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Wireless Technology and Pesticides: Invisible Poisons
Coastal Post
Journalist: Katharina Sandizell

July 2005

Unfortunately, after having endangered our birds and other wildlife with the nationwide spraying of DDT, we have moved on to something bigger and better: EMF radiation (electromagnetic frequency).

Now that we have wireless communications, we enjoy their conveniences, but may not be aware of the serious long-term health risks involved. EMF radiation, emitted from cell phones, wireless internet, and cellular antennae, causes damage to the human body's DNA. Cell phone towers emit radio frequencies (RF), a form of electromagnetic radiation, for up to 2.5 miles. Even at several miles away, the radiation emitted from these towers can cause DNA damage, cancer, suppressed immune function, miscarriage, depression, and Alzheimers to name a few. Children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems are most effected. (Microwave and Radio Frequency Radiation Exposure, San Francisco Medicine, Vol 74, No.3, March, 2001.) "The cell phone industry is expanding quickly, with over 100,000 cell phone towers now up across the U.S., which is expected to increase tenfold 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. 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'." Karen J. Rogers, Health Effects from Cell Tower Radiation, 2002.

In Point Reyes Station, in the middle of a residential area, Verizon has been negotiating a private lease to put up one of their antennae. Because of the County's policy of 'collocation' and the subleasing potential of Verizon, one antenna could soon become a 125 foot tower with antennae from other wireless providers sprouting out. Verizon claims that tourists are demanding better cellphone reception when they visit West Marin. The problem is that these antennae not only cause serious health concerns, they mar the beautiful landscape, and work against what West Marin is about in the first place. Many of us deliberately live in a natural place away from urban stress, enjoying a quiet and uncomplicated life.

Similar to pesticides, the studies on Radio Frequency that are not funded by Industry demonstrate serious long-term health effects. These studies are often suppressed. We have known for years, since DDT was banned, that pesticides and herbicides (yes, Round -up) are linked to chronic illnesses and environmental degradation, but because EMF is invisible, we are still learning about its negative implications. Cellular and wireless towers / antennae cause constant EMF radiation, and there has never been a demonstrated 'safe' level for this radiation.

Different from what the communications industry assures us is safe, there is solid scientific, epidemiological, and medical studies that confirm that the radiation emitted from cell towers has unprecedented detrimental effects on all living systems.
1. Selected and Extensive Bibliographies on Electromagnetic Fields and Health, Bridlewood Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) Information Service, compiled by: Richard W. Woodley, revised 1999,
2. Reported Biological Effects From Radiofrequency Non-Ionizing Radiation,
3. A Cellular Phone Tower on Ossining High School, includes extensive reference to scientific papers and government documents citing adverse health effects from cell tower radiation,
"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...'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 cellphone towers flies in the face of a large body of evidence.'"
Karen J. Rogers, Health Effects from Cell Tower Radiation.

People can still choose whether to use a cellphone, but cannot escape the persistent, radiation from a nearby antenna. Several towns in West Marin are now experiencing the 'un-neighborly' influx of aggressive wireless corporations who want to raise their antennae. Is our devotion to convenience worth the health risks and negative visual impacts? We have made it passionately clear that we will not allow poisons sprayed in West Marin - the chemical pesticides used by the Mosquito District. Now we need to say NO to the poison that we cannot see or smell: EMF radiation. Let's really understand and use the Precautionary Principle. With declining nationwide health, we cannot afford to allow any additional harmful substances into our neighborhoods. Despite the false assurances and suspect studies produced by the Wireless and Chemical companies themselves, there is ample evidence that there are harmful long-term effects to our environment, ourselves, and our children.

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