Despite health risks, San Bernardino, CA Catholic Archdiocese plans cellphone tower at kids school for profit
By Martin Hill
Despite widespread and outspoken parental opposition to plans for a cell-phone tower on a Catholic school campus, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Bernardino, CA is downplaying risks and insisting they will go forward with the plan.
Sacred Heart Church, which also operates a parish school, is located in Rancho Cucamonga on Foothill Blvd. and Interstate 15, across the street from a Walmart.
Verizon is building the tower and the church will receive income from it. As of late February parents were threatening to remove their children from the school for health concerns and pleading with city bureaucrats to help them stop the tower. The Archdiocese persists in downplaying all concerns, but the evidence points to many valid arguements against the tower, especially when children will be subjected to the proximity for years on end.
In the end, the free market will be the deciding factor in whether parents pull their children out of the school. But the Diocese stubborn insistence on the tower for mere financial profit reflects very badly on church officials. The parents currently have an online petition which states, in part, "DO WE REALLY WANT A CELL PHONE TOWER AT SACRED HEART PARISH SCHOOL? NO! PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE HEALTH OF OUR CHILDREN, STUDENTS AND FACULTY OF SACRED HEART PARISH SCHOOL BY SIGNING THIS PETITION." The petition currently has 310 signatures and lists a goal of 400. Let's give them 3,000 signtaures and put pressure on the Diocese to do the right thing. The 'Target' recipient of the parent's petition is listed as Auxiliary Bishop Rutilio del Riego.
Despite the fact that the Diocese spokesman is parroting government platitudes about "safety", anyone with a properly-formed conscience should look into the issue and determine that there is more than enough evidence to warrant an immediate rejection of the cell tower on school property. The government, after all, told Americans that the air was safe to breathe in New York after 9/11, and told people that x-raying their feet in shoe store "fluoroscopes" was safe, too. Everyone knows that the government is not reliable and can not be trusted.
For example, the U.S. Office of the Inspector General in 2003 released an official findings which stated that the White House instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to give the public misleading information about the safety of the air in New York. Christine Todd Whitman, head of the EPA and the person who announced that the air was "safe to breathe" on September 12, 2001, later refused to testify to Congress on the matter. Sick and dying victims later had to sue the government and battle it out in court. The New York Police Department, in addition to memorializing the 23 officers killed on the day of 9/11/01, also includes a list of 50 officers who died in the aftermath of cancer and other illnesses, as a result of being "Exposed to toxic smoke and other hazards."
There is a wealth of credible medical, scientific, and legislative information that builds an air-tight case against the towers close proximity to children. AntiCellTowerLawyers.com is an exceptional website, a comprehensive source with all the information one could need, all in one place. Their links page includes "Links to videos, news articles and other records of cancer and leukemia clusters around Cell Towers;" "Expert studies from around the world, regarding the adverse health impacts of RF emissions, including those from Cell Towers;" "News of governments, other than the United States, banning Cell Towers near Schools," as well as "Links & information reflecting the Federal government's ongoing efforts to strip local governments and citizens of any power to defeat or even slow down, the installation of thousands of Cell Antennas, with virtually no government oversight or regulation."
The site notes, for example, that the paper "Health Effects from Cell Phone Tower Radiation" By Karen J. Rodgers is "An excellent introduction, in plain english, to (1) the well-established health risks associated with Cell Towers, (2) how the wireless industry has manipulated the U.S. government into stripping citizens' rights to challenge the installation of Cell Towers based upon health concerns, and (3) how, to the delight of the wireless industry, the FCC has deemed "safe" levels of RF emissions to be 5,000 times higher than the levels deemed safe by other countries." "A Cellular Phone Tower on Ossining High School?" includes extensive reference to scientific papers and government documents citing adverse health effects from cell tower radiation.
Not surprisingly, establishment groups and corporate media take the side of big business and defend the towers rather than the people. The American Cancer Society downplays the risks, stating, in part, "Laboratory studies have looked at whether the types of RF waves used in cell phone communication can cause DNA damage. Most of these studies have supported the idea that the RF waves given off by cell phones and towers don't have enough energy to damage DNA directly." Fox News reported on the issue, concluding "proponents of safe cellphone use are heavily backed by popular science -- at least for now."
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops documents on Catholic Social Teaching, declares that "The economy must serve people, not the other way around;" "our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgment (Mt 25:31-46) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first;" and that "human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected."
Instead of arrogant dismissiveness of parents concerns, Church leaders need to humbly and seriously consider all the implications of this issue. Hopefully the Bishop of San Bernardino will stick to Church doctrine, put the long-term safety of the children first, reject the ""god of mammon" and adhere to the teachings of Jesus Christ: "No servant can be in the employment of two masters at once; either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will devote himself to the one and despise the other. You must serve God or money; you cannot serve both." Luke 16:13
Below are a lot of good links, studies and news reports on the matter.
Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, Whittier Daily News, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened, Infowars, PrisonPlanet, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Veterans Today, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense, Antiwar.com, IamtheWitness.com, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, Jonathan Turley blog, National Motorists Association, RomanCatholicReport.com, Republic Broadcasting Network, WorldNetDaily, Dr. Kevin Barret's Truth Jihad radio show, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 Los Angeles, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI 640, The Press Enterprise, Redlands Daily Facts, BlackBoxVoting, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com.
Association of Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO, CLC:
**Note: A pilot study was conducted in 2004 of six California fire fighters working and sleeping in stations with towers. The study, conducted by Gunnar Heuser, M.D., PhD. of Agoura Hills, CA, focused on neurological symptoms of six fire fighters who had been working for up to five years in stations with cell towers. Those symptoms included slowed reaction time, lack of focus, lack of impulse control, severe headaches, anesthesia-like sleep, sleep deprivation, depression, and tremors. Dr. Heuser used functional brain scans - SPECT scans - to assess any changes in the brains of the six fire fighters as compared to healthy brains of men of the same age. Computerized psychological testing known as TOVA was used to study reaction time, impulse control, and attention span. The SPECT scans revealed a pattern of abnormal change which was concentrated over a wider area than would normally be seen in brains of individuals exposed to toxic inhalation, as might be expected from fighting fires. Dr. Heuser concluded the only plausible explanation at this time would be RF radiation exposure. Additionally, the TOVA testing revealed among the six fire fighters delayed reaction time, lack of impulse control, and difficulty in maintaining mental focus...
tower debate rages on in Oakville
"Studies show that people who live near cell phone antennas have a greater risk of developing certain types of cancers and of suffering from symptoms called electrosensitivity (sleep disorders, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, dizziness, nausea, and cognitive disfunction). Firemen are already exposed to cancer-causing agents in the line of duty. The smoke they inhale is carcinogenic so they need to pay particular attention to their health. These chemicals and the radiation from cell towers can interact to be even more powerful carcinogens. Studies with rats show that microwave radiation promotes growth of cancer cells at levels below Heath Canada's Safety Code 6 Guidelines.
Studies of fire fighters, from a fire hall in California that had cell antennas installed on the roof 5-years earlier, showed that these fire fighters had abnormal brain activity based on SPECT scans, which the doctor in charge of the study attributed to microwave radiation. For these reasons fire fighters should not be exposed to radiation from cell phone antennas and the related power transformers that are placed on fire hall property.
Recently new radiation norms were adopted by India and the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) had set September 1 as the deadline for the telecom operators to adhere to them. As per the new norms, the operators were mandated to reduce the radiation levels by 1/10th of the current levels, thus making it 0.9 watt/m2. Furthermore, it was announced that operators who are found flouting these rules would be heavily penalised. While many welcomed this news, the critics were quick to point out that even this was not safe... Even with the absence of scientific data to determine their role, there are many who are convinced that these towers are indeed death traps. And their belief is backed by the instances that have been witnessed in the country, be it the Kaiswal family from Jaipur where three family members were detected with cancer after installation of mobile phone towers five metres away from their house, or the Usha Kiran building in Mumbai that cited three cases of brain tumour that were attributed to the mobile phone towers installed on the rooftop of an adjacent building. While some may shrug these off as mere coincidences, several housing societies have now come forward to protest against these towers...
...vocal amongst them is Prof. Girish Kumar, Electrical Engineering Department, IIT Bombay. He has conducted extensive research in the field and has presented his findings to DoT, but his suggestions have so far been ignored. He opines that the current radiation levels, even after being reduced, are high and can cause health troubles in the long run. Having himself experienced the ill effects of radiation owing to the nature of his work, he warns others of the ill effects. He is quite critical when voicing his opinion. He says, "I have met with industry bodies and even government officials with my research. Earlier I used to think that these people were not knowledgeable, so I thought let me make them aware about the health problems, but now I know better. They are akin to the cigarette industry and are waiting for millions of people to die. They will keep denying that there are any health problems. Now they have stopped saying that there is no evidence, what they are saying instead is that there are no concrete evidence."
Dr. Magda Havas illustrates that the microwave radiofrequency radiation at a
cell tower measures at 11k microwatts. Her youtube channel is here and
features many videos on the matter.
Cell Phone Towers a Possible Cause for Cancer?
President's Cancer Panel: Environmentally
caused cancers are 'grossly underestimated' and 'needlessly devastate American
"The true burden of environmentally induced cancers has been grossly underestimated," says the President's Cancer Panel in a strongly reported report that urges action to reduce people's widespread exposure to carcinogens. The panel today advised President Obama "to use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase health care costs, cripple our nation's productivity, and devastate American lives."
- Dr. Magda Havas, PhD. Antennas & Towers archive
- Dr. Katherine Albrecht radio program on cell towers
- Dangerous Radiation From Hidden Cell Phone Towers
- CELL TOWER INVASION: The World Health Organization (WHO) established the International EMF Project in 1996 to assess the possible health effects of RF exposure
- BUSINESS WIRE: New Report Recommends FCC Require Minimum 1,500 Feet Setbacks for Wireless Infrastructure near Schools
- News Video: SCHOOL CELL TOWER DENIED
- Santa Cruz school closes, citing cell phone tower
- Video: Microwave Radiation From Cell Antenna and Towers on Oakville Firehall
- The Ontario English Catholic Teachers- -- - Association is one of the first teachers- -- - associations to come out opposed to Wi-Fi in the classroom.
- American Association for Cell Phone Safety
- Ehow.com: Cell Phone Tower Radiation Danger
Connecticut House of Representatives passes bill to restrict the installation of Cell Towers within 750 feet of a School, by a vote of 139-0 - Bill now heads to the Senate.
- Oregon School Board Votes to Ban Cell Towers on School Properties, and to oppose the installation of Cell Towers on Adjacent Properties OregonLive.com
- Los Angeles Board of Education formally condemns the placement of Cell Towers near schools, and requests that the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors demand that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 be revised to allow local governments to consider the potential adverse health impacts upon children. December 8, 2009 - Full Resolution
- "There is no safe level of microwave radiation for children" RadiationEducation.com - Video
School District votes to oppose all Cell Towers within 305 Meters of its
"When it comes to protecting children, you take as few chances as possible."
- Citing Health Concerns, European Parlament Adopts Resolution to Keep Cell Towers a Safe Distance From Schools April 2, 2009 - Full Resolution
- New Ruling Supports School Cell tower Ban in Maryland
- "Radio Frequencies emitted from mobile phone towers will have deleterious medical effects to people within the near vicinity according to a large body of scientific literature. Babies and children will be particularly sensitive to the mutagenic and carcenogenic effects of the radio frequency radiation. It is therefore criminal to place one of these aerials on or near a school" -Helen Caldicott, MD, Pediatrician and co-founder of Physicians For Social Responsibility
MEDICAL STUDY: Biological effects from exposure to electromagnetic radiation emitted by cell tower base stations and other antenna arrays By B. Blake Levitt and Henry Lai. "Abstract: The siting of cellular phone base stations and other cellular infrastructure such as roof-mounted antenna arrays, especially in residential neighborhoods, is a contentious subject in land-use regulation. Local resistance from nearby residents and landowners is often based on fears of adverse health effects despite reassurances from telecommunications service providers that international exposure standards will be followed. Both anecdotal reports and some epidemiology studies have found headaches, skin rashes, sleep disturbances, depression, decreased libido, increased rates of suicide, concentration problems, dizziness, memory changes, increased risk of cancer, tremors, and other neurophysiological effects in populations near base stations. The objective of this paper is to review the existing studies of people living or working near cellular infrastructure and other pertinent studies that could apply to long-term, low-level radiofrequency radiation (RFR) exposures.
News Release - May 29, 2009 LOS ANGELES BOARD OF EDUCATION MEMBERS VOTE TO PROHIBIT CELL PHONE TOWERS NEAR SCHOOLS #08/09-340
Los Angeles - The "Wireless Telecommunication Installations" resolution, which opposes the location of cell phone towers in close proximity to schools, was introduced by Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member Julie Korenstein and adopted earlier this week by the Los Angeles Board of Education. This resolution will ensure individuals, especially children, are protected from the potential health effects associated with exposures to extremely low frequency electromagnetic and radiofrequency radiation. "With this resolution, we will continue to protect our children by working with cities, counties, and local municipalities regarding cell phone towers," said Korenstein. "With their help, we will provide safer schools for many generations to come."
"Please see the attached resolution opposing siting of that cell tower passed by a vote of the PTA general membership on September 13, 2010.
There continues to be considerable debate and uncertainty within the scientific community as to the potential health effects to individuals, especially children, from exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic and radio-frequency radiation. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/National Institutes of Health recently concluded that enough evidence exists to support the classification of electromagnetic fields as a possible human carcinogen. In California, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors passed a resolution calling for a 1500 ft. distance between a cell tower and a school or day care center. Therefore, we request the Portland City Council and the Office of Cable Communications & Franchise Management to reject Clearwire's cellular tower application. And, we petition the City Council to revise city policy to explicitly prevent the location of cellular telecommunication towers within 1500 ft. of sensitive communities such as schools, day care centers, and residential neighborhoods."