USA: Mill Valley blocks faster, smaller cell phone towers over cancer fears

woensdag, 27 maart 2019 - Categorie: Berichten Internationaal

11 sept. 2018

Mill Valley has yet to receive a single proposal to deploy small-cell 5G wireless towers within town limits. That has not stopped officials from blocking the antennae in residential areas altogether. The future is 5G, most telecommunications companies say, but that future will not be coming to this upscale town in Marin County.
Members of the Mill Valley city council voted unanimously last week to block deployments of 5G towers in the city's residential areas by activating an urgency ordinance. The legislation, which is active immediately, allows authorities to enact regulations affecting the health and safety of residents. San Anselmo and Ross have already adopted similar ordinances.
''The urgency ordinance has standards to limit and prohibit the installations of devices in residential neighborhoods, but there is more that we can do,'' Mill Valley Mayor Stephanie Moulton-Peters told the Marin Independent Journal.

The paper said residents from all over Marin ''packed the council chambers'' to urge officials to prevent cell phone companies from building 5G towers in the county.

Their opposition to the towers was stoked by fears they could increase cancer risks and other health problems associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields, including fatigue, headaches, anxiety, learning and memory disorders, heart and sleep problems, and increased cancer risk, according to the EMF Safety Network. The group seeks to keep communities free of electromagnetic fields and wireless radiation.
The 5G towers would enable faster and higher-capacity streaming. The 5G towers are actually smaller than 4G towers, easier and cheaper to install, and emit less radiation, according to TechCrunch.

Though the telecommunications industry has vehemently denied links between health effects and antennae, scientists continue to debate the matter.
''I don't think it's clear that there are health risks, but it's also not clear that there are no health risks,'' Leeka Kheifets, an epidemiology professor at UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health, told the LA Times.
In December, the California Department of Health issued guidelines recommending reducing exposure to radio frequency energy from cell phones.
''Although the science is still evolving, there are concerns among some public health professionals and members of the public regarding long-term, high use exposure to the energy emitted by cell phones,'' said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith in a statement. ''We know that simple steps, such as not keeping your phone in your pocket and moving it away from your bed at night, can help reduce exposure for both children and adults.''

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and his Republican commissioners do not seem to share such fears. In March, the FCC enacted a new policy to make it easier for operators to deploy 5G infrastructure. The new rule removes federal oversight of some small cell deployments, removing obstacles outlined in the National Historic Preservation Act and National Environmental Policy Act.
State and local regulations still apply, hence the efficacy of the Mill Valley ordinance, which is designed to thwart the FCC's new rule.
Mill Valley will look into crafting a permanent ordinance later in the year.

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