Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cell Tower Radiation Poisoning of School Children

A substantial body of research suggests that radio frequency (RF) radiation (the kind emitted by cell towers as they provide "signal" to mobile phones) has harmful health effects on humans and animals, even in amounts well below FCC exposure limits. Surprisingly, the FCC standards for RF emissions are based on thermal effect but the case for non thermal hazards from RFs is substantial. Here are a few examples:

A study presented in the peer-reviewed publication of Germany's environmental medicine society found that the risk of newly developing cancer was three times higher among those patients who had lived during past ten years (1994-2004), within a distance of 400m from a cellular transmitter, in comparison to those who had lived further away. The study indicates a 99% confidence interval that the difference observed was not due to a random statistical effect.

An Israeli study published in the peer-reviewed journal The International Journal of Cancer Prevention also showed an association between increased incidence of cancer and living in proximity to a cell-phone transmitter station. In a two year period, there were 4.15 times more cancer cases in the area of proximity to the cell tower than in the entire population. The authors made a point of noting, "The measured level of RF radiation (power density) in the area was low; far below the current guidelines based on the thermal effects of RF exposure. We suggest, therefore, that the current guidelines be re-evaluated."

The Bioinitiative Working Group, a collaboration of neuroscientists and others studying the effects of electromagnetic radiation from a variety of sources, has taken the position that "current standards are inadequate to control against harm from low-intensity, chronic exposures and that an entirely new, biologically-based standard is needed."

The European Union, which deployed GSM cellular technology on a broad basis long before it was deployed in the US, and thus has been able to observe longer exposures on its population, formally adopted a resolution in April 2009 recommending that GSM antennas be kept a safe distance from schools.

Why would a resolution be needed to keep towers out of schools? Because the cell tower companies prey upon schools that have prime locations and need the money. They also take advantage of the lack of finance and legal resources at most schools so they can get an advantageous contract.

Parents in Cupertino, CA successfully fought a proposal to place a tower at Monte Vista High School, as have many other schools and municipalities throughout the U.S. In 2000, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education adopted a resolution opposing the placement of cellular telecommunications towers on or immediately adjacent to school property until appropriate regulatory standards have been adopted. For a list of other municipalities examining this issue, see .

However, their success is even more notable since the Telecommunications Act of 1996 explicitly prohibits municipal governing bodies from saying “no” to cell towers based upon health concerns. See page 117 of the Act (Section 704 amendment). Who was the genius legislator who put something like that into law? In reality, it was more likely instituted by the cellular companies through a lobbying process to provide liability coverage, should the truth eventually emerge. I predict the tort cases from cell tower induced cancer will eclipse the tobacco industry’s damages.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Snow Leopard demand

I just bought a new copy of Snow Leopard, the latest Apple operating system. The curious thing, is that there was no line at the store. My office is across the street from Apple's flagship store on University Avenue in Palo Alto. Doors opened at 9am. There were 3 people waiting outside. When I walked in at 9:09 am, I was the only person in the store who was buying a copy.

This might not seem odd, unless you've bee working across the street from the Apple Store for the past six years. I've seen every queue out the door for the iPhone, the new iPhone, the new MacBook, Leopard, etc. Most times, people are camping outside the store a day or two in advance, and by opening time, the line is literally around the block. With the latest iPhone, the line persisted for several DAYS. That's why today's complete lack of a line (demand) struck me as surprising.