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Cell Tower Hypocrisy: Rescuing Firefighters Not Kids

by Susan Foster

Editor’s note: California is once again in a trendsetting legislative battle with dramatic implications for our collective public health. Big Telecom wants fewer impediments to deliver next generation connectivity: more, faster, e-ver-y-where. It’s time to say: NO. The technology we love is harming us and, most of all, our precious children who absorb ten times more radiation than adults, with their thinner skulls and higher water- and ion-content brains. Please share this post widely. 

Dear Gov. Jerry Brown,

I have a story to share with you. It involves inside information from the telecommunications industry; firefighters and what their brains look like following a five-year exposure to a cell tower outside their station; and a bill currently flying through the California Senate and Assembly.

SB 649 is going to land on your desk sometime in early September.

Veto this bill

As you know, many of us don’t like SB 649. More than half the cities in California comprising more than 2/3 of California’s citizens don’t want this bill to become law.

SB 649 would essentially deregulate the telecommunications industry by giving them the right to force cities and counties to lease available lampposts, buildings, and the right-of-way for cell towers and transmitting antenna which will blanket our neighborhoods and our cities with 5G millimeter waves. 5G, or 5th generation wireless, is virtually untested on human beings. Electrical equipment the size of refrigerators will be allowed, along with back-up generators filled with diesel fuel.

Our exposure to radiation from towers has increased exponentially. With SB 649, California is about to add 50,000 more “small cells” to approximately 300,000 cell towers currently in existence nationwide.

The digital divide will remain a chasm

One of the selling points in legislatures across the country is that 5G will help close the digital divide. That sounds great.

The truth, however, is communications providers have repeatedly demonstrated that they will not make advanced services available to low-income or rural areas unless they are required to do so. SB 649 contains no such requirement. 

Driverless cars over children

Most of all, we’re worried about the most vulnerable among us – our children. In the name of faster downloads, appliances that communicate with smartphones in the Internet of Things (IoT), and driverless cars, what good is all this progress if you are putting our children with their developing brains and rapidly dividing cells at risk?

We don’t want to sacrifice our children’s health just so we can preheat the oven with the touch of our phones allowing us to pop a chicken in to roast the minute we walk in the door after a quick trip to the store in a car that just drove itself.

Wireless radiation and DDT have in common

SB 649 would increase harmful radiation that the World Health Organization’s cancer committee IARC classified a 2b “possible human” carcinogen in May 2011.

This verdict put everything on the RF – EMF spectrum into the same category as DDT, which has been banned in the U.S. since 1972. The vote on wireless radiation wasn’t even close. It was 29 to 1.

The only thing that kept this radiation from being classified as a 2a “probable human” carcinogen was a lack of unbiased animal studies.

Reasons why the NTP study is such a big deal

Well, Gov. Brown, now we have one. And for a country with a paucity of government research on RF radiation since Ronald Reagan defunded the EPA’s research around the same time the cell phone industry was taking in the early 1980s, the U.S. really came through big time with a rat study from NIH’s National Toxicology Program (NTP).

The $25 million NTP study found brain cancer and heart cancer when rats were exposed to full body cell phone radiation, not unlike the 24/7 exposure our children will be receiving if you sign SB 649 into law. 

DNA damage from wireless radiation

And speaking of children, we have a profound desire not only for them to be healthy, but for their children to be healthy, as well. According to Microwave News, there was evidence of DNA damage coming out of the NTP study.

Please keep that, and the protection of our children in mind, when SB 649 hits your desk.

The firefighter exemption tells the tale

In a move that strikes me as a lesson for all of us to absorb, one group of Californians is already protected from SB 649. One’s mind leaps immediately to the unborn, to children, to the elderly, to those who are infirm or disabled.

It is none of these groups.

The legislature has granted an exemption after a 17 year fight for recognition that cell towers were causing them harm, and that group is among the strongest, healthiest among us – the firefighters.

Why? Because they deserve it.

How do I know? Here’s where the story I promised you comes in.

Telecom insider emerges from the shadows

Almost 20 years ago, I was walking our family dog after watching the school bus disappear from sight. From behind a small cluster of palm trees a woman stepped out of the shadows. She asked if we could speak, but insisted on doing so out of sight of passersby. She confirmed who I was, and asked if she had her information correct that I was a medical writer. I said I was, and suddenly the vaguely familiar face had more meaning.

She was the young wife of a telecom executive who lived several streets over. Our children went to the same school. I was then asked by the stranger if I could lead the neighborhood fight against a proposed cell tower being permitted for the golf course surrounding our neighborhood.

I responded with a question that seems almost inconceivable today. “What’s a cell tower?” I was clueless. I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t even question how voice data traveled from one cell phone to another.

The executive’s wife told me she would point out a few faux metal palm trees to me, yet cautioned once I started recognizing these tall metal conduits for radiation from one point to another, I would never stop seeing them. Data was carried on the back of microwaves, she explained, and they could penetrate every living thing – plant, animal. and human.

I asked if she had any science to support this. “Yes,” was her one syllable response. How do I get my hands on the studies, I wanted to know. She reassured me it would be taken care of, and then asked me to tell no one we had talked. Her husband’s job was at risk.

As I was about to continue on a walk that was already in the process of changing my life, I turned back and asked an uncommonly bold question for me, “Am I correct that you were diagnosed with cancer several years ago?” Yes, she had been. My next question was answered even before I asked.

“It’s the children I’m most worried about”

“Some of my husband’s colleagues have had brain cancer. It feels beyond coincidence. They all know at some level it’s dangerous, but they’re making so much money.” She paused, “It’s the children I’m most worried about.” I nodded in agreement about the children. More information was shared before I followed my dog out of the shadows. I struggled to assimilate what I had just heard. The industry knew this stuff caused cancer and they were still permitting cell towers for neighborhoods?

A numbness overcame me the rest of my walk through the neighborhood. The telecom executive’s wife had left me with a daunting challenge. I had to lead a neighborhood fight against a cell tower, yet we had to kill this permit without bringing up health before a city or county council.

Bureaucratic capture of the FCC ties our hands

The Telecom Act of 1996 forbade localities from opposing cell towers on health grounds, only aesthetics. In America?

Seriously? Yes, seriously.

It’s called the preemption clause. As long as the FCC says it’s okay – and that means under 1000 uW/cm2 of radiation for a cell tower – it is presumed safe. Yet the FCC wasn’t a health agency and they didn’t do their own studies. It seems there was a revolving door between the FCC and the CTIA – The Wireless Lobby, leaving me with no reassurance of safety at all. 

I was swimming in a sea of new information that I wished I didn’t know, yet the parent in me longed to know more. My wish was about to come true.

Secret agent in the night, with the science

For the next six weeks, perhaps two mornings a week, I would open the front door to let our dog outside before waking the children. There, placed squarely on the doormat, would be an unmarked manila envelope with two or three scientific studies inside.

This was my first glimpse into what the telecom industry knew in 2001, and has failed to this day to share with the public. A 1994 study by Henry Lai and N.P. Singh of the University of Washington struck me as the most worrisome.

RF radiation could damage DNA in the brain cells of rats.

We beat back the neighborhood cell tower

After an intense six week campaign, we prevailed with the help of a former union official who coached us in planning a march along a boulevard leading to the golf club at the back of the neighborhood. It was strategically timed for the weekend of the former San Diego Chargers’ quarterback Stan Humphrey’s celebrity golf tournament.

We created bad PR for the golf club willing to lease land to telecom, and bad PR for the wireless carrier.

The permit was pulled the day before our march.

Firefighters wanted help, too

Following our success, we were interviewed on TV. A few weeks later, I received a telephone call from a firefighter who had seen me speaking for the neighborhood group. He said their fire station in San Diego was getting hit with 24 antennae on the roof of the station. They were out of money and out of time.

Could I write an appeal?

I said I would try, but explained we couldn’t do so based on health concerns. The firefighters were stunned. These guys risk their lives for us every day of the week and they did not have a right to say they didn’t want 24 antennae on the roof of their fire station because the radiation was a health risk?

How could this be?

Telecom Act of 1996 preempts our rights

Check out Section 332(c)(7)(B)(iv) of The Telecommunications Act of 1996. It preempts zoning authority from local governments. Aside from aesthetics, a city has no voice. 

I wrote the firefighters’ appeal using a safety angle. It bought us time. One cell carrier went elsewhere.

We then worked to educate the fire chief about the dangers of wireless radiation. Fire chiefs often rent out space on the stations. By bringing in more revenue for the city, a chief’s’ job is more secure. But the rank and file pay the price.

It comes down to the age old issue of money.

Canaries in the coal mine… with red fire hats

I began hearing more stories of firefighters who literally could not function in their jobs, as guardians of society. Once cell towers were activated on or adjacent to their stations, many – depending on the location of the tower and the direction the beam of radiation was following — developed severe headaches, insomnia, and foggy thinking.

These are not symptoms we wish to see in our First Responders.

Exposing the truth is what parents do

And so, as parents who care passionately about our children’s futures know to do, I decided to take matters into my own hands. If my own government didn’t care enough to fund studies into the hazards of RF radiation, and if the telecom industry was allowed to get away with threatening universities and funding where good science was taking place, we had to find other ways of exposing the truth.

In 2004, I organized a SPECT brain scan pilot study of firefighters who had been exposed to a cell tower on their station for over five years. We found brain abnormalities in all firefighters tested.

Res. 15 banned cell towers on fire stations

In 2004, I co-authored Resolution 15, which was passed overwhelmingly by the International Association of Firefighters. Res. 15 urging a moratorium on the placement of cell towers on fire stations in the US and Canada based not only on the SPECT scan study of California firefighters, but on existing science.

I then helped the Los Angeles IAFF locals as they aligned with law enforcement unions to fight FirstNET towers on their stations.

There is a solid history of firefighters becoming ill in close proximity to cell towers. There are human and financial costs associated and the state needs to hear their story, Gov. Brown.

The whole country needs to hear their story.

Supermen’s kryptonite: brain damage, infertility

The symptoms experienced by the firefighters who participated in the SPECT brain scan study were similar to firefighters in other stations who live in the shadow of cell towers. 

It is important to note that all the men we studied had passed rigorous physical and cognitive exams prior to being hired by the fire department. In California you have to score in the top 98th or 99th percentile to even be hired by the fire service. These were extremely bright, healthy men. For testing purposes we excluded men who had worked HazMat, as we did not want chemical exposure clouding the picture.

The firefighters’ symptoms after a five-year exposure to a cell tower adjacent to their station included:

  • headaches
  • extreme fatigue
  • cognitive impairment
  • anesthesia-like sleep where the men woke up for 911 calls “as if they were drugged”
  • inability to sleep
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • unexplained anger
  • infertility
  • immune-suppression manifest in frequent colds and flu-like symptoms

Shocking stories of cognitive and other damage

Here is how these symptoms translated to real-life responses when we, as a society, need our firefighters the most:

  • On several occasions firefighters got lost on 911 calls in the town they grew up in. They used to ride their bikes down these streets. Yet they got lost driving a fire engine.
  • In another instance, the emergency bell sounded, and four firefighters awakened from what can only be described as a severe stupor. They got dressed in their protective gear as quickly as they could, slid down the pole, climbed in the truck – two in front and two in back – and just sat in the rig with the alarm sounding in the background. Finally the captain turned to the engineer who was holding the keys in his hand and said, “Hey, aren’t we supposed to be doing something?”
  • A medic with 20 years of experience who had never made a mistake and prided himself on that fact forgot basic CPR in the midst of resuscitating a coronary victim. Because the men knew they were struggling to function in the face of the classic radiation poisoning, they looked out for each other. The captain had been counting chest compressions and took over, but it was a potential risk to the victim and a shattering personal experience for the medic.
  • This is a relatively small fire department, but most of the men were at an age where they were starting families or adding to them. Yet for three years there were no live births among their wives. There appeared to be an inability to conceive, and there were several miscarriages. Three years after the tower was installed, a healthy son was born to one firefighter and his wife. At age two he was diagnosed with autism.

The brain scans of these six men revealed a pervasive, hyper-excitability of the neurons, which suggested the exposure to RF (microwave) radiation was causing the neurons to continually fire without benefit of rest. When neurons (brain cells) cannot rest, they ultimately die.

Yet more immediately, we found cognitive impairment, delayed reaction time, and lack of impulse control in all six men tested.

Holy smokes!

Gov. Brown, if we found this degree of damage in big, strong, previously healthy firefighters, just imagine what SPECT brain scans might reveal in children with thinner skulls, developing brains, and rapidly dividing cells.

FCC guidelines permit even more radiation

The fire station cell tower measured at 1 to 2/1000th of the allowable FCC limit of non-ionizing radiation. That means the towers could be almost 1000 times more powerful than the level the firefighters were exposed to, and still be considered within FCC guidelines. And yet even at these “low” levels of radiation, we found brain abnormalities and measureable neurological deficits.

If your children or other family members become ill as a result of a 5G transmitting antenna on a lamppost outside your child’s bedroom window, the carrier is protected from a lawsuit.

Even more terrifying?

The cell tower that radiated the firefighters was 2G, or 2nd generation technology. With SB 649 we’re talking 5G with its untested millimeter wave used in airport body scanners and the military.

Lesson learned from six brave men

The firefighters’ most important lesson to us as a state, and as a society, may be that if we allow the buildout of cell towers so they become commonplace in front of homes and schools, just as they are now on fire stations, we will be facing not just a growing risk of cancer for ourselves and our children, but a neurological tsunami of illnesses from ADHD to autism to Alzheimer’s.

Do I have statistics to back up the theory that the firefighters whose stations have long been targeted for cell tower placement are harbingers of what is happening to society?

Yes, I do.

Rising ADHD, autism, Alzheimer’s, anxiety

More than one in ten children received an ADHD diagnosis in 2011 according to the CDC, and that represents a 42 percent rise from a decade earlier. Most of the costs were incurred by adults due to productivity and income losses and they’re staggering. CHADD, the National Resource on ADHD, evaluated the costs based on a review of 19 research studies and found for children and adults a range between $143 billion to $266 billion (adjusted to 2010 U.S. dollars).

The Autism Society puts the prevalence of autism in U.S. children as having increased by 119.4 percent from 2000 (1 in 150) to 2010 (1 in 68), extrapolating from CDC stats. Autism services cost U.S. citizens $236 – $262 billion annually.

The rate of people dying from Alzheimer’s disease in the United States rose by 55% over a 15-year period according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control (May 2017). 

According to the Alzheimer’s Organization, Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in America, costing more than cancer and heart disease. In 2017, the direct costs to American society of caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias will total an estimated $259 billion. The Alzheimer’s costs to Medicare and Medicaid alone, for the same year, are staggering; together they will spend an estimated $175 billion caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias – 68 percent of total costs.

If that didn’t make you anxious enough…

The National Institute of Mental Health reported 25% of kids between ages 13 and 18 will experience an anxiety disorder. This is a 20-fold increase fold over the last 30 years.

ADHD, autism, Alzheimer’s, anxiety. And this is just the A’s.

Radioactive isotopes and technicolor brains

Six firefighters had radioactive isotopes injected into their bloodstreams that lit their brains up in diagnostically-meaningful colors. Gov. Brown, you might ask what this has to do with these statistics and numbers? I suggest they may have a lot to do with explaining how the incidence rates of these neurological diseases and disorders got so inexplicably high.

These bold, fearless firefighters may not be your typical canaries in the coal mine, but we brought the coal mine to these grand men and women of the fire service. Many of them are ill, and we need to see them as possible harbingers of what is to come to the rest of us.

Explosion of wireless a causal factor?

Independent research has shown a host of adverse neurological and immunological effects from cell towers.

Is there a correlation of increases in ADHD, autism and Alzheimer’s with an increase in the number of cell towers? The increase in mobile phone subscribers gives a better sense of the trend. There were just over 44,000,000 wireless subscriber connections in 1996. By 2016, 20 years later, there were 395,881,497 subscriber connections according to the CTIA.

Our exposure to radiation from towers has increased exponentially. With SB 649, California is about to add 50,000 more “small cells” to approximately 300,000 cell towers currently in existence nationwide.

An exemption for firefighters but not for kids?

The state clearly honors the sacrifice of California’s firefighters and is concerned about the health risks they face from cell towers. After all, it granted them an exemption from SB 649.

Yet, firefighters are the strongest of the strong. What does that imply for the rest of us?

Gov. Brown, shouldn’t we weigh the risk to our children of untested 5G before deployment of cell towers in front of homes, schools, parks, playgrounds such that our children are bathed in millimeter waves 24/7?

When did wireless become oxygen? There’s nothing we cannot do wired that we’re presently doing utilizing wireless technologies except talk on a cell phone. Let’s consider the risk in that context.

Leading the world, not just California

Your voice was heard around the world in July when crowds cheered in Hamburg, Germany as you announced California would gather leaders from around the world for a global warming summit next year. The New York Times called you America’s de facto leader on climate change.

You will have the power to march in lockstep with half the other states in this country attempting to fast track 5G infrastructure. Or you can tell California – and everyone listening – that we will pause, test, and protect first.

Veto the bill + a moratorium on 5G and IoT

We are asking you to be that leader now, and study the 5G millimeter wave that has the ability to heat skin, eyes, and testes. 5G will be a ubiquitous presence in our lives and in our homes, 24/7, with no “off” switch, no reprieve, and it has never been studied on a human population. Consider all the phones, WiFi, tablets, and a disquieting number of cell towers already in existence.

We do not want a telecom usurpation of local control over our communities, and a blanket of radiation over our homes and our children.

Gov. Brown, put your pen down (please)

Before you sign, we beseech you to pause, bring in independent experts from all over the world, and make California a leader in children’s health over the Internet of Things. Study the effects. Do not let our children become guinea pigs any more than they already are. Please put your pen down, Gov. Brown.

You’ve got mail

I’m asking every concerned parent to mail, email, or fax this letter to you and just say NO to SB 649 and 5G everywhere:

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

Fax: (916) 558-3160

Email link (or manually enter: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/)

Respectfully yours,
Susan Foster

ps. For more information about radiation risks, check out some great FP posts here and here.

Susan Foster is a medical writer who has worked with firefighters on health, safety and policy with respect to cell towers on their stations since 2000. She organized a brain study of California firefighters in 2004 and was the original author of Resolution 15 passed by the IAFF in 2004. She is an Honorary Firefighter with the San Diego Fire Department and a U.S. Adviser to the UK’s Radiation Research Trust.

 

32 Comments

  • Eric Windheim BBEC, EMRS

    This is a truly astounding article: thank you Susan Foster!

    Of course we should immediately call our State Assembly Member and demand they Vote No on SB 649 and call Governor Brown urging him not so sign it.

    If this SB 649 madness is allowed, this article will be a testament to and indictment of our State legislators and Governor Brown who are ignorant of the 1,000s of peer reviewed scientific research documenting pain, suffering, injury and higher mortality directly related to proximity to and duration of exposure to a Cell Tower Antenna.

    Sadly, Political Science seems to trump all other sciences.

    • Susan Foster

      Hot off the press. Today (9/1) the Assembly Appropriations Committee passed SB 649 on to the full Assembly where it will be voted on Sept 5th or 6th. It will be essential to keep up the pressure and call your Assembly member and ask him/her to vote no on SB 649. Use this link to find your rep: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/

  • Ellie Marks

    Fabulous article- so helpful in the battle against this horrific SB 649. Thank you!!!!

  • Elena Mercuri

    Thank you Susan for all your efforts. I am a grandmother now and I started to warn and protect my family who is too busy, like most of our society, to stop and research. I have written to my Mayor, senators and a local newspaper as well as a women’s organization and have gotten no answer yet and I feel I won’t. This 5G technology scared me more than vaccination which was my first fear. I hope our governor leaves a good legacy and takes the right actions or will have to carry the consequences for ever.

    • Susan Foster

      Like you, I hope for a legacy of health from Gov. Brown, Elena. So good of you to be a Fearless Grandparent and do the research for your family!

  • Sharon Noble

    A wonderful appeal to Gov. Brown who hopefully will use all of this information to make the right decision. He could lead the way by setting a precedent for all of North America where microcells are being installed mere feet from bedrooms where children sleep. These microcells hold multiple transmitters and likely very soon at least one will be emitting 5G frequencies.

    Thank you so much, Susan, for this important letter.

  • Eileen O'Connor

    Such an important and informative article. We owe Susan Foster a debt of gratitude for her tireless work and determination to create awareness with regards to the risks for the public especially our children following exposure to microwave radiation. I totally agree It’s time to say: NO. This is a global issue and one that cannot be ignored. It’s time for world to listen and take action before it’s too late.

    Eileen O’Connor
    Director
    EM Radiation Research Trust
    http://www.radiationresearch.org
    Trustee
    PHIRE
    http://phiremedical.org
    Board Member
    International EMF Alliance
    http://www.iemfa.org
    Sent from a hardwired computer

    The EM Radiation Research Trust is an educational organisation funded by donations. An independent Charity Registered No. 1106304 © The EM Radiation Research Trust 2003-2004

    • Susan Foster

      Thank you, Eileen O’Connor! We could use a heavy dose of your brilliant UK activism over here. Please be aware 5G is planned for roll out in the UK and throughout Europe. I wish we had started this level of activism in California and across the country two years earlier. These bills are often pushed through in the summer months when people are on vacation and less able to mobilize. If any country can turn back 5G it will be yours … as long as you’re part of the effort!

  • Holly Manion

    This is a wake-up call for the world. If this brain damage occurred to big strong firefighters than what about the damage that is occurring to our vulnerable young children not just from cell towers but from WIFI in the schools. Every parent reading this should send this article to their school boards and demand we go back to wired computers, turn cell phones off during school hours, and get cell towers OFF of school property. I am writing to Gov. Brown right now, and I hope everyone else does too!

    We absolutely need a moratorium on 5G until there are some independent health studies that relate to children.

    • Susan Foster

      I agree with you on all points, Holly. The cumulative effect from Wifi plus phones and tablets in the classrooms is creating electrohypersensitivity (EHS) in many teachers & students. Teachers have lived longer and their vital organs carry a greater load of toxins; thus the combination of chemicals + radiation appears to be triggering ill health for some teachers even before students. And the students who may seem more resilient now are the unwitting guinea pigs for this still-new technology. Will we see a tsunami of cancer and infertility among our young children as they come of age? To add a layer of 5G and cell towers every 100 yds or so seems insanity, to be honest.

  • S.Austin

    ……and here in Florida the Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Deployment Act passed overwhelmingly in the Legislature. As of 7/1/17 5G is now law. Over 400 cities objected based on the right of way take over. Citizens here are blissfully unaware – the media black out is on. We are bracing for impact ….but we are not silent.

    Thank you for a great article, Susan.

    • SGVH

      That’s terrible news re FLA. :(…..

      Does anyone know if the 5G “mini cells” will show up at AntennaSearch.com or will the telecoms hide them so we can’t tell where they are? I can’t get out to “scout around” physically, so I have to do all my “searching” via internet.

    • Susan Foster

      “There’s a moment when you have to choose whether to be silent or to stand up.” — Malala …

      Congratulations on not remaining silent. And you’re welcome. Louise & Fearless Parent gave me a great opportunity to share an important message and I’m so glad I’ve been able to reach many of you.

  • Nayana

    Thank you Susan for for your relentless pursuit for making general public aware of this fact and fighting upstream for betterment of Humanity.
    Extremely articulate !

  • Martina Nicholson MD

    Thank you Susan, for educating me, and giving me this ballast of data. I am very worried about the risk of brain tumors, and autism rising in our society. Autism is the number one concern of most pregnant women, and we have no testing prenatally to be able to know who might develop it. This information on radiowave energy is the first reasonable answer I have been given for the massive increase. I am an OBGYN. I am now retired, but I care about parents, pregnancy, and the next generation, as a doctor as well as a mother and potentially a grandmother. I am going to send this information and the protest letter to our Congressional reps as well as to Governor Brown and our local state reps. It is important that we listen to the hard science and that we try to protect our society from this danger.

    • SGVH

      To Dr. Nicholson, please contact Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD, out in NW-USA (also youtube videos). He has done studies re mothers/autism-children by literally going back to where the mothers lived/slept when they were pregnant & tested that environment for MWR-RF and DE (“Dirty Electricity”). The mothers with autistic children, their environments had very high readings whereas the mothers who did not have autistic children had had “clean” environments (no “electro-pollution”) during their pregnancies.

      So the game plan for anyone from here on in: Whoever is or wants to become pregnant, buy the testing meters ASAP for MWR-RF, Electric Fields, Magnetic Fields, etc. & test your environment! Smart Meters are also very bad, not just celltowers, cellphones, etc.

      And great article by Ms. Foster!

  • Alex Haua

    I recently retired from Los Angeles County Fire Department and kudos to our local 1014 Union for putting a stop to cell towers being installed in our fire stations. I am more than fully aware about the detrimental effects Rf radiation has on our health, and current research supports this. Our leaders need to step up and put an end to widespread Rf radiation.

    • Susan Foster

      Alex, your local 1014 was heroic in keeping 80+ FirstNET towers off fire stations in Los Angeles. I’ve never seen unions join forces the way you all did in LA — county and city fire, police, sheriff. You were unified and relentless. And you were right to fight the towers. I truly believe it was the fight you all put up in 2015 that helped gain the exemption in SB 649. But the problem is even though fire stations are exempt, firefighters will still go home to house with cell towers on lampposts right outside their homes. I’ve never seen anything like this bill. Please write to Gov. Brown and call your assembly member’s district office and tell them to vote NO on SB 649. Go to this website, put in your address, and hit the link for your Assembly member. We have a chance to defeat this bill if you can get friends/neighbors to make a quick call, as well. http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/

  • Warren

    I always wondered why the International Association of Firefighters. Res. 15 was so well done, especially for an “older” document. Now I know; you wrote it! Great job, then & now.

    • Susan Foster

      Thank you on both counts, Warren. I had wonderful help on Res. 15 from Janet Newton, Dr. Magda Havas, Lt. Ron Cronin (Boston Fire Department – Ret) and Assistant Fire Chief of Emergency Management Joe Foster (Vancouver Fire Rescue Services, British Columbia).

  • Kim

    As the wife of a San Diego firefighter, this has long been a concern of mine…thank you for such a well-written and information-packed article. I’ll be spreading the word and taking more action!

    • Susan Foster

      Kim, thank you to your husband for his service and thank you for your sacrifice. Please share the article within the local IAFF internal network. Many firefighters still have not heard about the brain scan study of their brothers in Central CA, and fewer have ever heard of Resolution 15. I wrote it after we got the brain scan results showing damage in six of the six men tested. I was joined by US and Canadian experts and firefighters to craft the best possible language to call for further study funded by the IAFF. Res 15 passed at the IAFF convention in Boston (Aug 2004) by 80%, but was 1) never funded and 2) never honored. The moratorium on placing cell towers on fire stations was not honored, and never fought for by the IAFF. Right after Res. 15 was introduced, Nextel offered a substantial donation to the DC headquarters to fund a Nat’l IAFF Olympiad. Thus this issue became almost adversarial between the IAFF HQ (Washington DC) and the locals. And as you may know, the chiefs are the ones who tend to lease out the space on stations/the grounds for cell towers. It’s all about education and hopefully this article will enlighten the men/women of the fire service, both administration and rank & file, who read it. Thank you so much for passing the word and the article!

  • MM59

    Sadly, CA is NOT trendsetting. Florida passed HB 687 back in June 2017.
    Tomorrow Sarasota tries to amend their Telecommunication Ordinance to adhere to HB 687 – this is my message to them. Wish me luck

    Good afternoon Commissioners. My name is Marilynne Martin, I reside in Venice and I signed a speaker card.

    You are about to make an important decision today that will affect every resident in the county. This ordinance will result in transmitters being eventually placed down every residential road in the county close to houses, windows where people, children sleep. Transmitting 24/7 with no ability for residents to shut off. The question is – Is it safe?

    I say no, not emotionally, but with sufficient competent evidence that I have previously provided you. My main objection is the RF emission guidelines are outdated and issued in 1996 with much controversy that remains unsettled today due to lack of effort on the FCC’s part. And the Docket to update them has not yet been completed. A critical study on RF emissions commissioned by the FDA to the NTP has not yet been completed. The NTP released partial results in May 2016 because they believed it had significant importance to the public and such results are not trending towards this technology having no non-thermal effects and should not be ignored or war-gamed as the industry is doing. A reminder Commissioners, the current FCC emission guidelines do not protect us from non-thermal effects.

    My assessment, the FCC’s approval of 5G prior to the completion of Docket 13-84 and the NTP study constituents gross negligence of their important duties. Prove me wrong Commissioners with sufficient competent evidence.

    I am tired of the two buttons.

    Button #1 – used by government officials and agencies – “Section 704 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act prohibits me from considering health in these matters.”

    Button # 2 – used by industry – “My equipment complies with FCC guidelines therefore it is safe. In fact so safe like a baby monitor!”

    Commissioners – No more hiding behind Section 704 . When there is sufficient competent evidence that the FCC is not doing their job, Sarasota County Commissioners have a duty to step in to protect the health of its citizens. (Wolfe Please) I want you to make these affirmations today to us, your constituents, if you are planning to vote for this ordinance and back it up with sufficient competent evidence, not hide behind Section 704.

    Industry – I want you to take full accountability for your equipment and not hide behind the FCC – an agency you control. Agree to take full liability for any future health damages regardless of whether your equipment meets FCC guidelines or not. Or back it up with sufficient competent evidence why you should not be liable for your equipment.

    Commissioners – remember that the FCC never addressed the electro-sensitive population as promised. ADA does NOT cover them so Jack Wilhelm can’t protect them. EHS is real, Dr. Gro Brundtlandt, a medical doctor who once run the country of Norway & the WHO, told you so in her own words.

    Commissioner Moran – property rights defender – how does not giving me the right of refusal of this equipment on my property not impede my property rights.

    Remember – the urgency of 5G is that Johnnie has to endure a 30 second download of that crappy Hollywood movie instead of 2 seconds and Mary can’t have her Internet connected toaster. Please note this so-called congestion on the current network has been caused by the wireless industry offering unlimited data plans.

    Commissioners – show me your FACTS and tell me you will amend Section 118-112 of this proposed ordinance and won’t seek indemnification for any health harms resulting from the forced placement of this equipment on residents property.

    Commissioners. This County needs to push back. Do not roll out 5G until the NTP completes their study and the FCC completes Docket 13-84. And if you don’t have the courage to do so, at a minimum put Consent/Right of Refusal in the Ordinance.

    Slow down on 5G and push back on Tallahassee and DC for the sake of your resident’s health.

    Sarasota County Commissioners – Affirmations to their Residents On Ordinance 2017-015

    I, Commissioner Moran, Caragiulo, Detert, Maio, Hines, hereby affirm that the current FCC RF emission guidelines, for which this small cell equipment will presumably comply with under Ordinance 2017-015, will not harm the health of the Citizens of Sarasota.

    I fully support former FCC Chairman Wheeler’s decision to approve 5G for roll-out in our community before the FCC Commission completes Docket 13-84 and before receiving the full report of the National Toxicology Program (NTP) RF rat study report.

    I affirm the above having full knowledge that

    1) FCC guidelines were issued in 1996 under controversy and are based on 1986 and prior scientific evidence and it is undisputed that they a) only protect from heating (thermal), b) only consider acute (short-term) exposure and c) do not take into account vulnerable populations (children, pregnant women, and the elderly),

    2) In 2011 The World Health Organization (WHO) classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B) and many experts are urging the WHO to reclassify it as probably carcinogenetic to humans (Group 2A) ,

    3) The 2012 GAO audit report recommended that the FCC update such guidelines and the FCC opened Docket 13-84 which has not yet been completed,

    4) The FDA commissioned NTP rat study results will not be completed until the end of 2017, however in May 2016 the NTP released partial results showing increased heart and brain cancers consistent with studies that led to WHO classification,

    5) Entities issued permits under Ordinance 2017-015 will not be liable for any health related damages to the citizens of Sarasota if their equipment meets these FCC RF emission guidelines.

  • Janet B.

    Thank you for this article. People are always amazed that when fighting a cell tower at your local planning commission, you can’t cite health concerns, or the city/county may get sued by the big telecom giants if it looks like they based their denial on health issues instead of aesthetics. But at least right now, we still have the ability to appeal to local planning officials. If this bill passes, the telecom industry will have free and total reign over our kids lives. It’s disgusting.

    • Susan Foster

      It is, without doubt, a state by state telecom takeover. And these bills are passing, because legislators receive generous donations from telecom and because many citizens think this will be an answer to dropped calls and slow internet. The truth is 5G is for faster downloads, but that is mainly movies/videos. 5G ushers in a 1984-type world where appliances are literally communicating with each other. And with a touch of The Jetsons, 5G is for self-driving cars. But the resistance to these bills just hasn’t been there. The outrage hasn’t been there. And it needs to be. Sadly, I think it’s going to be too late. People will wake up to see cell towers in their yards or across the street and then be stunned to find out they have absolutely no one to help them. We are losing our rights with this bill. As you pointed out, Janet, we have had precious few rights left. I think most would fight to preserve those rights if they understood these bills better.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Brave lady for being on the front lines to defend our future!

  • Natalie

    I wonder, in part, if this law is about allowing telecom companies to occupy these spaces rent-free.

    I didn’t learn this until the leadership of my church presented the annual budget, but apparently a major cell phone company was renting our steeple to transmit signals! While many people are bemoaning the loss of 25K/year, I’m relieved to see this tenant gone.

    Even so, however, that those cell phone towers are becoming quaint. I now know that telecom is occupying spaces incognito near our homes, schools, jobs, and even places of worship.

    • Susan Foster

      Natalie, you’re right. The law, in part, was written to give telecom the right to occupy county and city property not quite rent-free, but the rents the cities/counties could charge was capped. Thanks to tremendous opposition to this bill from municipalities due to the rent cap and also due to growing opposition based on health concerns, Gov. Brown vetoed SB 649 a few minutes before midnight on Oct 15th. Yet the bill will be back in January with the next legislature — as in most states across the country. You make an excellent point about the hidden towers in church steeples and virtually everywhere. We don’t see the concealed towers, yet what we are all witness to is a growing sense of people becoming ill at younger ages. This is across the board — all age groups. Communities are starting to sue wireless companies where obvious clusters of serious illness show up around a tower that was “guaranteed to be safe” by telecom. These lawsuits are hard to win, because the Telecom Act of 1996 prohibits most lawsuits on health grounds (seriously). But these lawsuits draw attention to a profoundly serious problem parents must raise their voices about if change is ever to occur.

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