Canada: Onderzoek de gezondheidseffecten van zendmasten mobiele telefonie voordat het te laat is!

zaterdag, 20 november 2010 - Categorie: Berichten Internationaal

In een column in de Canadese kwaliteitskrant Vancouver Sun bespreekt Daphne Bramham de wild-west taferelen bij de plaatsing van zendmasten voor mobiele telefonie, aan nog minder voorschriften gebonden dan in Nederland. Providers hebben vrij spel waar het masten onder de 15 meter betreft (Nederland 5 meter - red.). Omwonenden vrezen daling van de waarde van hun onroerend goed naast zorgen om de gezondheidseffecten. De recente publicatie van Blake Levitt en Henry Lai bevestigde onlangs nog deze zorgen:

Bron: Vancouver Sun 19 nov. 2010

Research risks of cellphone towers before it’s too late

Auteur: Daphne Bramham, Vancouver Sun columnist

VANCOUVER — On Monday morning, Janice Evans looked out from her east Vancouver home and saw a cellphone tower only a few steps away from her property line and rising nearly 15 metres in the air.

She couldn’t believe her eyes.

Evans, her family and neighbours were never consulted, never told that soon they’d be living in the tower’s shadow and within range of the low-level electromagnetic radiation that it emits.

“My biggest concern and what the public needs to know is that this cellphone field is completely lawless,” Evans said. “They can put up a tower anywhere they want to and they’re not bound by any city regulation. I can’t build a deck on my house without a permit, but they can build a tower.”

The City of Vancouver routinely grants permits without requiring neighbourhood consultation if the tower doesn’t exceed the zoning height restriction or block protected views. What it doesn’t do is keep track of how many permits have been granted; even how many towers exist is unknown.

Industry Canada regulates the towers. But it doesn’t require community consultation if towers are below 15 metres, like the one near Evans’s home.

In an e-mail, Sara Holland of Rogers Communications, which owns the tower, said the company followed all of Industry Canada’s requirements. It’s tried to minimize the tower’s appearance by painting it dark green like city utility poles and it has a covered top to hide the antennas.

She added that all of Rogers’s towers comply with Health Canada’s radio-frequency radiation (RFR) standards.

That’s no consolation to Evans and her husband, Kelly Warren, who describe the tower as ugly, out of character with the residential neighbourhood and taller than a nearby apartment building.

They’re worried that its construction has decreased their property value.

More importantly, they’re worried about the health effects.

They’re far from alone, despite placating words from the cellphone industry and national and local health authorities.

But a report written by two Americans and released earlier this month on the National Research Council’s website said research lags so far behind the furious pace of construction that immediate funding ought to be made available to do that work.

Blake Levitt and Henry Lai wrote that the public in many countries including Canada doesn’t have confidence in the existing health standards or the siting requirements for towers.

They note the significant change in cellular phone technology over the past 20 years.

Initially, the systems used longer wavelengths and required infrastructure every eight to 10 miles (13 to 16 kilometres). Now with “digital personal communications systems” that can transmit and receive photos, music and video, towers and antenna are required every one to three miles (1.6 to 4.8 kilometres).

In real terms that means in the United States, there are already more than 250,000 cell sites with thousands of pending applications for more. The report has no corresponding Canadian statistics.

Americans can understand what that means on a micro-level by plugging their addresses into a website ( to find the number of towers and antennas within a three- or four-mile (five- to 6.5-kilometre radius) radius of their homes.

I plugged in two friends’ addresses. Within a 6.5-kilometre radius of the address in Palm Springs, Calif., there are 82 towers, one pending application for a tower and 299 antennas. Within a five-kilometre radius of the address in Portland, Ore., there are 92 towers, one pending tower application and 659 antennas.

Why worry? Levitt and Lai said the only epidemiological research on radio-frequency radiation emissions is “sparse and contradictory.” They note it’s difficult to quantify exposure because of the amount of RFR from myriad personal consumer products.

But they note that current safety standards are based on the thermal effects of RFRs — the ability to heat tissue — but not on subtler, non-thermal effects.

Further, they note that existing research doesn’t account for the specific absorption rate.

Research on cellphone radiation, for example, suggests children may be more susceptible to damage. Levitt and Lai concluded that “the same can be presumed for proximity to towers, even though the exposure will be lower from towers under most circumstances than from cellphones.”

There’s more.

The authors noted that tower emission standards were based on studies of full-body exposures averaged over a short duration (only minutes) and not on the kind of long-term, low-level exposures experienced by people living or working near transmission facilities.

That, they concluded, “raises real questions about the basic validity of predicting specific absorption rates in real-life exposure situations or compliance to guidelines ... at least when one is very close to an antenna.”

It may be that there is no grave risk. But we need that research to be done as quickly as possible.

And, even then, it may just be that people are so addicted to the wireless world that they’re willing to live with the risk, regardless of how high it is.

Voor het originele artikel zie: .

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