News & AP-FCC eyes cell tower NEPA impact
RCR Wireless News
Long-term RF study on animals starts amid exposure limits
by BY JEFFREY SILVA
* May 05, 2003
WASHINGTON-Controversy has erupted in efforts to bring radio-frequency
radiation exposure guidelines in line with a global standard,
a change a
leading scientist claims would make America's mobile-phone
the weakest in the world.
The debate is playing out in a committee of the Institute
and Electronics Engineers, which is working on revisions to
RF standard for mobile phones and base stations.
Much of the world adheres to the RF standard of the International
Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. The ICNIRP
based on a specific absorption rate of 2 watts per kilogram
over 10 grams of body tissue, takes into account the largely
cartilage-comprised outer ear, or pinna, in terms of radiation
The IEEE, whose current standard is based on 1.6 watts per
averaged over one gram of human tissue, wants to exclude the
consideration in the new RF standard. Thus, the ear would
be subject to
a looser radiation safety limit otherwise reserved for hands,
forearms, feet, ankles and lower legs.
"By relaxing the SAR limit for the pinna ... we would
harmonization with the ICNIRP standard for cellular telephones
create the most lax RF standard in the world for these globally
devices," said Dr. Om Gandhi, of the University of Utah,
in a March 28
letter to Richard Tell, chair of IEEE's Risk Assessment Working
"The ramification for this major departure from ICNIRP
handheld cellular telephones," continued Gandhi, "can
when one realizes that the ICNIRP guideline has been adopted
not only in
Europe, but also in Asia, Australia, and elsewhere."
In a March 15 letter to Gandhi, Tell pointed out that IEEE
near unanimous in supporting a less stringent radiation safety
the ear and that mobile phones increasingly do not reach their
radiated power anyway.
"As a matter of fact, the trend has been to reduce the
transmit power as
the technology has evolved," said Tell.
Whether that trend will hold as wireless carriers roll out
next-generation color phones-fueled by high-speed processors
data-intensive content-is unclear.
All health lawsuits brought against industry to date have
for lack of scientific evidence.
Federal health and safety officials plan to travel to North
later this month for a briefing by National Institute of Environmental
Health Sciences officials on a $10 million long-term animal
largest of its kind in the United States-that is being developed
Research Triangle Park, N.C.
The National Toxicology Program, a unit of NIEHS selected
by the Food
and Drug Administration for the project, will investigate
controversial issue of non-thermal effects that some studies
to mobile-phone radiation.
"The existing exposure guidelines are based on protection
injury from thermal effects for RFR exposure. Current data
insufficient to draw definite conclusions concerning the adequacy
these guidelines to be protective against any non-thermal
chronic exposures," states a fact sheet published by
the NTP in March.
The Environmental Protection Agency has embraced the same
the RF standard.
The wireless industry downplayed the NTP document and challenged
notion that radiation safety guidelines may not give the nation's
million mobile-phone subscribers adequate protection.
"The statement by NTP is virtually unchanged from the
issued last year in the 2002 NTP Fact Sheet," said Jo-Anne
president for external and industry relations at the Cellular
Telecommunications & Internet Association. "The standards-setting
in the United States as well as those in other parts of the
continually reviewing the latest research to determine if
are required," added Basile. "They have recommended
protective measures beyond the substantial measure of safety
built in to the current standard. The FDA, the Federal Communications
Commission, the National Institute for Occupational Safety
the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the
EPA, as well
as expert scientific panels around the world, have been consistent
their view that the existing federal guidelines are sufficient
protect the public health. CTIA and the wireless industry
always supported sound, independent and well-focused research.
Additional focused research provides public health agencies
upon which to base standards, public policy and guidelines
the public's health."
Last month, EMR Network President Janet Newton and Jeff Munger,
legislative liaison to Sen. James Jeffords (I-Vt.), met with
Commissioner Michael Copps to seek FCC action on a 2001 petition
states the current RF standard is dated and does not reflect
newer studies-including those showing non-thermal effects.
Dr. Ronald Melnick, head of the RF research program at NTP,
animal study could help clarify the non-thermal effects question.
not predicting that we will find something or that we will
something," said Melnick. Melnick said equipment alone
will cost $1.5
million to $2 million. The remaining $8 million will cover
administration of lifetime animal studies. Requests for proposals
the latter will go out this fall, he said.
FYI, this is in response to the case we are litigating on
Friends of the Earth, Forest Conservation Council, and American
Ronald A. Shems
Shems Dunkiel & Kassel PLLC
87 College Street
Burlington, Vermont 05401
(802) 860 1003 (voice)
(802) 860 1208 (facsimile)
eyes cell tower impact on birds
The FCC will study and police how the growing number of cell
broadcast towers affects migratory birds, millions of which
each year when they run into the towers.
Posted on Thu, May. 01, 2003
FCC to Study Impact of Cell Phone Towers
WASHINGTON -Federal regulators launched a broad effort Thursday
and police how the growing number of cell phone and broadcast
sprouting across the country affects historic sites, Indian
land and the
Federal Communications Commission Michael Powell said his
work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to study why
birds fly into towers. An estimated 5 million to 50 million
birds die in
such accidents each year, according to Fish and Wildlife.
there's a problem, and towers are one of the possible causes,"
said. "We don't know exactly how or why." Researchers
lights on the towers attract the birds. Powell said more research
needed to understand the problem and the role of lights and
and design. Powell said the new plan is the FCC's first comprehensive
effort to protect the environment and historical sites while
the installation of communications equipment. The FCC intends
more staff, improve cooperation with industry, toughen enforcement
environmental rules and possibly change regulations.
The cell phone industry expressed concern. "Dead spots
and dropped calls
can only be eliminated by new cell sites," said Tom Wheeler,
of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association.
actions that delay or complicate the process of building a
network for our consumers are particularly unhelpful."
Powell said the FCC also would work to ensure that American
tribes are consulted when towers are proposed for sites that
historic, cultural or religious significance. There are more
100,000 communications towers in the United States, including
for cell phone signals and television and radio broadcasts,
the FCC. The vast majority of those towers are taller than
200 feet and
have lights to prevent aircraft collisions.
Several environmental groups are suing the FCC over communications
towers near the Gulf of Mexico, where many birds stop during
fall migrations. The groups want the FCC to review the danger
before towers go up and keep birds away from existing towers
devices like noisemaking machines.
Al Manville, a biologist with Fish and Wildlife, said the
FCC effort is
a good start and that "we need to look at the bigger
picture - the
effects of towers on things like wetlands and fisheries and
and Wildlife Service background on the issue is online at
ENVIRONMENTAL AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION ACTION PLAN - STATEMENT
FCC CHAIRMAN MICHAEL K. POWELL. News Release. News Media Contact:
Meribeth McCarrick at (202)
418-0654 or David Fiske at (202) 418-0513 OCH
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Meribeth McCarrick (202) 418-0654
May 1, 2003
David Fiske (202) 418-0513
AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION ACTION PLAN
Statement by FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell
In recognition of the importance of deploying communications
consistent with the mandates of National Environmental Policy
1969 (NEPA) and the National Historic Preservation Act of
1966 (NHPA), I
have asked Commission staff to develop the agencys first comprehensive
strategic plan to improve our ability to protect valuable
environmental resources, while at the same time accelerating
of deploying necessary communications infrastructure. One
Commissions critical responsibilities is to manage the expansion
communications infrastructure in a way that best preserves
environmental and historic resources. Additional communications
and other infrastructure improvements are critical to the
deployment to the American public of ubiquitous, advanced,
competitive communications services, as well as for public
homeland security. Although the Commissions statutory obligations
longstanding, I have recently concluded that the expanding
telecommunications infrastructure requires the Commission
to take a more
proactive approach to these issues.
As part of this action plan, I intend to work with my colleagues
initiate a series of proceedings designed to enhance our expertise
environmental and historic matters and modify our rules as
(2) work with the industry and government to develop more
effective communication; (3) examine our processes for streamlining
opportunities; and (4) enforce the rules swiftly and effectively
create incentives for parties to follow the required processes
construction. This plan highlights the Commissions commitment
out its responsibility for communications deployment, environmental
protection, and historic preservation.
The Federal Communications Commission has specific responsibilities
pursuant to NEPA , NHPA, and other related statutes to evaluate
impact of its actions on the quality of the human environment.
responsibilities most prominently come into play regarding
construction of communications towers and their impact on
environment and historic sites, including Indian historic,
I look forward to working with my fellow Commissioners, Tribal
governments, State and Local goverment organizations, and
counterparts at other Federal agencies to implement these
- FCC -
Informant: Janet Newton at EMRNetwork
reception" - a victory case
After Don Maisch's recommendation, I ordered the movie "Bad
about a community struggle (and victory!) against Sprint company
wanted to erect cellular antennas.
The common sense of the people managed to win while not even
the health argument. Sprint cellular company lose it when
it has to
deal with FACTS. The representative just didn't do homework
as good as
the citizens, and the community showed who's the boss here.
Recommended for fighting communities, most of them have this
detail in common.
To buy the movie, contact Doug Loranger, E mail:
Informant: Iris Atzmon
To evaluate the influence of electromagnetic waves (EMW)
caused by mobile phones on sperm motility
13 men with a normal spermiogramm regarding the WHO criteria
included in our study. After a GSM-mobile phone was not carried
during 5 days a first spermiogram was analysed. Four weeks
second spermiogram was performed. Five days before this second
spermiogram, men carried the mobile phone on the belt and
used it 6
hours a day intensively. Spermiogram parameters of the first
spermiogram were compared.
Rapid progressive spermatozoa were reduced significantly
in the second
spermiogram compared to the first. Decrease was from (mean)
32.3 % (SD ±
6.13) to (mean) 26.1 % (SD ± 6.5), p = 0.0004. In addition
there was a
shift to an increase of progressive spermatozoa from mean
24.8 % (SD ±
3.62) to 29.7 % (SD ± 6.11), p = 0.01. All other spermiogramm
like semen volume, density and morphology did not differ significantly.
Our data suggest a decreased motility of rapid progressive
caused by electromagnetic waves of GSM-mobile phones. These
have an impact in counselling subfertile men.
Source: M. Davoudi, C. Brössner, W. Kuber: Der Einfluß
elektromagnetischer Felder von Mobiltelefonen auf die
Beweglichkeit von Samenzellen, J Urol Urogynäkol 2002;
9 (3): 18-22
Informant: Reinhard Rückemann
bio-disater is a myth says two Irish professors of applied
physics and medical physics!
Hi Klaus: The following letter appeared in yesterday's (Tuesday,
2003)edition of THE IRISH TIMES. One of the writers--Dr.Philip
Professor of Applied Physics--is a well-known critic of research
indicates adverse bio-effects from radiation. Last entry of
teaching interests (listed online) at NUI (National University
Ireland), Galway, is an "Annual Radiation Safety Course"
and he has
noted among his research interests "interested in and
advice on ionizing
and non-ionizing radiation safety." Professor Walton's
late father was
the Irish 1951 Nobel prize-winning physicist, Dr. E.T.S. Walton,
whose honour a prestigous "Walton Visitor Awards"
in research funds for
visiting overseas researchers was established in NUI, Galway.
Yesterday's letter reads as follows:
"EFFECTS OF CHERNOBYL DISASTER
Madam, - We would like to respond to a report on the effects
Chernobyl in your edition of April 26th by bringing to people's
attention the best scientific evidence on the subject.
Probably the most authoritative source of information on
effects of the Chernobyl accident is the 2000 Report of the
Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation
(UNSCEAR) which was presented to the UN General Assembly on
2000. The accompanying press release stated: 'There have been
1,800 cases of thyroid cancer in children who were exposed
at the time
of the accident,
and if the current trend continues there may be more cases
next decades. Apart from this increase, there is no evidence
of a major
public health impact attributable to radiation exposure 14
years after the accident. There is no scientific evidence
in overall cancer incidence or mortality or in non-malignant
that could be related to radiation exposure.'
In addition it should be noted that the recovery workers,
of whom there
were about 380,000, received very much larger exposures than
population. Also the thyroid cancers are very treatable so
have only been a handful of deaths among the 1,800 cases.
It is also worth noting that, despite common perception,
not report any increase in birth defects that could be attributed
radiation. It is of interest to note that such cases were
observed among the Japanese atomic bomb survivors who are
extensively studied by UNSCEAR.
Chernobyl was without a doubt a very serious accident. It
happened at a
time of unprecedented change in the former Soviet Union and
it is safe
say that a number of adverse health effects were caused by
inherent to Chernobyl, including worsening socio-economic
diminished food supply, vitamin deficiency, relocation, and
psychological stress. These are, however, not caused by the
effects of radiation. Your article only exacerbates radiation
within the population. -
PHILIP W. WATSON, Professor of Applied Physics, WIL
J.M. VAN DER PUTTEN,
Professor of Medical Physics, National University of Ireland,
And THE IRISH TIMES article of April 26, 2003 (p. 2) which
learned professors response letter is as follows:
"FULL EXTENT OF CHERNOBYL DISASTER 'NOW REVEALED' by
Seventeen years after the Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded,
campaigner Ms Adi Roche has warned that humanitarian efforts
addressing the true extent of the disaster.
Cork campaigner and founder of the Chernobyl Children's Project,
Roche was speaking on the anniversary of an event which affects
million people in the former Soviet Union. 'Belarus is on
where illness among children is rife, where infertility rates
soaring and where mortality rates are out-stripping birth
rates in the
contaminated regions.' The explosion was the 'greatest environmental
catastrophe, in human history', she said. 'Many of those who
children at the time of
the explosion are now beginning their own families and we
are seeing the
effects of radiation being passed to the next generation and
gene pool as the rate of congenital birth deformities is frighteningly
high. What we are witnessing in Belarus is the erosion of
a nation's health.'
The true extent of the disaster on human society had remained
and only recently revealed with the release of secret KGB
files, said Ms
Roche. 'There may be confusion about the true extent of the
caused but what we can be sure about at this point is that
lives in the Chernobyl region have been destroyed by death
ill-health. The release of dozens of secret KGB files this
the chilling reality of what is a major cover-up. 'These files
up to 30,000 people died in the aftermath, while the authorities
now have admitted only 15 deaths. These files finally unmask
Earlier this month, a convoy of over 60 ambulances carried
[euro] worth of aid from Cork to Minsk, in Belarus. Every
since 1986, relatives and friends of those killed in the blast
a cemetery outside the Russian capital to visit the graves
loved ones who are buried in lead coffins to protect the earth
their contaminated corpses."
May I add, that like many others I have seen countlessphotographs
terribly deformed babies from the nuclear disaster zone.
To end with a little serendipitious aside: while looking
up the NUI,
Galway website this morning, I noticed that Nelson Mandela
will be on
the Galway campus on Friday June 20th to be conferred with
doctorate. While I'm appalled at the (mis?)information on
bio-radiative issuing forth from my old Alma Mater, I am very
what is happening on June 20th.
Best, Imelda, Cork, Ireland
UNITING FOR PEACE
Your overwhelming and record breaking response to the Uniting
initiative during the war in Iraq had a great influence. Our
at the UN received lots of positive feedback from Ambassadors
quantity of public support the initiative had, and although
League DID in fact put in a call for a special General Assembly
on the war in the first week of April, events in Baghdad overtook
initiative, and it was withdrawn.
However, the struggle over this issue continues. The UN Security
continues to wrangle over the role of inspectors, the transition
Iraq, the lifting of sanctions, the question of weapons of
destruction, and the fear of who the Bush administration will
next. The call by the public, politicians and governments
to uphold the
UN Charter and the rule of law, and to oppose US unilateralism
Bush doctrine continues. There is now an on-line petition
principles that we continue to push for at the UN. Please
sign today at:
and add your voice to those who don't want to see another
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