Electromagnetic radiation danger challenged


Electromagnetic radiation danger challenged
County Council sessions on subject to continue.

Tribune Political Writer

SOUTH BEND -- Agreement was in short supply Wednesday as members of an informal group concerned about electromagnetic radiation and low frequency noise met resistance to their conclusions that the phenomena represent a health hazard.

The meeting, conducted by County Council President Rafael Morton and Council Member Mark Catanzarite, was the third in a series that now appears likely to continue for weeks, if not longer.

Morton, D-District D, said he thought it unlikely that the group can come to a conclusion in two or three more meetings and said he planned to continue the sessions without setting a time limit.

"It's very early in the process as far as I'm concerned," Morton said.

The last session was attended by Dr. Roland Chamblee, county health officer, who said in a later interview that he doesn't know of a connection between electromagnetic radiation, low-frequency noise and various diseases, but does know it would cost millions of dollars and take years of research to find out.

Wednesday's session featured comments by Marjorie Lundquist, a bioelectromagnetic hygienist from Milwaukee who said she has a doctorate in physics.

Lundquist said that in 1980, she became interested in the health hazards associated with video display terminals and then started thinking about similar problems associated with electrical power lines.

She recommended installing filtering equipment on ground wires leading from electrical installations to the Earth, then monitoring the effect on those who have disease symptoms that may be connected to the high frequency impulses.

John Matwyshyn, a Mishawakan who said he programs and designs digital circuitry, said federal studies during the 1990s concluded that the power lines were nothing to be concerned about.

That comment led Jeff Symmes, a Battleground, Ind., resident who is the leader of the informal group, to contend that the studies referred to by Matwyshyn were paid for by the electrical industry.

At an earlier meeting, Symmes had called for a moratorium on the construction of cell phone towers. The group believes the towers are a source of unhealthy radiation.

The next meeting will be May 4 in the County Council conference room on the fourth floor of the County-City Building. Another meeting is scheduled for May 18.

Staff writer James Wensits:
(574) 235-6353

Informant: Sylvie


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April 2005

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