May 12, 2019
Petition to
Robert Duncan Assistant Manager of the Township of Lower Merion
Petition Closed
This petition had 171 supporters

Why this petition matters

Started by A Burkart

Dear Local, State, and Federal Elected Officials representing the Township of Lower Merion, PA, 

As concerned citizens of Lower Merion Township we are writing in regards to the 5G “small cell” towers recently placed on utility poles in residential areas in the township including in close proximity to The Gateway School and Friends Central School. 

We ask that the township creates an URGENCY ORDINANCE to ensure that telecommunications activity does not harm the public health, safety, or welfare of our community.  We want the 5G cell towers near schools to be removed immediately, and to stop 5G towers from being placed near school property.  This would require legislation at local, state, and federal levels.  

There is mounting scientific evidence showing concerning biological effect to pulsated microwave/low frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF), the type of radiation emitted from all of our wireless devises (cell phones, cell phone towers, WiFi, computers, smart TV, smart meters, bluetooth, etc). Most citizens are under the false impression that there are bonafide safety guidelines set forth by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), when in fact, the agency that is suppose to protect our health and safety is controlled by the industry it is supposed to regulate (“the fox is in charge of the henhouse"). The FCC’s 1996 safety guidelines, established under the leadership of senior telecommunications lobbyist Tom Wheeler, were adopted without any studies on humans, animals, or human tissue.  The safety guidelines were ONLY based on an erroneous assumption that microwave/lower frequency EMF are dangerous only if it heats up liquids (so-called “thermal” EMF).  Lastly, the guidelines did not take into account the extensive scientific data that was available at that time, including scientific reviews with thousands of references generated by our government (see footnote below).

Now there is overwhelming scientific evidence that non-thermal microwave/lower frequency EMFs can cause significant health effects at levels that are orders of magnitudes lower than those allowed by these FCC guidelines.  

Significant scientific evidence:

  1. Lowered fertility (18 reviews) The reproductive effects are most clearly advanced, with sperm counts having dropped by over 50% in each technologically advanced country (TAC).  In mice studies, EMFs lead to a drop of reproduction to essentially zero.
  2. Neurological/neuropsychiatric effects (25 reviews) Sleep disturbance, headache, depression, fatigue, concentration/attention dysfunction, memory changes, dizziness, irritability, anxiety, skin burning, dysesthesia, EEG changes.  Note: several studies site HIGH risk for people living near cell phone stations (e.g. Santini et al (2003))
  3. Cancer (35 reviews) - The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies this type of radiation as a 2B carcinogen.  Bioinititive report classifies as a “Group 1” carcinogen for childhood leukemia.  
  4. Cellular DNA damage, including germ line mutational effects (21 reviews), Apoptosis, programed cell death (13 reviews), Oxidative stress (19 reviews), Endocrine effects (12 reviews).
  5. Excessive intracellular calcium via activation of voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCC) is thought to be the underlying pathophysiology behind the biological effects (15 reviews). Genetic polymorphism studies suggest that patients with L-type VGCC are more susceptible to EMF-related neuropsychiatric effects. (7 reviews) (Pall, 2016)

Probable scientific evidence:

  1. Cardiac effects via electrical control of the heart. (also pacemaker malfunction is a consideration); Very early onset Alzheimer’s and other dementias (“Digital dementias”); ADHD and Autism may be influenced by late prenatal and early post-natal EMF exposure.

Scientists now better understand that certain properties, in particular pulsations and peak intensity, make EMFs more dangerous (biologically active). This brings up concerns about 5G.

All wireless communication devises communicate via a pulsation of microwave signals. We know from many different studies that the pulsations is what makes them more dangerous, as it will produce more effects than a non-pulsed EMF of the same intensity.  The safety guidelines do not at all take into account pulsations, and are simply based on average intensities.  One of the main concerns with 5G is it is designed to be extraordinarily pulsed, much more than anything we have experienced before. 5G is designed to use higher frequencies (24 GHz to 90 GHz, millimeter wave frequencies) rather than 2G, 3G, and 4G (~2.4 GHz, range of 1-8 GHz, microwave frequencies) and the higher the frequency, the more it can pulse, and the more information it can cary per unit of time (see footnote 2).  So the whole point of 5G is to carry extraordinary amounts of information quickly, and the problem is that the very fast pulsation makes it vastly more dangerous. Because higher frequency waves do not travel as far, the telecommunications industry is increasing the number of cell towers to cover a greater area, subjecting communities to dangerously high concentrations of more intense radiation. The current plan, which has already been approved by the US Congress and the FCC, is to put tens of millions of 5G antennae irradiating every single person, animal, plant, and other living organism in the whole country without even a single biological safety test of genuine 5G radiation. The closer a being is to a cell tower, the more intense the exposure. It is the peak intensity (usually measured in V/m), not the average intensity as cited by the industry, that appears to be most biologically active, so having cell towers close to homes and schools is of major concern.  Most of the effects are cumulative and become irreversible.  The cumulative effects mean that repeated exposures to the same intensity and types of EMF produce more and more severe effects. 

EMF is more active in children, therefore, “small cell” tower radiation near schools is particularly dangerous: (footnote 3)

  1. Children have higher surface to volume ratios making them more sensitive
  2. Children have high densities of stem cells which are particularly sensitive
  3. The developing brain appears to be especially sensitive to EMFs
  4. Young tissue have much greater extracellular water leading to deeper penetration effects.  

Based on health and safety concerns for children, we are demanding that the “small cell" towers placed near school property are removed immediately.  We need an URGENCY ORDINANCE to restrict 5G to commercial areas and stop 5G towers from being placed near schools and ideally restrict to commercially zoned areas. 

Reportedly, from a discussion with the township’s assistant manager, local jurisdictions cannot approve or disapprove the placement of cell tower based on health reasons (clause within the 1996 Telecommunications Act and Section 332(c)(7)(B)(iv) of the Communications Act). If this is the case, we request that elected Senators representing this area call for an urgent update of the 1996 federal regulations that block the public’s right to guard its own safety and health. Our understanding is that Mill Valley, California found a work around by creating a wireless telecommunications ordinance to address new technology though special zoning that limits 5G small cell towers to commercially zoned areas.  We ask you to investigate what measures Mill Valley is taking, as well as, review complimentary legislation occurring at the state level (e.g. California H.R. 530). 

Please forward this letter to the appropriate local, state, and federal elected officials to take appropriate actions immediately as these small cell towers are being placed in our residential neighbored as we speak and pose a serious public health threat.  


Ashlie L Burkart, MD


Footnote 1: In Soviet countries, there were many reports of behavioral effects occurring at much lower intensities than those that cause tissue heating.  The symptoms reported were headache, instability and irritability (Silverman, 1973).  Between 1953 and 1976, the Soviets irradiated the chancery building of the US embassy in Moscow with a microwave beam. A health study of the embassy employees noted more depression, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and memory loss (Pollack, 1979). The Navel Medical Research Institute Report (June 1971) cited extensive data that low-intensity non-thermal microwave EMFs cause neuropsychiatric effects, as did the Raines (1981) NASA report, numerous epidemiological studies, and US government occupational exposure studies from the 1970s and 1980s.  The FCC did not take into account the extensive scientific data that was available at that time when setting the guidelines for safety.

Footnote 2: The US Government has developed a crowd control weapon that operates at 95 GHz, not far from the proposed frequency of 5G. Also, doctors and scientists say microwave strikes likely caused sonic delusions and very real brain damage among embassy staff and family members in Cuba.

Footnote 3: In 2008, France banned WiFi in many National Libraries due to “genotoxic effects” and in 2015, France banned WiFi in nursery schools. For years, Russia has laws limiting Wi-Fi exposure to children and uses wired networks in schools (see document below). These two countries have the world’s longest research history on health effect of microwaves.


  1. Scientists warn of potential serious health effects of 5G https://ehtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/Scientist-5G-appeal-2017.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0hcd-BeUjXq1OfYIembaqnp4Z9RFVyHaR8sVKHlyTzi95X3tfydKXhCpE
  2. 5G: Great risk for EU, U.S. and International Health. https://einarflydal.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/pall-to-eu-on-5g-harm-march-2018.pdf
  3. The Bioinitiative report is a 1557 page report summarizing the evidence by medical and EMF experts.  Summery for the public can be found on pages 80—93 of 1557: https://bioinitiative.org/
  4. Medical review on neuropsychiatric effects of non-thermal microwave radiation.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0891061815000599?via%3Dihub
  5. Proximity to cell tower study  http://www.emrpolicy.org/science/research/docs/santini_ebm_2003.pdf
  6. Report on electrohypersensitivity:  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/269184131_Excessive_Exposure_to_Radiofrequency_ Electromagnetic_Fields_May_Cause_the_Development_of_Electrohypersensitivity
  7. Harvard review on FCC (captured agency):  https://ethics.harvard.edu/files/center-for-ethics/files/capturedagency_alster.pdf
  8. Letters of concern to government official from Dr. Martin Pall, most renown expert in the field, includes numerous scientific references:
    1. https://ehtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/Pall-Letter-to-CalLegis-FINAL-8-7
    2. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B14R6QNkmaXuX19qQ2lMd3ZvRVU/view

Documents from Mill Valley, CA: (Urgency Ordinance, Staff reports, California HR 530 Bill) can be forwarded from Danielle L. Staude, Senior Planner, City of Mill Valley, CA on request.

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