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Toronto’s Board of Health says the federal government should tell the public where cellphone antennas and telecommunication structures are in the city and what levels of radio frequencies they emit.
The board didn’t accept the recommendation of Medical Officer of Health Dr. David McKeown that the city drop its “prudent avoidance” policy on emissions from cell antennas.
In a report to the Nov. 4 meeting, McKeown said the policy “does not confer a health benefit to the residents of Toronto.”
Responding to concerns from citizens, city council in 2008 endorsed asking Industry Canada not to allow RF emissions unless they are 100 times more stringent than the Health Canada guideline.
Toronto Public Health assessed 33 applications for cell towers and found, “with few exceptions,” compliance has been high, but the city lacks jurisdiction to enforce the standard, McKeown has told the board.
Residents in the Scarborough neighbourhoods of Guildwood and Rosewood have opposed cell tower applications, citing health concerns, particularly for children.
The city’s health department maintains “majority scientific opinion indicates that the health risk to the public from cell towers and other telecommunications sources of RFs is low.”