This West Is OUR West

CBS: 5G cellphone towers signal renewed concerns over impacts on health

Posted by Erin Elizabeth

Aug 17, 2018

This year, wireless carriers began installing millions of cell towers across the country to enable the new, faster 5G cellphone technology. But, should you be concerned? Are there any legitimate health concerns? Because if there are concerns, that tower outside your bedroom window is going to be generating lots of RF, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For the Hiestand family in California, these towers are a concern. The “small cell” or “distributed antenna system” is worrisome to the family whose 13-year-old daughter is a cancer survivor. And that’s why Sophia petitioned the city council to deny the cell tower near her home.

Watch Video here:

She said, “I mostly talked about my cancer and how it affected me, even though you’re not supposed to talk about health issues, I still did.” Confused? I was too. It seems that according to federal law the city isn’t allowed to consider health concerns when putting up cell towers. Based on science from 1996, in a small section of the Telecommunications Act, if cities consider health, cell companies can sue them.

“5G can be a tremendous boom to California but only if it can be put up quickly and easily,’ said Hayward Assembly member Bill Quirk. Quirk co-authored legislation that would make it even harder for cities like Piedmont to object to a tower. ‘You wouldn’t have to go through the planning commission, through the city council,’ Quirk explained.

Quirk, a former NASA scientist, says he may resurrect the bill that was recently vetoed by Governor Brown. ‘I know scientifically that putting up these cell phone towers is safe,’ he said.”1

(He sounds like a real peach of a guy.)

But the International Association of Firefighters disagrees with Quirk. After firefighters started complaining about health problems, problems that stopped once they changed stations that didn’t have cell towers near them, it began opposing cell towers on fire stations.

Dr. Gunnar Heuser conducted a pilot study on firefighters at a station with cell towers found symptoms like memory problems, problems with intermittent confusion, problems with weakness and “abnormal brain function in all of the firefighters.”2

And Tony Stefani, founder of the San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation, says that current regulations don’t take the continuous low-level exposure from these small cells, 24-hours a day, into account. Something many international scientists agree with. “More than 230 scientists from 41 nations — who have published over 2,000 peer-reviewed papers on electromagnetic fields and biology and health — have signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal.” 3 They are calling for stronger regulations, disclosure about wireless industry ties to regulatory agencies, and publicly funded studies on the health effects of EMF emitting devices/base stations (like cell towers). (The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has also classified RF radiation as possibly carcinogenic to humans.)


Sources and References

1. CBS SF Bay Area 5, January 5, 2018

2. CBS SF Bay Area 5, January 5, 2018

3. CBS SF Bay Area 5, January 5, 2018