ANTENNA TOWER - SPECIAL REPORT
While the Bush administration systematically undermines bedrock of environmental law, EPA chief Christine Whitman is facing opposition from researchers of integrity. The standards that are meant to protect the public from antenna radiation are based only on thermal effects and research conducted before 1985. Many studies have since shown biological effects that the EPA (and consequently the FCC) do not consider for licensing broadcast antennas. Scientists worldwide agree there is a serious need for study of long-term effects of chronic exposure. See more at www.MicrowaveNews.com
A team of attorneys are collaborating with Baltimore trial lawyer Peter Angelos who has won hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits against tobacco, asbestos and lead paint companies.
Five class action lawsuits are now in process in Illinois, Maryland, Georgia, Nevada and California aimed at forcing the wireless industry to provide hands-free headsets with mobile phones and compensate subscribers who already purchased such devices.
The wireless industry is also being hit with lawsuits claiming mobile phones caused brain cancer of former Motorola technicians and other heavy cell-phone users. According to RCR News (11/12/01), “The litigation will be followed by a public-interest lawsuit alleging federal regulatory agencies have failed to protect the nation’s 123 million wireless subscribers from radiation health risks.”
The government agencies include the FDA (Food & Drug Administration), EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and FCC (Federal Communcations Commission). Also named as defendents are the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and the IEEE (Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers).
According to the Financial Times of London (11/13/01), the personal injury cases seek compensation and punitive damages. Federal agencies are being targeted for condoning industrys priority for efficiency of phones rather than potential health risks.
For more information, see www.EMRnetwork.org
“Leading scientists believe the present Standards may not adequately protect workers and the public,” says Janet Newton, Direct of EMR Network, an umbrella organization of worldwide grassroots groups fighting telecommunications antenna towers.
The petition filed September 25 contends that the 1992 ANSI/IEEE guidelines and the 1986 NCRP Standard (the basis for current FCC rules) are out of date. The petition asks the FCC to provide a Notice of Inquiry for public feedback. See www.EMRNetwork.org
Len Aitkens film Lookout Mountain exposes both sides of the non-conforming antenna farm issue. It was one of 12 films (of 1400 submissions) selected for the 2000 Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival. The film was broadcast by Free Speech TV in 2001 over the Dish Network.
While corporate mass media provides extensive coverage of the possible EchoStar-DirecTV merger, the impact of low investment for big profits of land-based antenna towers on citizens is ignored. Satellite television barely pollutes the planet while the proliferation of land-based installations threaten the health, safety and welfare of at least 20 million Americans. The “worst case scenario” is covered in Lookout Mountain. Call 303-526-1896 or see LAProductions.com
“Cell Towers, Wireless Convenience? Or Environmental Hazard?”
This new book, edited by award-winning medical and science journalist Blake Levitt, addresses health, safety and environmental issues not exposed by the mass media.
“Continued proliferation of this radiation constitutes one of the most significant alterations of the natural environment?”
Included are chapters by Dr. Carl Blackman (EPA), Dr. Robert Cleveland (FCC), Dr. Albert Manville (US Fish & Wildlife), physicist Dr. Bill Curry, RF engineers Mark Hutchins and Ray Kasevich, and local land use regulators.
Critics say it is as significant today as Rachel Carsons book, Silent Spring was in the 1960s. Published by New Century, 355 pages, 6" x 9", 64 photos, 22 diagrams, $19.95. ISBN 1-884820-62-X.
U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle dismissed the industrys lawsuit against the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in Washington D.C. on September 27, 2001. The ACHP is the independent council for implementing Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The industries want to construct towers or mine the earth wherever profitable, regardless of impact on historic properties or communities.
“Nowhere in the Telecom Act (1996) did Congress repeal the NHPA or excuse the telecommunication industry or the FCC from compliance with NHPA rules,”
the judge said.