Letters to the Editor

EMFs promote cancer growth | Letters | Feb. 12

Several years ago we went through an extended confrontation with Puget Power regarding their campaign to install power transmission lines where none were needed.

In the end they resolved the issue by installing a switch at the Day Road substation; something we had recommended from the start.

Then it was Puget Power and now it is Puget Sound Energy, but the modus operandi are the same. They dust off 50-year-old plans with almost no new engineering and zero new technology and wrap it all in a public relations campaign to try to frighten us into doing things their way.

At the time I was involved in the issue as an officer of ZAP – Bainbridge Citizens for Zero Adverse Power. My personal assignment was to research the impact of transmission lines on property values.

The answer for Bainbridge Island in 1994 was simple; the impact was negative, to the tune of about $15,000 per transmission line frontage lot.

But I also got involved in researching the issue of possible effects of electro-magnetic fields (EMFs) from the transmission lines on human health.

As Ms. Davis recommends in her letter published in the Feb. 5 Review (“PSE’s island investment shouldn’t be overlooked”), I have indeed read the literature.

What I found in the literature was a pattern of misdirection like that in Ms. Davis’ letter. Namely, she says that the “research did not establish a cause and effect relationship between EMFs and cancer.”

But that’s not really the issue. I don’t think anybody knows what causes cancer; if they did we would be in a better position to cure it.

The issue is that there are numerous studies that show statistical correlations between EMFs and cancer, whether EMFs are the cause or not. (If you define cancer cluster as including multiple kinds of cancer rather than redefining cluster to mean a specific type of cancer, the correlations increase.) Maybe EMFs just promote cancer growth.

There is no doubt that EMFs affect cell growth. Doctors use a treatment to help heal broken bones by exposing the area to EMFs for a few minutes a day.

This helps the bones grow together. Similarly, it seems to me that there is quite a bit of evidence that supports the idea that EMFs promote cancer growth.

If the power company researchers were to address the growth promotion issue rather than trying to reduce everything to cause and effect, the answers might be quite a bit different.

Michael Silves

Fletcher Bay

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