EHT Board Member Dr. Moe Mellion former President of the American Academy of Family Physicians, testified to the Teton County Commissioners on the need for caution regarding wireless antennas coming to Teton County neighborhoods.
In addition to Dr. Mellion’s testimony, Dr. Lou Hochheiser, retired Chief Executive Officer at St. John’s Medical Center also gave testimony calling for caution and a more thorough review of the health and environmental impacts before deploying antennas close to peoples homes.
Cities nationwide are enacting protective wireless ordinances to retain as much authority as possible. Several are prohibiting antennas in neighborhoods. Please see key resources on 4G/5G “small” cell (microwave antenna) deployment here.
Wireless radiation installations in Jackson Wyoming
Wed, Mar 27, 2019 at 12:49 PM
Dear Mayor and Councilmen,
First, I would like to tell you about an incident involving microwave radiation back in the seventies when I practiced with Rich Sugden in our office building on the hospital campus. I practiced both family medicine and sports medicine. As part of my sports medicine practice I performed electromyography to search for muscle and nerve damage. The procedure involves inserting a needle connected to an oscilloscope into the patient’s muscle and evaluating both the image and sound produced on the oscilloscope. One day I inserted a needle into a patient’s thigh, and the immediate sound was music radiating from an antenna on Snow King. It came from a single antenna close to a mile away. Imagine the amount of radiation from an antenna on each block!
I hope none of you use the new $200 Apple earbuds. They work beautifully producing excellent stereo sound because they send constant electromagnetic signals back and forth through the user’s brain to balance the sound. There is good evidence that cell phones held next to the ear for several hours a day for many years can stimulate the development of glioblastoma brain tumors. Will the Apple ear buds do the same?
As you can guess, I like to teach by telling stories — only true stories. Let me tell you another one. I doubt that any of you have heard of the parotid glands. There is one in each cheek, and they produce saliva. When I was a student, I was taught that there are extremely rare tumors in the parotid gland and that they only occur in people over 50. They are so rare that I never saw one and I never heard of one in the hospitals where I practiced. Now, there is a surge of parotid gland tumors in younger people on the side where they hold their cell phones for several hours a day. My question to you is whether you want to risk 3G, 4G and 5G radiation every block in the town of Jackson near homes, schools and Businesses?
The last point I would like to make is the difficulty trying to understand the medical literature regarding the risks of electromagnetic radiation. As you know, there are two kinds logic, inductive and deductive. In medicine, inductive logic involves specific observations that form a pattern, such as parotid gland tumors forming in younger people on the side where they hold their cell phones for several hours a day. The pattern leads to a conclusion, which may be true. The more cases in the pattern, the more valid the conclusion.
Deductive logic in medicine usually involve studying a premise in more than one population over a period of time. In studies recently performed by the US National Toxicology Program rats and mice exposed to radiation the equivalent of cell phone or cell tower output were compared to another population of rats and mice in the same clinical situation who were not. Those exposed developed a significant amount of heart and brain tumors; whereas, those who were not exposed did not. For decades studies using the types of rats and mice in these NTP experiments have predicted human results in later studies.
What about human studies evaluating the effects of microwave radiation? They are more difficult to perform because the effects may not occur for ten to thirty years after the onset of significant continuing exposures. There are some good studies underway, but they will take many years to yield solid results. There have been some weaker short term studies as well, but, for good reasons, their results are controversial. There are, unfortunately, many “sham” studies, some financed directly or indirectly by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA). Typically, they study cell phone use for a short time each day (often ½ hour) and/or a short period such as two years. The results are predictably negative.
I hope you find this information helpful in understanding real and potential problems with microwave radiation.
I would be happy to respond to questions and concerns. Unfortunately, because I will be leaving town for a two month trip April 7th, I will miss the April 8th Council meeting. I will, however, be available by email while I am gone.
Morris B Mellion, MD
To the Jackson Town Council from Tom Factor
Dear Town Councilors,
I have been a resident here for 19 years. In reviewing the draft “Wireless Telecommunication
Facility Design Standards”, I see that Exhibit A contains only the external physical characteristics of the proposed utility pole placements for wireless units. It addresses the appearance and fan sounds only. It does not contain any information on the electrical safety, wattage, or radiation levels. With this permit the applicant will be allowed to place equipment that is potentially unhealthful and unsafe to people and wildlife in the public right of way.
Our community and economy is based on our unique location in the Tetons. It is a haven for
wildlife and people seeking a healthy lifestyle. This is our aesthetic. 5G towers in particular have
been shown to confuse wildlife ability to migrate and navigate. Bee populations wither in the
vicinity of these towers as they interfere with the structures in the bees that allows them to
The 5G tower proposed are uniquely close to the ground and close to walkways and residences.
Previous cell towers on Snow King are far from public places. Their signal is strong near the
antenna but the antenna is not in an area close to homes or public places. These new towers
would bring the strong signal adjacent to people and wildlife. There is significant research
showing increases in brain and heart cancers due to long term exposure to the frequencies
radiated by these towers.
The FCC does allow the permitting agency (Town of Jackson) to address this in the FCC Ruling
We conclude that aesthetics requirements are not preempted if they are (1) reasonable, (2) no more burdensome than those applied to other types of infrastructure deployments, and (3) objective and published in advance.
Finally, in order to establish that they are reasonable and reasonably directed to avoiding aesthetic harms, aesthetic requirements must be objective—i.e., they must incorporate clearly-defined and ascertainable standards, applied in a principled manner—and must be published in advance.1 “Secret” rules that require applicants to guess at what types of deployments will pass aesthetic muster substantially increase providers’ costs without providing any public benefit or addressing any public harm. Providers cannot design or implement rational plans for deploying Small Wireless Facilities if they cannot predict in advance what aesthetic requirements they will be obligated to satisfy to obtain permission to deploy a facility at any given site.
While the FCC does not consider the largely untested health consequences of the significantly
higher exposure to microwave radiation that these towers emit, it is certainly the responsibility
of the Town of Jackson have time to understand and mitigate these risks in its Ordinance. The
FCC does not have the authority or the personnel dedicated to studying health risks. That is the
job of the Public Health authorities. The Town of Jackson should have a clear recommendation
on health and safety of these towers before making a ruling.
I suggest (as a first draft) that the Ordinance be amended to include:
“Whereas the aesthetic of the Town of Jackson community adjacent to Grand Teton National
Park is that it provides a unique habitat for its abundant wildlife and a healthy mountain
lifestyle, therefore the Applicant shall be required to address the health and safety of the
proposed tower location for people and wildlife by providing the following with its application:
- Specification of the wattage, broadcast footprint, and frequency of the tower.
- A map of radiation levels and footprint for the frequencies broadcast from the tower.
- A statement from the Wyoming Department of Health on the safety of the radiation levels from the tower.
- A statement from Wyoming Game and Fish on the safety of the radiation for wildlife.”
“Furthermore, the Town shall solicit comment from other stakeholders and review information
provided on these aesthetic health and safety issues for each tower proposed in its consideration of issuing a permit for construction and operation.”
“The Applicant may not make any future upgrades or changes to the wireless tower without
seeking a new permit for these changes and repeating the submission of the information
required as listed above.”
“In addition, towers shall not be permitted in residential neighborhoods or within 1,500 feet of
homes, walkways, roads, businesses, or public spaces.”
This type of language has been adopted successfully by many other Townships (see attached).
The Ordinance could always be amended in the future when more definitive research on
health, safety, and setbacks is available. But for now an abundance of caution is warranted. We
do already have good wireless service in the Town of Jackson.
Thank you for your consideration,
Peer Reviewed Science on Wireless Antennas from Environmental Health Trust
“Small cells” are microwave antennas (basically shorter cell towers) rapidly being installed in public areas on utility poles and street lights in front of homes, parks and schools. Just like cell towers, these wireless antennas generate and emit microwave radiofrequency (RF) radiation to transmit 2G, 3G and 4G network signals. Companies soon plan to add a new technology called 5G which will use current 4G technology plus even higher frequencies. The higher frequencies include millimeter-wave emissions that were not previously released into public areas.
Companies state that these 4G and 5G antennas will increase the wireless radiation levels in the area so much that they are working to loosen several governments’ radiation limits in order to roll it out. More than 240 scientists published an appeal to the United Nations to reduce public exposure and called for a moratorium on 5G citing “established” adverse biological effects of RF radiation.
A Sampling of the Published Research That Documents Adverse Effects of RF Exposure
Cancer epidemiology update, following the 2011 IARC evaluation of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields is a comprehensive research review of RF effects in human and animal research. The review concludes that scientific evidence is now adequate to conclude radiofrequency radiation is carcinogenic to humans (Miller 2018). Several previously published studies also concluded that RF can “cause” cancer, for example, Hardell 2017, Atzman 2016 and Peleg 2018.
The US National Toxicology Program (NTP) Study on Cell Phone Radiation found “clear evidence” of cancer, heart damage and DNA damage in a $30-million study designed to test the basis for federal safety limits (NIEHS). The heart and brain cancers found in the NTP rats are the same cell type as tumors that researchers have found to be increased in humans who have used use cell phones for over 10 years. Thus, researchers say this animal evidence confirms the human evidence (Hardell 2019.)
The Ramazzini Institute (RI) Study on Base Station RF was another large scale rat study that also found increases in the same heart cancers as the NTP study found—yet the Ramazzini rats were exposed to much lower levels of RF than the NTP rats. In fact, all the RI Ramazzini radiation exposures were below FCC limits, as the study was specifically designed to test the safety of RF limits for cell tower/base stations (Falconi 2018.)
Tumor promotion by exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields below exposure limits for humans” is a replication study that used very, very low RF exposures (lower than the Ramazzini and NTP study) and combined the RF with a known carcinogen. Researchers found elevated lymphoma and significantly higher numbers of tumors in the lungs and livers in the animals exposed to both RF and the carcinogen, leading researchers to state that previous research (Tillman 2010) was confirmed and that “our results show that electromagnetic fields obviously enhance the growth of tumors” (Lerchl 2015).
5G Wireless Expansion: Public Health and Environmental Implications is a 5G research review that documents the range of reported adverse effects of RF and millimeter waves—effects range from cancer to bacteria growth changes to DNA damage. The study concludes that “a moratorium on the deployment of 5G is warranted” and “the addition of this added high frequency 5G radiation to an already complex mix of lower frequencies, will contribute to a negative public health outcome … from both physical and mental health perspectives” (Russell 2018).
“The Human Skin as a Sub-THz Receiver – Does 5G Pose a Danger to It or Not?” and “The Modeling of the Absorbance of Sub-THz Radiation by Human Skin” are two papers by physicists presenting research that found higher 5G frequencies are intensely absorbed into human sweat ducts (in skin), at much higher absorption levels than other parts of our skin’s tissues (Betzalel 2017, Betzalel 2018). The researchers conclude, “we are raising a warning flag against the unrestricted use of sub-THz technologies for communication, before the possible consequences for public health are explored.”
“Exposure of Insects to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields from 2 to 120 GHz” published in Scientific Reports is the first study to investigate how insects (including the Western honeybee) absorb the higher frequencies (2 GHz to 120 GHz) to be used in the 4G/5G rollout. The scientific simulations showed increases in absorbed power between 3% to 370% when the insects were exposed to the frequencies. Researchers concluded, “This could lead to changes in insect behaviour, physiology, and morphology over time….”
“A review of the ecological effects of RF-EMF” reviewed 113 studies finding RF-EMF had a significant effect on birds, insects, other vertebrates, other organisms and plants in 70% of the studies (Cucurachi 2013). Development and reproduction in birds and insects were the most strongly affected. As an example of the several studies on wildlife impacts, a study focusing on RF from antennas found increased sperm abnormalities in mice exposed to RF from GSM antennas (Otitoloju 2010). Studies on bees have found behavioral effects (Kumar 2011, Favre 2011), disrupted navigation Goldsworthy 2009, Sainudeen 2011, Kimmel et al. 2007) decreasing egg laying rate (Sharma and Kumar, 2010) and reduced colony strength (Sharma and Kumar, 2010, Harst et al. 2006). Research has also found a high level of damage to trees from antenna radiation (Waldmann-Selsam 2016).
“Towards 5G communication systems: Are there health implications?” is a research review that details how research has found that millimeter waves can alter gene expression, promote cellular proliferation and synthesis of proteins linked with oxidative stress, inflammatory and metabolic processes.” The researchers conclude, “available findings seem sufficient to demonstrate the existence of biomedical effects, to invoke the precautionary principle” (Di Ciaula 2018).
Research on People Near Cell Towers Links Exposure to Adverse Effects
“The Impact of radiofrequency radiation on DNA damage and antioxidants in peripheral blood lymphocytes of humans residing in the vicinity of mobile phone base station” is a research study that compared people living close (within 80 meters) and far (more than 300 meters away) from cellular antennas and found that the people living closer had several significant changes in their blood predictive of cancer development (Zothansiama 2017). Researchers controlled for various demographics, including the use of microwaves and wireless in the homes.
“Mortality by neoplasia and cellular telephone base stations” is a 10 year study by the Belo Horizonte Brazil Health Department and several universities in Brazil that found an elevated relative risk of cancer mortality at residential distances of 500 meters or less from cell installations (Dode 2011). Shortly after this study was published, the city prosecutor sued several cell phone companies and requested that almost half of the city’s antennas be removed. Many antennas were dismantled.
A 2019 study of students in schools near cell towers found their higher RF exposure was associated with impacts on motor skills, memory and attention (Meo 2019). Examples of other effects linked to cell towers in research studies include neuropsychiatric problems, elevated diabetes, headaches, sleep problems and genetic damage. Such research continues to accumulate after the 2010 landmark review study on 56 studies that reported biological effects found at very low intensities, including impacts on reproduction, permeability of the blood-brain barrier, behavior, cellular and metabolic changes, and increases in cancer risk (Lai and Levitt 2010).
Cellular Antennas Create Measurable Increases in Radiation in the Area
A 2018 article published in The Lancet Planetary Health points to unprecedented increasing RF exposures (Bandara and Carpenter 2018). Another key finding from Zothansiama 2017 was that homes closer to antennas had measurably higher radiation levels—adding to the documentation that antennas increase RF levels. An Australian study also found that children in kindergartens with nearby antenna installations had nearly three-and-a-half times higher RF exposures than children with installations further away (more than 300 meters (Bhatt 2016).
A 2018 multi-country study that measured RF in several countries found that cell phone tower radiation is the dominant contributor to RF exposure in most outdoor areas exposure in urban areas was higher and that exposure has drastically increased. As an example, the measurements the researchers tool in Los Angeles, USA were 70 times higher than the US EPA estimate 40 years ago.
Doctors Letters on 5G and Wireless
LETTERS FROM ORGANIZATIONS AND OTHERS
Letter from Law Office Of Harry Lehmann to State of California, “Liability for Damage From Microwave Radiation Exposure Sustained by Senate Bill 649 Will Be Shifted to California State”, July 19, 2017
SCIENTIFIC COMMENTS TO THE FCC
TOP 5G RESOURCES
- Facts About 5G: This EHT webpage has a quick summary of what you need to know about 5G small cells. We recommend that anyone interested in 5G start here to get an overview of the issues.
- Factsheet on 5G and Health. This factsheet PDF is hyperlinked to scientific resources and key facts about 5G and is best sent electronically to others. 5G Factsheet in Color, 5G Factsheet in Black and White
- EHT webpage on Protective US City Ordinances that attempt to minimize the small cell roll out in neighborhoods. EHT has compiled ordinances from around the country that you can download and use in your city. This page is critical to provide to your city officials who are interested in what other cities are doing.
- Re-Inventing Wires: The Future of Landlines and Networks: White paper on wired technology as the solution.
- “Wireless Silent Spring” by Cindy Russell MD is an article published in the Santa Clara Medical Association Magazine on the environmental impacts of 5G.
- Briefing on 5G Impacts by Dr. Martin Pall: “5G: Great risk for EU, U.S. and International Health! Compelling Evidence for Eight Distinct Types of Great Harm Caused by Electromagnetic Field(EMF) Exposures and the Mechanism that Causes Them”
- 12/ 20/2018 “Summary of Proposed FCC Small Cell Order”: A critical read with Q and A on the FCC order that strips local authority.
- 10/2018 Memo: “Federal Law Does Not Prohibit the County from Imposing Stricter Procedural Requirements on Wireless Facilities Than on Other Pole Attachments”