The two SMUSD cell towers were built without any building permits, inspections or tests.

The two SMUSD cell towers were built without any building permits, inspections or tests.
Cell tower fires cannot be fought with water or foam and are left to burn out on its own. Century windstorms have exceeded the wind ratings of the cell towers and the seismic rating of the cell towers are unknown. In 2000 Los Angeles Unified School District banned cell towers on and near school campuses.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

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"Remove Cell Towers from SMUSD"

Subject: Cell phone towers in the middle of school grounds pose potential health hazards to children.

What can  you do to help?
1) Please sign the petition calling for the removal of cell phone towers from San Marino school properties.
2) Next step, share this link with your San Marino friends on Facebook, Twitter, etc. to pass the petition along electronically for signature collection.  Let's get the word out so we can make our schools a safe place without exposing our children to electromagnetic radiation at close distances. 
3) Come out and voice your opinion in person at upcoming San Marino School Board (SMUSD) Meetings 10/9 at 7:30 at 1665 West Dr., San Marino.

Tower Location and Exposure:
I used to be a lead system engineer in cellular infrastructure division with a cell site manufacture.  Recently I noticed the cell phone tower, disguised as a fake tree, on the Valentine campus within 40 feet of classrooms and next to the playground. This tower is located between Valentine and the Huntington Middle School campuses.  Additionally, there is another tower at the San Marino High School near the pool and gym. Children and teachers have been exposed to this for more than 6 hours daily at an extremely close distance for the last 6 to 7 years. Notably, peak tower output occurs during school hours.

Between the years of 2004-2006, the SMUSD entered into 25 to 30-year lease agreements with cell phone carriers without a public hearing. In turn for using school property to place 4-5 cell phone carriers on these cell phone towers, the industry pays the school district around $4,000 monthly as income.

Health Concerns:
There is a significant debate about the health hazards associated with cell phones. Recent studies show that electromagnetic radiation of this type is linked to headaches, sleep disorders, poor memory, mental excitation, confusion, anxiety, depression and appetite disturbance. Most disturbingly there are scientific studies in which cell phone radiation has been associated with a 2 to 4 fold increased risk of developing incurable brain tumors (for a good review of this topic: J Neurooncology (2012) 106:1–13). In fact, there is currently sufficient evidence for the World Health Organization to classify electromagnetic cell phone radiation as a Class 2B carcinogen. A class 2B carcinogen is a possible cancer causing agent, same as gasoline.

Although research will take many more years before it is conclusive, cell phone towers placed on or near school grounds warrant particular attention. One reason is that these cell towers are immensely more powerful than your cell phone handset; therefore, the probability of harmful effects increases. For example, a study showed that people who live within 400 meters (1,312 feet) radius of a tower had significantly increased rates of cancer, such as leukemia and breast cancer, and premature death. The second reason for additional concern is that children maybe especially susceptible to short and long term effects due to their thinner skulls and rapid rate of growth. Even the studies in which negative effects were not found urge much caution regarding pediatric exposure.

Local and Worldwide Efforts:
Los Angeles Unified School District adopted resolutions in 2009 banning cellular facilities on or in close proximity to school property to ensure individuals, especially children, are protected from the potential health effects associated with exposure to radio-frequency radiation. In 2009 Huntington Beach city leaders voted to stop construction of a T-Mobile tower 100 feet from an elementary school. Even as far away as Taiwan, 1,500 cell phone towers were removed in 2007.

Action Goal:
Cell phones are wonderful tools, but risks to our teachers and children should be minimized. Our goal is to remove the towers from all school grounds and ensure in the future that no new towers are put closer than 400 meters away from any school.

We are asking the SMUSD Board of Directors to act without delay to decrease our children's exposure. We do not feel it is necessary for the board to conduct a time consuming, separate independent study to determine if RF-EMF radiation could be harmful.  The decades of research and investigation conducted worldwide have raised enough safety concerns that we ask the SMUSD to err on the side of caution in protecting our children as well as the staff.

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