Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Letter From University of Washington Department of Bioengineering, Henry Lai, PhD.

Department of Bioengineering, Box 355061
Seattle, WA 98195-7962
April 12, 2010

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to express my opinion and concern on the possible health effects of exposure to radiofrequency radiation from wireless transmitters and transmission antennae (e.g., AM and FM radio, and TV transmission).

The level (intensity) of radiation from a transmitter that one would be exposed to is very low, mainly because of the distance from the transmitter. The level is generally considered to be harmless. Most research in this area deals with radiation of much higher levels. However, some recent studies have suggested that exposure to radiation similar in intensity to those from cellular phone base station transmitters is not completely safe. A list of biological studies on low-level effects (within the levels of exposure less than 200 ft from a transmitter) is attached with this letter. Many of these studies reported effects, e.g., brain cell damage, DNA damage, learning deficit., that could potentially lead to serious adverse health effects.

Furthermore, when considering the health effect of radiation from wireless transmitters, one has to consider the effect of long-term exposure. People who live close to transmitters are constantly being exposed to the radiation for months or years. Even though the level is low, it would matter if the effects of radiofrequency radiation turn out to be cumulative (i.e., add up over time). Small doses cumulate over a long period of time will eventually lead to harmful effects. Most of the studies in the attached list only investigated short term exposure effects and little is known about long-term exposure.

Therefore, exposure of the general public to radiofrequency radiation from wireless transmitters should be limited to a minimal. Broadcast antennae should be located at a significant distance from populated areas, schools, day care centers, and hospitals.


Henry Lai, Ph.D.
Research Professor
Department of Bioengineering, Box 355061
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-5061
Telephone: 1-206-543-1071
FAX: 1-206-685-3925
e-mail: hlai@u.washington.edu

Studies reporting biological effects of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) at low intensities

***Note: See List of Studies in "What You Can Do To Help & Research Articles" Section to Right on this Blog

Monday, April 26, 2010

Institute of Health & Environment, and Department of Environmental Health Sciences School of Public Health. Letter to Scout Executives

Institute for Health and the Environment
Department of Environmental Health Sciences
School of Public Health

7 April 2010

Ms. Lynne Leach,Volunteer President
Mr. Allan Westberg, Scout Executive
Mt. Diablo Silverado Council of Boy Scouts of America

Dear Ms. Leach and Mr. Westberg:

It is my understanding that you are the individuals who will make a decision on the placement of a T-Mobile cell tower on a Boy Scouts Camp in El Cerrito. I am writing to urge you to reconsider the decision to approve such a cell phone tower placement on the basis of concern for the health of scouts, nearby residents and children using day care centers and playgrounds in the vicinity.

I am a public health physician and former Dean of the School of Public Health at the University at Albany. I have been involved in the study of health effects of electromagnetic fields for a number of years, and have recently written and spoken on the subject. For your information I am attaching a large review article, as well as a publication that came from my presentation at last year’s President’s Cancer Panel meeting in Phoenix.

There is a building body of evidence that prolonged exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, of the sort associated with cell towers and cell phone use, increases the risk of several kinds of cancer, especially brain cancer and leukemia. Furthermore the evidence indicates that children are at least five times more vulnerable to these effects than are adults. Recent studies from Switzerland indicate that for an average person 40% of their exposure comes from the cell phone towers, which release radiofrequency radiation 24 hours a day seven days a week. The scientific details justifying these statements are found in the attached articles.

In my judgment it is unwise, indeed unethical, to place children and adults in harms way just for the purpose of obtaining funds from a cell phone company. I urge you to reconsider allowing the placement of the tower on Scout’s land. Thanks you for your consideration.

Yours sincerely,
David O. Carpenter, M.D.
Director, Institute for Health and the Environment
University at Albany
BSA CEO Robert Mazzuca
BSA President John Gottschalk
Prof. Marina Ratner

Thursday, April 22, 2010

MDSC Scout Executives Cancel Meeting with Public

Mount Diablo Silverado Council 77 Foot Cell Phone Tower:
April 22, 2010

Mount Diablo Silverado Council Executives cancel meeting with the El Cerrito Public about the 77 foot Cell Tower they are proposing with T-Mobile for money. After waiting since January to meet with the Council Executives, the executives cancelled the meeting less than 48 hours and for some less that 12 hours before the meeting. Many had changed travel plans to be there, including specialist that canceled out of country plans to be there. Originally stated the cancellation was because of neighbors' requests for more meeting time, it was found that the meeting was canceled due to T-Mobile's delay of updated plans to the city. The assigned PR person, who has never met with the community, is no longer assigned to thisproject. Community members continue to be amazed that the council will not meet, and will not communicate to its membership.

Evaluation of the T-Mobile equipment shows this is not a Tower for Reception in El Cerrito, but a high powered site for balancing load across other sites. Is this needed for El Cerrito service, no. T-Mobile stated at the City Planning meeting, it needs Towers every 1/4 mile. Can you imagine that?

Local Child Care, has written that this will impact their business.

Sierra Club is opposed to the Tower and its hazards on the community and wildlife.

This Tower will be fully visible from Arlington Park and Arlington Blvd as a fake tree, and reminder of the hazards it brings.

Write: apact_community@yahoo.com

Hazards on El Cerrito Arlington Park Community, Columbia University Cellular Biophysics PHD Letter

Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons
Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics Telephone: (212) 305-3644
630 West 168 Street Telefax: (212) 305-5775
New York, NY 10032 EMAIL: mb32@columbia.edu

April 3, 2010

An open letter to the community of El Cerrito, California
Re: Installation of a tower on the Boy Scouts campground

I have been doing research at Columbia University for over twenty five years, studying the biological effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF). I was also one of the organizers of the 2007 Bioinitiative Report on EMF that is available on the Internet. Because of this background, I have been asked to provide information about the potentially harmful effects of EMF on members of the El Cerrito community, especially children who use the campgrounds and the adjacent public playground, that would be exposed to EMF following installation of a proposed tower.

There are now sufficient scientific data about the biological effects of EMF, and in particular about the radiofrequency (RF) radiation transmitted by the tower, to argue against installation tower as a precautionary measure. We can state unequivocally that EMF can cause damage (single and double strand breaks) to DNA at exposure levels that are considered safe under the FCC guidelines in the USA. Since we know that an accumulation of changes or mutations in DNA is associated with cancer, there is good reason to believe that the elevated rates of cancers among persons living near radio and cellphone towers are probably linked to DNA damage caused by EMF. Because of the nature of EMF exposure and the length of time it takes for most cancers to develop, one cannot expect ‘conclusive proof’ such as the link between helicobacter pylori and gastric ulcer. (That link was recently demonstrated by the Australian doctor who proved a link conclusively by swallowing the bacteria and getting the disease.) However, there is enough evidence of a plausible mechanism to link EMF exposure to increased risk of cancer, and therefore of a need to limit exposure.

EMF have been shown to cause other potentially harmful biological effects, such as leakage of the blood brain barrier that can lead to damage of neurons in the brain, increased micronuclei (DNA fragments) in human blood lymphocytes, all at exposure rates well below the limits in the current FCC guidelines. Probably the most convincing evidence of potential harm comes from living cells themselves when they start to manufacture stress proteins upon exposure to EMF. The stress response occurs with a number of potentially harmful environmental factors, such as elevated temperature, changes in pH, toxic metals, etc. This means that when stress protein synthesis is stimulated by radiofrequency or power frequency EMF, the body is telling us in its own language that RF exposure is potentially harmful.
There have been several attempts to measure the health risks associated with exposure to RF, and I can best illustrate the findings with a graph from the study by Dr. Neil Cherry of all childhood cancers around the Sutro Tower in San Francisco between the years 1937 and 1988. Similar studies with similar results were done around broadcasting antennas in Sydney, Australia and Rome, Italy, and there are now studies of effects of cellphones on brain cancer and cancer of the salivary glands. The Sutro tower has antennas for broadcasting FM (54.7 kW) TV (616 kW) and UHF (18.3 MW) signals over a fairly wide area, and while the fields are not uniform, and also vary during the day, the fields were measured and average values estimated, so that one could associate the cancer risk with the level of EMF exposure.

The data in the figure are the risk ratios (RR) for a total of 123 cases of childhood cancer from a population of 50,686 children, and include 51 cases of leukaemia, 35 cases of brain cancer and 37 cases of lymphatic cancer. It is clear from the results that the risk ratio for all childhood cancers is elevated in the area studied, and while the risk falls off with radial distance from the antennas, as expected, it is still above a risk ratio of 5 even at a distance of 3km where the field was 1μW/cm2. This figure is comparable to what has been measured near cellphone towers. The Bioinitiative Report recommended 0.1μW/cm2 as a desirable precautionary level based on this and related studies, including recent studies of brain cancer and cellphone exposure.

As I mentioned above, many potentially harmful effects, such as the stress response and DNA strand breaks, occur at field strengths that do not cause a rise in temperature and are therefore considered safe. It is obvious that the safety standards must be revised down to take into account the established non-thermal biological responses that occur at much lower intensities. Since we cannot rely on the current standards, it is best to act according to the precautionary principle, the approach advocated by the European Union and invoked by the scientists of the Bioinitiative report. In light of the current evidence, the precautionary approach appears to be most reasonable, especially when children are the ones that are most affected.

Martin Blank, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of physiology and cellular biophysics

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Important Community Meeting with Scout Executives: APRIL 14, 6-7 p.m.

Hello everyone!

April 3 Update:

Nearly 4 months after announcing their plan to build a 77' cell phone / 3G tower in the Camp Herms parking lot next to Arlington Park, the Scout Executives have scheduled a meeting to update the community and present a study they have had done.

The meeting will be Wednesday, April 14 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Camp Herms Lodge. Please note that this is scheduled at dinner time on the night before taxes are due. Please plan ahead so you can be at this very important meeting. It is important to express the community concern and growing public opposition to the Tower. The entrance to Camp Herms is from Thors Bay Road and James Place, on the north side of Arlington Park.

What we have found:

1. Is not needed: We have found that this T-Mobile Tower is not needed. There is a T-Mobile site less than 1/2 mile away.

2. The Boy Scout Executives have not communicated the plans for this Tower to their membership and will not agree (as asked by troop 100 ASM) to do so. The MDSC Executives said they would not sign contract with T-Mobile until they talked with the community about their concerns, and until they had completed an independent report looking into public concerns. Neither has happened and a contract is signed. The independent report was just communicated to be a report by an engineering firm Hammet & Edison (the engineering firm used by wireless companies).

3. Is a very high power site: Engineering review of the Tower, show this as one of the highest power sites, more geared for "smart" service and future expansion and offloading from other sites, versus for service in El Cerrito, as stated. It is strong enough to go 50-75 miles out.

4. Health Hazards: Studies are showing increased risk of health hazards near Towers (see links on the blog).

5. This Fake Tree Tower will be visible from Arlington Park, Arlington Blvd, Neighbors and prominent directly in line and view as you enter Camp Herms and park next to it in the parking lot.

6. Sudies show impacts to property values and thus also city property tax. The city and community will be impacted by this Tower.

7. Sierra Club opposes this Tower and its location.

8. San Francisco board of Supervisors' Resolution on the potential health impacts of wireless facilities passed and was signed by Mayor Newsom. It asks for the FCC to update existing standards that only cover thermal radiation and leave open the impacts of low frequency non-ionizing electro magnetic radiation where studies show increased cancer rates. It asks for the repeal of limitations that prevent State and Local governments from considering health concerns in siting of wireless facilities in the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

If you can lend a hand with press, research, strategy or anything, please reply at apact_community@yahoo.com

Thanks, and see you on the 14th!