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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cell Tower Concerns


I would like to start a thread about the cell phone tower issue.

From what I understand, there is some exposure to the power frequency electromagnetic fields that come from the towers. I did some research and saw an article from the World Health Organization that has made me feel a bit unsure about it all.(http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs263/en/) In the article,it is stated that the ELF's (power frequency electromagnetic fields) are "possibly carcinogenic to humans" and they link a possibility between exposure to them and childhood leukemia.

I really don't know much about the issue but I have read of many schools protesting the use of towers. If some people can talk to either side, then perhaps we, as parents, can be educated about the matter.

It seems like putting them up closer to the gas stations and railroad tracks might be a safer bet. Granted, I am sure that the school could use the $10,000 a year it would be paid, but not at the expense of the children's health.

From what I understand, once that contract is signed, it is very hard to get the company to take the towers down.

Thanks! Lindsay Diamond


michael tyler said...

Thank you Lindsay for bringing this issue to everyone's attention. There are indeed many serious health concerns regarding the radiation effects of cell towers, especially on children, with their relatively fragile and developing nervous systems and brains. Many communities in the US and around the world have chosen to extend the protection and care of their children by not allowing cell towers to be placed on school property. As a community psychiatrist, I appreciate the many social and environmental stressors that contribute to ill health and disease, and I trust our parental instincts to protect our children from the addition of another unnecessary and potentially very harmful stressor.

Sincerely, Michael Tyler, MD

Greenbrier PTO said...

The following is an e-mail reply that Jim Henerson sent to Lindsay Diamond regarding the cell phone tower.

At this time Verizon Wireless is working with the City to amend zoning text to place cell poles on school property. Attached is a timeline for the process. You will notice that there will be an opportunity for all schools and the neighborhoods they serve to have input. Also, I'm sending you a web site about cellular phone

We are moving slowly with this process to make sure everyone involved has input. If you have any questions please feel free to call me (245-2947).

This is the text of the timeline (for technical reasons we were unable to preserve the formatting of the original document. If you would like to see the original, please e-mail us at pto.frogblog@gmail.com.)
The Verizon Wireless Project

Purpose: Verizon Wireless will construct a pole and an equipment shelter on several school sites leased by the school system to enhance their cellular network in the area.

Project Timeline

November, 2007 - Information on the Verizon Wireless Project to the School Board

December, 2007 - Verizon Wireless works with City of Charlottesville to amend zoning text (ZTA)

January, 2008 - School Board will vote to move forward to lease the identified school properties

February/March 2008 - Information about the Verizon Wireless Project is reported to: Planning, Commission, City Council,
The Identified Schools, Neighborhood Associations

April, 2008 - School Board votes on the Verizon Wireless Project lease agreements with the school system.

Anonymous said...

It seems there is no end to the research available on the Internet on both sides of the question of whether cell towers pose a health risk. However, it's hard for me to assess the credibility of that information and the researchers responsible for it. I think it would be great if we could have an expert speak to the PTO objectively about the latest research on this topic. Does anyone else agree?

Does anyone know someone in the area who has a professional familiarity with the latest research surrounding the medical risks (or lack thereof) attendant to cell phone towers? I am sure we all know someone who is familiar with the technology and the issues it raises, but what I am looking for is someone such as a research physician or engineer who has made this area a significant focus of their professional work.

Greenbrier PTO said...

Elizabeth Morgan directed us to the following article that you may wish to review and/or discuss:


Anonymous said...

There is still some work that needs to be done for us to determine as a PTO whether it is safe and advisable to install a cell tower at the school at all, and, in writing this, I don't want to suggest that I either support the tower (I'm still trying to learn about it) or that I think it's inevitable (because I think there may still be an opportunity for CCS to change course), still, I want to post a few thoughts about what I think should be considered IF a tower is to be installed:

1. The revenue dervied from the tower should be at least equal to the revenue that would be obtained from a private property owner. Verizon shouldn't get a break on the fees they pay simply because they are dealing with the school district. The school board should conduct a "market check" before they agree to a lease.

2. Since Greenbrier would be shouldering 100% of any risk that may be associated with "our" tower, 100% of the revenue derived from the tower should be provided DIRECTLY to Greenbrier - no spreading it around the district, no using it to fund central office expenditures.

3. Any revenue derived from the tower should be "invisible" in the budget process. That is, the extra revenue provided by the tower should not be seen as an opportunity to cut back the other funding Greenbrier receives.

4. Verizon should be required to reimburse the city for the costs associated with testing the tower two to four times a year to be sure that it is operating in strict compliance with applicable FCC requirements for radiation. Obviously, if the equipment is not functioning properly Verizon should also have to immediately come out and service it.

Just some thoughts that we might want to consider to make sure that Greenbrier, its students, and staff don't end up shouldering all of the risk for someone else's benefit.

Geoff MacDonald