibliography, by responsible government agencies, the UN and independent university researchers — reporting that radiation of any sort and in any amount, including EMFs, is hazardous.

It can cause cancer, genetic mutations, birth defects, immune system and allergy response defects and other problems. These research results conclude that there is no safe level of radiation, including EMFs, for human beings as well as other living organisms. These reports were not listed or even hinted at in the AltaLink materials.

It’s “buyer beware” when it comes to corporations selling electricity and trying to convince us that we need more.

Ken Collier, Chair

Council of Canadians,

Red Deer and Area