A social media firestorm has erupted to protest the introduction of Facebook’s new Messenger Kids App. The company states that the app, designed for children ages 6 to 12, allows them to connect with family and friends from their tablet or smartphone. Similar to Snapchat, kids can create their own videos and decorate photos. The message however does not disappear and parents can approve the contact list.
Is Wireless Access Being Oversold?
With a tsunami of cell tower infrastructure planned for wireless telecommunications expansion, including 5G and driverless cars, there has been little discussion of the access, reliability, privacy, health and environmental benefits of maintaining and expanding our current sophisticated wired communications system. This novel and important program will feature the costs and benefits of our landlines intermixed with other innovative wired and cable systems.
Two Apple investors have written an open letter to ask the company to address the negative impacts of digital technology on children’s development stating, “There is a growing body of evidence that, for at least some of the most frequent young users, this may be having unintentional negative consequences.”
In a newly released large prospective study headed by Kaiser perinatal epidemiologist Dr. De-Kun Li, researchers found a significant association between high magnetic field exposures from devices emitting non-ionizing radiation exposure and miscarriage risk.
On December 13, 2017 the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Released its first guidelines on “How to Reduce Exposure to Radiofrequency Radiation for Cell Phones” CDPH Press Release Dec 13, 2017 . The CDPH notes that cell phone use is increasing dramatically and thus this was an important time to release it.
Dr. Lennart Hardell has completed an update analyzing the brain tumor case-control studies from 2010 to 2017 and concluded the evidence has strengthened the association between cell phone use and brain tumors on the same side of the head.
The last veto Governor Brown made just before midnight Oct 15, 2017 was that of SB649 (Hueso) which would have fast tracked permitting of small cell towers throughout cities in California. SB649 was opposed by the League of Cities and County Associations as it would essentially force cites to comply with telecommunications placement of cell towers on utility poles owned by the public, add battery back-up cabinets (with gas generators as needed) on every block and with a limit on what cities could charge for “renting” the poles.
August 22, 2017:
Dr. Beatrice Golomb, UC San Diego researcher and professor of Medicine, wrote a strong letter with over 300 references to California Legislators urging them to vote no on SB649. This bill aims to streamline placement of “small cell” wireless antenna on utility poles owned by the city without permits, public input or ability for cities to receive fair market rent from telecommunications companies. Dr. Golomb notes that it is not only removing local government control but also disregards consideration of the health and safety of the public.
The California Alliance for Safer Technology has posted this information on a rapidly moving AT & T bill that will fast track placement of “small cell” antennas throughout our neighborhoods and cities. Here are 8 reasons why you should consider calling your legislator.
Keep Cell Towers Away from Our Homes and Schools!
8 REASONS TO VOTE NO ON SB 649
1. Over 270 of the cities and 45 of the 52 counties in California representing over 2/3 the State’s population oppose SB 649– and the opposition is growing.
“The League of California Cities is strongly opposed to SB 649, which would represent a major shift in telecommunications policy and law by requiring local governments to lease out the public’s property, cap how much cities can lease this space out for, eliminate the ability for cities to negotiate public benefits, the public’s input and full discretionary review,… for the installation of ‘small cell’ wireless equipment.” League of California Cities
2. Major newspapers and organizations have taken a stand against SB 649: Los Angeles Times calls SB 649 “An audacious 5G power (pole) grab.”
The Sacramento Bee explains: “Imagine if a private company decided to place a bunch of equipment on your house and offered you pennies on the dollar to “rent” your roof space. Now imagine that you didn’t have the right to say “no.”
AARP opposes SB 649: “AARP opposes SB 649 because it undermines the authority of local governments and thereby deprives local citizens the right to have a say about where small-cell towers are located in their communities.” (7/19/17 letter to Assembly Appropriations Committee)
3. Firefighters received an exemption in SB 649 based upon health grounds.
Through an exemption in the bill, California legislators accept the need to protect the health of firefighters, some of whom have measurable brain abnormalities following years of exposure to cell towers near their stations. SB 649 is in effect admitting that the devices that will be located in close proximity to homes and schools are likely dangerous. What about everyone else? Don’t we deserve the same protection?
4. Has liability fallen through the cracks and into the lap of the State?
Because SB 649 takes authority away from local government, the State could be assuming financial liability risk for future injury, fire, loss of health and property devaluation due to the close proximity of cell antennas to homes, workplaces and schools. Multiple underwriters, including Lloyd’s of London, refuse to cover injury or damage from electromagnetic radiation (EMF).
“The Electromagnetic Fields Exclusion … is applied across the market as standard.” The exclusion includes: “Bodily injury, property damage, or personal and advertising injury…..provided that such injury or damage results from or is contributed to by the pathological properties of electromagnetic radiation.” CFC Underwriting, UK agent for Lloyd’s of London
5. Contrary to assurances by the telecom industry, the “safety” of wireless exposure has never been established.
In May 2011 the World Health Organization’s preeminent cancer research agency, IARC, classified everything on the RF – EMF spectrum as a possible human carcinogen, putting it in the same category as DDT. This includes radiation from cell towers.
A major $25 million study recently released by the U.S. National Toxicology Program of the National Institutes of Health found increased incidences of brain cancer, malignant tumors of the heart and DNA damage in laboratory animals from exposure levels the FCC considers “safe”!
The American Cancer Society’s statement on the significance of this new study: “The NTP report linking radiofrequency radiation (RFR) to two types of cancer marks a paradigm shift in our understanding of radiation and cancer risk. The findings are unexpected; we wouldn’t reasonably expect non-ionizing radiation to cause these tumors.”
6. Wireless Exposure Standards do not adequately protect public health:
The FCC, EPA and WHO have failed to adequately keep up with this technology and defend the public over the interests of large telecom corporations. In 2015, 225 leading scientists and researchers in the area of EMF and wireless radiation from 41 nations appealed to the United Nations to urge the World Health Organization to exert strong leadership in fostering the development of more protective EMF guidelines, encourage precautionary measures and educate the public about health risks, particularly risk to children and fetal development. International EMF Scientist Appeal
7. SB 649 ushers in widespread exposure to 5G – a new generation of wireless radiation (RF) which has NEVER been tested for its impact on public health.
Ron Melnick, PhD, the National Institutes of Health scientist who led the design of the U.S. National Toxicology Program study that found cancer and DNA damage in laboratory animals from cell phone radiation cautioned: “There is an urgent need to evaluate 5G health effects now before millions are exposed.”
8. Contrary to promises made to disadvantaged communities…SB 649 includes nothing in the text of the bill to remedy the Digital Divide.
“…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, instead allowing providers to pick and choose where to build their networks without any community input.” The Greenlining Institute’s Letter sent June 27th in opposition to SB 649
Please vote NO on SB 649!