The Coastal Post - June, 1997

Antenna Opposition Growing

BY LOUISE HARKER

The resistance to additional antenna sites is snow-balling as a rising number of people in the community openly express their opposition. Planning Commission and Town/City Council meetings across the County have become open educational forums for citizens and officials alike. The opportunity for introducing new thoughts on the subject of antenna proliferation to elected and appointed officials has gotten a lot of folks who've never gotten involved in issues or politics before out for public meetings. The issue of whether or not Electromagnetic Radio Frequency (EMF/RF) radiation emissions cause or promote diseases such as cancer and leukemia is only one of the important concerns being discussed at these hearings.

Other equally important concerns include:

A majority of the antenna sites are proposed for close proximity to residences, schools, daycare centers, parks and medical facilities.

The high probability that each new site will become a co-location for multiple antennas, thereafter becoming a major telecommunications site.

The fact that the current safety standards adopted by the County are designed by industry for industry.

Living beings have never before existed within the proposed levels of EMF/RF radiation that will result from the projected 3,000 additional antennas that are quickly making their way into the County.

Mass exposure to these increasing levels equates to experimenting on humans without FDA approval, authorized research protocol, or signed consent of every participant being experimented on.

No scientific evidence exists to show that EMF/RF radiation exposure does not cause adverse health, behavioral or reproductive effects.

Recent scientific studies (conducted by researchers from the World Health Organization and paid for by the telecommunications industry) show that EMR/RF emissions within the range used by cellular phones did promote a 42 percent higher rate of cancer within laboratory rats.

The FCC act of 1996, Section 704(a) implies that telecommunication antennas cannot be opposed based on environmental concern.

Monitoring of antenna site emissions is left to the antenna companies, not a county-authorized, independent, non-biased entity who would be responsible for monitoring not only individual sites, but the combined exposure from all sites.

The number of cellular companies requesting multiple antenna sites for the operation of their individual systems equals excessive EMF/RF saturation as opposed to adequate coverage.

These antenna sites, during the use-permit application process, are being given blanket exemptions from the requirement of an EIR when they actually violate the regulations of the California Environmental Quality Act.

Migratory birds use biological magnetics to navigate during migration, and studies have shown that these birds are adversely affected by EMF/RF emissions.

The County lies within the Pacific flyway and hosts a multitude of migratory birds, including endangered species.

Your concerns and input could be of significant importance to the outcome of decisions made around this issue. Now is the time to join the other community members who are involved in the process of slowing down the installation of additional antennas in the County until a reasonable plan can be implemented for additional sites (if any). One group has authored a petition calling for a county-wide moratorium, until a study can be done to determine the relationship between EMF/RF emissions from existing antennas and the high rate of cancer in the County. Another group is developing such a health study.

One way or another, it appears that this issue will touch the lives of everyone in the community.