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Cell towers atop Baltimore public schools questioned

cell cherry hill

The chimney at Friendship Academy at Cherry Hill doubles as a cell phone tower – and city schools are considering a lease to put more equipment up there.

Photo by: Kim Trueheart

In there on the agenda Tuesday night along with contracts to buy sports uniforms and bread products was an item that caught citizen activist Kim Trueheart’s eye – the Baltimore City School Board was considering lease agreements to put cell phone towers on three city schools.

“These are schools in some of the city’s poorest communities – Cherry Hill and Walbrook,” Trueheart said. “Were any considerations given to the health effects of these towers on the students? Would contracts like these even be considered in affluent communities like Roland Park?”

Board members apparently had questions too – they tabled the proposed lease agreements until the next meeting. The agreements are between city schools and Cricket Communications, Inc. to put “wireless communication equipment” at Cherry Hill Elementary School and two schools in the Walbrook neighborhood, Baltimore Civitas and Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy West.

“I came right home and filed an FOI [Freedom of Information request],” Trueheart said.

Turns out Baltimore has been leasing out rooftop space at city schools for years, spokeswoman Edie House-Foster said, when asked by The Brew.

She confirmed that there are currently 21 lease agreements for wireless equipment to be placed at 14 city school locations. Here is the list of schools.

The equipment brings in revenue for the school system – annual payments for 2012 are estimated between $540,000 and $580,000, House-Foster said. For the month of July total revenue checks came in at $66,027.47.

BCPS: Health Concerns “Not an Issue”

Asked whether consideration was given to the possible effects on schoolchildren of the radio frequency radiation emitted from cell sites, House-Foster said city schools do not consider it a problem.

“Health concerns should no longer be an issue,” she said in an email, citing the National Telecommunications Act of 1996. “They can be placed almost anywhere through Conditional Use Zoning.”

The Act has a provision that says “health concerns can no longer be used as a reason not to have a cell placement,” House-Foster said.

But despite general scientific agreement that the health risks are low, controversy over the placement of these rooftop revenue generators – especially at schools – has persisted for the past decade.

Vehement objections from parents at Longfellow Middle School in Falls Church, Va. killed a cell tower proposal there. Amid parents’ concerns over safety and health, the Baltimore County Board of Appeals in 2007 overturned a commissioner’s ruling to permit a cell phone tower near Randallstown High School tennis courts.

In 2010, the Town of Hempstead Long Island passed an ordinance that prohibits wireless companies from installing equipment closer than 1,500 feet to homes, day care centers, schools and houses of worship.

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  • Kim Trueheart

    CNN reported that “The World Health Organization on May 31, 2011 released the following:  Radiation from cell phones can possibly cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization. The agency now lists mobile phone use in the same “carcinogenic hazard” category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform. Before its announcement Tuesday, WHO had assured consumers that no adverse health effects had been established.  A team of 31 scientists from 14 countries, including the United States, made the decision after reviewing peer-reviewed studies on cell phone safety. The team found enough evidence to categorize personal exposure as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” ”

    The most concern I got from this story was the following:  “Finally, cell phones emit the most radiation when they are attempting to connect to cellular towers. A moving phone, or a phone in an area with a weak signal, has to work harder, giving off more radiation.”

    This is NOT worth the unknown potential risks to young developing brains and bodies …   Mr. Duke and Dr. Alonso put your law degress aside and DO what’s best for our children … NO cell towers on school facilities!!!

    • Nashorn

      “The most concern I got from this story was the following:  “Finally, cell phones emit the most radiation when they are attempting to connect to cellular towers. A moving phone, or a phone in an area with a weak signal, has to work harder, giving off more radiation.”
      These higher radiation levels are measured at the handset, not at the cell site, which is constantly trying to manage down average power in order to reduce interference and increase handset battery life.

      • Kim Trueheart

        To Nashorn:  Look around, almost every child in BMore has a cell phone, so those in these particular schools are being exposed to significantly higher levels of radiation than others.  In close proximity to the cell tower their cell phones are constantly being “pinged”.  While the WHO did NOT specifically address the concentration of signals at the cell tower … any thinking human being can see that the higher radiation levels emitted from a cell tower pose a higer level of risk.

    • sjay1956

      That story is about cell phone use, not proximity to a cell tower.  Ironically, the quoted phrase is open to the interpretation that being near a tower is safer because the phone isn’t working as hard.

      • Kim Trueheart

        To sjay1956 … I choose NOT to interpret it that way.  Too bad you and the school board consider our children expendible and this situation is an acceptable risk where they are concerned.

  • Ltong1009

    $580,000!  Put them up on my house please.  We have two kids in an affluent city neighborhood and welcome the money to our schools. And yes, I have read the research too.

  • RF Expert

    Cell phone towers give off constant radiation and this level of radiation varies depending upon your distance from the tower and antenna angle. A tower has to have the power to blanket an entire area letting every phone within it’s zone that it is there. There are diagrams out there that show safe zones and not so safe zones. Before a tower or antenna can be worked on it must be shut down so that it does not expose the worker to high levels of RF.

    I hope that Ltong1009 is joking about putting up a cell tower at his home. Because whether or not he knows it if he has a cordless phone in his home it is exposing him and his family to high levels of RF 24 hours per day and $580,000 cannot even begin to make up for the loss of health or life.

  • Steve

    Easy to understand why schools allow the towers in a cash strapped school system. Additionally, I doubt these neighboorhoods are picked simply because of economic conditions but that these are strategic locations for signal transmission. Concerns about radiation are difficult to support at this point as there has not been enough time for longitudinal studies. Wireless communication is here to stay and growing. Better to invest in some legitimate studies rather than intuition and knee jerking

    • Nashorn

      I would think the carriers are interested in Cherry Hill Elementary because of its proximity to the B-W Parkway, always a tough place to get a site.

  • baltimorebrew
  • Kim Trueheart

    Get the facts straight Nashorn, seems you like the school board are relying on the Telecommunications Act of 1996 for making decisions in the 21Century.  The WHO released it’s new findings last Spring … Read it, unless it’s to current for you to consider relevant proof.

    • Nashorn

      Kim,

      I was aware of and read the WHO report when it was issued.

  • RF Expert

    I have actually designed and implemented metropolitan area wide wireless networks for various companies (television/radio/cell phone/wimax) and I also hold multiple network engineering certifications in addition to a degree in physics. First you cannot compare the old analog or even the new digital television signal coming from TV Hill to a wireless tower. A tv tower in multicast in nature which means 1 signal to unlimited number of users. A cell tower is unicast in nature. 1 signal to each user. This means that the power output for a tv tower remains relatively constant because it has to only send 1 broadcast. If it had to serve 100,000 broadcast at the same time like a cell tower does that would cause the area to be saturated with high levels of RF. Also old analog television was not based upon pulse technology so therefore the risk of adverse effects were minimal. It’s actually the pulse within the frequency containing voice, video, and data that causes harm to living tissue because the pulsing generated by a cell phone tower or cordless phone is not found on the earths surface and therefore it is not natural for us to be exposed to it. So our bodies do not know how to handle it. Your cells and tissue generate a electromagnetic field and this field can be overwhelmed by electromagnetic fields in your environment and overtime it will wear your body down. We don’t want this for our kids.

    • Kim Trueheart

      Thanks RF Expert! … I’m attempting to obtain some more relevant data on the pure science and welcome anything you have.   

  • RFExpert

    Here is a story for you that is about proximity to a cell tower. If you need more let me know. You have to look outside of the U.S. because the greedy people here will not tell you the truth. Learn about the history of the tobacco industry and how they said that there was no link between smoking and cancer. They even had doctors and scientist on the payroll that lied. Now that many years have passed and people started dying now we know the truth. The cell phone situation is going to be much worse.

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/Living-with-radiation-as-a-backdrop/Article1-900466.aspx

    • Nashorn

      The only article you found was from The Hindustan Times? Seriously.

  • RFExpert

    Reply to Nashorn. Did you know that the USA Today is the most widely read paper in the U.S. and that they have an average daily circulation of 1.7 million copies? The Washington Post has 500,000, and let’s not even talk about the Baltimore Sun. The Hindustan Times has a circulation of 1.6 million copies as audited by the same firm that audits the top U.S. papers. So…Seriously…back to you!  I am a scientist/engineer and my life is all about getting answers. In the famous words of Mr. Spock “Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”. Oh yeah…Sir
    Conan Arthur Doyle said it too!  What you know about catching vapors? Look up the Biz because you just caught some LOL.

  • RFExpert

    Reply to Kim. Here are a couple of links to some documents that you may find interesting that was published by the Navy and Air Force. I have a lot more additional information if you need it.

    http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/scc28/sc4/Behavioral%20effects.pdf

    • Kim Trueheart

      Thanks RFExpert!  While I’m not a scientist, I worked in the signals intel world for over a decade and have a good understanding of this problem.  Your posts and contributions are invaluable and welcomed.  I know that we can STOP this madness!!!

  • RFExpert

    History Professor at Stanford University says that tobacco companies obstructed science and this same tactic is being used in other industries. Read this carefully because it is 100% fact and truth and is being applied by the cell phone industry.They are trying to kill us and our children and once we develop health problems they will say “they new that cell phones and towers were bad for them and ignored the evidence”. That’s what the tobacco industry told some cancer victims who tried to sue them. And guess what? The tobacco company won a lot of those cases and many of those victims died because they did not have the money to get the proper treatment and their families suffered the loss of a loved one because of ignorance and deceit. Sorry for the long post, but it is critical to this thread.

    Taken directly from Stanford University Newspaper:

    “Doubt is our product,” stated a tobacco industry memo from 1969.
    For half a century, the tobacco industry tried to muddy the link between
    smoking and cancer. Now, with that effort long since failed, cigarette
    producers facing dozens of potentially ruinous lawsuits are once again
    attempting to manufacture doubt.

    “The tobacco industry is now trying to win their cases by rewriting
    history, saying that everyone knew but no one had proof,” said Robert N.
    Proctor, a professor of history at Stanford. “What they’re saying is
    that everyone always knew it was bad for you. So if you started smoking
    in 1962 or 1972 and later got lung cancer, you have only yourself to
    blame.”

    Proctor will speak Feb. 18 during a symposium—”The Sociopolitical
    Manufacturing of Scientific Ignorance”—at the annual meeting of the
    American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Francisco.

    Proctor claims that by the middle of the 1950s there was a scientific
    consensus that smoking caused lung cancer. But the tobacco industry
    fought that finding, both in the public eye and within the scientific
    community. Tobacco companies funded skeptics, started health reassurance
    campaigns, ran advertisements in medical journals and researched
    alternate explanations for lung cancer, such as pollution, asbestos and
    even the keeping of birds. Denying the case against tobacco was
    “closed,” they called for more research as a tactic to delay regulation.

    Drawing from his experiences as an expert witness in tobacco
    litigation cases, Proctor says that industry lawyers often claim that
    “government propaganda,” such as warnings from the Surgeon General, was
    so overwhelming that the risks of smoking were universally known. But
    they excuse the industry’s own counter-propaganda by arguing that the
    scientific community was unable to prove a link between smoking and lung
    cancer until relatively recently. If true, this lack of proof would
    absolve the tobacco companies of any blame for deaths caused by smoking
    and any charges of fraud for their campaign against the link between
    cancer and cigarettes.

    “But if they were lying and if people actually believed their lies,”
    Proctor said, “then the industry can be held liable because they were
    manufacturing a defective and fraudulent product.”

    Proctor has used poll results stretching back to the 1940s to show
    that in fact some people were ignorant of the risks. “Millions of people
    in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s didn’t know that tobacco caused lung cancer
    or heart disease,” Proctor said. “An increasing number knew, but not
    everyone knew. And not everyone knew because the industry was
    manufacturing doubt, fomenting ignorance. Industry executives created a
    climate of untruth that people bought into and died from.”

    Proctor also has delved into the phone logs and correspondence
    records of tobacco companies to look at what consumers were thinking.
    “Even in the 1970s and ’80s, lots of people are writing letters to the
    industry saying, ‘The government is brainwashing me into thinking
    tobacco is bad, whereas I have a grandmother who lived to be 82 and she
    smokes, and I’ve smoked for years and I’m still healthy.’”

    In an age when nearly everyone knows that smoking causes cancer, it
    might not seem important to study the ways the tobacco companies sowed
    doubt. But Big Tobacco’s methods have since been exported to other
    industries. At the same symposium, University of California-San Diego
    history and science studies Professor Naomi Oreskes will discuss a
    similar topic in a talk titled “Confounding Science: The Tobacco Road to
    Global Warming,” and journalist Paul Thacker will give a talk titled
    “Thank You for Polluting: How Campaigns to Create Scientific Confusion
    Kill Product Regulation.”

    How can tactics like these undermine the work of so many scientists?
    Proctor said: “There’s a saying in the PR business that for every PhD
    there’s an equal and opposite PhD. And if there’s not one then you can
    create one through funding. And if you put a lot of money into
    manufacturing ignorance, it can actually work.

    “We saw this in tobacco, and we’ve seen it in polluting industries
    and global warming,” he added. “There are lots of people out there who’d
    rather have you not know what’s really going on.”

  • RFExpert

    Reply to sjay1956. Did you know that more than 60% of the worlds top insurance companies will not provide liability insurance to cell phone manufactures, cell tower hardware manufacturers, and wireless companies? They know that there is significant risk because they invested tens of millions of dollars in research and as a result of this research they chose not to provide liability insurance to this industry. Look it up. Insurance companies are greedy and they even insure police, soldiers, fisherman, lion trainers, and more, but not the cell phone industry. They know that once we reach the year 2020 claims and loss suits will be flying. Even by those who deny the health implications today. If you need more holla back! Vapors

    • Nashorn

      RFExpert,

      This far your recommendations are supported only by articles in Indian newspapers, papers from Stamford history professors, and quotes from Star Trek and Sherlock Holmes characters.

      Seem well considered.

      C’mon!

  • RFExpert

    Reply to Nashorn: I have been designing cell phone, WiMax, video, broadcast radio and television, and data networks for all of my adult life which is more than 20 years and PhD from Cornell in addition to Cisco, Microsoft, Lucent, Fujitsu, Motorola, EMC, HP and many other prestigious certifications.  I also develop RF shielding technologies for government and commercial use. And you? I can cite research by the best and brightest in the world and their papers/research would blow your mind. Review the link that I sent in my earlier post that contains a study done by our Navy and Air Force. Also look up:

    ICNIRP Guidelines for Limiting Exposure to Time-Varying Electric, Magnetic and Electromagnetic Fields.

    Neurological Effects of Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation

    And since it seems that think that people from India don’t know what they are talking about look up Professor Girish Kumar in Bombay.

    I was born in Baltimore City and attended Dickey Hill Elementary School and if I were attending that school today I would want responsible adults looking out for the best interest of me and my peers. Obviously you would not be the adult to do that, but fortunately they have people like me who has been where they are and now have the education and experience to stand up for them when they cannot.

    Show me some proof that cell phone radiation is safe!

    Show me one case of something that is not found in nature that is safe for humans!

    What qualifications do you have that makes you think that you know what you are talking about?

    I can tell you this. I’ve gone up against the best of them and you are not it (LOL). I’m not going to spoon feed you information all day. I will make sure that those towers/antennas do not go up without protecting our children first.

    I like Nashorn….Nashorn’s alright!

  • RFExpert

    Nashorn…do you work for the cell phone industry or are you on their payroll?

    • Kim Trueheart

      RFExpert I think Nashorn may be a member of the Baltimore City School Board attempting to rationalize that they made good decisions awarding the previous 21 contracts to install cell towers on our schools … He needs to resign!!!

      • Nashorn

        No school board, no cell carrier, no cellular industry payroll for this cowboy, I’m not now and never have been beholden to anyone. 

        • RFExpert

          Well if that’s the case you must be here to play devils advocate.

          • Nashorn

            No, I’m here because I think I can do some good.

            I think cell sites and good coverage are important no matter what the economics/demographics of a given neighborhood are. Lack of access to reliable communications and data services is crippling and will only continue the “digital divide”

            Data shows that smartphones are being absorbed across all classes and incomes and I believe that for many, 4G wireless data service is much more likely to be available and usable than broadband cable and FiOS (sorry Baltimore City) networks.

            As far as schools go, where else can you envision students bringing their technology to class with them?

            There have been cell sites co-located with schools for at least 20 years, no proof of adverse issues; if the BCPSS and the wireless carriers want to move forward with a few sites, I’m all for it!

          • RFExpert

            20 years from now I want you to remember this conversation because I will. And I hope that you are right and I’m wrong. I really do.

          • Nashorn

            I hope I’m right too, think I am.

  • RFExpert

    Why is it that children in every country in the world that have lower acceptable RF radiation limits score higher in math and science than our children? Yes Nashorn even children in India score higher.

    • Steve

      Doubt that has much if anything to do with rf and everything to do with the fact many other countries put more emphasis on education than the good US of A.

    • Nashorn

      I don’t think children in India score higher due to lack of RF exposure; at 51% penetration India’s cities are quite well covered and the students there have cell phones. Yet there students somehow perform.

      While you’re heading off on this specious track, you will have to concede that countries whose students also score better than the US include a ton of Northern European, Scandinavian and Asian countries that have similar wireless penetration rates as we have here in the US.

      I think your’s is a poor argument here and that most experts would believe that societal, economic, family curriculum and teaching factors are more likely in play here.

  • Rooferguy

    i noticed City College is not on the list and I know it has a huge cell tower/antenna array on its roof;  I did the roof inspection for the school.  By the way, the installation of the cell towers did a great deal of damage to the existing roofing system (that will cost 1-2 million dollars to replace.  Is it worth it?

    • baltimorebrew

      So sorry, Rooferguy, you’re right! City College IS on the list. When i cut and pasted the list BCPS sent me i didn’t grab this school name – it was the first one on the list. I’ll make the fix on the story. many thanks for spotting that. Interesting about the roof damage….
      - fs

  • http://twitter.com/BrianBritcher brian britcher

    Nashorn,

    I see you
    find issue with RFExpert’s opinions on the effects of RF effects.

    In
    response I ask that you stand in front of one of the transmitters while it’s in
    operation. While you’re at it grab any other radio antenna on the roof that is
    transmitting and hold it for 30 seconds.

    Make sure
    to take a bicycle bell with you to ring when you let go… that’s the noise
    microwaves make after they cooked your food!

    In all seriousness if there was not an issue with RF exposure
    why is there concern within the Certified Federal Register Title 47 for Human
    Exposure setting limits of permissible exposure?

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2010-title47-vol1/pdf/CFR-2010-title47-vol1.pdf

    • Nashorn

      brian britcher,

      I do not stand in fron of cell antennas, I do not stick my head in a microwave over, I do not take 25,000 aspirin at a time, I don’t drink 5,000 gallons of water as a sitting, and I do not drive my car 425 mph down a city street, but that doesn’t mean these things are unsafe, as long as they’re used properly.

      • RFExpert

        How do you know that you are not in the line of sight of a cell antenna right now?  I’m sure you carry a cell phone and believe me that will do the slow roasting just fine. Roasted Nashorn smothered in carrots and gravy. How does that sound?

        • Nashorn

          Line of sight, nope, in an 18th century factory building, ground floor, brick walls, reinforced concrete floors, no windows. No roasting here.

          It sounds like you’ve run out of facts and are getting silly.

          • RFExpert

            So you have no cell signal huh? You live there and never go outside? Sounds a little bit like a jail. I should have known (LOL). I have more facts and information than you can absorb. I’m just having a fun open discussion. Why don’t you provide me some proof that cell towers are safe? I’ll put the ball back in your court since you have all of the answers.

            Just a reminder. I design and build these networks from scratch. I also own multiple patents on RF shielding technologies as well as video CODEC’s. I’m quite qualified. I’m sitting here with RF generators, RF shielding, cell tower antennas, RADAR, and microwave test equipment. Do you know who Martin Cooper is? If not he led a team at Motorola that invented the cell phone. The guys that are still alive on his team that developed the RF communications protocols and setup the links do not use cell phones unless it’s an emergency and those that died died from brain cancer that could have been caused by RF, but it’s never been confirmed. Look him up.

          • Nashorn

            You know, there’s no scientific proof of safe, a scientist will say that he/she can never know all the facts necessary to declare “safe”. Check it out.

            I’m at work, volunteering my time and am located in a basement with no windows, I live above ground and know exactly where my serving site is.

            I know Marty Cooper well, had one of the first 10 DynaTAC handsets, still have it.

            Never said I had all the answers but strongly maintain that there has been no proof shown for a link between cell RF and brain cancer in scientific studies.

  • http://twitter.com/BrianBritcher brian britcher

    @Kim Tureheart there are several of
    theses on fire stations can you find out where the money goes?   Squad 47- 2608 Washington Boulevard
    (T-mobile), Engine 45- 2700 Glen Avenue (ATT), Engine 56- 6512 Harford Road
    (Sprint-Nextel).

    • Kim Trueheart

      To Brian Britcher:  I think both the Department of Real Estate (Comptroller) and the Department of General Services are managing the lease agreements on fire stations.  I’ve been officially told that the money goes into the general fund, not to the location where the cell tower is installed.

  • RFExpert

    Yeah…you’re probably right. It just happen that we started to fall behind in the last 15 years or so. No science fact. Just speculation. But I believe that there is some truth to it based upon my personal experiences and observations.

  • RFExpert

    You are quite welcome Kim Trueheart. Thanks for the compliment.

  • RFExpert

    I apologize for the long post. But I think that everyone here should know about this study done in California. It was a study showing the effects of a cell tower on a fire station. I was a small study, but nonetheless it was a study.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:
    Susan Foster Ambrose, M.S.W., Medical Writer
    P.O. Box 3605
    Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067
    858.756.3532
    sfambrose@cox.net

    INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIREFIGHTERS (IAFF) VOTES TO STUDY HEALTH EFFECTS OF CELL TOWERS ON FIRE STATIONS
    Call for Moratorium on New Cell Towers on Fire Stations Until Health Effects Can Be Studied

    Boston, MA – August 23, 2004 – Firefighters returned to their home
    stations throughout the United States and Canada following last week’s
    IAFF convention after passing a resolution to study the health effects
    of cell towers placed on the fire stations where they work and live.

    Added to the resolution was an amendment calling for the IAFF to support
    a moratorium on the placement of new cell towers on fire stations until
    the completion of the study.

    In many parts of the U.S. and Canada, the wireless industry has sought
    to place cell towers on fire stations because of their strategic
    locations. Fire stations tend to be located in densely populated areas,
    many of them near main highways, making them attractive locations for
    cell towers to maximize coverage. The wireless industry is not alone in
    the benefits of placing cell towers on these stations. Municipalities
    receive revenue from the wireless companies in exchange for locating the
    antennas on fire station property.

    Lt. Ron Cronin of the Brookline, MA Fire Department and Acting Lt. Joe
    Foster of the Vancouver Fire Department and Vice President of Vancouver,
    B.C. Local #18 spearheaded the passage of the resolution.

    Lt. Cronin said, “Some firefighters with cell towers currently located
    on their stations are experiencing symptoms that put our first
    responders at risk. It is important to be sure we understand what
    effects these towers may have on the firefighters living in these
    stations. If the jakes in the fire house are suffering from headaches,
    can’t respond quickly and their ability to make decisions is clouded by a
    sort of brain fog, then entire communities they are protecting will
    clearly be at risk.”

    A recent pilot study of six California firefighters, first publicly
    revealed at the IAFF convention by medical writer and study organizer
    Susan Foster Ambrose of San Diego, CA, raises concern about the safety
    of fire fighters working and sleeping in stations with towers.

    The study, conducted by Dr. Gunnar Heuser of Agoura Hills, CA, focused
    on neurological symptoms of six firefighters who had been working for up
    to five years in stations with cell towers. Those symptoms included
    slowed reaction time, lack of focus, lack of impulse control, severe
    headaches, anesthesia-like sleep, sleep deprivation, depression, and
    tremors.

    Dr. Heuser, along with Dr. J. Michael Uszler of Santa Monica, CA, used
    functional brain scans – SPECT scans – to assess any changes in the
    brains of the six firefighters as compared to healthy brains of men of
    the same age. Computerized psychological testing known as TOVA was used
    to study reaction time, impulse control, and attention span.

    Disturbingly, the SPECT scans revealed a pattern of abnormal change
    which was concentrated over a wider area than would normally be seen in
    brains of individuals exposed to toxic inhalation, as might be expected
    from fighting fires. Dr. Heuser indicated the only plausible
    explanation at this time would be RF radiation exposure. Additionally,
    the TOVA testing revealed among the six firefighters delayed reaction
    time, lack of impulse control, and difficulty in maintaining mental
    focus.

    Because of increasing complaints among firefighters with cellular
    antennas on their stations coupled with the California study showing
    damage among the six firefighters tested, a group of five individuals
    spread across two provinces and three states worked with Southern
    California firefighters to draft the resolution put before the IAFF
    membership last week. Lt. Ron Cronin and Acting Lt. Joe Foster were
    joined by Dr. Magda Havas of Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario,
    Vermont-based Janet Newton – president of the EMR Policy Institute, and
    Susan Foster Ambrose.

    “It is imperative to understand that in spite of the build out of an
    extensive wireless infrastructure in the U.S. and Canada,” explained
    Ambrose, “we have no safety standards for cell towers. There are only
    regulatory standards, not proven safety standards. The Heuser Study in
    California calls into question whether or not we are sacrificing the
    health and well being of our countries’ first responders for the
    convenience of a technology we’ve come to rely upon.”

    Considering approximately 80 percent of the firefighters attending last
    week’s convention voted in favor of a medical study with the spirit of a
    cell tower moratorium attached, it appears firefighters throughout the
    U.S. and Canada share that concern.

    This study has far-reaching public health implications in view of the
    fact that the wireless industry pays local governments to place cell
    towers, not only on fire stations, but also on top of schools and
    municipal buildings.

    For more information contact:
    Susan Foster Ambrose: 858.756.3532;sfambrose@cox.net
    Lt. Ron Cronin: 617.212.5670; ron.cronin@verizon.net
    Acting Lt. Joe Foster: 604.250.5727; joe@iaff18.org
    Magda Havas, Ph.D.:Ê 705.748.1011 x 1232; mhavas@trentu.ca
    Janet Newton: The EMR Policy Institute; 802-426-3035; JNewton@emrpolicy.org
    Gunnar Heuser, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.P.: 818.865.1858; gheuser@ucla.edu
    J. Michael Uszler, M.D.: 310.264.0080; http://www.santamonicaimaging.com

    • Kim Trueheart

      Thanks for this press release!  I will definitely follow up to obtain the results.

  • Nashorn

    No scientist of competence would give credence to a single location, six person study, I don’t see any reference to how long the subjects were followed, and therefore would wonder how long the subjects were followed. This stuff takes years.

    Secondly, given the environment that firefighters work, smoke, toxins, chemicals, CO, etc. who is to say what effected their brains.

    • RFExpert

      I told you that it was a small study from the start. Any person of competence knows that not all things can be readily explained by science and that you can weigh all of the information you have no matter how small or limited and make a good decision. When there is a possibility of harm or even death doesn’t it make sense to err on the side of caution until you know for sure? Cell phones and towers have not been proven to be safe and as a matter of fact they were never tested for safety prior to being released to consumers. I know that the effects of RF are real because I experienced short term memory loss from extended cell phone use back in 2001. I don’t drink, don’t smoke, never did drugs, and in excellent athletic health. Doctors could find no reason for it, but I fully recover within 3 days of eliminating RF from my diet.

      Like millions of others who use cell phones in this country I hope that
      you don’t have to learn the hard way. Until cell technology is proven to
      be safe risks should not be taken especially with our children. You may not be beholden to any person, but it seems that you are beholden to lack of 1st hand experience and knowledge on the subject. You remind me of the tobacco industry (LOL)

  • Unellu

    India’s children perform better because they study harder.  I know because I am from there.  I am amazed at the lack of enthusiasm for homework and learning in this country where there is a culture of intellectual sloth and contempt for academic achievement.  It’s athletics over scholastics–social networking over scholastics–drugs over scholastics–any darn waste of time over scholastics.  That said, cell towers on top of schools is over the top.  Children have developing nervous systems.  

    I don’t believe the word is out as yet about the consequences of chronic exposure to cell tower signals.  Think about lead exposure.  Recently, the threshold for  harmful levels of lead was lowered for children.  We are still learning and the science is still evolving about the harmful effects of low levels of radiation and electromagnetic signals on the developing nervous system.  Humility is due in this case. We should refrain from exposing our children to what is potentially harmful for them until no harm is a certainty.  Caution is the better part of valor. 

    • Lex Apostata

      There may or may not be ill health effects from cell towers, but the fact that lead paint was not banned until 1978 does not mean that cell towers are harmful. Scientists used to believe in phlogiston, that doesn’t mean that microwave ovens don’t work.

  • RFExpert

    Just in case you missed this about multiple school age children dying from alleged cell tower radiation along with as much as 30% of teachers and administrators have been diagnosed with some type of illness, cancer, leukemia and things of that nature according to the story. Found this in my archives.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/wpix-cancer-bayville-school,0,7715148.story

    • Nashorn

      Nothing there but a “to be filed” lawsuit.

      I usually like to decide based on evidence.

      • RFExpert

        Nashorn. I like you man. Your alright :-)   You make me laugh!

  • RFExpert

    Since you hope that you are right, but you don’t know for sure aren’t we better off being safe than sorry which means going against building a tower on top of the schools? Because if you and the school system are wrong a lot of lives could be impacted for the worse.

  • Nashorn

    If you had to wait until you were 100% certain, and you can NEVER be 100% certain, you would never get anything done.

    • Kim Trueheart

      Nashorn please provide your real identity, I want to make certain that if some idiot Governor or Mayor ever considers nominating you for a seat on the school board that you NEVER get confirmed!!!

      • Nashorn

        No identity from me, I enjoy the anonymity. If some governor or mayor were to ask me to serve, I would and my nomination would be hard to stop; my credentials are impeccable!

        • RFExpert

          You are not the only one with impeccable credentials. Once a tower gets placed on a school where I have family members you and the school board will learn that there are some of us out here that will not stand for taking risks with the lives of children. This is a technology battle that I will win. Ask yourself. How do you actively and dynamically cancel a RF signal legally? I have the answer and it has already been field tested and it’s inexpensive.

          I am assuming that your children if you have any are older since you had one of the first DynaTAC handsets. This also means that you’ve lived your life. So wouldn’t it be fair to allow young children a chance to live their lives free of the possibility of health problems caused by people like yourself that puts safety and well being of others behind money or some agenda? You seem to be a smart guy, but there also seems to be some underlying motive behind your will to install cell towers on top of school roofs.

          You say that you are not on the payroll and that you are beholden to know one. So I guess that means that you must hate kids or maybe you hate teachers. Who knows? But no matter your reasoning… you are willing to put them in harms way and that is wrong.

          • Nashorn

            I don’t have to defend against your accusations that I hate kids and teachers, but if that’s all you have, then that’s proof that you have no facts.

            As such, we’re done here.

          • RFExpert

            I’m just trying to figure something out. If you don’t know that RF exposure is safe why would you subject children to it? You admitted that you cannot prove that RF is safe. The industry cannot prove that it is safe. I admitted that I cannot prove that RF is safe nor can anyone else. That being said we must approach with caution and to do otherwise is reckless. If it is found that RF is indeed harmful I hope that every adult that made the decision to support cell towers on the roofs of schools be held accountable and charged with “Reckless Endangerment” under the law and go to jail.

            Reckless endangerment: A person commits the crime of reckless
            endangerment if the person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a
            substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person.
            “Reckless” conduct is conduct that exhibits a culpable disregard of
            foreseeable consequences to others from the act or omission involved.
            The accused need not intentionally cause a resulting harm. The ultimate
            question is whether, under all the circumstances, the accused’s conduct
            was of that heedless nature that made it actually or imminently
            dangerous to the rights or safety of others.

            These are our kids we are talking about and they count on us to do the right thing. So I do hope that you change your position not for me or any other adult, but for the kids.

            As such we’re done here. It has been enlightening my friend.

          • Kim Trueheart

            To RFExpert: Thanks for your comittment to our children, the 2 contracts may again be on the school board agenda August 14th and your attendance or written opposition would be most helpful.  Feel free to email me if you have any questions children@whatfits.net 

        • Kim Trueheart

          Nashorn this comment board demonstrates your lack of sound logic and reasoning, I’m saving every word just in case … It will definitely support my opposition stance!

  • Unellu

    LexApostata–A very inelegant way of telling me you don’t see the connection between my apples and oranges.  Anyway, I was saying that the science about the ill effects of cell towers is still evolving just like the science about lead and its ill effects.  One would have thought that plumbism, as old as it is, will not deliver anything new.  But lead keeps on giving and lead poisoning, as mature and well researched as the subject is, recently saw new standards for what harmful levels are in children.  The lead poisoning instance may not be analogous to the cell tower instance for the strictly concrete thinker–but I mentioned lead poisoning to emphasize, we continue to learn about what our new technologies do to us just as we are still learning about a subject as old as lead poisoning.  Even if the benefits outweigh the risks, when it comes to these technologies, we must make every effort to protect developing brains from their potential serious side effects.  I see no urgency to place there towers atop schools.  The need to do so is not a do or die situation.    

  • Unellu

    What is the something you want done in such a hurry Nashorn?  Place a whole lot of cell phone towers on the roofs of a whole lot of schools?  Why?  They will love you, the cell phone overlords. I wonder if they realize what a devotee they have in you. They may hire you instantly for one of their publicity–or should I say, duplicity–departments.  I know, I know, you are incorruptible and clean.  And you already have a terrific job.     

    • Nashorn

      I am incorruptible, clean and do have a good job; is that wrong?

  • Unellu

    Incorruptible except when you are in the spiritual presence of cell towers yet to be built on school tops–then you are a slobbering wreck, pleading their birth above the nation’s schools, declaring them safe without proof, moving me to christen you a cell tower goof–at the very least a “cell tower stooge”.

    • Nashorn

      In a debate, name calling is a sure sign that your opponent has run out of valid arguments.

      As such, I’ll bid you goodbye.

  • Unellu

    Nashorn, you have bid goodbye, because this whole brouhaha for you was more about you than about the cell towers–you have been a blowhorn my dear Nashorn and you quit  because even your gigantic ego needed a break from your blowhorn sessions. 

  • Cwals99

    I think the policy would be less an issue if it was implemented across the board….at all schools.  Why place money-makers at some schools and not all schools.  The answer is that there is indeed a perception of harm, not to mention appearance.  As a scientist I know that the research has yet to reach conclusion and as Trueheart testifies, the younger the child the more likelihood the damage if there is any.

    More importantly to me, the use of these kinds of monetary gimmicks surrounding children, when we have all sorts of money moving in ways many question, really calls to question the moral integrity of our city and state leadership.  This policy along with school and rec center closings et al, is simply a long line of policies that show disregard to children.  A first world country always places its children’s welfare on top.

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  • March 24, 2014

    • Last Thursday, I sent an email to the Mayor’s Office of Communications asking for some basic responsiveness: Please return our emailed queries and phone calls about stories. Please send us the same routine emails you send to other members of the media. Lately, more so than usual, they haven’t been. It’s a shame because, even [...]

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