Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) introduced a bill in Congress last Friday that would examine force the FCC to investigate the potential side effects of radiation from mobile phones. The bill demands that the government “examine, label, and communicate adverse human biological effects associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields from cellphones and other wireless devices, and for other purposes.” On Tuesday, the Government Accountability Office also called for action, noting that the Federal Communications Commission set its maximum exposure limits more than 15 years ago during the early days of mobile technology. The GAO warns that federal cell phone radiation standards are outdated and may not protect public health.
“The FCC has been wearing a blindfold for more than a decade, pretending that while cell phones were revolutionizing how we communicate, the agency didn’t have to take a hard look at what this meant for its so-called safety standards,” said Renee Sharp, director of Environmental Working Group’s California office. “Finally, the FCC has been taken to task for this grave oversight, and we hope and expect it will use the GAO’s findings to update its safety standards for wireless devices.”
The GAO notes that the FCC’s current standards allow 20 times more radiation to reach the head than the body as a whole, and do not account for the possible risks to children’s developing brains. In addition, the agency did not consider the impact of frequent cell phone use over the course of many years.
“In 1996, tweens and teens were not consumers of wireless technology, but today it’s hard to find a group of young people who aren’t armed with the latest mobile device,” said Sharp. “Those populations who are now talking and texting daily were not considered by the FCC when it devised its safety standards fifteen years ago.”
The FCC announced in June that it was considering whether or not to evaluate its current standards, however no final decision was made. The agency has repeatedly spoken of confidence in its current guidelines and claims cell phone emissions pose no risk to consumers.
In the largest study of its kind, scientists from the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society and the International Agency for Research on Cancer found no clear evidence that mobile phone’s increase the risk of cancer, although the team noted that it could not predict long-term effects.
Simi Valley, California
Rancho Cucamonga, California
The Netherlands, Amsterdam
EMF or an Electromagnetic shield Shield serves many important purposes. Some might think that feeling the need to use an EMF shield is “paranoid,” but the truth is they are extremely practical and in fact, are used with many devices we use every day.
An EMF shield on laptop computer helps mask keyboard input which prevents people from tracing your key strokes at a distance and then determining your passwords. Another EMF shield that nearly every home will have is on their microwaves. Have you ever noticed that despite the microwave door being transparent, it’s still difficult to see through it clearly? This is due to the fine metal mesh that is installed within the glass on the door. Even though the mesh is not solid; it acts as a shield because the holes in the mesh are smaller than the wave-lengths trying to get through them. You will also find a shield built into your cellular phone which prevents you from picking up other people’s phone calls or intercepting their text messages. Older model cell phones did not have this as a standard feature and it was common for text messages to be hi-jacked by other phone signals or calls to be randomly intercepted by another wireless phone signal.
Other examples of devices that use an EMF shield include; broadcasting equipment such as that found in radio stations, medical equipment, dispatching equipment and emergency paging devices. All these technologies require EMF shielding otherwise cell phones and radio signals could interfere with them causing a catastrophic failure. This is a major reason why you are not supposed to use your cellular phone when in-flight. Although the airplane’s equipment does use this shield; the consequences of the interference with a cell-signal or AM/FM radio wave could result in a fatal equipment error and it is just is not worth the risk.
The aforementioned are all instances of an EMF shield that have already been built into consumer products for your convenience, but there are instances where there are no shields where there should be. Have you ever noticed the pesky frequency at which your baby monitor picks up the neighbors child crying or the couple down the street arguing? Baby monitors are one-way radio signals that operate, typically, on one of two channels; so the chance of someone else’s monitor being on the same channel as yours is pretty good. Despite the fact that the neighbor might be three doors down from you, the radio waves on your monitors can still interfere with one another. If you were to use an EMF shield on your monitor it would reduce and even eliminate that crossover interference altogether.
The uses for an EMF shield are endless. To protect yourself from laptop radiation, you can use The DefenderPad EMF shield. Just remember that wrapping your own head in tin foil – although conceptually accurate – may not actually prevent anyone from reading your mind or hi-jacking your brain waves.
Garden Grove California USA
City of Gosford, Australia,
Pembroke Pines, Florida
Equatorial Guinea, Malabo,
Al ‘Awdah, United Arab Emirates, Al ‘Awdah, UAE
The turf war between the Telecom Ministry and the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) over regulating electromagnetic radiation emanating from mobile towers has intensified. The Department of Telecom has asked the Ministry to stay away from issuing any policy related to governing mobile radiation.
This follows an advisory from the Environment Ministry in August asking State governments to conduct regular audit of electromagnetic radiations emanating from towers set up by mobile companies. Under this advisory, the Environment Ministry had asked local bodies not to give permission to mobile companies to set up base station in ecologically-sensitive areas, without consulting the Forest Department.
In response, the DoT has written to the Ministry that it was already doing regular checks. “There is no need for any special arrangement for ecological-sensitive areas… Issue of electromagnetic radiation is dealt by the DoT. Involvement of multiple organisations and issue of directions on the same subject by different Ministries will create complication and difficulties,” it added.
The Telecom Ministry and the MoEF have been at loggerheads on this issue for a while with the latter wanting stricter norms and greater role for itself. Earlier, the MoEF set up a Committee to study the impact of mobile radiation on biological systems despite opposition from the Telecom Ministry.
Sibal versus Gehlot
The advisory issued by the MoEF has prompted several State governments to take action against mobile companies. In Rajasthan, for instance, all telecom companies have been told to switch off their cell sites near schools and hospitals.
Communication and IT Minister Kapil Sibal has told Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister of Rajasthan, to review the decision as it was affecting communication in the State. “Mobile towers have been installed strictly as per guidelines issued by the DoT and they are radiating well within the limits prescribed, which has been verified by the Committee appointed by Government of Rajasthan as well as by the High Court of Rajasthan,” Sibal said in a letter to Gehlot.
Sibal said that the closure of towers in the State may also impact e-governance initiatives in Rajasthan as well as connectivity to village centres. “With closure of base stations near hospitals, doctors will be out of reach for patients. There are large number if hospitals in Jaipur town. The closing down of mobile towers within 500 metres of hospitals will affect about two-thirds of the city,” Sibal said.
Recently, the DoT had asked telecom companies to bring down emission levels by a tenth of earlier permissible limits. Monitoring agencies within DoT have been conducting random checks on towers. It has also set up a helpline to address complaints related to excessive radiation. It also penalised several operators in Mumbai for violating the norms.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Russian Federation, Moscow City
Not that you’ll be eating your cell phone anytime soon, but did you know that it’s loaded with toxins like mercury, chlorine, and cadmium? Helping to analyze cell phone dangers, the Ecology Center of Ann Arbor, Michigan teamed up with ifixit.com to take apart and identify components of 36 models of cell phones. They found at least one of the following in every device:
In total, ifixit dismantled over a thousand cell phones to test for toxins by utilizing X-ray fluorescence to irradiate and measure the radiation given back by an object. Certain materials like the toxins are identified by the signature of radiation the object re-emits.
“Even the best phones from our study are still loaded with chemical hazards,” bemoaned Jeff Gearhart, research director of the Ecology Center. He published the results of the study on his website, HealthyStuff.org. “These chemicals [are] linked to birth defects, impaired learning, and other serious health problems.”
Cell Phone Dangers to Children and Adults
Although cell phones are extremely convenient, this convenience does not come without risk or consequence. Using a mobile device for any length of time is damaging to some degree, but new research is shedding light on just how significant of an influence extended cellphone use has on the brain. In one study, it was revealed that 10 years of cell phone use resulted in an average 290% increased risk of brain tumor development.
Similarly, researchers found that 143 proteins in the brain were negatively impacted by radio frequency radiation over a period of 8 months. A total of 3 hours of cell phone exposure were simulated over the 8 month time period, and the results showed that many neural function related proteins’ functional relationship changed the for worse. It’s no surprise that celebrity Sheryl Crow attributes her brain tumor to cell phone use.
What’s more, cell phone dangers play an even greater role on children, who have thinner skulls and younger developing brains. One report shows just how prevalent cell phone dangers are for children. Due to developing organs, lower bone density of the skull, lower body weight, and a less effective blood brain barrier, children are especially vulnerable to cell phone radiation. This is even more true for unborn children, with research showing that microwave radiation emitted by cell phones negatively influencing fetal brains.
It was also revealed in a study conducted 4 years ago that 54 percent of children born from mothers who used cell phones had behavioral issues. What’s more, the percentage jumped to 80 if the children grew up talking on cell phones frequently.
There’s a reason the World Health Organization put cell phones in the same risk category as lead, engine exhaust, and chloroform.
Toxic for the Environment
Sadly, the earth, too, suffers from the toxins in cell phones. Mining tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold for cell phone production causes groundwater contamination as well as human exploitation and brutality in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Moreover, once a cell phone is discarded, it is shipped to places in the world most Americans don’t see much of, like China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, and the Philippines, where underpaid workers handle the materials and are exposed to the toxins we go to such lengths to avoid, ourselves.
“[The toxins] have been found in soils at levels 10 to 100 times higher than background levels at e-waste recycling sites in China,” says Gearhart. “We need better federal regulation of these chemicals, and we need to create incentives for the design of greener consumer electronics.”
CEO of ifixit, Kyle Wiens, says that in 2009, 2.37 million tons of electronics were discarded. “Of the digital castoffs, only 25 percent made it into recycling centers. We can’t allow the other 75 percent of our old electronics to become waste. All those toxins add up.”
What we can Do
First and foremost, we ought to consider limiting our use of the luxury items—like cell phones—in question. Buying used electronics can cut down on waste and keep items already in circulation out of landfills.
As said by Wiens, we must kee[ pushing for better regulation of harmful materials. In the meantime, recycling e-waste properly can help keep toxins out of our groundwater. Visit e-Stewards for your local e-waste recycling program or drop off unwanted electronics at a nearby Best Buy.
On a personal level to avoid cell phone dangers:
* Limit cell phone use
* Don’t allow young children to have cell phones
* Use the speaker feature more often
* Place your cell phone far away or turn it off while not in use
* Consider investing in cell phone radiation protection
West Covina, California
United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi,
City of Hawkesbury, Australia
Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo
The number of cases with neurosurgical problems in Pakistan, including brain and spinal tumors, is on the rise, at least over the last 10 years, putting a huge financial burden on healthcare facilities and families having patients with neurological disorders. There are 120 million mobile phone users in Pakistan, population 190.3 million (July 2011).
Professor of neurosurgery and consultant neurosurgeon at the Quaid-i-Azam International Hospital Dr. Aslan Javed Munir said that apart from genetic factors, exposure to electromagnetic radiations mainly by living under high tension cables, use of mobile phones, impurities through petrochemical industries, X-ray radiations, viruses, previous history of traumas and effect of pesticides usage on agricultural products are considered as the main risk factors behind the increase in neurological disorders.
Cases of neurosurgical problems on the rise
by Muhammad Qasim from The News, Ralawpindi, 27 July 2012:
The number of cases with neurosurgical problems, including brain and spinal tumours, is on the rise, at least for the last one decade, putting a huge financial burden on healthcare facilities and families having patients with neurological disorders.
Talking to ‘The News,’ professor of neurosurgery and consultant neurosurgeon at the Quaid-i-Azam International Hospital Dr. Aslan Javed Munir said that it is alarming that the number of cases with neurological problems, including patients with complaints of backache, neck ache and slipped discs along with brain and spinal tumours, has been on the rise in Pakistan as well as across the globe.
“Nearly 10 years back, we rarely received patients requiring neurosurgical procedures but now the influx of patients with neurosurgical problems has increased to a great extent,” said Colonel (r) Dr. Aslan Javed Munir, former head of the Department of Neurosurgery at CMH, Rawalpindi.
He added that the cases of neurosurgical problems, right from neurosurgical trauma including head and spinal injuries to tumours, have increased. “The traumas increased mainly because of increase in road traffic accidents and general violence while routine spinal problems have also been on the rise because of unhealthy lifestyles.” He explained that every four out of five adults are having routine neurological disorders including back or neck pains during some part of their life, which is because of unhealthy life styles including unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, obesity, lack of exercise and stress. Odd working hours, sitting postures, watching TV and long hours working on computers are contributing a lot in increase in number of patients, said Dr. Aslan.
It is important that a number of health experts working at the allied hospitals do admit that none of the allied hospitals including Holy Family Hospital, Benazir Bhutto Hospital and District Headquarters Hospital is capable of treating ideally the patients with neurosurgical trauma or brain and spinal tumours because of lack of diagnostic and surgical equipment and staff required for the purpose.
The neurosurgical procedures are much expensive and almost unaffordable for a large proportion of population across Pakistan. There is a need of developing centres that can provide free of cost treatment to poor and needy patients requiring neurosurgical procedures, said Dr. Aslan while responding to a query.
He said that he is working on a plan of conducting at least every 10th surgery free of cost to accommodate poor patients. “I have also a desire to develop a centre to provide free of cost treatment facility to poor patients requiring surgeries in result of trauma or neurological disorders yet it needs a huge budget,” said Dr. Aslan.
To a query, he said that apart from genetic factors, exposure to electromagnetic radiations mainly by living under high tension cables, use of mobile phones, impurities through petrochemical industries, X-ray radiations, viruses, previous history of traumas and effect of pesticides usage on agricultural products are considered as the main risk factors behind increase in neurological disorders.
“By taking certain preventive measures both at the government and individual levels, the number of cases with neurological problems including traumas can be minimised,” said Dr. Aslan. One should avoid odd sitting and sleeping postures and should avoid sitting for long hours unnecessarily in front of computers. Also there is a need to develop habit of daily exercise or walk while unhealthy lifestyles including junk food and obesity should be avoided, he suggested.
Dr. Aslan added that the government should take steps to create awareness among public on how to minimise the main risk factors causing increase in number of cases. To minimise the impact of road traffic accidents, one should wear helmet when on bike while the use of seat belts and air bags in cars can also minimise the number of head and spinal trauma in case of accidents, he said.
Dr. Aslan said that like the developed countries, early reporting of symptoms related to neurological problems including continuous headache, sight problems and pains related to spine can be helpful in reducing the incidence of brain and spinal tumours.
Central African Republic, Bangui
Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, Al Ain, UAE
Four final year information technology students of Xavier’s Institute of Technology, Mahim, have taken up the task of creating awareness about the implications of mobile tower radiation emission among city’s college students. From forums on social networking sites and blogs, to college
festivals and seminars, the students want to build pressure on the union government to take cognisance of the hazards of suspected high levels of radiation emitted by mobile towers.
Kanica Jain, 21, along with her classmates Sasha Sequeira, 21, Nileema Lobo, 21, and Jaysel Meledath, 21, began their research on mobile tower radiation six months ago. After receiving complaints from students and faculty members about headaches, dizziness and nausea, the students launched the campaign, ‘The Radiation Zone — Red, Yellow n Green’.
“Students working in the laboratory complained of uneasiness. After studying theory papers and discussing the topic with experts, we concluded that the health hazards were an effect of exposure to mobile tower radiation,” said Lobo.
“What began as a college project soon turned into a campaign, because everyone in the city is vulnerable to the hazards that could be posed by high radiation,” said Meledath, a resident of Andheri. “In my locality, residents that have mobile towers fixed on their terrace continue to be apathetic because of the high monthly rents that the mobile operators pay,” he added.
“We need to work out alternatives to deal with the problem. The first step has to be reduction in the permissible limit for mobile tower radiation emission, which is 450 milliwatts/square metre at present,” said Sequeira.
San Antonio, Texas
India, New Delhi,
Daly City, California
Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou
Cotonou (de facto capital)
Dhadna, United Arab Emirates, Dhadna, UAE
Are cell phones dangerous to health? A recent article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association stirred up concerns once again that cell phone use when held close to the head could potentially cause brain cancer from radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation emissions.
The article reported that handheld cell phone use increases neural function as measured by brain glucose metabolism. These changes occurred mostly in the region of the brain closest to the antenna and receiving most of the radiation. Nobody knows the implications of this effect, other than we now understand that cell phone radiation can alter brain metabolic activity and neurophysiology. The authors correctly conclude that this does not imply that cell phone use can increase the risk of brain tumors. This finding is of unknown clinical significance. But because it demonstrates that radio-frequency emissions are biologically active, it raises more questions than answers.
As to cell phone use causing brain tumors, review of the scientific literature gives mixed results. A large review of the relevant literature published in the journal Epidemiology in 2009 concluded that the overall data was insufficient to prove a causal association. For brain tumors such as malignant glioma, acoustic neuroma and meningioma, the study lengths were too short to make any conclusions since it may take many years for tumors to develop. The authors concluded that increased risk for any tumor of the brain, head or neck was not demonstrated within 10 years of cell phone use. In a more recent Swiss study, no association was seen in children after five years of use.
The strongest evidence of an association between cell phone use and brain tumors comes from studies conducted in Sweden between 1997 and 2004. These researchers found an association of increased incidence for malignant glioma and acoustic neuroma especially on the same side of the head the user most often held the phone. The highest risk was for those people with first use less than 20 years old and for those with greater than 10 years of use. Another separate major study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found that the increased risk was reserved only for those with the heaviest cell phone use. The heaviest users had a 40 percent increased risk for malignant glioma.
The energy emissions from cell phones may also alter neurotransmitter and other neurochemical activities of the brain influencing emotions and other neurologic conditions. There are studies demonstrating that regular to excessive cell phone use, especially in children and young adults, is associated with anxiety, poor emotional stability, depression, fatigue, dizziness, sleep disturbances and headaches. These studies only show an association, not cause and effect.
In May 2011 the World Health Organization announced that it was classifying the electromagnetic radiation emitted from cell phones as “”possibly carcinogenic.”” But it acknowledges, as do virtually all researchers and organizations including the National Cancer Institute, that the evidence is inconsistent and insufficient to make any firm conclusions and that more research is needed.
Many authorities are particularly concerned about children whose brains are still developing and who may be more susceptible to the radiation exposure over a lifetime of use.
The most definite conclusion at this point is that the danger of distraction while driving is the greatest health risk to cell phone users and to others on the road. The data on this are clear. Studies have considered cell phone use while driving as the equivalent of driving with an alcohol level of 0.08.
Indiana should join the growing number of states that make cell phone use while driving illegal. We’ll sort out the risks of cancer down the road.
Costa Rica, San José
City of Canada Bay, Australia
The Netherlands Amsterdam
Rishikesh: Threats of mobile tower radiations are well known in the urban areas but they are equally threatening lives in the rural areas too. The fruits of development might not have reached the villages but mobile tower radiations have not just sneaked into the lives of the rural people but their hazardous impacts are also being witnessed.
Shyampur, a remote village of the Uttarakhand is a veritable example of the fallout of rapid urbanization. Once, the village was known for its highly fertile land but now it has turned into a jungle of concrete with innumerable buildings swallowing most parts of agricultural landscape creating ruffles in the rural life.
One can witness many mobile towers oozing harmful radiation in the village. There are four such towers in a circumference of just two kilometer in Bhallafarm area. Presence of the towers in residential areas endangering lives of the people.
Speaking in this connection, Awwal Singh Kathait, a native of the village, said that many people in the village are complaining health related problems and have also fallen prey to various disease during a span of five years since these mobile towers came up in existence in the area.
He further said that he too has suffered continuous bouts of headache, may be due to radiation from these towers.
Manoj Vishwakarma from the same village has also complained continuous headache as well as sleeplessness.
He was also of the view that they are feeling such problems due to radiation from theses mobile towers.
The villagers said that they came to know about the deadly fallout of the radiation from theses mobile towers after popular Hindi daily ‘Dainik Jagran’ launched a campaign named Khatra-e-jaan in this regard.
Somalia, Mogadishu, ,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Al Ghabah, United Arab Emirates, Al Ghabah, UAE
Professional pilot Melissa Chalmers has moved twice in 10 months to escape wireless radiation and worries she’s running out of places to hide.
The commercial pilot of 20 years is on sick leave. She suffers from sensitivity to electromagnetic waves — the invisible waves given off by almost everything electric, in particular, those emitted by communication towers that are popping up across Canada.
Chalmers, who lives near Grand Bend on Lake Huron, may be moving again because of a new a cell tower not far from her forested home.
“They have put a tower up down the road. I’m just waiting for it to be turned on and then I will probably have to leave the home,” she said.
Chalmers first noticed, about two-and-a-half years ago when she lived in London, that the nausea she felt when she was in her apartment subsided when she left.
Cellphones, cellphone towers, wireless internet routers, cordless phones and power lines have all been recognized as possible contributors to electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EMS), which is caused by significant exposure from radio waves.
EMS symptoms include poor sleep, fatigue, headache, nausea, dizziness, heart palpitations, memory impairment and skin rashes.
Dr. Riina Bray, medical director, Environmental Health Clinic, Toronto’s Women College Hospital, is a leading physician on EMS and its symptoms.
“I’m just basically seeing more and more folks with electro hypersensitivity . . . there is a small fraction of the population who are hypersensitive and the WHO (World Health Organization) supports that phenomenon as being real,” she told the Star.
“With the continuous onslaught of this stuff in our society it is very hard for these folks . . . to get better faster.”
“If I have to move again,” Chalmers told the Star, “it will be three times since Christmas, so I am getting pretty tired of moving and I really don’t know where I am going to go at this point.”
Critics say if Industry Canada, which has total control over telecommunications, has its way there will be no place for people such as Chalmers to live.
Industry Canada did not respond to a Star request for an interview.
Bray said the public should not have to prove harm. “It should be done by industry and government,” she says.
Municipalities that have tried to control the number and location of cells towers say Industry Canada has told them it would block any attempt to usurp its powers.
The municipality of Lambton Shore near Lake Huron found out where it stood when it mused about creating a community, Port Franks, free of wireless radiation as did Oakville when it introduced its own protocol calling for a 200-metre setback.
“I went to that meeting in Oakville where it was discussed and it became very clear from Industry Canada and Health Canada that they were not going to change, they were not listening. They were there to dictate,” said Frank Klegg, a retired Microsoft Canada president, who is now head of Citizens For Safe Technology (C4ST).
Klegg said C4ST wants to work with the federal government to establish so-called white zones across the country where people who are sensitive to wireless radiation can seek refuge.
Oakville Mayor Rob Burton said the federal government doesn’t even consult the municipality on 95 per cent of the applications to erect cell towers and for the remaining 5 per cent he suggested the consultation is little more than lip service.
“What shocks me is the federal government pretending that we have a say,” Burton said.
“Our protocol is designed to get us out of the line of fire . . . we have turned away seven or eight now (but) then the proponent then goes to Industry Canada (which) gives them the go-ahead,” he said.
Solomon Islands, Honiara
Armadale Victoria Australia
Al Haybah, United Arab Emirates, Al Haybah, UAE
Is it a cactus? A palm tree? A water tower? No It’s a cell phone tower That’s right Cell phone towers today are being disguised in subtle ways unheard of just a few years ago. See a grain silo? Or a church steeple? You guessed it. It could very well be a cell phone tower. There’s even a cell phone tower that looks just like a lighthouse.never mind that it’s over two miles from the ocean.
But don’t let the pretty and ingenious disguises fool you. There is a real and present danger lurking behind the mask of these innocent designs.
Why the disguises? Obviously, for aesthetic reasons. The cell phone companies don’t want to make their neighborhood friends upset. They want to blend in. So they blend in while they blast your home and neighborhood with toxic electromagnetic radiation.
Cell phone towers, sometimes called masts, or mobile phone towers, weren’t an issue years ago when they were few and far between. One could often drive miles and miles through the countryside and never see one. They were few in number and were only found in obscure locations and seen only on an occasional hilltop. Today cell phone towers have increased dramatically in number. There are now more than 1.9 million cell phone towers and antenna towers spread throughout the U.S. They are now found on churches, schools and firehouses as well as being seen on the rooftop of buildings everywhere. Did you know there is even a cell phone tower near Old Faithful in Yellowstone Park? Can’t sleep well at night? It may be that there’s a cell phone tower close by.
Just why would a mobile phone tower be placed on a church, school or firehouse? Why would school boards and churches agree to this? Money. It’s that simple. The mobile phone companies will pay these organizations, and individual property owners, handsomely to install their equipment on their properties. This “rent money” can range from a few hundred dollars a month to several thousand dollars a month. What school district or church couldn’t use extra money to aid a struggling budget? By “renting” the space on an already-constructed building the cell phone industry doesn’t have to purchase land, build a tower or construct a new building. It simply mounts its equipment on a structure that already exists. It’s a win-win deal for the cell phone company and the new ‘landlord.’
Opposition to these cell tower installments used to gone unnoticed and without question. Not so today. Neighborhoods and citizens are becoming vocally opposed. But it’s not the esthetics that causes residents and property owners to oppose these structures. Communities and citizens are afraid of the potential health effects being caused by this technology as well as the adverse affect on property values.
We Can’t Stop Cell Phone Tower Construction
Unfortunately, there isn’t much one can do to stop the proliferation and continued build out of cell phone towers and structures. Although thought to be legislation about deregulation issues, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (TCA) was really an open invitation for the cell phone industry to place their towers anywhere they wanted. Section 704 of the TCA basically states that local authorities can’t ban the placement of towers in their jurisdictions. The law says: “No State or local government or instrumentality thereof may regulate the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the Commission’s regulations concerning such emissions.” So legally the local government can’t refuse the construction of a cell phone tower in your neighborhood Any challenge by local communities could easily end up in federal court. Our lawmakers have basically given the cell phone industry free reign to install these towers wherever they want. And, by the way, the cell phone industry helped write this legislation that our government officials passed as law The public, therefore, now has no voice and no vote. Is there something wrong with this picture? Why didn’t our public officials represent the people instead of big business? Why would you let the very industry you’re trying to regulate write it’s own laws?
Does the income outweigh the potential risks? It appears not. Scores of studies and well-respected research have exposed alarming health effects from various forms of cancer to stress. Many experts today are predicting an epidemic in brain cancer soon.
Representatives from the industry are quick to point out the microwaves emitted by cell phone towers are well below federal standards. And indeed they may be. At least on paper. Most towers operate at a power output of 100 watts. However, this isn’t the total wattage of the tower. What they aren’t telling you is that 100 watts is the power per channel. Since one tower may have dozens of channels you can see that the power output could be highly excessive and well beyond 100 watts. It’s a technical loophole. And, of course, who is monitoring the power output from these towers after they are erected? The FCC certainly isn’t. It doesn’t have the manpower or money to properly regulate the millions of towers and antennas now online. And who is to prevent these companies from turning up the wattage when no one is around? Some have reported that many of these towers have already shown power outputs in the 900 to 1000 watt range.
You Can’t Escape The Radiation. It’s Everywhere.
We simply can’t escape the exposure to this radiation. It’s everywhere. There are so many people using cell phones and wireless connections today that you don’t even have to own a cell phone to be exposed. You’re just as exposed as everyone else. Every time someone makes a call from a mobile phone the signal is sent to a cell phone tower. There are so many calls being made by everyone all around us and now there are so many mobile phone towers in operation, that all of us are caught in the crossfire. It’s like second-hand smoke from cigarettes, except that we can’t get away from it. There simply isn’t anywhere to escape.
How Mobile Phone Towers Work
Cell phone towers emit signals in a “flower petal” pattern around the tower. This 360-degree radius around the tower is called a “cell” and this is what the term “cell” in cell phone means. When your phone is in a “cell” you get good reception and when it isn’t in a?”cell” you get poor reception. So, for a cell phone company to provide complete coverage cell phone towers and antenna towers must be positioned all across the country so that the “cells” overlap. You can begin to see what a huge infrastructure needs to be created to provide complete cell phone coverage. That’s why cell phone towers and antenna towers are so prevalent. Furthermore, that’s why these antennas are installed in so many places like rooftops, fire stations, schools and churches. This is what is necessary for complete coverage.
Studies Show Adverse Health Effects From Cell Phone Towers
If you aren’t sure that cell phone towers and masts are harmful the following study summaries should convince you. Below are listed six studies that have shown significant adverse health effects on people living near cell phone towers. According to Dr. Grahame Blackwell “these are the only studies known that specifically consider the effects of masts on people. All six studies show clear and significant ill-health effects. There are no known studies relating to health effects of masts that do not show such ill-health effects.”
Santini et al. found significant health problems in people living within 300 meters of a cell phone base station or tower. The recommendation was made from the study that cell phone base stations should not be placed closer than 300 meters to populated areas. Pathol Biol (Paris) 2002; 50: 369-373.
A Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research study entitled, “Effects of Global Communications System Radio-Frequency Fields On Well Being and Cognitive Function of Human Subjects With and Without Subjective Complaints” found significant effects on well being including headaches, muscle fatigue, pain, and dizziness from tower emissions well below the “safety” level.
Gerd, Enrique, Manuel, Ceferino and Claludio conducted a Spanish study called “The Microwave Syndrome” and found adverse health effects from those living near two cell phone base stations. The health effects included fatigue, a tendency toward depression, sleeping disorders, difficulty in concentration and cardiovascular problems.
From an Israeli study published in the International Journal of Cancer Prevention, Vol. 1, No. 2, April 2004, Wolf and Wolf reported a fourfold increase in the incidence of cancer in people living within 350 meters of a cell phone tower as compared to the Israeli general population. They also reported a tenfold increase specifically among women.
In the Naila Study from Germany, November 2004, five medical doctors collaborated to assess the risk to people living near a cell phone tower. The retrospective study was taken from patient case histories between 1994 and 2004 from those who had lived during the past ten years at a distance up to 400 meters from the tower site. The results showed that the proportion of newly developed cancer cases was significantly higher in those patients living within the 400-meter distance and that the patients became ill on average eight years earlier. In the years 1999 to 2004, after five years of operation of the transmitting tower, the relative risk of getting cancer had trebled for residents of the area in the proximity of the installation compared to the inhabitants of Naila outside the area.
An Austrian Study released in May 2005, showed that radiation from a cell phone tower at a distance of 80 meters causes significant changes of the electrical currents in the brains of test subjects. All test subjects indicated they felt unwell during the radiation and some reported being seriously ill. According to the scientists doing the study, this is the first worldwide proof of significant changes of the electrical currents in the brain, as measured by EEG, by a cell phone base station at a distance of 80 meters. Subjects reported symptoms such as buzzing in the head, tinnitus, palpitations of the heart, lightheadedness, anxiety, shortness of breath, nervousness, agitation, headache, heat sensation and depression. According to scientists this is the first proof that electrical circuits in the brain are significantly affected by a cell phone tower. The distance in this study was a mere 80 meters.
Two-time Nobel Prize nominee Dr. Gerald Hyland, a physicist, had this to say about mobile phone towers. “Existing safety guidelines for cell phone towers are completely inadequate. Quite justifiably, the public remains skeptical of attempts by governments and industry to reassure them that all is well, particularly given the unethical way in which they often operate symbiotically so as to promote their own vested interests.”
Dr. Bruce Hocking did a study in Syndey, Australia, of children living near TV and FM broadcast towers, which by the way, are very similar to cell phone towers. He found that these children had more than twice the rate of leukemia as children living more than seven miles away from these towers.
Results in yet another recent study conducted on inhabitants living near or under a mobile phone base station antenna yielded the following prevalence of neuropsychiatric complaints: headache (23.5%), memory changes (28.2%), dizziness (18.8%), tremors (9.4%), depressive symptoms (21.7%), and sleep disturbances(23.5%). In this study the participants were given a neurobehavioral test battery measuring such things as problem solving, visuomotor speed, attention andmemory. Symptoms of exposed inhabitants were significantly higher than control groups.
Furthermore, Europe’s top environmental watchdog group, European Environment Agency (EEA), is calling for immediate action to reduce exposure to mobile phone masts. EEA suggests action to reduce exposure immediately to vulnerable groups such as children.
The development of brain tumors in staff members working in a building in Melbourne, Australia, prompted the closing of the top floors of the building. The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology is housed in the building. Seven staff members were diagnosed with brain tumors and five of the seven worked on the top floor. A cell phone antenna is located on the roof of the building.
The Orange phone company in England is being forced to remove its mast tower on a building in Bristol, England. The removal is a result of a five-year effort by residents and local authorities to have the mast removed. Cancer rates in the building, which has become known internationally as the “Tower of Doom,” have soared to ten times the national average for the 110 residents living there. The two masts sitting on the roof, one owned by Orange and the other by Vodafone, were installed in 1994. Vodafone has refused the remove its mast.
Cell Phone Towers Affect Animals
Animals aren’t exempt from exposure the cell phone tower radiation either. One veterinary school in Hanover, Germany, reports that dairy cows kept in close proximity to a cell phone tower for two years had a reduction in milk production in addition to other health problems including abnormal behavior patterns.
Firefighters Vote To Suspend Cell Tower Construction On Fire Stations
Concerned about the effect that masts have on the nation’s firefighters, The International Association of Fire Fighters voted in 2004 to voice its opposition to cell phone towers and antennas being place on and around fire stations. They want proof first that there isn’t a safety issue and have asked for a moratorium on further construction and placement of any more towers or antennas on or around firehouses until such a study can be conducted.
What Are These Antennas Doing To Our Kids While They’re In School?’t worth the risk. They should not be subjected to microwave radiation when science has proven there could clearly be devastating effects as outlined in the previously mentioned studies. School boards and parent organizations need to be aware of the inherent dangers from such an exposure. It’s been clearly shown that microwave radiation penetrates the head of a child much easier than that of an adult. This is due to the thinner and softer bones in the head of child. Skull bones don’t fully harden until about age 22.
How Many Cell Phone Towers Are Near You?
The average person lives within one-half mile of a cell phone tower. Have you ever wondered how close you live or work to one of these towers? Would it bother you if one were right in your backyard? How many of these towers and antennas do you think there are in your immediate area? Find out by visiting the website http://www.antennasearch.com/. Simply type in your address and you’ll get a listing and a map of all the towers and antennas within a short radius of your address. Like most people you’ll probably gasp when you see the numbers. These towers are literally everywhere. Hundreds and hundreds of them are probably located within a few miles of your home or office.
Watch The Signal Bars On Your Cell Phone
The signal bars on your cell phone tell you how strong the signal is that are connecting to your cell phone. In other words, the closer you are to a cell phone tower the stronger the signal. The stronger the signal the less power your phone has to use to maintain the connection. A strong signal is indicated by a full set of “bars” showing on your cell phone display. Fewer bars mean a weaker signal. A weaker signal means the cell phone has to work harder to maintain the signal. Consequently, more power is needed to maintain the connection. The more power needed the greater the amount of radiation produced by your phone and the greater exposure to you. So always try to talk in outdoors or in an open space. This allows an easier connection from your cell phone to the nearest cell phone tower. Your phone won’t have to work as hard and less power is used to maintain the signal, which translates, to less radiation exposure for you.
What Can We Do?
Obviously, can’t escape the exposure. We’ve established that fact. So what can we do to minimize the damage?
Here are few ideas: We need to limit our exposure any way possible. Don’t live near a cell phone tower if you have a choice. Don’t buy a home near one even if the price is right. Limit your use of wireless devices. Go back to ‘wired’ connections whenever possible. Maximize your health through proper nutrition and good hydration. Eat foods high in antioxidants and take supplements. Eat organically as much as possible. There is no safe distance to locate away from a mast tower. Obviously, the closer to the tower the greater the exposure risk so do locate as far away as possible. Whenever possible encourage your local government officials to consider transitioning to the use of fiber optic cable. Most of it has already been laid underground. It’s just not being used. There are no masts with fiber optics and the small amount of radiation at the exits can be neutralized with technology now available. Discourage the use of Wi-Fi in schools by meeting with your school officials and school boards. Wi-Fi hotspots are popping up everywhere now. Even whole cities are going wireless with the installation of Wi-Fi. Again, it’s all done through a wireless signal, which is damaging to your health. Don’t let cell phone companies install cell phone antennas on the roofs of schools where your children attend. The radio waves are disruptive to their ability to focus, not to mention the health hazards we’ve already outlined. If you can’t change your current situation there is some hope. There are some intervention devices now available that you can use in your home, school and office to help lessen the risk of exposure. Some very good cutting-edge technology has been developed that will intervene and help mitigate the damage being done by wireless connections.
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