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Informed consent on 5G ‘small cell’ towers is crucial

A quarter of a century ago, the Federal Communications Commission ruled that non-ionizing radiation from cell towers was safe, and that local governments could make no health or environmental objections to them. The telecoms knew full well that microwave radiation was potentially dangerous as the subject had been studied extensively by U.S. and Soviet military for 30 years and had been developed as a weapon — called “active denial systems.”

The FCC is notoriously known as a “captured” agency. Its commissioners come from the telecom industry, and return to the telecom giants when leaving the FCC. Ajit Pai was a Verizon attorney before his appointment as head of the FCC.

Before 1996, regulation of electromagnetic frequencies — radio, television, etc. — was overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency. In that year, the FCC, which employs no health experts whatsoever, took control of regulating the EMF communication industry. They made their famous ruling that the only problem posed by non-ionizing radiation was due to the heat produced by cell phones when held next to the skin, and local governments could make no objection on health grounds to cell towers.

Since 1996, cell towers and wireless phones have proliferated; new technologies were developed to transmit information; the analog continuous flow of sound waves — the way we hear and transmit sound — was cranked up through digital transmission — 3G and 4G, pushing more data faster; and subsequently, pulsed microwave radiation, called 5G, was developed. Ionizing radiation is the sort used by X-ray machines: dangerous if prolonged; non-ionizing radiation is that used, for example, by airport scanners: not especially dangerous for short periods of time.

It is not true that 5G — or other digital energy transfer — is faster than fiber optic (transmitted through shielded cable at the speed of light), but 5G has the advantage of omnipresence. And for 5G to work, in conjunction with many thousands of satellites deployed by the telecom industry, it needs new antennas to be installed everywhere.

Verizon, one of the largest members of the telecom industry, wants approval from the city’s planning commission for the installation of small cell towers (they’re only small in relation to huge cell towers) roughly every thousand feet in the city; that is, next to homes, businesses, parks. The non-ionizing radiation emitted by these antennas will enable the so-called ‘internet of things’ to work: driverless cars, etc. High speed upload and download within the line-of-sight range of the “small cell” towers. And though this non-ionizing millimeter radiation cannot penetrate through walls (or other dense objects), in conjunction with 3G and 4G EMF radiation, there will be no shielding from omnipresent 5G.

Recently (Jan. 25), several organizations, including Environment Health Trust and Children’s Health Defense (headed by Robert Kennedy Jr.) brought a suit against the FCC before the U.S. Court of Appeals, challenging the FCCs 25-year old assessment that non-ionizing radiation was safe. Such lawsuits before the Court of Appeals are not cheap, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to initiate.

The Appeals Court gave the plaintiffs’ attorney 10 minutes to argue its case, who noted that the FCC has admitted in Senate hearings that the FCC has done no studies about possible negative health effects of EMF radiation, though thousands of independent scientific studies have been conducted exposing its actual and potential dangers.

The sophisticated questions posed by the three-judge Appeals Court panel to the plaintiffs’ attorney gives hope that the D.C. Appeals Court will rule against the FCC’s 25-year control of the industry. Their decision is pending.

The Jamestown Planning Commission, in its last meeting, heard from Environmental Health Trust director,Theodora Scarato, who subsequently provided several studies to the Commission outlining the dangers of small cell tower radiation. It is exceedingly important that the public be aware of biological effects of the new technology; informed consent is crucial, and that it is possible, even under the tight FCC control, to refuse the telecoms’ demands. A case in point is Southwick Mass., where on Jan 19, the city’s planning board denied Verizon approval for a cell tower in their city. But this occurred only after public hearings. An informed public refused to give its consent.

High speed internet can be safe. Fiber optic is the alternative. Literally thousands of studies and hundreds of organizations, national and international, document the negative biological effects of 5G. These include Environment Health Trust, Children’s Health Defense, 5G.org, etc. Some of these studies are available on the local Youtube channel, “Chautauqua Updates.”

Roy Harvey is a Mayville resident.

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