Keep Cell Towers Away from Schools in the United States
National Petition Goal: 20,000- 500,000 - please help by sending this petition link to your friends, school groups, and posting! Thank You!
Please watch the video above that shows hidden cell towers near schools and their RF radiation levels which are 1000 times higher. Dr. Anthony Miller, who served on the WHO- IARC which classified wireless radiation as class 2B (possible) carcinogen in 2011, testifies that it should be reclassified stronger as class 2A (probable) carcinogen now and that increased wireless radiation from cell tower antennas increases cancer risk. [WHO IARC = World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer]
Across the country, cell towers exceed FCC's limits, by 600%! But FCC does nothing, endangering workers, residents, and children. Watch video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oICZOtMwPo&list=UUswusUtfIemZ1TqGtspPstA&index=3
We, the undersigned, urge Congress to:
1) Enact a National Law for a precautionary 1500 ft cell tower setback to schools and residential zones, and
2) Enact a National Law requiring notification signs be posted at schools to let parents know if there is a cell tower located within 1500 ft of school property (because they are often hidden in building structures such as clock towers, church steeples, on rooftops or within ball field light poles)
(1500 ft is approximately the length of 2 city blocks)
Right to Know. For 6 years my child attended school with 2 large cell towers closeby disguised as ball field light poles, and I did not know of their existence, along with most parents and teachers. Then I was shocked to learn that our federal FCC regulations (1996 Telecommunications Act) allow cell towers to be sited next to schools with no minimum setback.
Children attending schools near cell towers are exposed up to over 1000 times higher levels of microwave RF radiation than normal (see video above). RF radiation is a class 2B possible carcinogen according to the WHO (World Health Organization). This exposure is chronic, amounting to over 1300 hours/school year, for 13 years. We should be taking precautions with children, not risks. There have been NO studies proving that long-term exposure to RF radiation is safe. Yet our federal regulations permit this. It is irresponsible to subject children to these relatively high levels without having completed long-term studies first, putting them at risk for UNKNOWN effects that may not show up for years. By siting cell towers a safe distance from schools, children would not be exposed to these high levels. (As distance increases, radiation drops exponentially)
Did you know that the US government (FCC) has NOT established a chronic exposure limit on microwave RF radiation to protect children attending schools near cell towers? FCC’s current exposure limit prevents only heating damage to your body's tissues over a short period of time. It does NOT protect you from any other health effects. If there is not enough microwave radiation from a cell tower to heat you in 30 minutes, then it is considered "safe" or compliant by the FCC. FCC's 1996 Telecommunications Act preempts local governments from health considerations in siting cell towers if they are FCC compliant, even on/near schools. FCC's limit - the level that will cause heating damage - is 1000uW/cm2 for 30 minutes (for 1500 MHz+), set in 1986, almost 30 years ago, when cell phones and towers were uncommon (The "brick" style cell phone sold in 1984 for ~ $4000) (See below for explanation on FCC’s limit.) Children attending school near a cell tower are exposed chronically for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, ~40 weeks per year, for 13 years! Shouldn’t there be an exposure limit to protect children at schools near cell towers from potential long-term effects other than heating? Cell towers emit RF radiation non-stop, so a limit for human exposure 24 hours a day, every day is needed, not just for 30 minutes.
The US limit on RF radiation from cell towers (1000uW/cm2 for 30 minutes) is over 100 times higher than other countries which have chronic exposure limits. China, Russia, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, Luxemborg, Bulgaria, Belgium, and the Ukraine all have limits below 10uW/cm2!. Even lower are Liechtenstein at 0.1uW/cm2 and Salzburg (Austria) at 0.001uW/cm2.
Over 100,000 physicians, scientists, and government agencies including the American Academy of Pediatrics, California Medical Association, EPA, US Dept of Interior, US Dept of Fish and Wildlife have stated that the FCC’s limits do not apply to chronic exposure situations and/or asked the FCC to update their exposure limits (see below for their statements). The RIGHT THING TO DO would be for the FCC to establish a chronic exposure limit, but that could take years.
The solution? Don’t let our children wait for years until the FCC updates their standards. At 1500 ft from a cell tower, an international scientific recommendation, RF radiation drops off significantly to ambient levels. Congressional law overrules FCC regulations. Congress can establish a precautionary setback of 1500 ft before more cell towers come next to our schools. Please support this petition to keep our children safe in school!
Opinions on FCC’s RF Radiation limits by physicians, scientists, government agencies.
1) American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a group of 62,000 pediatricians in the United States, urged the FCC to update their safety limits to reflect current use patterns and implement limits that would protect pregnant women and children (2012 and 2013) http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7520941318
2) California Medical Association (CMA), a group of 40,000 physicians in California and a member of the American Medical Association (AMA), issued a resolution (Dec 2014) stating that FCC standards are “inadequate to protect human health” and “peer reviewed research has demonstrated adverse biological effects of wireless EMF including single and double stranded DNA breaks, creation of reactive oxygen species, immune dysfunction, cognitive processing effects, stress protein synthesis in the brain, altered brain development, sleep and memory disturbances, ADHD, abnormal behavior, sperm dysfunction, and brain tumors” http://www.parentsforsafetechnology.org/california-medical-association-resolution-on-wireless.html
3) The International Appeal, signed by 190 scientists in 39 countries, asked the United Nations and the World Health Organization to adopt more protective exposure guidelines for wireless technology. (May 2015) http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/11/ny-emfscientistorg-idUSnBw115200a+100+BSW20150511
4) EPA stated that the “FCC’s current exposure guidelines …do not apply in chronic, non-thermal exposure situations”, and that “there is uncertainty about possible risk from non-thermal, intermittent exposures that may continue for years” http://nebula.wsimg.com/4c0f61dc30c3d6bb27d90f53a57c616e?AccessKeyId=045114F8E0676B9465FB&disposition=0&alloworigin=1
5) US Dept. of the Interior stated that RF radiation from cell towers harms birds - "reduced survivorship and death" and "heart attacks" http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/us_doi_comments.pdf
6) US Dept of Fish and Wildlife Services briefed Congress on the effects of cell tower radiation. In birds, there are negative effects on breeding, nesting, locomotion, and death. Other wildlife abandons areas near cell towers. http://www.hese-project.org/hese-uk/en/papers/manville_wildlife_towers.pdf
Explanation on FCC's RF Radiation Limit
The maximum permissible exposure (MPE) on RF radiation for the general public from all outdoor sources of pulsed RF radiation (which includes cell towers), is specified in Table 1,Title 47 CFR Section 1.1310. (1.0mW/cm2 = 1000uW/cm2).
For 100 MHz to 1500 MHz, exposure limit [in mW/cm2] is frequency (in MHz)/1500 for 30 minutes, based on guidelines recommended by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 1992. For example, for 750 MHz, the exposure limit is 0.5mW/cm2 = 500 uW/cm2 for 30 minutes.
For 1500-100,000 MHz, exposure limit is 1.0mW/cm2 = 1000uW/cm2 for 30 minutes based on recommendations by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) in 1986.
To read some scientific studies on health effects from cell tower radiation, here’s a list http://www.safeschoolspg.org/research-on-cell-tower-radiation.html
Cell towers are proliferating, and more are ending up near schools or on school campuses because they are easy targets. Schools see this as an easy way to fill budget gaps, and cell tower building safety standards are not well enforced on school campuses (less than 30% of cell towers on California school campuses have received certification by the DSA, The Division of the State Architect, which sets the building standards for schools in California)
Cell tower rent is $2,000 per month on average, and once sited, they are almost impossible to terminate with leases averaging 30 years. Risking our childrens' safety and well-being for any amount of money is just not right, and this paltry amount in exchange for chronically exposing the hundreds/thousands of students at each school during the most important developmental years of their lives without knowing the long-term impacts is inhumanely irresponsible. Please take precautions with our children, who are your responsibility as our nation's leaders to protect as much as it is ours as parents. A nation that puts business interests above protecting its children will cause its own downfall.
Even the largest reinsurance companies in the world, Swiss Re and Lloyd's of London, have stopped insuring for liability (bodily harm) from chronic EMF exposure (which comes from cell phones, cell towers, and Wi-Fi) because it is too risky for them. Think about the implications when an insurance company that makes money from assuming risk won't insure a particular one for any price.
The 1996 Telecommunications Act's pre-emption of local authority was intended to spur competition among wireless carriers to quickly deploy wireless services and fill any "significant gaps" in coverage. Now almost 20 years later, virtually all "significant gaps" have been filled, so the wireless industry is asking to remove proof of "gap" as a requirement in cell tower applications because local governments have been rejecting them when they could not prove they were needed ("gap"). (On October 7, 2015, PCIA President appeared before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and asked for removal of proof of gap from the 1996 TCA - see p. 7 http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/44f7c802-4036-48f0-9bb2-262172a396f4/31C5D5D81BBA11614012742C05C75CED.hon-jonathan-adelstein-testimony.pdf ) Now that there are no significant gaps remaining, it is time for the 1996 TCA's pre-emption of local authority to end, not for giving wireless companies more power to pre-empt local authority - isn't 19 years of federal pre-emption producing 300,000 cell tower sites in the US enough? (CTIA website for cell site statistics http://www.ctia.org/your-wireless-life/how-wireless-works/annual-wireless-industry-survey )
The wireless industry has a strong lobby spending hundreds of millions of dollars, and it is because of that that FCC regulations favor wireless. You only have to look at the 1996 TCA, section 6409a of the 2012 Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, the approval of CA AB 57, and the lack of action by the FCC to change its outdated exposure limits to see that. Please stand up for us, your constituents, to the wireless industry and correct FCC's oversight by sponsoring legislation for a national setback for cell towers to schools and residences. We are asking for only 1500 ft, and we need your leadership to make this happen.
Walnut Cell Tower Parent Group started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,002 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.