The Dreaded Neighborhood Cell Phone Tower: No Public Voice?

California: a Hot Bed for Cell Phone Protection Legislation

The precedent setting state of California is once again in the vanguard. A California State Senator, Mark Leno, has legislation on the table to require warning labels on cell phone packaging citing radiation levels, usage recommendations and adding prohibitory language to ad displays. But the action on the controversy around cell phones doesn’t end there.

Berkeley, California, a hot bed for the hubbub surrounding cell-phone safety, is now focusing on the effects of cell masts that send the radio frequency signals to mobile phones. There are ordinances governing cell phone towers but they do not allow opposition to their installation. Among those that live in the immediate vicinity of the towers, the issue is smoldering.

Berkeley residents trying to prevent installation of a tower in their neighborhood are opening up a Pandora’s Box of political issues. The first issue concerns the safety of radiation from the towers. The second issue is murkier, but just as hot a topic of concern: How much political control do citizens have over their surrounding environment? *

History Repeats Itself On Cell Phone Tower Issue

Under pressures from a multi-million dollar campaign, the 104th Congress and the Clinton Administration passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The law removed the rights of the public to oppose installation of cell phone transmission towers on the grounds of health and environmental concerns.

Plainly put: current legislation effectively silences the voices of those that would be impacted the most by proximity to RF emissions from cell phone towers. **

The mainstream scientific community’s official opinion is that EMF’s from the towers are too weak, to pose a real threat to human health.

But, as in the case studies cited in the Berkeley Daily Planet, although the research was flawed, the subjects living near a cell phone mast still showed a significantly higher rate of cancer than did subjects who did not live near a tower. This and other, reliable research, casts a sufficiently serious doubt about mobile phone tower safety to make them undesirable as neighborhood facilities. *

Perhaps history is repeating itself: The dangers of cigarette smoking were covered up by Big Tobacco companies and years later, links to cancer were confirmed. I think it is suspect that Official Health Organizations refuse to confirm the health hazards of cell transmission towers, mobile phones themselves and the combined effects of living near a tower and using a mobile device.

Its plain obvious to me, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to having a cell phone tower within meters of your home.

Legislation that has codicils protecting corporate, bottom-line profits, but leaves out the safety of citizens is fit for only one thing: the rubbish bin. Democracy isn’t genuine if it robs it’s people of their right to have a voice in public policy. If a cell phone tower was announced for installation down the block from your home, wouldn’t you want to say: “No thanks?”

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