Carrefour de l'actualité

Polytechnique Montréal launches an electro-urban brigade

May 24, 2012 - Source : NEWS

Are the radio waves from antennas, cellphones and smart meters harmful to human health? It's a complex question that weighs heavily on many people's minds.

Today, as part of its 11th Journée de la recherche (“Research Day”), Polytechnique Montréal launches an “electro-urban brigade” in response to the fears expressed by the public regarding the health effects of radio frequencies.

Made up of six students and led by Thomas Gervais, faculty lecturer at Polytechnique and science journalist, the new brigade aims to gather questions, comments and concerns from the public regarding the health effects of radio waves. People can then call upon Polytechnique students to perform free measurements in their homes (in the metropolitan area) and to test objects that emit radio frequencies. The electro-urban brigade can also speak with people who are “electro-hypersensitive” and test their reactions to radio frequencies in controlled environments.


Back, left to right: Béatrice Boudreault, Wendy-Julie Madore, Thomas Gervais, Esther Valtina Pouegue Kemgang. Front, left to right: François Bergeron, Francis Bulota, Jérome Poulin.

Over the summer, the Polytechnique brigade will study the spectral characteristics of commercial wave-detection equipment and describe all the wave sources that can be found in the home environment: from telephones, routers, televisions, microwaves, induction stoves, smart meters, and so forth. The students will also focus on the spectral description of waves in the urban environment and will measure intensities near radio, cellular and TV antennas.

Throughout the summer, the electro-urban brigade will independently gather various types of data that will serve to inform the population in a credible, rigorous way about the health effects of low-frequency electromagnetic waves.

This project is made possible thanks to a donation from the Trottier Family Foundation.

People who want to send questions to the electro-urban brigade can e-mail or find the team on Facebook at

Note that an open letter of support with statements on the so-called effects of smart meters and other comparable radio-frequency technologies on human health has already been signed by some 60 professor-researchers from six Québec universities. You can read and sign the letter on the website (Petition 956).

May 24, 2012, article in Le Devoir from  (in French only)
Profile of Thomas Gervais (in French only)

Suggested Reading

May 1, 2020

COVID-19 : Polytechnique professors in transportation and sustainable mobility prepare for deconfinement

November 27, 2012

Protégez-Vous and Polytechnique study on electromagnetic radiofrequency fields: Measurements well below the standard limits