FCC looking into concerns over Floyd radio tower
Arcuri: Delay of response 'unacceptable'
By BRYON ACKERMAN
Last update Jun 19, 2009 @ 05:36 PM
The Federal Communications Commission is taking health concerns "quite seriously" as it continues to review information about possible radiofrequency radiation from a broadcast tower off Soule Road, FCC officials said Friday.
Bruce Romano, associate chief of the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology in Washington, D.C., said the agency has letters from U.S. Rep. Michael Arcuri, D-Utica, and Soule Road resident Steve Lloyd about their concerns.
"We're looking at the information that we have to see what an appropriate response would be," Romano said.
Residents near the tower say they have been experiencing problems with radio music playing through their televisions and computer speakers, and suspect their recent health problems - such as headaches, nausea, fatigue and blisters - are connected to radiofrequency radiation coming from the tower.
Officials from Arcuri's office first contacted the FCC on June 5 and had asked for a specific response plan by Friday.
When that didn't happen, Arcuri released an e-mailed statement that if the delay continues, it will be necessary to hold public hearings and call on other government agencies to become involved.
"It is unacceptable that the FCC has taken this long to respond to the requests of so many to investigate the radio tower in Floyd," Arcuri said. "If it is the tower that is causing the disturbing health concerns for the residents in its vicinity, there is no time to waste in remedying this issue, and I will continue to pressure the FCC for action."
Mid-State Communications Radio Division Manager Michael Long has said Mid-State Communications officials studied radiofrequency radiation levels by the tower and provided documentation detailing their results to Lloyd.
Long also has said he has concerns about the radiation levels - especially after he heard Lloyd has suffered blisters because they typically are the first sign of hazardous exposure to radiofrequency radiation.
The radio company operating the newest antennas on the broadcast tower also will be hiring an independent company to study the radiofrequency radiation levels there, said Mike Novak, president and chief executive officer of the Educational Media Foundation.
"I have no proof that anybody has been harmed by this," he said. "But we're going to make sure that anything that is going on is within the rules and regulations."
The Educational Media Foundation is located out of Rockland, Calif., and allows the God's Country network to broadcast on the WOKR 93.5 FM radio station through the tower.
FCC officials also are continuing to investigate interference complaints from residents near the tower, said David Viglione, an FCC agent out of the Buffalo office.
The licensee for the radio station is responsible for satisfying all reasonable complaints of interference - such as music being broadcast through televisions or on other radio frequencies, Viglione said. Two of the three complaints that have been filed have been satisfied, he said.
The complaints about alleged radiofrequency radiation causing health problems were passed on from the Buffalo office to the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology, Viglione said.
"We always take that quite seriously," he said.
If radiofrequency radiation levels are found to be above FCC guidelines, changes would have to be made, according to an FCC permit filed for the station on Feb. 5 with the town of Floyd.
Mobile towers threaten house sparrow: study
Thiruvananthapuram (PTI): The population of house sparrow, the small bird that lives in nest colonies close to human habitats, is threatened by proliferation of mobile phone towers, erected without scientific norms or strict regulations, claims a recent study by a conservation group in Kerala.
The study in Kollam taluk by environmentalist group Kerala Environmental Researchers Association (KERA) claimed that the population of house sparrow -- Passer domesticus -- is on the decline in spots like railway stations, warehouses and human dwellings normally colonised by them.
Since its diet comprises seeds, cereals and insects, factors like harmful insects, introduction of unleaded petrol, combustion of which produces highly toxic compounds like methyl nitrite, use of garden pesticides and destruction of open grasslands and mushrooming of bird unfriendly architecture also harm existence of the sparrow.
The study holds that uncontrolled and unscientific proliferation of mobile phone towers is bringing down sparrow population, said Prof Zainudeen Pattazhy, who led the study.
"Conservation of house sparrows urgently require enforcement of strict rules and regulation on erection of mobile phone towers by the Centre," he said.
The study said mobile towers were found to emit electro magnetic waves of a very low frequency of 900 or 1,800 MHz.But this was enough to harm the thin skull of chicks and their egg shells. Hence it is imperative to include this bird in the endangered list and take steps to protect them from vanishing, it said.
According to Pattazhy, there are more than 80 mobile towers in Kollam taluk alone. In many places, three or four towers are erected within half a kilometre radius.
A mobile tower can emit microwave radiations in the Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR) part of the spectrum of electro magnetic waves. RFR is a source of thermal energy and in adequate doses, has all known effects of heating on biological systems, including burns and cataracts in the eyes.
The heating effect of RFR can become a problem in individuals with metallic implants like rods in bones and electromagnetic interference can interact with cardiac pace makers. Acute high dose exposure to RFR may cause injury to the eyes. The cornea and lens are particularly susceptible to frequency of the 1-300 GHz range and formation of lesions in the retina is also possible.
NO-Wi-Fi in schools or workplaces day
Could you please circulate the information below, thank you.
Wifiinschools.org.uk has had a suggestion from a parent for an International NO-Wi-Fi in schools or workplaces day. The idea is to choose three days during the year (one for each school term) where parents of children in schools that use wireless technologies can choose keep their children at home and teachers or employees from other workplaces can choose not to go to work. The aim would be to draw attention to the involuntary exposure of so many people to man-made microwaves. This shouldn't significantly affect children's education, although may affect the school's attendance statistics.
We are interested in feedback about this idea. Do you think this could work?
Any comments, suggestions, ideas or concerns please send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your help.
Hi WiFi in schools
I believe that the potential danger to children from microwave radiation is so great that the idea has real merit. For this idea to be successful you would have to ensure that the home environment of the children also has no wireless pollution i.e. DECT cordless telephones, Wi-Fi and other wireless devices. I am sure that the wise and more concerned parents would have already taken these precautions, but you may need to educate others.
Mast legislation 'an abuse of law'
Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 14:11
A PHONE company is to erect a mast less than 15 yards from the front door of a man whose doctors have warned him to avoid mobiles.
Reg Hill, who lives directly opposite the planned site of a Vodafone mast in Stoke, fears the radio waves will affect him, his wife Denise and their two children. Mr Hill's son Graham died of a brain tumour in October 2000. Mr Hill says that specialists at Derriford warned him to avoid mobile phones.
"It's really getting me down," Mr Hill said. "I just can't let it happen but I don't know what to do now."
Angry Stoke residents have launched a campaign to stop Vodafone putting up the mast at the corner of Masterman Road and Keppel Place.
With the support of their local Conservative councillor, they are campaigning to change Government policy, which forces councils to give planning permission automatically for masts under 15 metres tall.
Stoke residents appealed earlier this year when Vodafone said it wanted to put up the mast.
Stoke councillor David Reynolds also objected, but says he heard nothing from Vodafone.
Plymouth City Council was forced to approve the installation because of Government legislation.
Campaign organiser David Tuthill said many people were unhappy.
"It appears that these people are given special privilege and can bypass the planning authority which the rest of us must abide by. It is a total abuse of the law that we are all expected to respect."
He said that the only warning was a small planning notice taped to a nearby lamppost which he did not see until it was almost too late to object.
In a test case last year the city council objected to a mast on a children's nursery in Old Laira Road, but the local government inspector stepped in and overturned the ruling – leaving the city council to pick up the bill.
Nationally there are now more than 50,000 mobile phone masts and that number is expected to rise by 8,000 a year for the next three years.
An expert committee chaired by Sir William Stewart in 2000 found no evidence for handsets or masts having negative health effects, but suggested that all masts, regardless of height, should be subject to full planning permission.
The group Mast Sanity, which campaigns for the safe siting of mobile phone masts, claims that cancer clusters, clusters of ill-health, depression and even suicide have been found close to masts and other wireless sources of radiation.
Vodafone said in a statement: "The proposed Vodafone radio base station is required to improve the 3G coverage to our customers in the area. This will provide our customers with access to mobile broadband with speeds similar to those offered by fixed line broadband.
"All of our base stations are designed, built and operated in accordance with stringent international guidelines. Typical public exposures from our base stations will be many hundreds, if not thousands, of times below these guidelines. The World Health Organisation has concluded that there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects."
Dr Alison Mackenzie, consultant in public health for NHS Plymouth said: "The balance of current research evidence suggests that exposures below levels set out in international guidelines do not cause health problems for the general population. However, we recommend a precautionary approach to the use of mobile phones until more research findings become available."
Physical protection against radiation from relay antennas: on the roof
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