Just last week, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) made a historic announcement today that cell phones may cause cancer. It rated personal exposure of non-ionizing radiation emitted from cell phones as a possible human carcinogen (Group 2B), the same rating as lead, engine exhaust, and chloroform. The rating was based on an increased risk of a glioma, which is a deadly brain tumor.
A proposal from T-mobile was disclosed to parents shortly before summer vacation. If passed, it will allow for the construction of 150’ cell towers at nine elementary schools, two high schools and one special education school in DeKalb County: Briarlake Elementary School, Brockett Elementary School, Flat Rock Elementary School, Jolly Elementary School, Lakeside High School, Margaret Harris Center, Martin Luther King, Jr. High School, Medlock Elementary School, Meadowview Elementary School, Narvie J. Harris Elementary School, Princeton Elementary School and Smoke Rise Elementary School.
Here is the notification from the school board: http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/news-and-info/cell-phone-towers
The specifics of this proposal, including the dollar amounts involved, have not been disclosed to the public. When asked directly at a school meeting about how much the schools would receive directly, T-mobile representatives refused to comment. A fair cost / benefit analysis cannot be made if the public is not given access to the terms that the school board is considering.
There are cell towers everywhere! What makes this proposal any different? True, cell towers have been popping up in Atlanta and across the county at an alarming rate. In fact, in one neighborhood being cited by T-mobile as needing additional coverage, the number of towers is already at 86 existing and 2 pending in just a four mile radius from the school. However, the residential areas in our county have been protected from direct exposure to cell tower emissions within about a mile radius, until now.
Typically, cell towers have been confined to commercial areas such as parking lots or along Interstates where personal exposure to human beings is limited. What is currently being proposed in DeKalb county and around the country is the citing of large-scale cell towers within the center of quiet, residential communities. One way of gaining access to this residential area is by offering long-term lease agreements to the schools and parks which are zoned as “multi-use“ properties. The public school system has been a target for T-mobile because, in their words, “it was the easiest place to start.”
Since cell towers at our local schools would place them in the heart of our residential areas, adjacent to our schools where children spend as much as eight or more hours per day, five days a week, there is reason for parents and others to be alarmed. For children who live near the school, their exposure would be round the clock. Studies have not been conducted regarding the outcome of this type of continuous exposure to non-thermal radiation.
If approved, our children will become part of what is becoming known as “the biggest human experiment of all time." -- Dr. George Carlo. (The telecommunications industry gave him 28.5 billion to research the dangers, if any, of cell phones. )
Read more from Dr. Carlo on the EMF Science website: http://www.emfscience.com/index2.html
Defeated Cell Towers
Many locations across the U.S. have been presented with this same proposal and have united to turn it down, stating the risks are far greater than any benefit that could be perceived. To see a list of defeated cell towers, click this link: http://www.celltowerdangers.org/defeated-cell-towers.html
(These petitions are school-specific, but you can sign both of them and put the name of your school after your name to show that you are opposing not just the school named by the petition, but your neighborhood as well as all schools in DeKalb county.)
It is too late for a written letter to arrive via US Mail. However, you can still submit a feedback form via this link: http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/tellus/ Or, write to your particular zone representative. Here is a list of names and email addresses: http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/p/facts-sources.html
Your friends and neighbors are likely to be unaware that this issue is even being considered right now, especially if they do not have children.
Children are at the greatest risk
Children are in particular danger from these emissions as their head sizes are smaller, their skulls are thinner and their bodies are still growing. A study is underway that will further evaluate the effects of cell phones on children. It can be reviewed at: http://www.mbkds.net/ Results are expected in 2013.
Health concerns for the community
Those who live near cell phone towers are exposed to radiofrequency radiation 24 hours a day. During that time there are higher and lower exposure levels. General symptoms include headaches, fatigue, concentration problems, dizziness, insomnia, depression, appetite loss, skin rashes, and discomfort. Any financial gain the county hopes to receive in return for the cell tower lease would clearly not be worth risking the lives and health of our children.
For more information
Center for Safe Wireless: http://www.centerforsaferwireless.org/Cell-Phone-Towers.php EM Watch: http://www.emwatch.com/Cellmasts.htm Cell Tower Report, by Angela Flynn, Public Health Advocate, Member, Wireless Radiation Alert Network, Board Member, Moms For Safe Wireless: http://www.scribd.com/doc/24352550/Cell-Tower-Rpt Expel Cell Towers group: http://expelcelltowers.org/ includes links to a Chicago report of kindergarten cancer cases linked to cell towers in the area. Get the Cell Out of Here - Atlanta Chapter: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Get-the-Cell-Out-of-Here-Atlanta-Chapter/200414140002345
“If you do not have enough information to make a perfect decision, then err on the side of caution. The first rule of medicine is 'First, do no Harm.’ Wise words no matter what the profession.”-- Brian A. Kuzik MD, MSc, FRCP(C) Consulting Paediatrics, Royal Victoria Hospital of Barrie Assistant Professor of Paediatrics (Queen's University, University of Toronto)
Additional comments: There are many other reasons to oppose the cell tower proposal by T-mobile. The health risk to children is the primary concern to this author. However, additional questions will be raised for consideration in upcoming blogs on this site.