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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cell antenna radiation: It's for the children

Our post of earlier today about health concerns of living near cell antennas prompted a reader way out on the east side to write:

Last summer, just outside Powell Valley Grade School in Gresham, Clearwire put this relay up on a telephone pole in front of the school. But don't worry, they also put up a sign.

Comments (24)

The proposed tower on Fremont and Alameda/37th is also a Clearwire tower. It will be on a block where over 15 kids under 7 live, play and sleep. If you want to let Clearwire know that reasonable people think that they should maybe put their equipment somewhere else visit www.RepsectPDX, join the mailing list and they'll tell you who to contact.

IOW, don't climb the pole!

Where are the boundaries of the excess radio frequency? Only up the pole or where one is standing reading the sign? Farther out? Is the FCC's general exposure rate safe?

If you have any major radio stations anywhere near your city, the radiation from them is a heck of a lot more than from cell phone towers. Los Angeles (for example) has a bunch of 10,000- to 30,000- watt transmitters right above the city (and at least one 50,000-watt transmitter). They've been there for years, and there have been no cases of either rf-death or bizarre mutations.

Color me stupid, but, shouldn't it read "Radio frequency fields WITHIN this point may exceed...?" I mean, one half mile down the road is "beyond this point," isn't it?

Good point PDXLifer! I had the same thought. Kind of a weird sign, must usually be used on a fence or building or something.

I can see the concern;however, it is unclear who the sign is for. I think the dangerous area is up the pole meaning workers should use proper guidelines when working on the pole. I would assume it is not very risky if you are at the bottom of the pole, I don't know for sure though.

Is that not on the public right-of-way? Smack in the middle of the sidewalk. (Check out how you would walk with a kid stroller past that pole.)

The school should have insisted it be on their property (closer to the children), then the school district could have got lease fees. You know like Coke and Pepsi pay? ...for the children.

There is a definition that those who are not radio engineers wouldn't know: It's called "Near Field". Climbing the pole gets you close, if not right in it. Near field for the frequencies involved does not extend to the ground, not even halfway.

The cell phone itself, however is where my concern lies vis a vis near field.

shouldn't it read "Radio frequency fields WITHIN this point may exceed

I think the sign makes sense. I thought those radio waves were sine waves? And due to the wavelength, radiation would not be as bad closer to the antenna? Could be wrong.

"shouldn't it read "Radio frequency fields WITHIN this point may exceed...?"

The issue with Clearwire and other high-frequency radio signals is that they are very directional. For 95% of the area, coverage is very weak. However, for 5% of the area, it can be stronger.

"radiation would not be as bad closer to the antenna"

Again, the closer you get to the RF source, the stronger the signal. It geometrically proporational,so if you get 2x as far away the signal is 1/4 as strong.

Overall, everyone (including me) has their suspicions, but they've never yet had a scientific study to prove that these RF signal caause any lasting damage.

There is no clinical evidence whatsoever that cell towers, power lines, or microwave towers have any negative effects on health whatsoever. Flouride is good for your teeth and vacinations save millions of lives each year. Nevertheless an outspoken minority of Luddites insist on rejecting scientific evidence and analysis in favor of good ol superstition and fear.

Yeah, nothing wrong with asbestos, margarine, saccharine, X-ray foot measurement in shoe stores, tanning booths, plastic can liners... corporate America would never let you use a product until we're all sure it's safe. Nobody's ever been harmed.

X-ray foot measurement in shoe stores

Seriously? Never even heard of that before.

"Seriously? Never even heard of that before."

Oh, I remember them. They looked just like this

The studies sited below are from the Ecologist Magazine, also found at

# Eger et al., 2004: A three-fold increase in the incidence of malignant tumours was found after 5 years exposure in people living 400 metres from a mobile phone mast.
# Wolf & Wolf, 2004: A four-fold increase in the incidence of cancer among residents living near a mobile phone mast for between 3 and 7 years was detected.
# REFLEX, 2004: A four year study on human cells found that, after exposure to low-power microwaves, the cells showed signs of DNA damage and mutations which were passed on to the next generation.
# Abdel-Rassoul, 2007: Residents living under and opposite a long-established mobile phone mast in Egypt reported significantly higher occurrences of headaches, memory changes, dizziness, tremors, depressive symptoms and sleep disturbance than a control group.
# Santini et al., 2002: 530 people living near to mobile phone masts reported more symptoms of headache, sleep disturbance, discomfort, irritability, depression, memory loss, and concentration problems the closer they lived to the mast.
# Oberfeld et al., 2004: 97 people living near to mobile phone masts reported more symptoms of fatigue, irritability, headaches, nausea, loss of memory, visual disorder, dizziness and cardiovascular problems the higher their level of microwave exposure.

# Bortkiewicz et al., 2004: Residents close to mobile phone masts report more incidences of circulatory problems, sleep disturbances, irritability, depression, blurred vision, and concentration difficulties the nearer they live to the mast.
# Hutter et al., 2006: 365 people living near to mobile phone masts reported higher incidences of headaches the greater the closer they lived to the masts.
# Stewart report, 2000: Research conducted by HPA [Health Protection Agency, UK] chief William Stewart advised that the main beam of a mobile phone mast should not be allowed to fall on any part of a school's grounds.

Black helicopter sighting are on the rise.

Correlation does not imply causation.

Has any followup studies been conducted, like removing the sample group to an area well outside the limit and found any cessations of the symptoms? Or removing the antenna or perhaps shutting down the signal to a specific antenna? Some reading I did last night found some people living near a cell tower in Africa complained of symptoms and the tower wasn't running.

I suppose we can attribute that to resonance!

usually you see that sign on the fence surrounding a standard cell mast. There's one not far from where I work, where it's got the big pole with the antennae on top, and a box at the bottom with the relay equipment in it. There's a fence around the thing about 5 feet in every direction, with that exact sign on the gate.

There's probably some law somewhere that says they *have* to put that sign on a cell mast site, regardless of if anyone could possibly be exposed to the near-field effects of a 40' pole.

Too bad there's not a law that says they have to test the technology to see if its safe before putting it in front of a school or someone's home. Yay for signs though.

These wireless towers are completely unnecessary. We could have wired municipal broadband for dollars a month served to everywhere in the city, but no, instead we pay out the nose for the likes of Clear, Verizon, Comcast to provide us with an inferior service. What do they do with their profits? Invest them in political lobbying and other forms of institutionalized corruption.

Did you just cite a blog post on a website titled "alternative cancer self help"? Really?

Isn't Clear a subsidiary of the Church of Scientology?


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