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South Glengarry Council hears 5G concerns

Image of Nick Seebruch
By Nick Seebruch
South Glengarry Council hears 5G concerns
Cell phone tower. Gary Lerude, Flickr.

LANCASTER, Ontario – The Township of South Glengarry Council heard concerns around implementing 5G wireless internet in municipality in a presentation from Kathleen Szirtes at their meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 6.

A social worker working in counselling offices in Ottawa and Cornwall, Szirtes hopes to open a practice in Lancaster, but is concerned about plans to improve rural internet through the implementation of 5G networks and wireless internet towers.

“We understand that exposure of cell technology increases the risk of childhood cancer and cancer in adults,” stated Szirtes at the meeting.

Szirtes claimed that cell phones, which emit non-ionizing radiation, and cell phone towers reduce fertility, decrease productivity and harm livestock and farm crops.

According to Health Canada however, there is currently limited evidence of a connection between cell phone usage and cancer.

“However, the vast majority of scientific research to date does not support a link between RF energy exposure and human cancers,” reads a statement on Health Canada’s website.

Health Canada does go on to state that it believes further research into the effects of radio frequencies (RF) and non-ionizing radiation on human health is warranted.

“At present, the evidence of a possible link between RF energy exposure and cancer risk is far from conclusive and more research is needed to clarify this “possible” link,” the statement goes on to say. “Health Canada is in agreement with both the World Health Organization and IARC that additional research in this area is warranted.”

Szirtes explained that there is a health risk posed to many of her clients, who include first responders and those who suffer from brain injuries.

“In a year from now, my property will may not be safe for the health for my clients,” Szirtes said. She explained that those suffering from brain injuries often have a sensitivity to electromagnetic frequencies.

Szirtes said she has gone door-to-door to talk to people in the community about her concerns.

“I’ve done this for the sake of my clients, and for my family, who I want to be safe and not living next to a cell phone tower a year from now,” she said.

While she admits that she does use her cell phone and the internet for her business,  Szrites asked Council to name cell phone technology as a human health hazard and to investigate the effects that cell phone towers have on local property values.

Mayor Frank Prevost said that her concerns would be referred to administration for further study.

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