Imagine you're living in your apartment for fifteen years, and one day the city comes knocking on your door with orders to put NINE Cellular Antennas and a GPS Satellite on your roof! That's the nightmare facing the residents of 7100 Hillside Avenue in Hollywood.
On Wednesday, June 3rd, a hearing about the proposed 9-antennae Cell Tower was held at LA City Hall before the Zoning Administration. Residents within a 500 foot radius were invited by letter to the hearing, where they expected their concerns would be heard.
The residents provided Zoning Administrator Maya Zaitzevsky with testimony, articles and links to hundreds more articles, espousing the exhaustive list of dire health risks directly associated with residing near a Cell Tower.
"I'm not allowed to consider ANY testimony about health implications, since it's an FCC regulation, and the FCC says it's safe," insisted Zoning Administrator Zaitzevsky. "This hearing is only about the aesthetics of the cell tower!"
Residents were shocked. The had been invited to the hearing, and their tax dollars were paying the Zoning Administrator's salary, not to decide WHETHER there should be a cancer tower over their heads, but merely how to DRESS the Cancer Tower!
The sister item on the agenda, ironically, was an adoption of something called a Mitigated Negative Declaration, which allowed them to blow off the Environmental Impact Study!
Pleading with Zoning Administrator Maya Zaitzevsky fell on deaf ears. "I have Cell Towers all around where I live!" Zaitzevsky insisted.
One neighborhood resident lamented "yes, M'am, but you probably don't sleep under one."
How is it possible that you can live in an apartment where the city can just DECIDE to put a tower over your bed - or rather - nine towers and a GPS Satellite -- and you have NOTHING to say about it?
Prior to 1996, communities still had the authority to block the location of cell towers. But the Federal Communications Act of '96 made it virtually impossible for communities to stop construction of cell towers, regardless of whether they posed threats to public health and the environment-- And despite the fact that hundreds of studies world wide indicated that the radiation exposure was like living in a microwave oven.
B. Blake Levitt is a medical and science journalist, former New York Times writer, and author of Electromagnetic Fields: A Consumer's Guide to the Issues and How to Protect Ourselves, for which she won an award from the American Medical Writers Association.
In the late '90's, Levitt reported "The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was the size of the Manhattan phone directory. At the time it was being debated, most people, including many legislators voting on it, thought it was only about complex deregulation schemes. But deep within its pages, in Section 704, lay a stealth clause about the sitting of cell-phone towers that is creating a planning and zoning nightmare--and perhaps a public health problem, according to scores of scientists, journalists, and activists."
It should come as no surprise that representatives of the telecommunications conglomerates helped write the legislation, including Section 704, which states "although communities reserve their rights over the general placement, construction, and modification of towers, they cannot ban them outright."
Proponents for more governmental protection insist that "the decision to enter the age of wireless convenience was politically determined for us, thus we've ignored well-documented safety and environmental concerns."
"Zoning officials today are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to sitting cellular phone towers on, or in, pre-existing buildings," explains B. Blake Levitt. "Legally, they can't refuse them or, supposedly, design zoning regulations based on health effects, no matter how convincing the scientific evidence or how militant community members become. Any community that tries to challenge the safety of cellular towers based on the 'environmental' effects of radio-frequency emissions stands to end up in federal court. Several communities already have."
Critics call it a flagrant challenge to the Fifth and Tenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, and believe the FCC is ignoring its duty to protect the health of Americans.
Dr. Jerry Phillips, a biochemist researcher, explains "the only significant money given to research on cell phone and tower safety issues comes from the cell phone industry itself." Having worked on the inside of that industry, he knows not to trust the studies that are coming out.
More than a decade ago, Dr. Phillips began researching cell phone and tower safety for Motorola. His studies turned up data that indicated distinct negative effects on human health. Motorola quickly took steps to delay Dr. Phillips' findings, buying some time to decide how to spin the results into something positive to present to the public.
Motorola company manuals for personnel who work on communications towers confirm that high frequency radiation from these antennas is nasty stuff. Safety regulations mandate warning signs, EMF awareness training, protective gear, even transmitter deactivation for personnel working close to antennas. But no worries if you're simply sleeping under them!
Publicly, the government will be the first to tell you that no studies have shown "conclusive evidence" that radio-frequency emissions, a form of electromagnetic radiation (EMR), from cell towers are harmful. Cell phone companies will also insist there is no danger.
"There are no health risks posed by the towers. Independent scientific panels around the world have reached this conclusion," says Russ Stromberg, senior manager of development at T-Mobile.
Ironically, T-Mobile is the company whose towers are being erected at 7100 Hillside.
Despite the Cell Phone Industry's, and the FCC's, insistence that residing near a Cell Tower is safe, hundreds of independent studies worldwide tell a different tale.
"Studies have shown that even at low levels of this radiation, there is evidence of damage to cell tissue and DNA," according to the Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center. "Cell phone and tower radiation has been linked to brain tumors, cancer, suppressed immune function, depression, miscarriage, Alzheimer's disease, and numerous other serious illnesses."
According to Dr. Ben Kim, regular exposure to radio frequency radiation has been shown to interfere with the electrical fields of our cells. "Common health challenges that have been linked to regular exposure include abnormal cell growth and damage to cellular DNA, difficulty sleeping, depression, anxiety, and irritability, childhood and adult leukemia, eye cancer, immune system suppression, attention span deficit, infertility and memory loss…" the list goes on. "Unfortunately, many of us have little control over the location of cell phone towers and other broadcasting antennas that emit powerful radio frequency waves."
Arthur Firstenberg first reported that, in 2004, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) compelled an independent study to determine the effects of putting cell phone antennas on firehouses. "If the science demonstrated a risk, then the union would oppose the use of fire stations as sites for cell antennas until further science demonstrated that cell antennas were safe."
In April 2005, the union's Health and Safety Department found "more than ample evidence of significant health risks," and concluded that the union should oppose cell antennas on fire stations. That study cited over eighty independent references.
More recent studies have revealed that just two hours of exposure to high-frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF), such as the ones you're exposed to every time you turn on your cell phone, microwave oven or blue tooth headset, can lead to permanent DNA damage in brain and sex cells, as well as severe gene mutation.
If a factory smoke stack was putting out this kind of pollution, you can bet your brain cells we'd be doing something about it. But since this is an invisible poison, American citizens are unwittingly bathing in radiation.
Meanwhile governments in Austria, Switzerland, and many Eastern European countries have already created protective standards for human exposure to radio frequency radiation. In Scotland, towers are not allowed to be located near hospitals, schools, and homes.
Sweden is on the forefront of international cell technology related health studies. They found that mice and rats exposed to typical cell phone radiation levels quickly developed brains that looked like Swiss cheese. "And they have a hundred times more protective enzymes than a human being!" according to Dr. Hildegard Staninger, PhD.
In a Russian experiment, two active cell phones were placed on either side of a raw egg. In sixty-two minutes, the egg was cooked solid.
A German study of 1,000 people living within 1300 feet of a cell transmitter site were found to have three times the cancer rate than those who didn't live near cell transmitters. A study at Tel Aviv University revealed similar startling results. Patients who'd been exposed presented with eight different types of cancer, including breast, ovarian and lung cancer, Hodgkin's disease (cancer of the lymphatic system), bone tumors and kidney cancer.
It's been acknowledged universally that the effects of cell phone and tower radiation are worse on women and children. In 1997, Dr. Om Ghandi, from the University of Utah, revealed the alarming results that radiation penetrates younger skulls far more deeply than those of adults.
In the U.S., Dr. Ben Kim's studies echo Ghandi's findings: "Children are at much higher risk than adults of experiencing health problems related to regular exposure to radio frequency radiation; thinner and smaller skulls translate to greater absorption of radio frequency."
According to Dr. Leif Salford, cancer now affects one in three, with breast cancer affecting one in nine women. "Cardiovascular disease, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis and myalgic encephalomyelitis are all modern disorders. And all have been associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields."
Dr. Salford joins thousands of his brethren worldwide who believe that these afflictions are caused by exposure to the ever-present EMF and radiation levels we're bathing in, courtesy of our hi tech toys. Salford insists "this is the largest human biological experiment in the history of civilization!" Yet the only studies the government considers are those coming from the cell and power company industries!
What possible Incentive could there be for erecting a Cell Tower on an apartment building, despite the risks to residents? Cell phone companies pay "rent" for their residency. It can range anywhere from $800 to $12,000 a month.
Dr. Gunner Heuser, a medical specialist in neuro-toxicity, worked with former Fire Look Outs from California's Likely Mountain, one of the nation's many RF/microwave "hot spots." The Likely Mountain workers labored within 30 feet of a newly erected cell tower, without having been warned of health dangers. They're now disabled with brain and lung damage, breast cancer, partial left side paralysis, muscle tremors, bone pain and DNA damage.
Dr. Heuser states "in my experience those patients developed multi-system complaints after EMF exposure just as they would after toxic chemical exposure." Her patients who'd worked in proximity to the towers all suffered serious cell phone service radiation exposure and expensive illnesses, including: tumors, blood abnormalities, stomach problems, lung damage, bone pain, muscle spasms, extreme fatigue, tremors, numbness, impaired motor skills, cataracts, memory loss, spine degeneration, sleep problems, low immunity to infection, hearing and vision problems.
Nearly all who've worked at Likely Mountain since 1989 are disabled.
At only 61 years of age, one former worker has lost so much memory that she can't remember back to when her first three children were born. Several of the workers' spouses have a rare soft tissue sarcoma, known to be caused by cell phone service radiation, as well as sarcoma of the colon. Two pregnant mothers, who were only exposed to the tower for a few days, bore children with brain damage and autism. Twelve patients from two former workers' families have a terminal condition known as "toxic encephalopathy," which causes permanent brain damage to frontal and temporal lobes.
Dr. Heuser fears that cell phone service radiation may be a major factor in the nation's phenomenal epidemics of dementia and autism.
In a study conducted by Dr. W. Löscher of the Institutes of Pharmacology Toxicology and Pharmacy of the Veterinary School of Hannover, Germany, "dairy cows that were kept in close proximity to a TV and cell phone tower for two years had a reduction in milk production, along with increased health problems and behavioral abnormalities."
In one experiment, a cow with abnormal behavior was taken away from the antenna and within five days the abnormal behavior subsided. When the cow was brought back near the antenna, the symptoms returned.
"Miscarriage, cardiac disruption, sleep disturbance and chronic fatigue could well be early indicators of the adverse health effects," says Dr. Neil Cherry, a biophysicist at Lincoln University in New Zealand. "Symptoms of reduced immune system competence, cardiac problems, especially of the arrhythmic type, and cancers, especially brain tumor and leukemia, can be expected."
When faced with the overwhelming evidence, it seems likely that the residents of 7100 Hillside have been given a Death Sentence. Despite the fact it's a political hot potato, they've done the only thing concerned taxpayers can do - they've reached out to California government for help.
Unfortunately, pleas to government officials have thus far gone unanswered.
"Perhaps," one Hillside neighbor lamented, "they're too busy dealing with real dangers. Like gay marriage."
Boccaccio is a journalist who specializes in DNA, Crime and Death Penalty issues.
She is also a neighborhood resident of 7100 Hillside Avenue
High Altitude Radiation from Airplane Flights
Recently I took a transcontinental flight, and of course a GM-10 Radiation Detector came along for the ride!
The graph below shows the background radiation levels on the ground, as well as when we were at our crusing altitude (around 35,000 feet). Note the huge difference in radiation levels! The CPM (Counts Per Minute) went from about 12 on the ground to 360 in flight, or 30 times the level!
So what's this about mammograms? The iconic breast screening exam has been called into question by a stellar panel from Harvard, Stanford and other such institutions who were tasked by the federal government to determine the efficacy and safety of the test.
So for decades now, the ladies have been lining up to have "the girls" squished, pinched, squeezed and radiated, in the hope that such treatment will result in early detection and improved survival. Instead, this new information is asserting that mammograms do not improve survival and are contributing to rising costs of healthcare by identifying many lumps that aren't cancer or will never become cancer. So younger women, in the 40-49 year age group, are told they no longer need to have any mammos at all, and are even exhorted to not examine their own breasts for fear of finding something. Suddenly the fear and expense generated by "false positives" are outweighing the fear and expense of the real thing. Confusion reigns!
It is indeed true that 10-15% of mammograms yield false positives, another 10-15% yield false negatives, that is, a cancer that is present is not detected. Most cancers are found by the patient herself. But the news has not mentioned the possible damage done by mammograms to the DNA of breast tissue. Radiation exposure results in cumulative damage, that is, repeated exposure to x-rays cause tiny mutations in genetic information. How much damage does it take to create a cancer cell? No one really knows, but it probably varies from one person to another. Is it possible that some women are getting cancer from the mammograms?
So what's a woman to do? Now she's told not to examine herself and not to get a mammogram, but what should she do to find out if she might have breast cancer in the early stages, when it is most curable?
Ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic technique that has been used for decades as a back-up test to the mammogram. If a lump is found, the architecture of it (solid, cystic, fibrous, mixed) can be determined with an ultrasound. This might be a good test to do more often.
Another answer has been around for a number of years. It has been largely ignored in this country. It's a non-invasive test called digital thermographic imaging, or thermography, for short. This is a simple test something like taking a photograph, only in the infra-red part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Because this shows temperature variation, the new blood vessels that form around a developing malignancy light up in red, yellow or white, and the normal tissue or benign tumors (like fibrocystic disease) show up in green or blue. There are many blood vessels that normally occur beneath the surface in the breast, so yellow or red is not necessarily a sign of cancer. The images are read by doctors trained to interpret them, just as x-rays are read by radiologists.
The initial (baseline) exam is two tests, three months apart. After that it's one test a year, just like the old rules about mammograms. Each test takes five pictures, front, left side, right side and diagonals on both sides. No radiation and no touch at all is applied.
The science behind thermography is quite impressive. It comes from Europe and the South Pacific (Australia and New Zealand) where thermography has been used since the 1970s. Studies on hundreds of thousands of women have proven thermography to be a valuable and reliable tool for early detection. In fact, thermography can pick up tumors ten years before they would be seen on a mammogram.
Perhaps now with the questions raised about the best use of mammograms, we will see thermography used more. It is a good but underused test. Women need the assurance they are not developing this terrible disease, and thermography can fill the newly created void.
No matter what screening test you use, the best strategy is prevention – it's light years ahead of early detection! Choose a healthy diet, exercise, and minimize toxic exposures (and that probably includes mammograms).
Carol L. Roberts, MD is the Founder and Medical Director of Wellness Works, Inc., a holistic medical practice in Brandon and Sarasota, Florida since 1994. She has a show on WMNF 88.5FM alternate Mondays from 1-2PM EST, and is the author of the soon-to-be-released book, Good Medicine: A Return to Common Sense. Find her at www.wellnessworks.us. Thermography is offered at her practice
Select Committee Report: Electromagnetic Radiation
Select Committee Report into Electromagnetic Radiation
Ban the Tower is delighted with the report of the Local Government and Environment Select Committee into Electromagnetic Radiation, which was released yesterday.
The Inquiry was initiated last year in response to a 3101 signature petition from Sarah Allen and others opposing a proposed 22m Telecom celltower next door to Atawhai Playcentre.
"The community joined forces to lobby Telecom, councillors and MP's to find an alternative site. A team of parents did a huge amount of research, set up our own website to share information and even made a film letter for then Prime Minister called "Dear Helen Clark"" says spokesperson Sue Grey.
Since then many other communities around New Zealand have shared similar concerns about unwanted new celltowers imposed without consultation and often in unsuitable places such as near homes, schools and preschools.
"People from around New Zealand and the world have come together and shared their expertise and resources for a common purpose. This report is an amazing example of what can be achieved by communities when they work together, even if you are up against the biggest cooperates. It is excellent news that the Select Committee has listed to our concerns" says Ms Grey.
"We now have very strong networks around New Zealand, with groups in Australia and elsewhere. We now receive reports of the latest research and international developments and circulate them to key Ministers and government officials. Until now the sources of research receive by the government have been limited mainly to the industry perspective. However the independent research paints a very different picture."
In its report the Select Committee has asked the government: * to assess if review of the New Zealand Standard for Radiofrequency Fields (NZS 2772:Part 1:1999) is necessary to ensure that it is still in line with world's best practice: * to review the membership of the Government's Interagency Committee on the Health Effects of Non-Ionising Fields to ensure better community representation and expertise in risk assessment *it consider how the regulatory environment might be improved so that the development of infrastructure can proceed in a way that safeguards community interests * to explore with the telecommunications industry how better incentives can be provided to encourage shared use of telecommunication sites and towers, such as co-siting and co-location arrangements, while safeguarding community interests.
Ban the Tower hopes that the government will adopt the Select Committee report and take urgent steps to ensuring better heath and community representation on its advisory committee.
"If we want best international practice, the starting point should be the recent Swiss standards. These set much stricter EMR emission levels than NZ particularly in sensitive locations such as near homes, schools and preschools. Switzerland is a heavily populated and mountainous country. If they can operate at those standards with their much more intensive population, surely the New Zealand Telco's can operate achieve the same standards. " says Ms Grey
- Fibre optics and investment returns: case presentation
Contrary to the idea put about by certain representatives of the wireless industries, quite apart from the advantages
of security and the exceptional quality of the service provided, the widespread installation of the fibre optic network,
even in difficult conditions, produces a substantial short term profit for both public and private investors, and does
so without causing any environmental pollution.
Thus fibre optics are without any possible contradiction the alternative to WiMax, WiFi and other sources of
artificial electromagnetic HF microwave radiation, the primary cause of environmental pollution in the 21st century.