Originally published April 25 2015
Feds force communities to accept cell phone towers that surveil them and cause health effects
by David Gutierrez, staff writer
(NaturalNews) The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has temporarily halted a federal program to install giant cell towers on top of fire and sheriff's stations, part of a wider effort to improve emergency communications systems. However, similar programs are proceeding apace across the country.
County residents expressed concerns that the towers could have negative health effects on nearby residents, or even be used for surveillance. In particular, dozens of firefighters attended a Board of Supervisors meeting on March 24 to raise worries about the effects of being exposed to radiation from the towers.
"The proximity of the towers and people living next to the towers is of grave concern, but it's a very complex issue as to how those radio waves affect people all the way up to three miles away," said Dave Gillotte president of Los Angeles County Firefighters 1014.
Program "stupid," "irresponsible" The Los Angeles County program was planned by the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS), as part of a wider effort to set up a high-tech communications system for first responders. Eight towers have already been completed, 51 are under construction and another 177 are under consideration. The project was being funded by the federal Department of Commerce, and critics allege that it was rushed through in order to beat a September 1 funding deadline.
The Board of Supervisors agreed that radiation concerns need to be addressed, and criticized LA-RICS for its handling of the program.
"This is stupid, and again the point is how we got this far is irresponsible," Supervisor Michael Antonovich said.
The board resolved to request an extension to the federal funding, however, so the program might still be resurrected.
Evidence of risk mounts Cell phone towers emit a type of electromagnetic radiation that is known as non-ionizing; in other words, the radiation does not carry enough energy to ionize atoms. Ionization, which can create free radicals or directly damage cells or DNA, has traditionally been considered the method through which radiation causes bodily damage. Specifically, cell towers operate via radiofrequency (RF) signals, which are also used by Smart Meters.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, "At very high levels, RF energy is dangerous. It can heat the body's tissues rapidly. However, such high levels are found only near certain equipment, such as powerful long-distance transmitters. Cellphones and wireless networks produce RF, but not at levels that cause significant heating."
For these reasons, regulators in the United States have typically assumed that cell phones and cell towers are harmless. International researchers, however, disagree. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, RF fields such as those from cell towers should be considered "possibly carcinogenic," based on evidence linking similar radiation from cell phones to cancer.
The exact risks, however, are unknown. Cell phones emit more than 100 times as much radiation as towers, but towers scatter that energy close to the ground. According to the American Cancer Society, "Very few human studies have focused specifically on cellular phone towers and cancer risk."
Decades of research has made it clear, however, that RF signals such as those from cell phones and Wi-Fi can and do cause serious health effects. The largest study on cell phone health risks to date, the industry-funded Interphone study - widely criticized for attempting to downplay the risks - has connected a decade of cell phone use to a 40 percent increase in the risk of brain tumors and a 300 percent increase in the risk of acoustic nerve tumors. Among those who start using the phones before age 20, brain cancer risk is increased 400 percent.
Indeed, the European Union's environmental watchdog group warned in 2007 that the exploding prevalence of cellular technology "could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by asbestos, smoking, and lead in petrol."
(Natural News Science)
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