The Oak Bay News reports, Victoria school district rings up smart phone bill, spending $135,000 a year (the equivalent of 2-3 staff positions, depending on what they are) on these vanity gadgets while jobs are lost and teachers and parents express concerns of student needs not being met. The chronic underfunding of public education aside for a moment, do these employees with their “invaluable” Smart Phones know about the related health risks? Have they read that two of the world’s largest insurance companies, Lloyd’s of London and Swiss Re, have been recommending that other insurance companies follow their lead and write in exclusion clauses against paying compensation for illnesses caused by continuous long-term non-ionizing radiation exposure [1,2], calling it the next asbestos? The Austrian insurance company AUVA report confirms this (requires a bilingual reader). The bad news for employers who expose their workers heavily to non-ionizing radition, like with cell phones, cordless phones and the like, is that precedents are being set. There are already cases where workers have gotten compensation because tumours were caused by cell phones and other occupational EMF exposure. [1,2,3,4,5]. And the amount of cases will most likely increase rapidly. The case in Breshia, Italy should be of significant concern to employers as the judge wouldn’t allow for any industry studies to be used to determine the outcome of the case.
We read that the latency time for brain tumours caused by cell phone and DECT phone use is 30+ years, similar to the latency periods of lung cancer tumours from smoking and mesothelioma from asbestos. Most types of cancers occur many years, even decades after the initial exposure to the carcinogen.
In 30+ years if these same employees are unlucky enough to find themselves diagnosed with brain tumours what value will they then put on this instant communication, when they could have easily picked up a landline in their office or sent an email from a school district computer. This decision to provide cell phones at such a cost, not only risks employee health it takes money from an already underfunded budget that’s depriving students.