Modern technology brings new health hazards with many of its innovations. Chasing the next big thing, it often comes out before it is properly studied, and any health concerns are swept under a rug over the pursuit of money.
One of the major technology movements right now is toward completely wireless and incredibly fast cellular devices. It seems what we have should be enough, and yet, the mobile giants are not satisfied.
Right now, most cellular users have adapted to their smartphones and the 4G system of broadband cellular network. What some may not know is that to make this happen, every U.S. carrier had to install their own cell phone towers and antennas. As of right now, there are 666,418 towers and 1,923,088 antennas in the country (Texas and California lead the way, having the most of them out of all states).
To find out how many towers are around you, you can search by your precise address at AntennaSearch.com.
And now, the 5G network is predicted to be completed before 2020, bringing HD and 3D video, a well as “smart” homes.
Faster internet, a stronger signal, bigger radiation, and even more health concerns all come with this change. At the moment, California is leading the protests against the installation of 5G towers after 50,000 of them were announced to pop up across the state in the next five years (and millions thought out the country).
Not only are these towers certain to increase health risks just by sheer numbers, legislature is also trying to make it legal for the mobile companies to install towers in your very neighborhood without needing any permission from the residents.
Other states are trying to push bills to do the exact same thing (scroll to the bottom of the article for the list of states). If these pass into law, a cell tower may be installed in your backyard with no chance of you fighting back. These new towers can pop up on buildings, such as a school or a library, and even on traffic signs and light polls.
“Neighborhoods would be seeing something the size of refrigerators going up on street poles and could say nothing to stop it,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo to CBS News San Francisco.
Health Risks of 4G and 5G Towers
John Hiestand of Piedmont, California watched as a new Verizon tower was prepared to be installed, completely visible from the bedroom. The tower that would emit radio frequencies (RFs) 24 hours every day with yet not fully known health repurcussions on him and his family.
His concern is especially amplified because his 13-year-old daughter Sophia is a brain cancer survivor. Sophia herself petitioned the city council to deny this tower from going up in their neighborhood.
But the city cannot take any health concerns into consideration. The Telecommunication Act made sure the cell phone companies are protected, that’s for sure. The act was written based on what many call outdated science from 1996 outlining that if cities consider cell towers’ health effects, the cell company can sue then.
“I find it really unfair,” Hiestand said.
Piedmont temporarily blocked small cell towers from being build…and was sued by the company installing the Verizon cell tower called Crown Castle.
While most cities close their eyes to health risks, the people who have already been affected by existing, less strong, 4G cell towers are raising their voices and fighting back.
The International Association of Firefighters opposes cell towers on fire stations after experiencing health problems like headaches, memory issues, confusion, and weakness.
Dr. Gunnar Heuser conducted a study on these firefighters and saw that their brain scans showed cell damage even from low-level RF.
“We found abnormal brain function in all of the firefighters we examined,” Heuser said.
The California bill put fire stations exempt from cell towers, but not because they accepted the health concerns — because firefighters have a strong lobbying force. Unfortunately, for school and for residential neighborhoods, this is not the type of power they have.
Firefighters are saying that the current regulations do not take into consideration the low but consistent negative effects we are receiving from towers 24 hours a day. Many international scientists agree that this is concerning.
Similar complaints are heard from workers who install cell towers. Some side effects are harder to spot such as depression.
“What you see here is a what I would call an everyday crime,” said one worker in a news report, while pointing at a cell tower.
Some may also argue that it is a crime because of how many people may be at a risk from these towers.
Over 230 scientists from 41 nations published more than 2,000 peer-reviewed papers on EMFs and human health and they concluded that there is a “serious concern” about “increasing exposure to EMF” — something 5G towers would do on a grand scale.
Questions and concerns about health are coming from regular residents as well, many of whom already experienced negative health effects on themselves.
One family living near an architecture firm and right below a cell tower located on top of the building had two members diagnosed with cancer. Their story is not rare but heavily under-reported.
Similar personal stories are coming out from other countries as well. Two brothers were diagnosed with brain cancer due to cell tower electromagnetic (EMF) radiation. An international news report estimated that living next to these towers has the same effect as living in a microwave for 19 minutes each day.
If many of the proposed bills for cell towers pass, not only will there be more of them, they will be closer to where people live.
Watch a CBS report about California’s fight against 5G towers:
Watch one YouTuber’s video that compiled some evidence of cell towers’ potentially horrible effects on human (and pet) health:
States with Bills that Will Allow 5G Towers in Your Neighborhood
Like California, other states are at risk for bills that would allow these health-damaging cell towers next to residential homes.
California: Senate Bill (SB) 649 would prevent local authority from intervening with cell tower installation. The bill met heavy opposition, and was vetoed by Governor Edmund G. Brown.
Pennsylvania: Wireless industry lobbyists are fighting to stop local Pennsylvania government from regulating where cell phone towers can be located through the Wireless Infrastructure Deployment Act, backed by Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.
Indiana: SB 213 prevents the cities from rejecting a permit for a cell tower.
Texas: SB 1004 allows street signs, traffic structures, and street lights to be used for cell phone companies to install antennas. Austin and Brownsville filed lawsuits.
North Carolina: HB 310 was backed by the cell phone industry to prevent local intervention.
Minnesota: HF 739 passes on May 20, 2017, but not before 34 changes have been done to it to make it more agreeable to both sides.
Illinois: SB 1451 or the Small Cell Facilities Deployment Act limited local regulation power over small wireless facilities.
Rhode Island: S 0342 or Small Cell Siting Act made way for 5G to freely be installed.
Kansas: HB 2131 allowed small towers to be build without the public’s say. PASSED.
Other states that have similar bills but with fewer current opposition:
Hawaii: HB 625 HD3, Small Wireless Facility Deployment
Delaware: HB 189, Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Investment Act. PASSED.
Arizona: HB 2365
Virginia: HB 2196 and SB 1282
Iowa: SF 431
Florida: CS/SB 596 and HB 687
Colorado: HB17-1193, Small Cell Facilities Permitting And Installation
Washington: SB 5711
Georgia: HB 176, The Mobile Broadband Infrastructure Leads to Development. PASSED.
Missouri: HB 656, Small Cell Deployment Act. FAILED.
Nebraska: LB 389, the Small Wireless Facilities Act.
Wisconsin: Part of the Budget Bill, 2013
There are also a few bills that will try to protect the public. Here are the ones to know:
Connecticut: SB 536 proposes an established statewide plan for building new small cell towers in the public right of way. The bills would give the public some voice. Verizon opposes this bill.
New York: SB 6687 is aimed at prohibiting cell tower equipment to be installed from utility poles. Like in Connecticut, the bill will give a voice to the local government and local residents.
Maryland: A 2016 bill to streamline cell tower installation met local opposition from the residents.
Ohio: SBl 331 originally passed to streamline cell towers despite heavy opposition, but later was found unconstitutional after lawsuits were filed by more than 70 cities.
Complete information on each state is available at Environmental Health Trust.
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