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, October 24, 2012


CELL TOWERS AT SAN MARINO SCHOOLS

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read the following information.  As concerned parents of children attending Valentine Elementary School, Huntington Middle School, and San Marino High School, we are asking for your support in the removal of the cell towers from San Marino campuses.   Active community and school volunteers, professionals from various backgrounds in all aspects from medicine to legal are hereby appealing to you to join in the campaign to keep our children safe.  It takes a group effort to make a difference!  There are several updates, facts and important information we would like to share as correctly and honestly as we can validate and document.

1) WHERE THERE IS A RISK, EXERCISE CAUTION.
There is extensive evidence in the scientific literature that indicates electromagnetic radiation produced by cell phones and cell phone towers is potentially harmful for humans. In light of this information, exposure of children to long term, constant fields emitted by the cell phone towers does not seem prudent. However, some of the decision makers in the San Marino Unified School District (SMUSD) do not currently seem inclined to remove the cell towers until there is absolute proof of harm—in the past accumulating such medical evidence typically requires decades—and because there may be significant cost.

Some people have said that removing the cell phone towers will cost 2 million dollars, and that a legal case will be not be winnable.  We have seen no concrete documentation regarding this hearsay and whether we would actually have to litigate. More importantly, we believe that it is unacceptable that the difficulty of a task is an excuse to fail to act on minimizing threats to our children’s health. What kind of example is that for the next generation? Moreover, it should be obvious that should harm occur, the financial and legal consequences would be far more devastating to the school and our community. Who would want to keep their children in the schools and how will our property values weather?

2) BACKGROUND 
The board minutes from 2004 reveal that the SMUSD board of education, which included current school board member, Mr. C. Joseph Chang, voted to enter into a lease agreement with Verizon at Valentine and Huntington Middle School without a public hearing. Although we are certain that intentions were good, it appears that decisions were made without independent third party evaluations of health & safety, environmental, or legal implications. Now there are towers at the high school and the Masonic Temple immediately adjacent to Carver Elementary School.

Other school districts such as the Los Angeles Unified School District (largest school district in the nation) have wisely elected to draft resolutions preventing the installation of towers on or near their schools. We hope that the SMUSD will now recognize the potential hazards and create similar policies to keep the children’s safety as the utmost priority.  This is your opportunity to urge the board to take precautionary measures as the LAUSD did in 2000.

3) SMUSD ARGUMENT TO ALLOW THE CELL PHONE TOWERS TO REMAIN
Three previous attempts to remove the towers by concerned parents since 2006 have failed. Parents were told that the towers were a good source of income and that it is their burden of proof to show that towers are unsafe. This line of reasoning is weak. The initial 25 year long-term lease agreement signed in 2004 for the Valentine Elementary /Huntington Middle School tower was for only $1,000 per month which amounts to 2.3 cents/day per child, a financial reward clearly not required in an affluent neighborhood such as San Marino.  Further, the logic is wrong. A possible carcinogen, as the World Health Organization defines cell phone radiation, should be proven safe prior to exposing our children. Surprisingly in a September meeting with a group of 10 parents, Superintendent Kleinrock has indicated that he disagrees with this argument, as reasonable as it sounds.  Mr. Kleinrock repeatedly told parents that the food we are feeding our children and the things in our home could be more dangerous.  Mr. Kleinrock voiced his point of view again during the Valentine PTA Executive Board Meeting on October 3, 2012.

4) BIASED EXPERTS CONSULT FOR MOBILE COMPANIES
Superintendent Kleinrock was tasked with hiring experts to educate the SMUSD board members. Despite being informed that these experts had a conflict of interest due to financial ties with cell phone companies, he has hired Mr. Drew Thatcher and Professor of Engineering Kenneth Foster PhD, a physicist by education. Drew Thatcher admits that in 2011 he was paid by T-Mobile to talk to school boards and citizens in Oregon and Washington. Kenneth Foster, who was recommended by Thatcher, has according to his resume been a consultant for Bell Atlantic Mobile, Comcast Metromobile, Sprint Spectrum and Omnipoint CellularAnyone who believes that money does not influence what someone will say or do is incredibly na├»ve. 

There are hundreds of research articles that document potentially harmful effects such as leukemia, brain cancer, irreversible infertility, cognitive disruption, neurodegeneration, DNA damage, skin damage, hearing damage, cataracts, damage to blood cells, etc. “Experts” such as Ken Foster and Drew Thatcher with financial ties to industry downplay this research.

Funding
Yes – health effect
No health effect
Industry
25%
75%
Non-industry
75%
25%





5) DRASTIC MEASURES TO GET A FAIR PERSPECTIVE
Until last week, a legitimate attempt to hire an expert to present the potential dangers of cell phone radiation had not occurred.  Mrs. Nam Jack, the board president requested Mr. Kleinrock on September 18, 2012 to hire an expert, with no association with mobile companies.  Mrs. Jack specifically asked Mr. Kleinrock to hire Dr. Martin Blank to do the same testing and was curious if it may be difficult finding individuals to complete testing.  (Source: San Marino Unified School District Board of Education Meeting Minutes, Sept. 18, 2012).  It was revealed by the parents at the board meeting on October 9, 2012, that Kleinrock did not make any attempt to hire Dr. Blank.  Kleinrock merely emailed Dr. Blank if he wishes to attend the public session and could provide the details if he was interested.  The fact that Dr. Blank will only be able testify via Skype on Oct. 23 Public Study Session, due to the lack of being presented with a timely contract (he was invited to attend without offer of compensation unlike the offers to Thatcher and Foster), is indicative that the initial plan was silence parents using a biased scientific evaluation.



6) EMISSIONS REPORT and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
At the third board meeting (10/9/2012) on this topic, Drew Thatcher presented his emissions testing report and suggested that there were no health concerns because the readings were well below FCC limits. However, Dr. Gerard Hyland, twice nominated for the Nobel Prize in medicine, says existing FCC safety guidelines for cell phone towers are completely inadequate, since they focus only on the thermal and not the non-thermal effects of exposure, the later of which has been linked to cancer and other maladies. It is also remarkable that Thatcher even notes in his own report that his recommendations are based on “the FCC’s general population exposure limits.” The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) has stated that these FCC standards do not apply children, who may be significantly more sensitive to damage from this type of radiation. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) July 2012 report is “critical of the way the FCC has managed its standards noting that the rules, which had not changed since 1996, lagged behind those of the international community.” The FCC's exposure guideline is considered protective of effects arising from a thermal mechanism not from all possible mechanisms. Therefore, the generalization made by many that the guidelines protect human beings from harm by any and all mechanisms it not justified.

7) SOLUTIONS
Moving forward, the ultimate goal is to have the towers removed and relocated, as well as for the board to pass a resolution not to permit new cell towers to be erected on or near the school campuses. From the beginning we have known that this will be a very challenging task. Fortunately, we have a group of parents who are doctors, lawyers and other professionals working tirelessly to educate the board and offer solutions of how we can work together with the district and cell companies to create a minimum economical impact for both parties while considering the community’s safety. For example, one suggestion is that cell companies only transmit during non-school hours which would be still allow 90% utilization during school days and 100% utilization when school is out of session. Another suggestion is to negotiate a lease termination or lease modification agreement.  Many parents have recommended to not enter into new agreements to add additional carriers to the towers in the interim while options are explored.  However, absolutely nothing will happen with regard to any solutions unless and until the school board is willing to open communications and have a dialogue with the cell tower lessees.

8) ONE COMMON GOAL
At the October 9, 2012 SMUSD board meeting, 8 separate individuals made extensive comments totally over 30 minutes. Only 6 lines, some merely listing speakers’ names, were included in the October 9th draft board meeting minutes (which will be approved tonight, 7:30pm, at the regular board meeting). Crucial presentations were made to the board regarding the parents concerns as well as suggested solutions and options.  Why were no details included? In stark contrast to the September 18th meeting minutes, there were 126 lines of public hearing comments for 8 speakers for about the same time. Why is the board censoring public input on official board meeting minutes? 

Transparency is crucial for our community and the school board to work productively towards achieving the goal of the removal of the cell towers.  As parents, we believe that the San Marino school district offers a quality education but ultimately our children’s health is the most precious thing to consider.  Without health, a 13 year quality education has no value.  As a community, we have to all work together to take this positive step in eliminating risks from our children’s lives.

9) WHICH SCHOOL DISTRICTS BANNED CELL TOWERS?
LAUSD, the nation's 1st largest district, along with many other school districts have banned cell towers on school campuses. If other districts have taken a stand to protect their children, why hasn’t ours?  Elementary and other level schools are no place for cell towers! Let’s err on the side of caution and minimize the possibility that 10 years down the road, there may be a causal relationship with kids who have been exposed to cell towers.

Highest API School Districts
Cell Tower on Campus?
Hermosa Beach
NO
Manhattan Beach
NO
Belvedere/Tiburon
NO
South Pasadena
NO
Beverly Hills
NO
La Canada
NO
San Marino
YES

* The above information have been confirmed and verified by parents who have contacted the specified school districts that they do not have cell towers and do not plan to have cell towers in the future.

·   La Canada Unified School District, Fletcher Hills Elementary, West Linn-Wilsonville School District, Kings Park Central School District (New York), Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, Conejo Valley Unified School District, Washoe County School District (Lake Tahoe area), and many more have passed resolution to ban cell towers from schools.   Source: All board resolutions are available for download at: www.removecelltowers.blogspot.com

10) HELPFUL RESOURCES
·   On May 31, 2011, the expert agency World Health Organization (WHO), named radio frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) from cell phones as class 2B, possible human carcinogen with limited studies. This expert agency made this significant statement, which involved 31 scientists from 14 countries.

·   In July 2012, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), representing over 60,000 medical professionals, called for the FCC to revisit radio frequency radiation exposure standards.  The outdated standards established in 1996 need lowering in light of new biological evidence showing harm so that they truly protect the WHOLE population, especially children, during chronic exposures.  The AAP has taken a leadership role in urging a precautionary approach to exposure to radio frequency radiation for children.  New standards must be biologically protective during chronic exposures, not just thermally protective during short acute exposures like the current standards are.

·   "Children's skulls and scalps are thinner. So the radiation can penetrate deeper into the brain of children and young adults. Their cells are at a dividing faster rate, so the impact of radiation can be much larger." said Dr. Keith Black, Chairman of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. This is in agreement with multiple research studies. "What microwave radiation does in most simplistic terms is similar to what happens to food in microwaves, essentially cooking the brain," Dr. Black said. "So in addition to leading to a development of cancer and tumors, there could be a whole host of other effects like cognitive memory function, since the memory temporal lobes are where we hold our cell phones."

·   Internationally acknowledged experts in the field of RF/MW radiation research have shown that RF/MW transmissions of the type used in digital cellular antennas and phones can have critical effects on cell cultures, animals, and people in laboratories and have also found epidemiological evidence (studies of communities, not in the laboratory) of serious health effects at "non-thermal levels," where the intensity of the RF/MW radiation was too low to cause heating. They have found:
·       Increased cell growth of brain cancer cells (5)
·       A doubling of the rate of lymphoma in mice (6)
·       Changes in tumor growth in rats (7)
·       An increased number of tumors in rats (8)
·       Increased single- and double-strand breaks in DNA, our genetic material (9)
·       2 to 4 times as many cancers in Polish soldiers exposed to RF (10)
·       More childhood leukemia in children exposed to RF (11)
·       Changes in sleep patterns and REM type sleep (12)
·       Headaches caused by RF/MW radiation exposure (13)
·       Neurologic changes (14) including:
o   Changes in the blood-brain-barrier (15)
o   Changes in cellular morphology (including cell death) (16)
o   Changes in neural electrophysiology (EEG) (17)
o   Changes in neurotransmitters (which affect motivation and pain perception)(18)
o   Metabolic changes (of calcium ions, for instance) (19)
o   Cytogenetic effects (which can affect cancer, Alzheimer's, neurodegenerative diseases) (20)
·       Decreased memory, attention, and slower reaction time in school children (21)
·      Retarded learning in rats indicating a deficit in spatial "working memory" (22)
·       Increased blood pressure in healthy men (23)
·       Damage to eye cells when combined with commonly used glaucoma medications(24)
(Source: http://www.iaff.org/hs/Facts/CellTowerFinal.asp)

Recent Studies Show Adverse Health Effects Caused by Cell TOWERS:
·   Mortality by neoplasia and cellular telephone base stations in the Belo Horizontemunicipality, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. 2011 SEPT.  

·   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.

·   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, and 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.

·   Over 100 physicians and scientists at Harvard and Boston University Schools of Public Health have called cellular towers a radiation hazard. And, 33 delegate physicians from 7 countries have declared cell phone towers a “public health emergency”.

·       International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF FireFighters) Oppose Locating Cell Towers on Fire Department Facilities
·   “Again, fire department facilities, where fire fighters and emergency response personnel live and work are not the proper place for a technology which could endanger their health and safety
·   “The only reasonable and responsible course is to conduct a study of the highest scientific merit and integrity on the RF/MW radiation health effects to our membership and, in the interim, oppose the use of fire stations as base stations for towers and/or antennas for the conduction of cell phone transmissions until it is proven that such sitings are not hazardous to the health of our members.”
·   “It is the belief of some international governments and regulatory bodies and of the wireless telecommunications industry that no consistent increases in health risk exist from exposure to RF/MW radiation unless the intensity of the radiation is sufficient to heat body tissue.  However, it is important to note that these positions are based on non-continuous exposures to the general public to low intensity RF/MW radiation emitted from wireless telecommunications base stations.  Furthermore, most studies that are the basis of this position are at least five years old and generally look at the safety of the phone itself.  IAFF members are concerned about the effects of living directly under these antenna base stations for a considerable stationary period of time and on a daily basis.  There are established biological effects from exposure to low-level RF/MW radiation.”
·   “There is a large body of internationally accepted scientific evidence which points to the existence of non-thermal effects of RF/MW radiation. The issue at the present time is not whether such evidence exists, but rather what weight to give it.”

·        Revised and Amended IAFF Resolution No. 15; August 2004
·   “RF radiation is emitted by these cellular antennas and RF radiation can penetrate every living cell, including plants, animals and humans”
·   “both the U. S. and Canadian governments established regulatory limits for RF radiation based on thermal (heat) measurements with no regard for the adverse health effects from non-thermal radiation which is proven to harm the human brain and immune system”
·   “U. S. Environmental Protection Agency stated in a July 16, 2002, letter, “Federal health and safety agencies have not yet developed policies concerning possible risk from long-term, non-thermal exposures. The FCC’s exposure guideline is considered protective of effects arising from a thermal mechanism (RF radiation from cell towers is non-thermal) but not from all possible mechanisms. Therefore, the generalization by many that the guidelines protecting human beings from harm by any or all mechanisms is not justified”
·   “Expert Panel Report requested by the Royal Society of Canada prepared for Health Canada (1999) stated that, “Exposure to RF fields at intensities far less than levels required to produce measurable heating can cause effects in cells and tissues.  These biological effects include alterations in the activity of the enzyme ornithine decarboxylase, in calcium regulation, and in the permeability of the blood-brain barrier. Some of these biological effects brought about by non-thermal exposure levels of RF could potentially be associated with adverse health effects”
·   “firefighters are the protectors of people and property and should be protected under the Precautionary Principle of Science and therefore, unless radiation is proven safe and harmless, cellular antennas should not be placed on or near fire stations"
·   “IAFF oppose the use of fire stations as base stations for antennas and towers for the conduction of cell phone transmissions until such installations are proven not to be hazardous to the health of our members”.

·       ”On August 31, the High Court had told telecom operators to remove all cellphone towers near schools, hospitals and jails within 15 days.” – Source: Deccan Herald, India, September 12, 2012

THANK YOU!!

a) Use email and social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc to share this message with your San Marino friends so that they are aware of this issue and ask for their support.
b) Ask you friends who are supportive to sign the petition. (Disregard donation request.) 
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/remove-cell-towers-from-smusd/
c) For your reference, we have a separate resource handout for further perusal. 
Dr. Martin Blank's letter to LAUSD, page 1
Dr. Martin Blank's letter to LAUSD, page 2
Brains of 5 years and 10 years old from radiation