Ruling Could Echo Across Wireless Tower Industry
RCR Wireless News
August 22, 2007
The Alaska Supreme Court affirmed a state ruling awarding an AT&T
Inc. equipment installer total disability and medical benefits as a
result of health problems tied to exposure to radio frequency radiation
levels deemed to be slightly above those set by the Federal
state high court’s decision to uphold Alaska’s Workers’ Compensation
Board has potentially major implications for the mobile phone industry,
the tower business and other wireless sectors, according to a consumer
advocacy group specializing in wireless health issues.
decision is significant because the FCC RF limit is designed to keep
people from being heated, and ignores evidence of other adverse
biological effects at much lower levels,” stated The EMR Policy
The group added: “This precedent-setting case opens
the door for any wireless industry or maintenance worker who has been
exposed to antenna arrays on the job site that have not been shut off
to file disability claims should they suffer similar cognitive and
neurological symptoms. U.S. wireless service providers are not required
to document compliance with FCC RF safety limits by on-site radiation
measurements. Millions of workers occupy worksites on a daily basis
where operating antenna arrays are camouflaged and where no workplace
RF safety program is carried out.”
The mobile phone industry
already faces a handful of health lawsuits, with a ruling expected soon
on six brain cancer suits filed against wireless carriers, vendors and
others in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
Alaskan wireless facility at issue involved the installation of a new
computer-operating switching system in the Eagle River earth station,
but the legal and policy issues are nonetheless relevant for wireless
health across the board in the telecom sector.
“We are still reviewing this opinion to determine our options,” said Walt Sharp, an AT&T spokesman.