Protect Vulnerable Populations: RELOCATE the University of Calgary Cell Phone Tower Away from Daycare
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Telus will activate a Cell Phone Tower on August 31, 2015. It is located 84 meters away from the UCCC daycare. Within the City of Calgary's siting protocols it is recommended that towers are placed at a minimum distance of 100 meters away, but Telus chooses not to follow this recommendation. The University of Calgary owns the land and they are fine with ignoring the City's recommendation as well. To add insult to injury, the tower went up without any prior notification or consultation with parents and staff members. If we were residents, we would have been notified beforehand. But, we are simply occupants.
Why does it matter? This sets a dangerous precedent for future tower placement within the city. We need to protect vulnerable populations.
After reviewing research, it is clear to me that there is doubt within the scientific community, regarding the safety of long-term exposure to Radio Frequency Fields. The World Health Organization has placed a high priority on further research; however, at the present time the research results are contentious, inconsistent, and of mixed quality. The necessary and extensive research needed to determine the long-term effects of childhood exposure to cell phone tower radiation simply does not yet exist. While Health Canada strives to protect the public, it is clearly acknowledged within Safety Code 6 (SC6) that the "technology is advancing rapidly and where unexpected and unique exposure scenarios may occur, this code cannot cover all possible situations" (SC6 Preface, 2015). At the request of Health Canada, the Royal Society of Canada assembled an expert panel to conduct a review of SC6 to determine whether the code was consistent with scientific literature in setting limits that would protect the public from adverse health risks. The expert panel concluded that additional time and research would be required “for a more thorough assessment of the possibility of a causal connection between cancer and the RF energy” (Demers, P. et al., 2014, p. 82-83). Furthermore, the House of Commons Report of the Standing Committee on Health of Canadians, released in June 2015, indicates the need for further research and precautionary measures.
Any scientific uncertainty regarding the safety of cell phone towers will become an ethical issue / public relations issue when the tower is placed within close proximity to a vulnerable population. Our UCCC West daycare population mostly consists of three month old babies to five year old children who spend 40-50 hours a week at the daycare. With this in mind, I would respectfully ask that the University of Calgary and Telus exercise the Precautionary Principle and relocate the tower.
If Telus is willing to relocate a tower because of “...an overwhelming request to have the tower moved to another location where it would less visible from residential homes” (Karen Dolan, Manager - Real Estate and Government Affairs, Telus), then I am hopeful that they will relocate the tower at the request of UCCC West Daycare parents and staff.
Demers, Paul (chair), Richard Findlay, Kenneth R. Foster, Bryan Kolb, John Moulder, Anne-Marie Nicol, Frank Prato, Rianne Stam. (2014). Expert Panel Report on A Review of Safety Code 6 (2013): Health Canada’s Safety Limits for Exposure to Radiofrequency Fields. Royal Society of Canada, Ottawa, ON. ISBN: 978-1-928140-00-9
World Health Organization (2015), Children's EMF Research Agenda. Retrieved June 21, 2015 from http://www.who.int/peh-emf/research/children/en/index4.html
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