11 May 2006

The NTEU has called on RMIT University to ensure the health and safety of its staff following reports that seven staff members working in a building at 239 Bourke St have been diagnosed with brain tumours over the last seven years.

“This would appear to be much more than co-incidence, and RMIT has a responsibility to leave no stone unturned in seeking the cause,” NTEU Victorian Division Secretary Matthew McGowan said today.

NTEU representatives met with University management early this morning, and successfully argued that the building’s top two floors be immediately evacuated.

“RMIT has done the right thing in evacuating staff from the top two floors of the building, which is where the affected staff members work. No-one should return to working on those floors until the University is absolutely certain that it is safe.”

Mr McGowan said that while it was as yet unknown whether there is a common link between the different cases, the floors’ proximity to the building roof, where telecommunications towers are erected, is a serious concern.

“RMIT has to examine all possibilities, however remote, to deal with this serious problem. We are happy to provide whatever assistance we can. ”

“Meanwhile, we will continue to talk with and support affected members during this difficult time.”

For further information and comment:

Matthew McGowan, NTEU
Victorian Division Secretary
0417 054 110

Jeanette Pierce, NTEU
RMIT Branch President
0438 706 508


Informant: Bill Baird

From Tetra Information


RMIT risk management report ignores ELF

Retraction of last message
[ http://www.emfacts.com/weblog/index.php?p=476 ]

While re-reading the EMC Radiofrequency Field Survey of the RMIT building this morning I saw in horror that the last two pages did not print on my printer last night. These pages do in fact mention that ELF measurements were taken so I have deleted the previous message with apologies to all concerned. Not a good way to start the day to say the least!

Measured levels on level 17 were a maximum of14.4 milliGauss (mG) and on level 16, 6.9 mG, both at floor level. What the levels were at the desks where the people with brain tumours worked is not mentioned.

HOWEVER if we consider these measured levels, ELF magnetic fields cannot be simply dismissed. As far as a connection with cancer we have the consistent connection with childhood leukaemia at 4 mG, a replicated connection with the blocking of the ability of Tamoxifen and melatonin to control breast cancer cells at 12 mG, and a wealth of other evidence for low level adverse health effects. As for chronic ELF effects not related to cancer see the various papers on my web site : http://www.emfacts.com

For example, in a small scale examination of 49 patients diagnosed with CFS we saw significant changes in health status with those found to have prolonged exposures of 7.1 mG after removal of exposures. See: http://www.emfacts.com/papers/cfs_changes.pdf

The SRMA and EMC reports on RMIT building 108 takes as a given that the measured ELF levels are acceptable as they are below the NH&MRC limits. What they do not clarify however is that these limits (1000mG residential and 5000 mG occupational) are irrelevant to the cancer question. According to the Australian Radiation Laboratory in 1991 (discussing these exposure limits) :” These limits represent plausible field values, below which immediate adverse health effects are unlikely… they are not intended to provide protection against possible cancer induction by continued exposure at the lower field levels implicated in the studies…”

In conclusion my previous comments on the SRMA and EMC reports were incorrect and are retracted. However, reliance on NH&MRC or International limits as providing safety from chronic low level exposures is not justified.

Don Maisch





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Mai 2006

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