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Cell Tower Ordinance, Please
February 27, 2009

We have a basic human right to be safe in our home, to not be exposed to things which are harmful to us, and governments should support that right. A major concern these days is radiation due to the proliferation of cell phone use and cell towers, especially near schools, hospitals and residences. In the light of the vast amount of evidence showing that cell towers are not safe, a tower in a residential neighborhood infringes on our right to safety in our own home. Microwave emissions travel from the tower to and through the structure of our houses, constantly exposing our bodies to microwave radiation, putting us at risk. We should not be exposed to this radiation against our will.

We know that the 1996 Telecommunications Act takes away a community's right to deny siting of a cell tower due to health concerns. This law is probably unconstitutional, and there is a petition in the works asking the administration to revisit the antiquated, thermal-based, exposure guidelines, and to repeal section 704 of the act. Our exposure guidelines are 100 to 1,000 times higher than allowed in most countries, and some of these countries are forcing cell companies to lower the radiation level further.

Many articles report increased incidence of cancers and other serious illnesses over time in the vicinity of cell towers. More minor, but nonetheless troubling, is electro-magnetic hypersensitivity, or EHS, which is affecting more and more people as cell phone use increases.

EHS symptoms include headaches, fatigue, impaired thinking, loss of visual and hearing acuity, chest pain, abnormal heart rhythm and skin rashes. It has been estimated that 3 to 8 percent of the population in developed countries experience serious electrohypersensitivity symptoms today, and up to 35 percent experience mild symptoms.

EHS sufferers struggle to adjust their lifestyle, even moving to areas with less radiation. New communities are being developed that disallow any cellular activity. There are now available materials to use in the home to protect bodies from the radiation, as well as articles of shielding clothing. Some countries actually recognize EHS as a genuine affliction, and make funds available to assist people in the management of their condition. Swedish citizens with this physical impairment can get their home sanitized for radiation. They also have legal right to be supported by their employer so that they can work despite of this disability.

Wireless networks in schools expose children to the same radiation. And WiFi hotspots are all over the place. We can avoid a hotspot in a business, but what choice do the children have? Many parents and school jurisdictions are lobbying against WiFi in schools. A totally wired network, although harder to maintain, completely eliminates the radiation problem!

When concerned citizens of Henderson Center first spoke to the city council, their representative seemed impressed by their concerns about a cell tower in a residential area. When they next spoke there, their representative had done a complete about face. He parroted cellular industry positions and said that a friend of his was so little concerned about health effects that he put a cell tower on his own property. If this cell tower is on a field where the most vulnerable of us, our precious children, play soccer, his friend lives a safe distance from the tower, and away from the irritating noise of the cooling fans.

Other countries are much more concerned about health effects due to electro-magnetic radiation. Studies link this technology to an increase in birth deformities, miscarriages, and a reduction in fertility. Our government has presumably known for years that radiation from devices like cell phones and towers can cause DNA strand breakage. The cellular industry funded a study they didn't publish because the researchers reported adverse affects. Dr. George Carlo headed this $28.5 million research program, and has since written a book “Cell Phones: Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age: An Insider's Alarming Discoveries about Cancer and Genetic Damage.”

Many studies recommend that a cell tower be not located within 300 meters of populations. Hopefully, enlightened local government officials and citizens working on a cell tower ordinance will take significant steps forward to protect the population, especially our children.

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