As concerned parents, we want the safest school campuses possible but the presence of illegally-built commercial cell towers makes us question the safety of our children as they spend 7+ hours a day at school.
The two SMUSD cell towers were built without any building permits, inspections or tests. Who is liable for their structural safety?
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.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Summary of Health Effects from Cell Tower Radiation (FCC information)
Health Effects from Cell Phone Tower Radiation
by Karen J. Rogers
safety of cell phone towers is the subject of extensive scientific debate.
There is a growing body of scientific evidence that the electromagnetic
radiation they emit, even at low levels, is dangerous to human health.
cell phone industry is expanding quickly, with over 100,000 cell phone towers
now up across the U.S., which is expected to increase ten-fold over the next
five years. The industry has set what they say are " safe levels" of
radiation exposure, but there are a growing number of doctors, physicists, and
health officials who strongly disagree, and foresee a public health crisis.
towers have been built recently in Siskiyou Co., with dozens more planned, as
telecommunications companies rush to corner markets in this fast-growing
industry. These towers emit radio frequencies (RF), a form of electromagnetic
radiation (EMR), for a distance of up to 2 1/2 miles. They are essentially the
same frequency radiation as microwaves in a microwave oven.
have shown that even at low levels of this radiation, there is evidence of
damage to cell tissue and DNA, and it has been linked to brain tumors, cancer,
suppressed immune function, depression, miscarriage, Alzheimer's disease, and
numerous other serious illnesses. 1
are at the greatest risk, due to their thinner skulls, and rapid rate of
growth. Also at greater risk are the elderly, the frail, and pregnant women.
Doctors from the United Kingdom have issued warnings urging children under 16
not to use cell phones, to reduce their exposure to radio frequency (RF)
100 physicians and scientists at Harvard and Boston University Schools of
Public Health have called cellular towers a radiation hazard. 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
U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is in charge of setting the
standards of exposure for the public, and claims that, based on scientific
studies, the current levels are safe. But it is not a public health agency, and
has been criticized as being "an arm of the industry". Many who work
for the FCC are either past, present or future employees of the very industries
they are supposed to regulate. With an explosively emergent $40 billion dollar
a year industry at stake, critics have stated "you can bet that their
studies are going to show whatever they want them to show."
federal government also once told us that asbestos, cigarettes, thalidomide,
and the blood supply were "safe", but which were later found to be
With a $40
billion dollar a year industry at stake, " you can bet that their studies
are going to show whatever they want them to show."
Bergman-Veniza, at Vermont Law School Environmental Law Center Conference, 1996
current U.S. standard for radiation exposure from cell phone towers is
580-1,000 microwatts per sq. cm. (mW/cm2), among the least protective in the
world. More progressive European countries have set standards 100 to 1,000
times lower than the U.S. Compare Australia at 200 microwatts, Russia, Italy,
and Toronto, Canada at 10, China at 6, and Switzerland, at 4. In Salzburg,
Austria the level is .1 mircowatts (pulsed), 10,000 times less than the U.S.
New Zealand has proposed yet more stringent levels, at .02 microwatts, 50,000
times more protective than the U.S. standard. 3, 4
to what the communications industry tells us, there is vast scientific,
epidemiological and medical evidence that confirms that exposure to the RF and
microwave radiation emitted from cell towers, even at low levels, can have
profound adverse effects on biological systems. 5, 6, 7, 8
is vast scientific and medical evidence that exposure to cell tower radiation,
even at low levels, can have profound adverse effects on biological systems.
and advocacy groups say that the current FCC "safe" standards are
based on 1985 research, and fail to consider more recent research that found
brain cancer, memory impairment, DNA breakdown, and neurological problems with
RF at much lower levels. The earlier studies considered only the
"thermal", or heating effects of the radiationin other words, the
level at which the radiation would heat tissue, or " cook" a person,
in the same exact manner that a microwave oven works. The FCC levels may ensure
our tissues are not "cooked", but they fail to address long-term
chronic exposure at low levels, or what is called "non-thermal"
say that RF radiation is wreaking havoc with normal biological cell functions.
"RF alters tissue physiology", says Dr. George Carlo, an epidemiologist
who found genetic damage in a $28 million research program, paid for by the
industry. He now fights to have safety levels lowered. 9
1998 the Vienna Resolution, signed by 16 of the world's leading
bioelectromagnetic researchers, provided a consensus statement that there is
scientific agreement that biological effects from low intensity RF exposure are
established. It says existing scientific knowledge is inadequate to set
reliable exposure standards. No safe exposure level can be established at this
world's leading electromagnetic researchers say existing scientific knowledge
is inadequate to set reliable exposure standards. - The Vienna Resolution, 1998
Salzburg Resolution, adopted in 2000 at the International Conference on Cell
Tower Siting, would prohibit any cell site from emanating more than .1 mW/cm2
10,000 times more strict than the current U.S. standard. This limit takes into
account the growing evidence for non-thermal RF bioeffects. 10
phone towers expose the public to involuntary, chronic, cumulative Radio
Frequency Radiation. Low levels of RFR have been shown to be associated with
changes in cell proliferation and DNA damage. Some scientific studies show
adverse health effects reported in the .01 to 100 mW/cm2 range at levels
hundreds, indeed, thousands, of times lower than the U.S. standards. These harmful low levels of radiation can
reach as far as a mile away from the cell tower location. Reported health
problems include headache, sleep disorders, memory impairment, nosebleeds, an
increase in seizures, blood brain barrier leakage problems, increased heart
rates, lower sperm counts, and impaired nervous systems. 11
term and cumulative exposure to cell tower radiation has no precedent in
history. There are no conclusive studies on the safety of such exposures, and
the growing body of scientific evidence reports such bioeffects and adverse
health effects are possible, if not probable.
Dr. Neil Cherry, Ph.D.
biophysicist from New Zealand, reports that "there is no safe level of ER
radiation." Dr. Cherry wrote a 120-page review of 188 scientific studies. He
said the standards are based on thermal effects, but important non-thermal
effects also take place, such as cell death and DNA breakdown. "The
electromagnetic radiation causes cells to change in a way that makes them
cancer forming." It can increase the risk of cancer two to five times, he
said. "To claim there is no adverse effect from phone towers flies in the
face of a large body of evidence."
claim there is no adverse effect from phone towers flies in the face of a large
body of evidence." Dr. Neil Cherry, biophysicist
health officials caution that we err on the side of conservatism, given the
massive public health risk that is possible.
federal health agencies disagree that safe levels of exposure have been
identified, much less built into the FCC standard. The Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) does not agree with the FCC standards, and analysts have
recommended that EMR be classified as a "probable human carcinogen".
Director of the Dept. of Health and Human Services, Elizabeth Jacobsen, has
stated that the safety of RF "has not been established nor has the
necessary research been conducted to test it", and cites risk of brain
cancer, tumors and DNA breakdown. The California Public Utility Commission has
urged the cell phone industry to not locate towers near schools or hospitals.
And the World Health Organization reports "many epidemiological studies
have addressed possible links between exposure to RF fields and excess risk of
cancer. These studies do not provide enough information to allow a proper
evaluation of human cancer risk from RF exposure because the results of these
studies are inconsistent."
safety of RF has not been established, nor has the necessary research been
conducted to test it." - Elizabeth Jacobsen, Director, US Dept. of Health
bodies are exquisitely sensitive to subtle electromagnetic harmonics, and we
depend upon tiny electrical impulses to conduct complex life processes,"
says Dr. Robert Becker, author of The Body Electric, and Cross Currents, The
Perils of Electropollution. 13, 14
says "at the present the greatest polluting element in the earth's
environment is the proliferation of (these) electromagnetic fields."
Radiation once considered safe, he says, is now correlated with increases in
birth defects, depression, Alzheimer's disease, learning disabilities, Chronic
Fatigue Syndrome, and cancer.
incidence of brain cancer is up 25% since 1973, and this year 185,000 Americans
will be diagnosed with brain cancer. Brain tumors are the second leading cause
of cancer death for children and young adults.
the United States has a de facto policy of "post sales surveillance"
with respect to RF radiation. Only after years of exposure, will there be
studies to characterize the health consequences.
can take 3 to 10 years for health effects to show up. Citizens shouldn't be
forced to act as guinea pigs in a radiation bioeffects experiment.
adverse health effects show up immediately, but it can often take 3 to 10 years
for the longer term effects of RF illness to appear, such as cancer. Many
researchers, public health officials and citizens believe that consumers
shouldn't be forced to act as guinea pigs in a bioeffects experiment for the
next 20 years. In short, "we are the experiment", for health effects.
Gerard Hyland, physicist, says existing safety guidelines for cell phone towers
are completely inadequate, since they focus only on the thermal effects of
exposure.15 Hyland, twice nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine, says
existing safety guidelines "afford no protection" against the
non-thermal influences. "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."
safety guidelines for cell phone towers are completely inadequate." - Dr.
Gerard Hyland, Physicist two-time nominee, Nobel Prize in Medicine
industry lobbied Congress with $39 million in 1996 to ensure passage of a law
which essentially gives them the right to place these towers in our
neighborhoods, and makes it next to impossible to oppose them based on health
reasons. It is no coincidence that EPA funding was also cut in 1996 for
electromagnetic radiation health studies. Citizens and communities across the
country are angered, and are protesting this imposition of involuntary,
24-hour-a-day microwave exposure, without proven safety levels. As one citizen
stated, "There's no place left to escape."
industry lobbied Congress with $39 million in 1996 to pass a law that took away
citizen's rights to oppose cell towers based on health reasons.
once a cell tower is erected, it has proved very difficult to verify the
radiation is within legal limits. There are no safety measures in place to
ensure that the towers are not emitting higher radiation levels than legally
allowed. One frustrated resident finally spent $7,000 purchasing his own
equipment to test a cell phone tower near his home, and found it emitting
radiation at levels 250% over the legal limit. 16
values have also been known to drop once a cell tower is erected, due to the
perceived risk of negative health effects. Cellular phone frequencies have also
seriously disrupted local emergency and law enforcement radio communications.
lawyer Mark Berthiaume, opposing placement of a cell phone tower, said
"Municipalities .... are being bullied every day by providers of wireless
telephone service who use their financial clout and the federal (law) to
intimidate the communities into allowing them to place large towers in inappropriate
For the complete article, Questions and Answers, and the Endnotes, please click on the attachments. All resources and research are documented in the Endnotes.