|Federal Microwave Standards|
"Microwave or radiowave sickness" is referred to as a distinct clinical entity in the Soviet Union.' These worker responses, termed the "neuraesthenic ...
Cell Tower Plan Picks Up Static
Even though T-Mobile customers in Laguna Beach would hit fewer black holes for reception, some Top of the World residents see a proposed 36-foot-high cellphone tower as a nightmare looming outside the bedroom window.
The faux eucalyptus tree masking a cellular antenna won't fool anyone, said Kathy Bodrero, the closest neighbor to the proposed site behind Fire Station 3 on Alta Laguna Drive, near Top of the World School.
"Our bedroom, our bedroom window and bed are less than 15 feet from that spot," Bodrero told the City Council last week. The council delayed approving the site until T-Mobile representatives explain their proposal at the council meeting on Feb. 2.
City Manager Ken Frank said there are already several cell phone reception antennas in the neighborhood, including two Sprint antennas that are attached to the high-powered radio communications tower at the fire station, which connects Laguna's police, fire and lifeguards to all other public safety agencies in the county. Other cell phone company antennas exist at the Laguna Beach Water District reservoir on Alta Laguna Boulevard, a few blocks from the proposed T-Mobile site.
"We're already nuking every- body in that neighborhood," said Frank. "Nobody even knows they're there; nobody even cares they're there."
But there are no other giant faux eucalyptus towers.
"It is a base station, which is something quite different than the little poles you see," Bodrero said. Besides concerns that a telecommunications tower, which emits microwave/electromagnetic radiation, will affect her family's health, she said it "can't help but affect the value of our house."
All seven residents who testified at the meeting expressed concern over the tower's health hazards and devaluation of property.
"That's what so funny about these people coming in," said Frank. "They don't understand that there's already a full, 800-megahertz communication system on the fire station plus cell site towers." By definition, megahertz measures radio frequency radiation.
But some does not excuse the addition of others, say neighbors. "The idea of making it the dumping ground for antennas is offensive to me," said Louise Allison, who lives on Treetop Lane within 300 yards of the fire station. "Even though the federal government has proclaimed it's safe and we have to put up with that, it doesn't mean it is," she said. "We would not have bought our house if that tower had been there. If I have to go out and look at a massive cell tower everyday, that's not why we moved here."
Allison and her husband, Larry, a clinical psychologist in Newport Beach, moved to TOW six months ago because of the natural environs though they have lived in Laguna seven years. "Whether you believe in the science or not," her husband added, "there is evidence that suggests it could be potentially dangerous to health. We all know the history of smoking and smog and various pharmaceuticals that were claimed to be safe by the U.S. government, but which were, of course, later found not to be."
Councilwoman Jane Egly offered an unlikely solution. "We could all just get rid of our cell phones and then we wouldn't have to worry about the dangers of the poles," she said at the council meeting. Mayor Pro Tem Toni Iseman took exception.
"I'm not being glib," countered Egly. "We want a service, we want a service to use our cell phones. Part of having that service is the equipment that is needed. The question is is that the best place?"
The best place, added Iseman, is not near a park and school. "Putting it near children is really throwing the dice."
Egly said locating a tower outside the range of children is impossible. "In the right-of-way, on the top of my head, we have 50 to 70 around town. There's not a place where there's not children around there."
According to a 2007 report from the Expert Group on Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields, which included scientists from the World Health Organization and five other countries, no adverse health risk from mobile phone usage and living near base stations was found to cause brain cancer, but the risk is yet to be determined with other illnesses.
Even so, according to Mast- Victims.org, WHO ignored a 2006 study that showed harmful health effects in eight of 10 published peer-reviewed studies.
"You can alarm your neighbors so they can help fight it," suggested Paul Sean Fitzgerald, founder of Research Center for Wireless Technology and emfnews.org, "but basically you can only fight it if it's impeding environmental concerns, causing real estate devaluations or impeding the scenery." He said the cost of conducting studies on the health hazards of cell towers is estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars, which telecommunications companies are unwilling to underwrite.
The federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 prohibits local municipalities from interfering with telecommunications services, including placement of towers based on health concerns, particularly cognitive effects and sleep quality.
Gavin Curran, the city's finance and information technology director, said T-Mobile is trying to fill coverage gaps just in the Top of the World neighborhood by putting the tower there. "We pushed them toward the location at the fire station," he said, adding that the company was considering using the utility pole in the public-rightof way across from the fire station.
Frank said a meeting is planned with a contractor for T-Mobile, represented by Jordan DiBiase from Irvine's Coastal Business Group, Inc., which locates antenna sites for the cell phone company. Gaps in the company's reception will be mapped out and a location identified for an antenna, which is to be to presented to the council on Feb. 2. The location requires council approval.
Leasing 800-square feet at Fire Station 3 by T-Mobile would add $20,000 a year to the city's general fund. Local municipalities receive no money if utilities are placed on public-right-of-way property.
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Here is the web link http://microwaveradiationnews.com/
Here is the web link http://microwaveradiationnews.com/