Category Archives: tower

Could Wireless Antennas Be the Next Asbestos?

September 14, 2010

Read the entire article by Gloria Vogel in the September 13, 2010 issue of Business Insurance.

Ms. Vogel is the managing director of New York-based Vogel Capital Management.  She begins her analysis stating:

. . . an issue that mimics asbestos and is being ignored by insurers could soon hit their pocketbooks. Simply stated, everyone’s favorite form of wireless communication and commerce depends on radio frequency-producing base station antennas, which emit radio waves and microwaves that can harm humans.

Few insurance claims have been filed to date; but in all respects, RF radiation closely tracks with the early development of asbestos claims.

She continues:

Based upon data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, it is estimated that as many as 250,000 workers a year are compelled to work in close proximity and in front of RF transmitting antennas. When combined with the 15 years this issue has been in existence, the pool of potential claimants could be staggering.

Ms. Vogel clearly delineates the breadth of the issue in her definition of “the wireless ecosystem:”

The wireless ecosystem should not be confused with the much smaller commercial telecom industry. The wireless ecosystem encompasses all FCC licensees (federal, state, local and commercial), site owners, property managers, contractors, third-party workers, the utility industry, hospitals, schools and universities, church organizations, banks/financial institutions, and the insurance industry. It involves every person or entity that may be physically or financially harmed by RF radiation.

Ms. Vogel explains how workers’ antenna exposure differs from cellphone exposure and references the legal precedent from Alaska  that awarded total disability to a worker whose antenna exposure only slightly exceeded the FCC RF radiation safety limit:

The significance of this topic is overlooked by insurers because of confusion between the harmful effects of cell phones and the damage caused by wireless antennas. Because there is no proven link yet established between cell phones and cancer, insurers see little exposure from this risk.

However, there is a marked difference between radiation exposure from cell phones and exposure from wireless antenna systems: The antennas are hundreds of times more powerful. More importantly, there already is peer-reviewed science from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers linking RF radiation exposure to cognitive injuries.

In addition, legal precedent has been established for such claims in AT&T Alascom and Ward North America Inc. vs. John Orchitt; State of Alaska, Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Workers’ Compensation. The July 2007 ruling affirmed a 100% disability award to a worker exposed to RF radiation that only slightly exceeded the FCC human exposure limits.

By doing so, the Alaska Supreme Court established a legal precedent that recognizes the causal link between an RF radiation exposure and cognitive or psychological injuries including reduced brain function, memory loss, sleep disorders, mood disorders and depression.

Ms. Vogel concludes by encouraging the insurance industry to be proactive about worker RF radiation safety and push for a solution from the private sector rather than to wait for government to act:

The insurance industry tends to look backwards at historical claims to project future losses. In cases of emerging risk such as the issue of third-party worker overexposure to RF radiation, it would be far better for the industry to be anticipatory rather than reactive, as claims could develop quickly. It would be in the industry’s best interests to pre-empt the plaintiffs’ bar on this issue and secure a safe workplace for those third-party workers.

P.O. Box 117 | Marshfield, VT 05658 US

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Radiation from phone masts

LETTERS: Radiation from phone masts

Wednesday October 14 2009

Sir, I would like to respond to Dr Nolan’s letter on safety issues with mobile phone masts, published in The Kerryman of October 7.

Dr Nolan is wrong when he says that non-ionising radiation cannot affect living things if it is too weak to generate significant heat. The most obvious examples are the effects of visible light, which is of course non-ionising. Were it not for its effects on chlorophyll, plants would not be able to photosynthesise and, were it not for its effects on our visual pigments, we would not be able to see.

Non-ionising radio frequencies can affect other important pigments; for example, Ritz and co-workers (Nature, Vol. 429, 13th May 2004) showed that they affect the normal functioning of cryptochrome. Birds, bees and other animals use cryptochrome to sense the direction of the earth’s magnetic field for navigation, and radio waves can interfere with this. In fact, the cryptochromes are a family of pigments, present in virtually all animal and plant cells, where they also form a vital part of the biological clock that senses time. In animals that use the sun for navigation, an accurate sense of time is important because it enables them to compensate for its changing position throughout the day.

In the case of the bees, which can use either magnetic or solar navigation, radio waves from mobile phone masts will leave them with little or no sense of direction. This is probably the main contributory factor to the so-called colony collapse disorder in which foraging bees simply do not return to the hive. The bees clearly do not like this sort of radiation since, if you place a DECT cordless phone base station (a surrogate mobile phone mast) next to a hive, the bees leave and do not return. These effects now threaten the very survival of the bee population, which in turn threatens us because many of our crops depend on them for pollination.

However, we humans also use cryptochrome in our own biological clocks, and this may be responsible for the poor sleep patterns often reported in people living near mobile phone masts.
They suffer fatigue during the day and interrupted sleep at night, just as if their biological clocks had ceased to function normally. This sort of disruption is like a permanent jet-lag and is associated with a damaged immune system (which works best at night), and increases the risk of getting cancer and other diseases. The increased risk of cancer, including breast and colorectal cancers, is well established in people whose rhythms have been disrupted by shift working and is now becoming increasingly reported as cancer clusters around mobile phone masts and radio and television transmitters.

However, the most serious biological effect of non-ionising radiation is its ability to disrupt cell membranes. This has been known since the work of Suzanne Bawin and her coworkers in 1975 (Ann NY Acad Sci Vol 247, pp 74-81). They discovered that amplitude-modulated radio-waves, where the signal strength rises and falls (as it does in mobile phones), could remove structurally important calcium ions from cell membranes at levels far too low to generate significant heat.

This makes them leak, which can give a whole range of biological effects that are similar to those of ionising radiation, which also makes cell membranes leak. The mechanism is, however different. Ionising radiation generates highly reactive free radicals, which destroy the fatty components of cell membranes to make permanent holes, whereas non-ionising radiation makes temporary holes as the components of the weakened membrane pull apart from time to time. Nevertheless, the effect is the same; the membranes leak.

In either case, the most serious effect is on the membranes of the lysosomes. These are structures in living cells that contain digestive enzymes and are normally used to digest waste for recycling. When these leak, they can release their enzymes and do serious damage to the rest of the cell, including to its DNA (bacteria, which have no lysosomes, are about a thousand times more resistant to radiation than higher organisms, which do have them).

The effects of non-ionising radiation are slower than ionising radiation. For example, it takes several hours for exposure to mobile phone radiation to do serious damage to the DNA in living cells (see ), but the effects are qualitatively the same.

The result is an increased risk for heavy mobile phone users of getting brain and other head cancers in later life. There has also been a mysterious increase in cancers of the thyroid gland (which is in the neck, close to where you hold your mobile phone), and a permanent reduction in thyroid function has been reported in rats exposed for more than three months to power line frequencies. In humans, this would be expected to lead to obesity and other symptoms of hypothyroidism. About one third of the population is currently overweight or clinically obese.

There is also a reduction in fertility in people using mobile phones for more than about four hours a day as sperm, and possibly also the eggs, are damaged. Another effect of DNA damage is the disruption of cell division in the bone marrow, which affects the production of healthy white blood cells and can lead to a reduced immunity to disease.

Yet another serious effect of leakage is on the blood-brain barrier. This is a layer of cells, where the gaps between them are sealed to prevent unwanted materials entering the brain from the bloodstream. It has been shown that mobile phone radiation makes this barrier leak, which results in the death of neurons, and is likely to lead to early dementia. There are similar barriers covering all of our body surfaces, both inside and out.

Leakage in the skin barrier allows the easier penetration of allergens, and is probably responsible for the recent rise in multiple allergies. Leakage in the nasal barrier will increase the risk of asthma. Leakage in the gut barrier has been linked to autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease, type-1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis, as undigested food enters the bloodstream and damages other cells, which are then destroyed by the immune system. More information on much of this, together with references to the appropriate
scientific journals, can be found at

I’m afraid that Dr Nolan (who is an electronics engineer but not a biologist) is seriously and dangerously incorrect in his claim that weak non-ionising radiation can have no harmful biological effects.


Andrew Goldsworthy BSc PhD
Lecturer in Biology (retired) Imperial College London.

Special thank you to Angela Flynn for making this available.

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ELF Claims Responsibility For Radio Tower Sabotage

Posted: Updated: 6:20 pm PDT September 4, 2009

SNOHOMISH, Wash. — An environmental extremist group has claimed responsibility for toppling two towers near Snohomish owned by a sports radio station.

The Earth Liberation Front group took responsibility for the act on its Web site Friday. The smaller tower stood 149 feet tall and the larger tower stood 349 feet tall.

The radio towers belonged to KRKO in Everett. The station’s president and owner, Andrew Skotdal, said the towers were brought down at about 3:30 a.m. Friday with construction equipment stolen from the site.

He said a banner emblazoned with the word ELF was left at the scene.

VIDEO BACKSTORY: Growing Tensions End In Radio Tower Attack
UNCUT: Phone Interview With ELF Spokesman

The group claimed responsibility in the firebombing of a University of Washington building in 2006, and the FBI said it estimates that ELF has committed more than 600 criminal acts in the U.S. since 1996, resulting in damages in excess of $43 million.

In a news release issued Friday afternoon, ELF cited adverse health effects, harm to wildlife and interference with home phone lines as some of the reasons for their action. Read the full release.

The FBI called the act “domestic terrorism” and said it will lead the investigation of the sabotage.

WATCH IT: FBI Calls Act ‘Domestic Terrorism’

Skotdal said the station was recently granted permits to build the two 199-foot towers in the Snohomish River Valley. Some in the community are upset about the project that has been a source of court battles and controversy for several years.

Lee Bennett leads the group that has been fighting the towers for six years. He said, “I’m not unhappy that it’s down, I am unhappy about the way that it was done.”

SLIDESHOW: Vandals Bring Down Radio Towers

“It goes to show you, people really just did not want this to happen in this valley. It’s a beautiful area and to have a farm of towers go up, it really went against everything else that was natural around here,” said Snohomish resident Elizabeth Grant.

Skotdal said he’s not convinced that ELF is responsible for the vandalism.

“It is important to note that at this time, law enforcement officials have not confirmed who is responsible for this apparent act of vandalism, and are still actively investigating the incident,” he said.

Lieutenant Rick Hawkins of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said calls were received from citizens who said they saw three people running from the scene. A search by police was unsuccessful.

The sign left at the scene of the vandalism. Full Story ››

Video from Chopper 7 showed the sign that read “WASSUP? SNO.CTY. ELF” and another line “(illegible word) abandon this.”

Police said the vandals stole the trackhoe from a fenced yard, broke through a fence surrounding the towers and then used the machinery to pull a main tower and a smaller tower down.

The station remains on the air and will continue to broadcast using a back-up transmitter site until the original towers are operational again, Skotdal said. Repair costs are estimated at $2 million and he said the main tower took about two months to erect.

“For the last 87 years, KRKO has been a vital part of supporting the Snohomish County emergency response network and local charities in addition to providing quality sports and community programming. We will continue to support this community for years to come. Our ability to stay on the air uninterrupted is why our station continues to play a critical role in providing timely information to the community in the event of an emergency,” Skotdal said.

A $25,000 reward is being offered by the station for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible. Anyone with information should call the FBI at 206-622-0460 and indicate they have a tip regarding the KRKO towers.

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Cellphones and Brain Tumors: 15 Reasons for Concern


Contact:  USA – Lloyd Morgan Tel. 510 841 4362 E-mail:

UK – Alasdair Philips Tel. 01353 778422   E-mail:

Cellphones Cause Brain Tumors, Says New Report by International EMF Collaborative

You Tube Introduction:

August 25, 2009. A new report, “Cellphones and Brain Tumors:  15 Reasons for Concern,Science, Spin and the Truth Behind Interphone,” was released today by a collaborative of international EMF activists. Groups affiliated with the report include Powerwatch and the Radiation Research Trust in the U.K., and in the U.S., EMR Policy Institute, and The Peoples Initiative Foundation. Download the report.    ( )

The exposé discusses research on cellphones and brain tumors and concludes:

·      There is a risk of brain tumors from cellphone use;

·      Telecom funded studies underestimate the risk of brain tumors, and;

·      Children have larger risks than adults for brain tumors.

This report, sent to government leaders and media today, details eleven design flaws of the 13-country, Telecom-funded Interphone study. The Interphone study, begun in 1999, was intended to determine the risks of brain tumors, but its full publication has been held up for years. Components of this study published to date reveal what the authors call a ‘systemic-skew’, greatly underestimating brain tumor risk.

The design flaws include categorizing subjects who used portable phones (which emit the same microwave radiation as cellphones,) as ‘unexposed’; exclusion of many types of brain tumors; exclusion of people who had died, or were too ill to be interviewed, as a consequence of their brain tumor; and exclusion of children and young adults, who are more vulnerable.

Lloyd Morgan, lead author and member of the Bioelectromagnetics Society says, “Exposure to cellphone radiation is the largest human health experiment ever undertaken, without informed consent, and has some 4 billion participants enrolled.  Science has shown increased risk of brain tumors from use of cellphones, as well as increased risk of eye cancer, salivary gland tumors, testicular cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia. The public must be informed.”

International scientists endorsing “Cellphones and Brain Tumors: 15 Reasons for Concern” include Ronald B. Herberman, MD, Director Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute; David Carpenter, MD, Director, Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany; Martin Blank, PhD, Associate Professor of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, Columbia University;Professor Yury Grigoriev, Chairman of Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, and many others.

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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday, June 2, to actively seek and support federal legislation to repeal portions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that limit the authority of state and local governments to regulate cell towers and related wireless facilities on the basis of their health and environmental effects.

The vote follows similar action taken by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education at its May 26, 2009 meeting.

The motion by Supervisors Zen Yaroslavsky, Michael D. Antonovich and Mark Ridley-Thomas cited “ongoing debate within the scientific community and among governing bodies throughout the world regarding how thoroughly the long-term health effects of low-frequency electromagnetic and radio-frequency emissions are understood” and “questions . . . regarding how well the existing regulations established by the Federal Communications Commission [FCC] protect more vulnerable populations such as school-aged children, and how well they protect against the cumulative effect of radio-frequency emissions on people who live or work in close proximity to multiple cellular facilities.”

While the City Council of Portland, Oregon passed a resolution in May of this year calling on the FCC to work with the Food & Drug Administration and other federal health and environmental agencies to revisit and update studies on the potential health effects of wireless facilities like cell towers, Los Angeles is the first major local government to directly take on the federal preemption of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

“This marks a major step forward on this issue,” said Doug Loranger of the new nationwide organization Coalition for Local Oversight of Utility Technologies (CLOUT), which is actively seeking to change federal law governing cell towers. “For almost 15 years, local planning and zoning officials, City Council members and Supervisors across the United States have been telling residents concerned about cell tower proliferation that their hands are tied by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 when it comes to health and environmental concerns. We finally have an elected body of one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country willing to say ‘enough is enough’ and take a stand to change this situation.”

The Supervisors’ motion also calls for changes to the California Public Utilities Code (CPUC), which currently limits the authority of local governments in the State of California to regulate wireless facilities in public rights of way. These limitations have provided a convenient loophole for wireless carriers to install antennas on light and utility poles in residential neighborhoods that would otherwise be off-limits to these types of facilities.

“We literally have had people wake up to find cell towers installed directly in front of their homes with no notification or public hearings under the current CPUC regulations,” said Sally Hampton of Los Angeles, who organized the regional Southern California coalition Residents Engaged Against Cell Towers (REACT), which is part of CLOUT. “Thanks to today’s action, the word will start to get not only to our elected representatives in Washington, D.C., but also to those in Sacramento, that laws need to be changed to give local governments more authority to regulate the proliferation of wireless facilities. We applaud the leadership of the Los Angeles County Supervisors, <who collectively represent nearly 10 million citizens>, and call on all local municipalities to join forces with Los Angeles to urge the Congress to repeal those sections of the 1996 TCA which preempts local control and prevents local governments from considering health
effects. Local officials need the power to protect citizens and homeowners and to support smart deployment of better technologies that will benefit all Americans for years to come.”

As part of its efforts on this issue, the Board of Supervisors will be filing comments consistent with its motion with the FCC with regard to National Broadband Policy. Elected officials and members of the public around the U.S. have until June 8 to submit comments to the FCC on the rollout of broadband infrastructure, which forms part of President Obama’s multi-billion-dollar stimulus package.

On April 2 of this year, the European Parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution on Health Concerns Associated with Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) by a vote of 559 to 22 (there were 8 abstentions), which includes the position that wireless telecommunications facilities should not be placed in proximity to schools, places of worship, retirement homes, and health care institutions.

Meanwhile, in the United States it remains illegal for local governments to prevent the placement of wireless facilities near schools and other sensitive locations because of the Telecommunications Act of 1996’s federal preemption.

For more information, including links to the LAUSD, City of Portland and European Parliament resolutions, visit CLOUT’s website at

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You choose

The 20/20 and Larry King videos are viewable at the very top of the page.

Blood Analysis VIEW VIDEO before and after a 15 minute cell call. So much oxygen depletion from red blood cells that it takes about 2 hours for an adult body to recover.


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Workshop on EMF and Health: Science and Policy

Workshop on EMF and Health: Science and Policy to address public concerns,
Brussels, 11-12 February 2009

Venue: Auditorium, Breydel Building, Avenue d’Auderghem 45, 1040 Brussels

Session 2 – The latest assessments

Session 3 – Comparing assessment approaches

Session 4 – Positions from the stakeholders

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