TOWERS of BABBLE, BAGS OF GOLD:
Cells, Lies and the "Wireless Revolution"
by James Heddle & Mary Beth Brangan
"I have no doubt in my mind that, at the present time, the greatest
polluting element in the earth's environment... more serious even
than global climate change and chemical pollution... is the
proliferation of electromagnetic fields." Robert O. Becker, M.D.
From 1953 to 1976 the Russians irradiated the U.S. embassy in Moscow
with a steady 24-hour-a-day bombardment of radio frequency radiation.
The embassy staff members experienced loss of ability to think, to
concentrate and to sleep. The American ambassador came down with
leukemia and had to be replaced. Then the second ambassador came
down with leukemia and also had to be replaced. Staff blood samples
sent back home for analysis showed DNA damage and a loss of ability
to repair it. Staff dysfunctions continued.
The Russians knew what they were doing. They had reproduced in the
embassy staff the same symptoms they had previously identified under
experimental conditions as "Radio Frequency Sickness Syndrome." They
had proven that radio frequency radiation - RFR - can be used as a
weapon against either a specific target group or against the general
The irony is, this same technology is now being touted as an aid to
The electromagnetic spectrum stretches from so-called "ionizing"
forms of radiation like x-rays, gamma rays and other nuclear
radiation, down through visible light to the so-called "non-ionizing"
frequencies now associated with TV, microwave communication
technologies, cell phones, radar, AM & FM radio and electric power
Research on the biological and human health effects of non-ionizing
frequencies began in the second world war with the introduction of
radar. Studies of military personnel showed evidence of affects on
blood count, mutation, cell reproduction, the occurrence of cataracts
in the eyes, headaches, fatigue and increase in the occurrence of
But there was a war going on. RFR exposure was seen as just another
risk of war and few details of the research results reached the
general public. The "safety" standards developed for military
personnel were based on the so-called "thermal" effects of RFR - the
heating of living tissue in the same way a microwave oven cooks food.
Current U.S. standards of "safe" RFR exposure for the general public
are still based on this "thermal effects" level.
However recent research indicates serious biological and human
health effects at very low, "non-thermal" exposures. The now
documented bio-effects of low level RFR exposure include:
infertility, memory loss, childhood leukemia, adult leukemia, lowered
reaction time, DNA damage, immune system dysfunction, weakened
blood-brain barrier and sleeplessness.
Furthermore, the work of researchers like Dr. Henry Lai, Dr. Ross
Adey and Dr. Jerry Phillips show that such effects as DNA strand
breaks are produced not only by short-term exposure at high
intensity, but also by long-term, chronic exposure to low intensities
- like that increasingly experienced by growing numbers of people
from cell phone towers and microwave communication facilities.
For millions of years, life evolved on earth where the natural
background level of radio frequency radiation has been very low.
Then starting only a hundred years ago, the explosion in wireless
technologies like radio, TV radar and microwave has boosted our
everyday RFR exposure levels by at least ten thousand times.
Our bodies - and each of the cells within them - are like antennas:
exquisitely sensitive receivers AND transmitters of electro-magnetic
radiation. Now, they must function in a new electro-magnetic
environment that already has ten thousand times more RFR than the one
in which they - and we - evolved. And today, a new wireless
revolution is in progress, with the number of cell phones,
communication satellites, microwave antennas and cell phone towers
multiplying daily. That means even more RFR exposure for all of us.
"WHEREVER YOU GO, THERE WE ARE."
In order to grasp the truly staggering implications of this
burgeoning wireless industry "build-out" you have to understand what
the "cell" in cell phone means. Each cell phone tower emits its
signal in "lobes" - a circular "flower petal" pattern with a limited
radius spreading 360 degrees around the tower. This circle of
radiation around the tower is called a "cell." If you're in a cell,
your phone gets good reception. If you're not, it doesn't.
In order to provide "total coverage" for cell phone users, antenna
towers must be positioned throughout the landscape so that their
"cells" essentially overlap - like a tabletop covered with plates.
Cellular One's slogan - "wherever you go, there we are" - takes on
ominous overtones when you realize that no community - rich or poor,
ghetto or gated - will be free of cell towers, which are now going up
in California almost as fast as old growth redwoods are coming down.
Add to this the knowledge that more than 2000 communications
satellites are raining down a constant shower of radiation on our
heads round the clock. Plus military projects like ELF, HAARP and
PAVE-PAWS - designed to control weather patterns, send longwaves
through the earth to nuclear-armed submarines at sea, and even
influence the physical, emotional and mental states of entire target
populations - and you begin to get a sobering picture of the huge and
escalating amount of electromagnetic pollution with which we are
deluging ourselves, our children and the entire biosphere.
Do we know for sure what the effects have been, are, or will be? We
do not. But, despite ongoing, mostly successful efforts by industry,
government and military to confuse, distort, spin and suppress
emerging research data, scientific studies from brave, independent,
honest investigators like Drs. Robert Becker, Lai, Adey and Phillips
continue to raise red flags of danger. New Zealand researcher Dr.
Neal Cherry's recent world survey of recent research studies
documents far more than enough evidence to convince any reasonable,
responsible person that a "precautionary approach" is indicated.
More than enough evidence to support an international call for
halting the lemming-like rush over the cliff of the "wireless
revolution" until we know for sure what we're doing to ourselves -
not to mention all the planet's lifeforms.
PUBLIC HEALTH or CORPORATE PROFIT? Is it "The Economy, Stupid?" Or
the Stupid Economy?
Investment in the telecommunications industry has increased from $20
billion in 1996 to $475 billion in 2000 - an increase of 2,200%. Big
money. Money that can buy politicians and legislation favorable to
industry - like the industry-crafted Federal Telecommunications Act
of 1996, which actually attempts to forbid local regulation of cell
tower placement on the basis of human health or environmental
Big money that allows the industry giants like Motorola to spin the
scientific research to confuse or misinform the public and to
discredit, defund and ruin the careers of scientists whose research
shows "negative effects." Big money that enables the industry to
come into local communities bearing gifts to support legitimate
community needs - like new fire engines, schools and health clinics.
Big influences that can deliberately misinform and confuse good,
beloved people into making unfortunate decisions with nothing but the
highest intentions for the welfare of their community at heart.
Our experiences in researching and producing our new independent
investigative documentary, PUBLIC EXPOSURE: DNA, Democracy and the
'Wireless Revolution' makes us very troubled about the plan to add
new antennas to the existing ones already on the two towers at our
local firehouse. Right next to the village playground. Right over
the site for a projected local health clinic!
It makes us dubious of the Marin Emergency Radio Authority's plan to
site 17 new transmission towers at locations around Marin county -
which already has the highest rates of breast and prostate cancer in
the country - all in the name of "public safety!" It makes us cringe
when ill-informed, but influential opinion-makers dismiss the growing
fact-based popular resistance to the wireless buildout as, "public
And - given the facts documented Henry Lai that RFR like that from
cell towers causes DNA damage, and by O. Ghandi, et al, that the
radiation from a cell phone penetrates further into a child's small,
growing head even more than into our own adult brains - it makes us
alarmed at the fact that gullible, uninformed people are buying
cellphones worldwide at the rate of 25 thousand a day and succumbing
to PR campaigns like the one that shows a picture of a crib and bears
the legend: "No Member of the Family Should Be Without One..."
Award-winning Bay Area documentary producers James Heddle and Mary
Beth Brangan are co-founders of E.O.N, the Ecological Options
Network. www.eon3.net (415) 868-1900 firstname.lastname@example.org For More
Information, Contact : The Council on Wireless Technology Impacts: