Why Are Increasing Cell Phone Towers So Concerning?

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What most people, including experts, fail to understand is that the danger from land-based portable phones, cell phones and WiFi routers is not from the magnetic radiation or the microwave carrier wave from which typical SAR ratings are given on phones. Unless you have massive exposures like you might expect in a microwave oven, these thermal effects are insignificant.

Nearly all the biological damage comes from the modulated signals that are carried ON the carrier microwave. These modulated information-carrying radio waves resonate in biological frequencies of a few to a few hundred cycles per second, and can stimulate your vibrational cellular receptors causing a whole cascade of pathological consequences that can culminate in fatigue, anxiety and ultimately cancers.

Again, this is a very serious concern because, unless you live in an isolated rural setting, you are probably being exposed to these radio-waves day-in and day-out – whether or not you even own or use a cell phone.

Numerous studies have linked exposure to information-carrying radio waves to health problems, but you may not realize that your symptoms are related to these radio frequencies because they could easily be attributed to other causes as well.

Aside from cancer and brain tumors, cells phones and other radio frequencies can cause:
• Alzheimer’s, senility and dementia
• Parkinson’s
• Autism
• Headaches
• Sleep disruptions and fatigue
• Altered memory function, poor concentration and spatial awareness

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Orange mobile phone company agreed to remove its cell phone mast – dubbed the “Tower of Doom” – from the top of a five-story London apartment building after seven of its residents got cancer.

The cancer rate among those living on the top floor, where residents from five of the eight flats were affected, is 20 percent – 10 times the national average.

The mast, along with a second mast owned by Vodafone, was put up in 1994. Since then, residents have battled cancer, headaches and other health problems they say are caused by radiation from the masts. Three residents have died from cancer, while another four are still fighting the disease.

The World Health Organization and other agencies say there is no risk of radiation from cell phone masts, so the companies had no legal obligation to remove the masts.

In August 2007, after a long legal battle, Orange agreed to move the mast from the building – to another area near homes, a public library and a primary school.

Vodafone has no plans to remove their mast from the building, and is working on securing a new long-term lease.

Unless you live in some unbelievably remote location, the odds are high that you’re being bombarded with information-carrying radio waves that can wreak havoc on your body.

These radio waves have increased dramatically and exponentially over the last few years – especially from cell phones, but also from WiFi, WiMax, BlueTooth, and other wireless devices. For most people, the damage from this 24-7 exposure will take years or even decades to surface since there is a lag time of five to 20 years for the health effects to become clinically apparent.

For those unfortunate people in London who were living directly below a major cell phone mast, the damage became apparent sometime between the mast’s construction in 1994 and the beginning of the resident’s campaign to have the mast removed in 2002.

You may not realize that you are likely living closer to a cell phone tower than you think. Cell “sites” can look like antennas or huge towers, but they can also be quite camouflaged. They exist on many schools, churches, firehouses, cemeteries and even in national parks. If you’re wondering why a school or park would want a cell site on their grounds, it’s because the cell phone companies pay to have them there, with fees that can range upwards of $2,000 a month.

While there are already more than 175,000 cell towers in the United States, this number is expected to increase by 48 percent to 260,000 by 2010, according to CTIA (the International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry).

If you want to know just how close you are to a cell phone tower or antenna, simply type your location into AntennaSearch.com. It will tell you all of the towers (existing and future) and antennas that are within eight miles of your address!

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RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

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10. Currently parallel with the separate establishment of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh which now has responsibility for the majority of issues affecting people living in Scotland over one third of all Scottish Local Planning Authorities have now adopted or publicly committed themselves to adopting Precautionary Policies as a direct result of what they perceive to be inadequate official advice from Government Departments.

11. Local Authorities in Scotland have decided that there are too many unanswered questions to risk exposing the Public needlessly to levels of microwave radiation which could or may in time prove to be harmful to their health.

By choosing to keep transmitter masts away from schools and residential areas local authorities are not doing anything radical, but merely following the Precautionary Approach advocated in the European Treaties, accepted by the UK Government in 1993 at Maastricht.

England and Wales

12. Similarly the influential Local Government Association (LGA) has now advised its member local authorities to adopt the Precautionary Approach on the basis that the decision making process of the Governments Advisory Body the NRPB, based upon waiting for ‘conclusive scientific evidence’ before acting, is potentially flawed. On 12th August 1999 the Local Government Association accused the Government of `dithering’ over the potential danger of cancer and radiation from mobile phone masts.

The LGA Planning Executive Chairman Stated,
“The Government must stop dithering and give councils some clear guidance to the threat posed by Radiation and the planning powers to keep the Public Safe — especially vulnerable children and the elderly rather than wait two or three years until the research is finished”.
These statements were made in August 1999 after the Government issued on 23rd July 1999 letters to the LGA and Members of Parliament which failed to help authorities make the right planning decisions or offer them guidance on where masts can be safely erected.

13. All this has come about after the senior representatives of the NRPB gave their evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee in June 1999 explaining firstly that the NRPB under its statutory legislation could only base its guidance and advice on ‘conclusive scientific evidence’ as required by its Act of Parliament, and that accordingly until essential research had been carried out in their opinion the only “conclusive scientific proof” related to the properties of thermal heating on which their 1993 Safety Guidelines remained solely based.

Secondly however the representatives of the NRPB made it clear that until the freshly commissioned research produced some ‘conclusive scientific proof’ that there were other effects apart from thermal heating, it was up to Politicians and Planners to exercise their ‘own’ judgment.

14. On 1st September 1999 Belfast City Council ratified the 18th August 1999 Decision of its Development Committee that ‘no Transmitter Masts should be permitted on any Council Property’, due firstly to the unknown risks from such masts and secondly because of ‘substantial public concern.’

Similarly Wyre Borough Council in Lancashire recently decided that the proposed site for a mast and base station was unsuitable given its proximity to a nearby primary school and houses which were 190 meters and 40 meters away respectively.

This refusal was based on public fears about possible health risks posed by microwave radiation. This follows the 1998 Court of Appeal decision finding that ‘genuine public fear and concern is a material planning consideration, even if that fear is irrational and not based upon evidence — see Newport BC v Secretary of State for Wales (1998) JPL 377.

Conclusion

The answer for the time being is Prudent Avoidance and Common Sense, at least until properly structured research has been concluded, and then independently assessed. The answer is not to listen only to the Industry, who have tended to ensure that the Industry Commissioned research proves their point on safety. Currently prudence advocates that reliance on the NRPB Guidelines is no longer sufficient.

Many independent University researchers who have produced adverse results have had their research funds curtailed, or taken away which stifles further investigation of adverse effects shown by earlier research. Governments are elected to be aware of what is going on, and to protect the public at large when uncertainties exist, and prudent avoidance should currently prevail over commercial interests until the further essential research has been completed and “independently” assessed.

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6. None of these situations appears to relate to thermal heating of any kind. These effects could not be ascribed to thermal heating because the distances involved are far too great. However, they may relate to biological effects from low intensity microwave radiation over prolonged periods.

However, the research has not been carried out into cumulative effects.
• It is necessary to ask why?
• Perhaps in the light of the Industry’s approach over the years to the mobiles themselves, the answer may be fairly obvious?
In the absence of conclusive evidence that mobiles themselves and mobile networks are safe – something the scientists agreed they can not prove without substantial additional properly structured research – it is necessary now to use common sense and prudent avoidance. The European Treaties relating to the Environment described common sense as the Precautionary Principle and preventative action – see Article 130r.

7. What does prudent avoidance, preventative action, precautionary approach mean in practice? No-one wants to prevent the advance of telecommunications. It is a great new boon to living when used sensibly. However, common sense needs to prevail over the economics of the Industry’s proliferation.

There is no need these days to place Telecommunications Masts and Base Stations too close to permanently occupied residences and children’s schools. The only reason that Masts are placed too close, i.e. the near side rather than the far side of a farmers field is because it is cheaper. Cheaper because it is nearer the electricity supply, cheaper because it is easier for maintenance and access from an adjoining road or track.

However, the requirements are not that spot specific and there is absolutely no reason why a properly erected and located Mast should be closer than a minimum of 200 to 250 meters from any inhabited property, using a ground based Mast and Ground Based Station. Unfortunately the Industry ignores the obvious because it is easier and cheaper, and usually regrettably there is no-one to take them on or to challenge their planning application with the Planning Authorities.

8. Recently groups all over the United Kingdom, including Scotland and Northern Ireland have been successful in showing planning authorities that there is a better way to interpret the outmoded Telecommunications Legislation (1984) the outmoded planning circulars and the general ignorance of the fact that European Union Treaties advocated the Precautionary Principle (1993 Maastricht) to safeguard the public’s health.

Governments are there to be wise and knowledgeable. Governments are not there to be led by the Industry in pursuit of progress and financial gain at the expense of the public at large. Governments are there to be able to interpret properly scientific guidance or advice.

This proliferation of’ Network Masts may turn out to be the next BSE for ignoring the warnings and acting without any common sense or prudent avoidance.

9. Reverting to the mobiles themselves, it is not common sense to put a mobile against your head for four or five hours a day at the incidence of your employer. In law, almost certainly that Employer is not providing a safe system of work.

Equally, under the Consumer Protection Act it seems probable now that the manufacturers ought to display some form of health warning on their products to protect themselves from product liability claims – and of course the users to whom then sell the huge number of phones from internal danger to enable such consumers to make an informed choice or consent.

Possibly (update 2000), in due course, it will be shown scientifically that living in too close proximity to a Mast is damaging to health, and possibly then there will under provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998 be legal remedies available, which allow people to seek compensation from the mobile phone network providers, and also against those who allow the Masts to be on their land.

This may include eventually even some Local Education Authorities who seem to be prepared to allow Masts to be erected regardless of possible risks to the children on school property for whom they are in loco parentis in return for an annual rental.

This aspect is currently now under investigation by the Secretary of the State for Education following the meeting of the House of Commons Select Committee in June 1999 with Representatives of NRPB as mentioned below.

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by Halsey Meyer Higgins Solicitors
1. More than a year ago at Dublin Castle on 6th March 1998, the Irish Minister of Public Enterprise, Mrs. Mary O’Rourke, stated this is an issue which will grow and grow and will not go away. Subsequent events have proved her correct in that Public concern worldwide is growing and not diminishing as the Public grows more conversant with possible effects from mobile phone usage.

2. The issue breaks down into two different parts, firstly the safety of using mobiles themselves and secondly and perhaps long-term more importantly, the question of living close to a ground based Telecommunications Mast and Base Station.

3. On the issue of mobiles themselves, it is of course the users choice as to whether they have a mobile in the first place and then secondly how much they choose to use it. However that choice or consent is entitled to be a properly informed choice or consent.

Recent disclosures seem to show that prolonged use of a mobile may not be that safe despite assurances made by the Industry over the last ten years to that effect. On 24th May, Dr. George Carlo of the Industry’s established WTR in America stated that the Industry’s continuing statements that there was no conclusive evidence against mobiles was not a realistic position to take.

4. The main public concern however does not relate to the use of the mobile phones themselves where there is that choice. The problem as perceived by large sections of the public and particularly communities whose privacy has been invaded by the erection of a Mast and Ground Base Station is whether long-term chronic exposure to the low intensity radiation from such facilities is indeed now safe.

Bearing in mind that the assurances about the safety of the mobiles themselves when used close to the brain seem now to be somewhat suspect, the question arises as to whether similar assurances relating to the safety of living close to a Ground Based Station and Mast are also realistic. The problem is that such research as has been carried out relates to the mobiles themselves. Little or no published research has been carried out relating to chronic long-term exposure month after month, year after year to living close to a Telecoms Mast.

5. The only indicators, which might tend to provide some evidence relate to other types of masts, i.e. TV Masts, short-wave radio Masts and radar installations. There the North Sydney Australia study showed a significant statistical increase in cancer cases within the triangle of those three Masts in North Sydney.

Here the Sutton Coldfield BBC Mast study showed increased radiation levels around the Mast and its near vicinity. In Switzerland, the Schwarzenberg short-wave Mast was thought to be having adverse health effects on the local community for years. When a study was carried out in the mid 1990s by the University of Bern, it was found that the emissions from that mast did have an effect on the people in the vicinity.

This was discovered because during the period of the study there was a significant drop in the symptoms in many people over a three day period within that prolonged study. It was then discovered, which was not known at the time, that the transmitter had failed for those three days and there were no short-wave transmissions.

The Swiss government has now closed the Mast down. Incidentally, the Swiss health and environmental officials have proposed strict rules for public exposures from new sources of radio frequency and microwave radiation. If the ordinance is adopted, which appears likely, Switzerland will have the most stringent exposure levels in the world – based on the precautionary principle – guideline levels much lower than those recommended by the NRPB.

There is also the evidence of the Soviets irradiation of the US Embassy in Moscow, which produced serious adverse health effects.

There is the Skrunda study in Finland with regard to populations living many kilometers behind the radar installation and those living a similar distance in front of the radar installation. There the health conditions of those living in front of that installation were found to be markedly different, and this has been put down to the effect of the radar transmissions.

Finally there was recently a study funded by the Bavarian State Government in Germany following reported adverse health effects in dairy cattle only after a Telecoms Mast had been erected. It was discovered after a period that the cause of the significant drop in the yield of that herd of cattle and Extraordinary Behavior Disorders in some of the cows related to the microwave transmissions from that Mast. When the cattle was moved away from its vicinity after a period the milk yield and the behavior of that herd was totally restored to normal.

However when the cattle were returned to the mast environs their symptoms returned. This was not an isolated incident – see Loscher and Kas of Universities of Hannover Veterinary School and University of the German Army in Munich 1998.

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The most dangerous manner of use is to place the phone against your head.
The best way to decrease your exposure to radiation is to use either the speakerphone or a safe headset when speaking on the phone, and to keep your phone as far away from your body as possible whenever it is on. You should never carry your phone in your shirt pocket or on your belt, for example.

San Francisco legislation now actually requires education about such cell phone risks at the point-of-sale. Educational materials must “inform customers of actions that can be taken by cell phone users to minimize exposure to radiation, such as turning off cell phones when not in use, using a headset or speaker phone and texting.” (Lines 15-17 of the final legislation.)

The Washington Post also reviewed a few products meant to minimize radiation exposure, such as a T-shirt and blanket that contain silver fibers to help block cell phone radiation, which are meant for use by pregnant women. There are also special cases on the market that contain pieces of gold designed to pull radiation away from your head and release it from the back of the phone.

These options may help cut back on your exposure, but the simplest way to really minimize your risk is to keep the phone as far away from your head and body as possible, as much as possible.

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There’s been a lot of talk lately about cell phones’ SAR values, which is simply a measure of the power of your cell phone and its potential for heating your tissues.

Values vary from one model to the next, starting around 0.2 watts, but the maximum allowable SAR rate is 1.6 watts per kilogram for phones sold in the United States. This guideline is based on the exposure from a six-minute phone call.
Although knowing your phone’s SAR value is a good first step, it is by no means an absolute measure of safety.

As Camilla Rees, founder of ElectromagneticHealth.org explains:

“The cell phone SAR value does not accurately reflect the potential for biological harm from the frequencies of the communication, and, very importantly, there are also some biological effects that have been shown to be worse at lower SAR values compared to higher SAR values, such as blood-brain barrier permeability.”

So it’s important to realize that you simply cannot rely on the SAR value alone when gauging cell phone safety. Rather, know that safety is dependent on how you use your cell phone.

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Just Like Cigarettes, It Will be Decades Before the Real Effects Show Up

It is still too soon for most cell phone-induced brain tumors to show up. Just as people don’t get lung cancer a few weeks or months into their smoking habit, there is a delayed effect between cell phone usage and brain tumor development that typically is over 10 to 20 years.

Of course, not everyone who smokes gets lung cancer, and not every cell phone user will develop brain cancer. There are many variables that contribute to susceptibility.

For instance, children and teens are among those MOST at risk because their younger skulls are thinner and their growing brains much more susceptible to radiation exposure. One study even found that children and teenagers are five times more likely to get brain cancer if they use cell phones — so why risk it?

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Devra Davis, PhD, professor, Department of Epidemiology at the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh has written a new book — Disconnect — in which she exposes research showing that radiation from cell phones has been linked to:

• DNA damage
• Memory loss
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Cancer
• Break down of your brain’s defenses
• Reduced sperm count

Then there were the results of the massive Interphone study, which was meant to finally provide definitive evidence on the safety, or lack thereof, of cell phones. It cost more than $30 million (funded in part by the mobile phone industry) to carry out, and involved nearly 50 scientists from 13 countries, along with more than 14,000 people.

It turns out that the study was a massive PR campaign by the telecommunications industry to provide reassurance that cell phones are safe so they can continue to generate hundreds of billions of dollars of profits.

That is why it is no surprise, now that the data has finally been released, that it turns out the study is seriously flawed. The study is filled with ludicrous and disturbing findings such as “heavy users” of cell phones have an approximately doubled risk of glioma, a life threatening and often-fatal brain tumor, after 10 years of cell phone use.

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Did You Know that Cell Phone Manufacturers Warn You to NOT Hold the Phone to Your Head?

Cell phones are so common nowadays that it may take you a minute to wrap your head around the fact that studies are showing they may not be safe. But remember, it wasn’t long ago when doctors gladly endorsed cigarette companies and smoking was commonplace even in hospitals.

Many are now suggesting that cell phones will be the cigarettes of the 21st century … and one day we will look back on all the photos of people, including children, walking around pressing these radiation-releasing devices directly to our heads and wonder what we were thinking.

But for now most people are in a state of ignorant bliss, assuming that cell phones must be safe if they’re being used so extensively and there are no public health warnings about them.. The reality is, however, that even cell phone manufacturers do not advise using your cell phone the way you probably use it – pressed up against your ear.

Many cell phones actually contain package inserts that warn you to hold the cell phone away from your head when in use. Apple recommends keeping your iPhone at least 5/8 of an inch from your head, while BlackBerry recommends about an inch.

Why might these companies be quietly warning you to keep your phone away from your head?

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