Former film and TV hair stylist Veronica Ciandre says she was forced to makeover her life and flee her Toronto penthouse more than two years ago because rooftop cell towers made her sick.
“I loved this apartment, it was a really big penthouse apartment with an amazing view of the city,” she said. “I started having all kinds of symptoms and initially I didn’t even connect it to the towers.”
Ciandre, 51, lived at 2 Regal Rd. for more than a decade before she couch surfed to escape intense feelings of dizziness, nausea, and even heart palpitations. Once she was able to get away from the towers, she linked the
symptoms to radiation exposure.
“Here’s what I know. Before January 2010, I was well. The towers went up and within two months, I was not well,” she said. “I’m not against technology, but what I have now experienced to be true is that it affects people on a
Ciandre said she is considered “electromagnetically sensitive” by doctors – a story she will share at Toronto landlord and tenant board hearing to try to recoup thousands in rent money.
Ciandre, who now delivers empowerment workshops for a living, argues she shouldn’t have to pay her monthly rent from the time the towers were installed until she formally moved out in June 2010.
The four-day hearings – set to begin Monday – have also attracted the attention of the telecoms giant which rented space to place cellular towers on top of Ciandre’s former apartment.
Back in 2010, Ciandre said Bell Canada started talking at her hearing out of turn but the company has now been able to obtain third-party status.
“My issue is not with Bell … it’s with the landlord,” she said. “But they insisted.”
Trent University professor Dr. Magda Havas will appear as a witness at Ciandre’s hearing.
Havas, who researches environmental contaminants, is keen on raising awareness about the health affects linked to electromagnetic radiation (EMF).
“You should be informed that an antenna is coming in to your neighbourhood and you should have the ability to say yes or no,” Havas said.
Last week, Tory MP Terence Young also called on Bell Canada to remove cellular towers erected close to residential homes in his riding in Oakville, ON, but the company maintains it is adhering to federal guidelines and won’t budge.
In a letter to constituents, Young said he wants to see stricter rules for cell towers in Canada and vowed to consider introducing a private member’s bill on the issue.
In May, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified EMR radiation as “possibly carcinogenic” but companies currently have to issue an advisory to municipalities if a cell tower is
more than 15 metres high.
- with files from Michelle Mandel