Canada Newswire  [Printer-friendly version]
September 12, 2006


[Rachel's introduction: "In the absence of 'hard science,' the
[Canadian Cancer] Society promotes the precautionary principle, which
recognizes the value of taking common sense steps to prevent harm to
human health or the environment."]

VANCOUVER, Sept. 12 -- The Canadian Cancer Society, B.C. [British
Columbia] and Yukon Division, has submitted a letter to the
Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) and the B.C. Utilities
Commission (BCUC) to clarify its position on electric and magnetic
fields (EMF) and its possible link to cancer. The BCUC accepted public
input until September 8 on the Vancouver Island Transmission

Reinforcement Project running through the community of Tsawwassen to
Vancouver Island; the EAO is accepting comments until September 15,
2006. In July, the BCUC approved a plan to install overhead power
lines along a right-of-way through central Tsawwassen despite concerns
raised by residents over health and safety risks to children, posed by
the power lines' EMF [electro-magnet field].

Critics of the project have pointed to advice on EMF available on the
Canadian Cancer Society's website. "There is insufficient scientific
evidence to either rule out or confirm a definitive link between
exposure to EMF and childhood leukemia," says

Barbara Kaminsky, CEO for the Canadian Cancer Society, B.C. and Yukon
Division. "But we absolutely understand the public concern generated
by potential carcinogens, particularly where children are involved. We
recommend the EAO revise the transmission plan, if it is practical, in
relation to power line routes directly over private residential
property and school property."

The Canadian Cancer Society also suggests individuals limit their
exposure to EMF by taking precautionary actions, which include
limiting the amount of time children spend playing directly beneath
power lines, updating household wiring in an older home, and sitting
at arms length from a computer terminal.

"In many cases we don't know how cancer develops and we need more
information," says Kaminsky. "In the absence of 'hard science,' the
Society promotes the precautionary principle, which recognizes the
value of taking common sense steps to prevent harm to human health or
the environment."

The Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) is a provincial agency that
coordinates assessment of the impacts of major development proposals
in British Columbia.

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization
of volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and to enhance the
quality of life of people living with cancer. In British Columbia and
the Yukon, the Society works with approximately 20,000 volunteers in
over 80 communities, funded nine new research grants in 2006/07 worth
more than $4.6 million, and recently established the Canadian Cancer
Society Research Chair in Primary Prevention at UBC. For more
information, visit, or call our toll-free, bilingual
Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333.

For further information: Media contact: Marcelo Dominguez,
Communications Officer, Canadian Cancer Society, B.C. and Yukon
Division, T: (604) 675-7340, C: (778) 999-2592,

Copyright 2005 CNW Group Ltd.