FCC Must Update Cell Tower Safety Regulations, Say Health and Environmental Advocates

Washington, D.C. – Citizen-activists are being urged by Citizens for Health, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, and the EMF advocacy group, ElectromagneticHealth.org, to contact their representatives in Congress to request the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to update its obsolete cell tower safety regulations.

The FCC’s cell tower safety regulations need to be revised immediately because:

1) WHO has classified RF Radiation as a “Possible Carcinogen”
Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF), as emitted by cell towers, have been classified by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a Class 2B “Possible Carcinogen”. (http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2011/pdfs/pr208_E.pdf)

2) Current Regulations Have Long Overlooked the Harm from RF Radiation’s “Non-Thermal” Biological Effects
Since the FCC set its safety guidelines for radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF) in 1996, new science has accumulated that makes clear “non-thermal” effects from cell towers, Wi-Fi and cell phones are at least as important as the “thermal risks” considered by the agency when it wrote the current rules fifteen years ago. To protect public health, FCC regulations need updating to reflect the new evidence of harm well below current exposure guidelines. (See Pathophysiology Vol 16, August 2009: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/issue/5138-2009-999839997-1345066 and http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/A10-018)

3) Biological and Health Effects from RF Radiation Are Widely Occurring In Both Adults and Children
A vast body of scientific evidence has accumulated pointing to wide-ranging biological disruption to adults and children from wireless radiation, include immune, neurological, cardiovascular, cognitive and endocrine system disruption, as well as DNA damage and potentially irreversible harm to the genetic code. (See Seletun Scientific Statement http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetic-health-blog/the-seletun-statement/).

4) Evidence for RF Damage to the Ecosystem is Mounting
Biological effects from RF Radiation are occurring in wildlife and nature. Research shows adverse effects on organic life, including trees, house sparrows, storks, tadpoles, mice, bees and bats. These effects include infertility, changes in mating behavior, disruption to migratory patterns and even deaths. RF impact on small creatures, consumed by larger animals, and on crop pollinators, extends to us all and urgently needs government’s serious attention. (http://vimeo.com/17268728)

To protect the public from risks from radiofrequency radiation (RF) the FCC must establish new safety guidelines for cell towers, Wi-Fi and cell phones that reflect the current science showing harm to human health, wildlife and nature.


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David Carpenter, MD, Director of the Institute for Health and Environment, and former Dean, School of Public Health, State University of New York, Albany, states:

“Beyond the strong evidence for an association between wireless radiation with cancer, there is increasing evidence for effects on the brain and behavior—effects on memory ability, on IQ, on learning ability. We should have a government that pays much more attention to this issue, and our government has ignored it totally. “

Carpenter adds, “I urge citizens to write members of Congress, write their local representatives, write their School Board members, and demand that actions be taken to reduce exposures, both to the children and to the general population. This is an urgent public health issue and citizens must insist government respond to the present evidence in an expedited manner to protect the public health.”

Whitney North Seymour, Jr., Esq., former New York State Senator, former U.S. Attorney and a co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council, says:

“In 1996, Congress directed the FCC to adopt safety regulations for cell transmission antennas.  These FCC standards were based on earlier studies created almost twenty years ago using even older data.  They are obsolete. The substantive evidence of harm from wireless radiation is overwhelming. It is imperative members of Congress request the FCC update the obsolete cell tower safety guidelines to reflect the current science.”

He adds, “Scientists have determined that within 1,500 feet of a cell tower all sorts of immediate physical discomforts occur, like sleeplessness, attention difficulties, headaches and cardiovascular irregularities. Within that radius cancer rates have been found to be three times higher. It is essential citizens use our country’s democratic process and be heard by members of Congress. Tell them, “I am your constituent. The FCC’s inaction is harming me and my family. Please do something about it!“

Environmental and Civil Rights Public Interest Attorney, Gabriel North Seymour, Esq., says:

“Don’t sit on the sidelines. Don’t think you are powerless. Urge your legislators to require safety zones and setbacks from cell towers to protect people, birds and wildlife—all organic life on earth—before it is too late.  Legislators fear one thing above all:  not to be re-elected.  Let your legislators, Congresswomen and Senators, know that as one of their constituents, your vote, and that of your friends, depends on your legislators taking action on this very serious matter.”

Robin Bernhoft, MD, President of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine says, “People who live near cell towers and antennas are in jeopardy. The science is increasingly clear that there are biological effects from both acute and chronic exposures to non-thermal microwave radiation. It is essential we have a government that puts the public’s health above commercial interests.”


Relevant Excerpts From the Seletun Statement on the Need for New Exposure Guidelines:

“The Seletun Scientific Panel recognizes that the body of evidence on EMF (e.g. electromagnetic fields, including RF radiation from cell towers) requires a new approach to protection of public health; the growth and development of the fetus, and of children; and argues for strong preventative actions. These conclusions are built upon prior scientific and public health reports documenting the following:

1) Low-intensity (non-thermal) bioeffects and adverse health effects are demonstrated at levels significantly below existing exposure standards for telecommunications and power utility technologies in developed and developing countries.

2) ICNIRP and IEEE/FCC public safety limits are inadequate and obsolete with respect to prolonged, low-intensity exposures common today.

3) New, biologically-based public exposure standards are urgently needed to protect public health world-wide.

4) It is not in the public interest to wait. Instead, governments should take decisive action now to protect biological function as well as the health of future generations.”

“Strong concern has been voiced by the public, and by scientists as well as public health and environmental policy experts, that the deployment of technologies that expose billions of people world-wide to new sources of EMF (e.g. electromagnetic fields, including RF radiation from cell towers) pose a pervasive risk to public health, and may pose a serious risk to future generations. Such exposures did not exist before the ‘age of industry and information’.  A rapidly accumulating body of scientific evidence of harm to health and well-being constitute warnings that adverse health effects can occur with short-term and prolonged exposures to very low-intensity EMF (e.g. electromagnetic fields, including RF radiation from cell towers) at biologically active frequencies or frequency combinations.”

Given the existing potential for global health risks from ongoing radiation from electromagnetic fields, the Seletun Scientific Panel says governments should educate and warn the public, implement measures balanced in favor of the Precautionary Principle, monitor compliance with directives promoting alternatives to wireless, and fund research and policy development geared toward prevention of exposures and development of new public safety measures, as well as new, safer communications technologies.


Proactive Steps by Citizen-Activists Can Make All the Difference in Causing Member of Congress and the FCC to Take the Necessary Steps to Protect Public and Environmental Health from Electromagnetic Fields

 “I have no doubt in my mind that at the present time,

the greatest polluting element in the earth’s environment is the

proliferation of electromagnetic fields.”

– Dr. Robert O. Becker, MD, orthopedic surgeon, author, pioneering researcher in the field of bioelectricity and twice nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in medicine.


If you receive no response from any of your elected representatives, follow up and ask for a copy of the letter the representative sent to the FCC. Keep at it until the letter is received, plus any agency response. Thank each elected official and ask them to follow up.

If the elected representative provides a copy of his/her letter to the FCC, you may want to provide a copy of that letter to his/her local newspaper.

Media Contacts:

Jim Turner, Esq.
Chairman, Citizens for Health
o. 202-462-8800

Camilla Rees
crgr@aol.com or Emily@electromagnetichealth.org
917-359-8450 or 415-992-5093

David O. Carpenter, MD
Director, Institute for Health & the Environment
University at Albany, SUNY
Tel: (518) 525-2660

Note to Media: For access to other scientists, physicians and attorneys, please contact Emily@ElectromagneticHealth.org

PDF of “Making Cell Towers Safe”


PDF of “How to Communicate With Congress”


PDF of Business Wire Press Release


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Comments (1)

The Red Bluff cell towers are burning too hot. We can smell an off metallic taste in the air and the rain does not fall. Visible rain “shadows” form in a circular pattern around the area and yesterday at 10 am I saw visible brown lines in the high clouds for a few seconds before the lower clouds closed over. The weather channel does not show the satellite images of our cloud cover. Remember when you could see a lot of detail, like during fires, etc. Cannot get a cloud cover map. Some forestry people in the nearby mountains are measuring higher levels of barium and aluminum in the rainfall.

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