Harm of wireless | Letters

I agree with Alex MacLeod that OPALCO/Rock Island should disclose the locations of existing and planned LTE/cell towers. According to a scientific article, there have been ten epidemiological studies of health effects on those living less than 500 meters (approximately 1500 feet) from wireless transmitters, including cell towers, and “eight of those ten studies reported increased prevalence of adverse neurobehavioral symptoms or cancer in populations living at distances less than 500 meters from base stations. None of the studies reported exposure above accepted international guidelines….” [1] A study of cell towers in Netanya, Israel found that the incidence of cancer in women living near the transmitters was four times that of the general population. [2] A 2002 study indicated that there was a significant increase among people living in the vicinity of cell towers of fatigue (300 meters), headache and sleep disturbance (200 meters), irritability, depression, loss of memory and dizziness (100 meters). [3] In addition to these epidemiological studies, a 2006-2007 study in Kempten West Germany of melatonin and serotonin in the blood of people living within 300 meters of a cell phone tower, before and five months after the installation of the tower, indicated that (1) daytime levels of melatonin increased, and nighttime levels decreased, after installation of the cell tower, which would lead to fatigue and drowsiness and reduced immunity; and (2)in 84 percent of people serotonin levels decreased by an average of 46 percent after the installation of the tower, which would lead to depression and mood disturbances.[4]

Even if one is not entirely convinced by these studies, it would certainly be prudent to site LTE/cell towers at least 1,500 feet from existing residences and schools, and I hope OPALCO/Rock Island will do so. However, for people wanting to buy or build homes in the future, it would also be helpful to know the location of the existing and planned transmitters. OPALCO/Rock Island should list those locations on its website, or at the very least make them available to anyone who asks for them.

I applaud OPALCO for its use of wired connections for its smart meters and most of its broadband delivery since wired connections are safer, in addition to being technologically superior. However, to the extent OPALCO/Rock Island uses wireless transmissions, it should disclose the locations of the transmitters.

Pamela Finley

San Juan Island

1 Int. J. Occup. Environ. Health, 2010 Jul- Sep; 16(3): 263-267.

2 Wolf R, Wolf D, Increased incidence of cancer near a cell-phone transmitter station, Inter. J. Cancer Prev. 1(2): 123-128 (2004).

3 Santini, Study of the health of people living in the vicinity of mobile phone base stations: Influence of distance and sex, Pathol. Biol.(Paris) 50(6): 369-373(2002). 4 See https://microondes.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/the_kempten_west for a report of the study. For a collection of studies of the biological effects of wireless in general, see www.bioinitiative.org