I oppose plans for Rogers Communications to install a cell phone tower on the premises of Westminster Presbyterian Church at 290 Edgepark Blvd NW Calgary.
At 20 meters in height the structure will tower over the neighboring houses creating an eyesore and lowering property values.
The tower will be adjacent to Tom Baines School near the school property line.
There is now enough evidence regarding harmful effects of radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (emitted by cell base stations) on human health that the World Health Organization recently classified these as “possibly carcinogenic”.
Highest RF power densities occur between 50 and 250 meters from a base station. Tom Baines School is approx. 90 meters from the proposed base station. Nearby residences are closer yet.
The City of Vancouver, for one, follows the “precautionary principle” and does not allow cell phone towers within 300 meters of schools. Similarly the City of Toronto has a “prudent avoidance” policy.
There are already two cell tower installations (Telus, Wind) within about 300 meters of the school on Foothills Alliance Church premises. Whether there will be any interaction between the three RF fields is unknown.
Tower emissions comply with Canada’s “Safety Code 6” guidelines. This document ensures ONLY that RF fields are below levels that cause THERMAL effects (heating effect). These levels are measured in W/m2. Levels of concern to long-term human health (non-thermal) are much lower, measured in microW/cm2.
Many European countries and municipalities (Italy, Switzerland, Paris) have adopted much more stringent guidelines for General Public Exposure Limit: 0.1 W/m2 vs Canada’s 10 W/m2), 100 times lower.
Between 1% and 5% of the population may exhibit “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” consisting of headaches, depression, sleep disturbance among others, particularly at close proximity within 100 meters of a base station but likely farther afield as well. With approx. 700 students at the school 7 to 35 students could be affected and nearby residents as well.
Facts regarding the proposed installation are on the Westminster Presbyterian Church website or at:
Nearby commercial property would be a more ethical choice for a cell tower as long as it was not close to residences.
The tower is not a done deal. Rogers has scheduled an open house on Wednesday Feb 27 at 6 PM at the Edgemont Community Centre.
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