Power Companies Warned of EMF Dangers 18 years ago

Posted on June 25, 2012 by onthelevelblog

18 years ago, in a veiled warning sent out with Pacific Gas and Electric utility bills, PG&E warns “studies have reported a weak association between estimates of residential magnetic field exposure and certain types of childhood cancer.”

Scratching your head? Turns out the leaflets were sent out- and PG&E knew of the dangers of EMF’s- nearly two decades ago:

(Click on leaflet to enlarge)


A California Public Utilities Commission public panel- the EMF consensus group- that included representatives from the utilities, labor, and the general public was set up in the early nineties in response to growing outrage over childhood leukemia clusters around high tension power lines. “The Great Power Line Cover Up” by Paul Brodeur describes how PG&E tried to cover up a powerline cancer cluster at a Fresno elementary school and SCE did the same in Montecito.  The parallels with the smart meter health cover-up are eerie.

The EMF consensus group recommended that “low cost and no cost measures” be taken to reduce public exposure to electromagnetic fields, a policy that the CPUC adopted. Only 15 years later, the Commission approved the smart meter mesh network- a extraordinarily high cost measure that has monumentally increased the public’s exposure to EMF.

Setting aside obvious questions for the moment here (isn’t preventing your child from getting leukemia worth more than a “low cost?” and “why are they trying  to kill us?”) it seems that the folks asleep at the regulatory wheel have swerved off the road and are heading for the cliff at high speed.

To justify taking these horrific risks, extraordinary linguistic gymnastics are exercised by the CPUC to avoid saying the obvious- that EMF’s cause cancerBear witness.

(Click to enlarge)


Twenty years later- with the science more certain than ever, and sources of the radiation multiplying, the utility and regulatory industries have retreated further in their shell and still insist ‘the jury’s out’ -even as the toll mounts.

The person who brought this flyer to our attention told SSM!:

“I had been impressed to read of possible health dangers from EMF exposure, and started to keep a file on the topic, as this brochure indicated to me that PG&E was expecting to see further health studies regarding EMF exposure and human proximity guidelines. Based on having received this brochure, I moved the alarm clock away from my bed, asked my daughters to sit farther away from the TV set, minimized hair dryer usage, and so forth.

What makes this PG&E brochure so fascinating to me is the nature of the information then provided to PG&E customers, with informative charts on types of fields and measurements of various household appliances at various distances with associated magnetic fields). It shows that PG&E knew many years ago the dangers of EMF fields… some 18 years ago. “

Don’t we need an “EMF Consensus Group” in Californiaway more in 2012 than we did in 1991?  If the unimaginable occurred and the public could sit down in a room with the utilities and regulators and came to some “consensus”, would the CPUC respect the outcome and follow sensible EMF policies favored by  the public- more than they did the first time around?  Or would it all be thrown under the bus in the pursuit of profit and control?

The answer might go some way toward explaining why these things end up in court, or in the streets.

Full text of PG&E’s mid 1990′s EMF Flyer here: UNDERSTANDING EMF

Compare with 2012:  UNDERSTANDING RF


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