Originally published May 28 2011
Cell towers hidden in church steeples
by Natalie June
(NaturalNews) The long term effects of cell phone towers on health are not certain, but cell phone companies are doing whatever they can to get as many towers out there as possible. Most towers are fairly obvious, but recently they are being disguised as trees, hidden in flag poles, and even placed neatly inside church steeples.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration as well as phone companies state that cell towers do not pose a health risk to those living around them. Cell phones and their accompanying towers have not been around long enough to judge what long term effects they will have on the human body over time. Martin Cooper invented the first cell phone in 1973. It weighed two pounds and since there was such an expense they were only used by the military and some businesses. In the 1980s they became smaller and less expensive, but they didn`t really become mainstream until much later. It was about 2002 for the US that over 50% of the population were cell phone subscribers. Today that number is up to 91%. In 2009, more than half the world`s population, an estimated 4.1 billion people, owned a mobile phone, according to the United Nations.
Researchers have tried to create comparisons so an educated guess can be made as to whether there is a risk in living near a cell tower. A 2006 report from the World Health Organization noted that after some fifty years of human exposure to Radio Frequency signals from FM radio and television, which are similar to cell phone towers, there are no known negative effects on health. As reassuring as this seems, some studies have shown otherwise. An Australian study found that children living near TV and FM broadcast towers in Sydney had more than twice the rate of leukemia than children living over seven miles away. Dr. Neil Cherry, a biophysicist at Lincoln University in New Zealand, stresses: "Public health surveys of people living in the vicinity of cell base stations should be carried out now, and continue progressively over the next two decades. This is because prompt effects such as miscarriage, cardiac disruption, sleep disturbance and chronic fatigue could well be indicators of the adverse effects. Symptoms of reduced immune system competence, cardiac problems, especially of the arrhythmic type, and cancers, especially brain tumor and leukemia, are probable."
Without a clear answer as to the effects of cell towers it is surprising that they are popping up everywhere. Churches low on cash or in need of repairs may find having a tower on their property beneficial. Phone companies pay rent for their placement and this can be up to $2000 a month. The company benefits greatly in this exchange; because even if a wise community has rejected a new tower, church property is often exempt from local zoning, land use laws and regulations pertaining to cell towers. Many of these churches are also home to daycare centers, and because of the way these new towers are hidden, people living around them or attending church inside may have no idea they are that close to a cell tower.
The International Association of Fire Fighters in 2004 came out against the use of firehouses for cell antennas. They decided to ere on the side of caution "until a study with the highest scientific merit" can prove they are safe. While none of us can be certain about the long term effects of cell towers, many choose to at least be informed. www.antennasearch.com offers a free service to check the location and type of towers and antennas in your area.
About the authorNatalie June is a teacher and mother dedicated to living as naturally as possible.
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