Saturday, February 25, 2012
SOUTH REDONDO BEACH (CBS) — A group of SoCal mothers believe electricity is making their families sick.
CBS2’s Paul Magers spoke with these residents to find out why they think nearby power lines and their neighborhood substation is creating unsafe living conditions.
“This is my hair loss from one shower,” said Lori Barber, a resident in South Redondo Beach.
“I absolutely worry about health issues,” Doris Don-Lou Richmond, another mother in the area, told us.
Mary Contreras is another mother who said her daughter has been experiencing a variety of gastrointestinal problems and that half of her esophagus is paralyzed.
These women offered story after story of unexplained medical issues that have been affecting them and their families in recent months.
Their neighborhood is lined with schools and churches – and a Southern California Edison substation which sounds out electricity to the city of Redondo Beach.
When you first arrive in the neighborhood you may not notice the substation, innocuously surrounded by green hedges. Many residents said they didn’t even realize the substation was there until after they purchased their homes.
The first 5 homes to be built on Barber family’s street were used to house the Edison employees that worked at the facility. They had intended to tear down the homes and building to expand the substation.
However, Edison sold the homes in the ‘90s. The Barbers bought one of those residences in April 2010 from a previous owner and their baby Adelaide was born in November of that same year.
Three months later, their Barbers said their daughter was diagnosed with unexplainable gastrointestinal issues.
“I can’t help but believe it’s related to living here,” Barber said. “I have a 14-month-old baby girl that was just in the hospital last month with issues that we still don’t 100 percent have answers for or that just don’t make sense.”
Mary Contreras lives around the corner, directly behind the substation, and didn’t have answers for her son’s or daughter’s illnesses either, or the headaches that plague her daily.
“My son, he was diagnosed with a tumor, with a lot of joint problems,” Contreras said.
There is no proof what caused these illnesses but these residents believe electromagnetic fields (EMFs) generated by the Edison power lines are making them ill.
Barber’s husband, Tom, showed us the power lines surrounding his home.
“We have a situation that we have electricity from high from both sides, high from over there and underground from in front of the house,” Tom Barber said.
“You’re in your own boxed-in microwave.”
At their request, Edison has been out to measure the EMFs in all of their homes. Edison notes on its paperwork that one milligauss is the average reading in most homes. The company reported that this South Redondo community had readings that ranged between 4.1 – 32.6.
Edison said EMF readings vary based on what is inside a home: not all readings relate to power lines.
Doris Don-Lou Richmond has EMFs ranging from 5.4 – 13.9 on her property and an electrically charged gas line. The gas company’s marked her meter “11 Volts” – alerting employees to stay clear.
“It’s been three and a half years, they haven’t resolved the issue, and there’s no notation on my account other than they are not allowed to touch my gas line due to it being electrically charged,” Richmond said.
Another neighbor purchased the Edison home closest to the substation. Simona Wilson believes something called “stray voltage” is seeping into her shower and has jolted her body, causing nerve damage.
“When we learned about Simona’s situation we kind of thought it was interesting and we started reaching out to people,” Barber said.
Wilson vacated her home last September and has filed a lawsuit claiming that Edison was aware of the stray voltage for the past 20 years. She recently underwent a hysterectomy, a medical issue she also believes is linked to the Edison substation.
“I just feel horrible that we’re sitting here together while one of our neighbors is having surgery,” Barber said.
“Obviously, we’re not the only people on this block that have an issue and if you didn’t raise hell about it they weren’t coming to your house,” Barber said, referring to Edison.
CBS2 took their concerns straight to Edison.
“Certainly, I don’t dismiss customers’ frustration but to sort of characterize that we have not been engaged in trying to solve issues, you know, it’s unfortunate,” said Steve Conroy, of SoCal Edison.
“The first complaint that we actually received was around 2004, and it had to do with an issue of stray voltage,” Conroy said.
It turns out that was not the case. Edison later corrected their information in an email stating they made disclosures about EMF readings and were aware of stray voltage issues as early as 1999 – years before some of these women even moved into the neighborhood.
Conroy cited scientific studies when concluding that there was no direct correlation between EMF and health concerns.
“There’s no evidence to say EMF is safe,” according to Dr. De-Kun Li, Ph.D., of the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute. He’s studied electromagnetic fields for 15 years.
Li said no one is certain which EMF levels are safe and which are dangerous. However, his research recently linked EMF exposure to miscarriages and asthma. He says even though there’s no federal standard on EMFs people need to know to take precautions.
“My study shows above two milligause could be potentially problematic, particularly when exposed for a long time,” Li said.
That’s why the Barbers said they moved out last November.
“I’m leaving,” Contreras said. “I can’t stand to put my children and my husband and myself at risk.”
“If Edison is not willing to buy back our house or give us back what we’ve put into it we’ve potentially have lost it,” Lori Barber said.
And for many families along Knob Hill there are too many unanswered questions.
“I want to know why I have electricity in my gas line and I want it fixed,” Richmond said.
“There are substations in neighborhoods that don’t have EMFs or stray voltage – so, why does this one?” Barber asked.
Some residents are concerned about the possible effect of the electricity on nearby schools.
Alta Vista Elementary School sent a note home to parents after CBS2 reported on the situation earlier this week, saying both Southern California Edison and the gas company have checked the school and believe there’s no threat.
Edison said the company will work with Simona Wilson’s family on the stray voltage issue and says she can even hire the contractor of her choice to fix the problem.
The company also said they are working with the gas company to determine if there’s any stray voltage on the gas line.
Feb 23 2012 by Gary Fanning, Hamilton Advertiser
FURIOUS parents are up in arms over a mobile phone mast at a new £9.7million primary school in the town.
They are extremely concerned about the potential risk to children’s health caused by the Orange mobile mast in the grounds of Glengowan Primary School.
Now parents are demanding the mobile phone mast is removed before it causes harm to kids.
But the mast owners quote World Health Organisation reports saying there is no scientific evidence to confirm masts are a danger to the public.
Parents only found out about the phone mast when the 370 pupils were relocated to the new school in Summerlee Road last month. The school has been built on the site of the former roads department depot, a move which has sparked fresh controversy about the phone mast.
The mast was erected in Summerlee Road on July 4, 2002, and became operational the following summer – after furious residents won a battle to stop Orange erecting the phone mast in Hamilton Road.
Hundreds of residents signed a petition opposed to the initial erection of the mast and South Lanarkshire Council gave Orange permission to move the mast to the site in nearby Summerlee Road. Now, ironically, it stands right at the new primary school.
One mum said this week: “It is diabolical this is in a school playground. None of the parents knew about this.
“It is definitely not going to remain there while our children are at school.
“If it is not to be located near residents in Hamilton Road, then it shouldn’t be allowed to remain where there are young children.
“It is too close to where children are playing in the school grounds.”
The town’s councillors share parents’ concerns and want the phone mast removed.
Larkhall Labour councillor Jackie Burns, deputy leader of the council, said: “I was contacted by a parent of a Glengowan Primary School pupil about two months ago and asked if I knew that there was a telephone phone mast on the new school site in Summerlee Road.
“It was put in place there on council land with planning consent in 2002. I have asked for the council to pursue the application and move it to a more suitable location away from Glengowan Primary.”
Larkhall SNP councillor Peter Craig has asked council officials for written confirmation on what they are going to do about the mobile phone mast at the school. He said: “It is far from ideal that this phone mast is now situated in the school grounds.
“If the phone mast wasn’t there before the school was built there would have been no problems.
“I don’t think it would have been accepted.
“But it is much more difficult to get it dismantled now that it is there.”
A council spokeswoman said: “Government guidance does not preclude masts from being located next to schools and, as such, there was no specific requirement for the location of the mast to be considered during the assessment of the new school proposal.
“In addition, no representations were received either through the planning process, or during the consultation with parents carried out by education resources.”
The mobile phone mast was erected on council-owned land in 2003 at the request of South Lanarkshire Council following a series of meetings between Orange, the local authority and residents in Hamilton Road.
A spokeswoman for Orange said this week they have no plans to move the phone mast from the school.
“Orange were not approached by the council before, during or after the construction of the new school.” she added.
“We are quite happy, however, to meet the local authority and school representatives to discuss the issue, but we currently have no plans to remove or relocate the equipment.”
BY JENNIFER LAWSON, THE CITIZEN FEBRUARY 24, 2012
Answers about the radiation exposure from the looming smart meters are not forthcoming from BC Hydro, despite rejection of the concept from the World Health Organization.
As Dr. Robert Becker, surgeon and author twice nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize states:
"The greatest polluting element in the Earth's environment is the proliferation of electromagnetic fields. Scientists estimate that the levels are now 200 million times higher than they were 100 years ago. If the price of milk had increased at the same rate as the level of electromagnetic radiation, we would be paying $14 million for a quart of milk today!"
Municipalities across North America and Europe are providing the choice to opt out of smart meters, which we must demand here as well. Non-consent forms can be placed on our meters at home and we mustn't succumb to anyone wanting to "service" the meter. We cannot allow ourselves to be bulldozed into an unhealthy living situation merely for the convenience of a large uncaring corporation.
Rich Coleman consistently says there is only one per cent objecting, which is a lie, but his propaganda reigns supreme.
Jennifer Lawson Duncan
© Copyright (c) Postmedia News
Feb 24, 2012 4:17 PM CLST
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- State regulators are proposing NV Energy Inc. offer digital electric meters that can be read from a moving vehicle to customers who oppose the utility's new smart meters.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the Public Utilities Commission released a draft order Thursday outlining a program for ratepayers who want to opt out of smart meters.
Company officials say replacing 1.45 million analog meters statewide with meters that can be read remotely would save $36 million a year.
But some customers object, citing fears that electromagnetic waves from the smart meters could be harmful.
The draft order calls for NV Energy to file suggestions for opt-out rates within the next two months.