Resident shares concerns over communication towers

Photo by Brian Williams A cell tower next to the Monte Vista City Hall.

MONTE VISTA — “I have some bad news and some good news,” Marianna King told the Monte Vista City Council at their meeting Thursday, June 3, during her presentation on the hazards of communication towers.

King said she became interested in electromagnetic radiation when she lived in Los Angeles and that her interest has continued.

Her presentation came during the public comment portion of the agenda.

“It’s called electronic pollution. Communication towers have been shown to be detrimental to wildlife and of course we have the cranes. And also, to have a negative impact on businesses and the value of property,” said King. These and other findings were detailed in a book that she left them called, “An Electronic Silent Spring: Facing the Dangers and Creating Safe Limits,” by Katie Singer.

King said these towers present serious health hazards. A communication tower stands close to City Hall.

“EMF ‘chronic’ exposure is harmful both short term and long term,” King said.

Though most companies only look at ‘SAR’ measurements (specific absorbed radiation), there is current research showing that EMF exposure causes blood clots, headaches, behavioral problems, visual-auditory disturbances, and cancer especially brain tumors, King said.

“Care should be taken to avoid placing communication towers near residences and schools and I might add City Halls,” King said. “Children are far more susceptible to the effects because their tissues are thinner and softer. Research also indicates nerve excitation resulting in behavior problems in children.”

Physicians for Safe Technology list safeguards that include not allowing communication towers within a quarter of a mile of schools, residences, and businesses, King said.

King said that because of the higher frequencies involved, there will be more 5G antennas in more locations and that care should be taken that no antenna communications towers be aimed low enough to penetrate house walls.

King also said that smart meters communicate at 2.4 GHz and that they will eventually be at 5G frequencies. She said a survey should be done to determine if alias frequencies — frequencies that result when two radiation sources are “cross talking” — will be present at ground level when communications towers are placed.

“In California 136 towns and cities have taken this research seriously and have banned more communication towers and placed restrictions on existing towers,” King said. “I suggest that the City of Monte Vista calls for a citizens task force to investigate the problem further and to make recommendations for action to the City Council. This is necessary to safeguard the health and well-being of people who live and work in Monte Vista.”

King asked to be put on the agenda for the next City Council and said she could answer any questions from city staff or council.

City Manager Forrest Neuerburg said placement of communication towers was regulated by the Federal Communications Commission.

Neuerburg said local authority is preserved in siting cell towers and other antennas and that under 47 U.S. code 332 Mobile Services there is limitation that states “No State or local government or instrumentality thereof may regulate the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the Commission’s regulation concerning such emissions.”

Neuerburg said they have a rigorous set of standards that must be met by anyone wanting to erect a cell tower within city limits.

“If they show that their emissions met the FCC (Federal Communications Commissions) requirements and they have a certification thereof, which they will, and you deny their application base upon health standards — it will automatically be appealed to a Federal court and the city will lose,” Neuerburg said.

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