Adapted from an report by Len Kiese, Sep 2, 2020 | Orignal KPIX 5 video and article here.
PALO ALTO (KPIX 5) — Wireless carriers are aggressively expanding their 5G networks. But there are still no studies about how safe the technology is. It’s an issue that has divided communities across the Bay Area.
One case in point: Palo Alto. Residents fought long and hard to slow the spread of wireless antennas in their neighborhoods. The city finally released a new wireless ordinance that steers 5G cell towers away from residential areas and bans them within 600 feet of schools. For everyone else, it’s 20 feet, including homes for seniors.
“I think it’s outrageous, how they have behaved. My parents and other residents had never had this disclosed to them, ever,” said Chris Robell, whose parents live at the Channing House retirement home. Robell first noticed a small 5G cell tower right next to Channing House last spring.
When Robell asked about it, he says an employee with AT&T, which owns the 5G installation, told him: “If you’re worried about the small cell node, you ought to be a lot more worried about the macro cell tower on the roof at Channing House.”
S4WT Comment: The truth is that both Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) are way too powerful to be installed this close to people.
It turns out Channing House, home to some of the most prominent retirees in Palo Alto, is also home to a 4G macro wireless cell tower on the roof, installed back in 2006.
According to the American Cancer Society, there is no strong evidence that radio frequency waves from cell towers cause any noticeable health effects. But it says more research is needed, especially for any possible long-term effects.
S4WT Comment: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects those with Electromagnetic Sensitivity (EMS), giving EMS residents the power to move any antennas that are constructed too close to where they live. The Federal Access Board has recognized EMS since 2002 and forces accommodations for any EMS person which has an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
“In Palo Alto, hundreds and hundreds of people are expressing awareness about densified 4G/5G cell antennas,” said Robell.
Responding to residents’ awareness of these facts, Channing House hired a consultant to test EMF emissions from the rooftop tower here last year. The results came back below the exposure limits deemed safe by the Federal Communications Commission.
S4WT Comment: As you can learn here → https://mystreetmychoice.com/thisworks/#/24 the FCC pulsed, data-modulated, Radio-frequency Electromagnetic Microwave Radiation (RF-EMR) exposure guideline is utter nonsense and it does not and cannot insure public safety.
But critics say those limits, set by the FCC in 1996, are outdated and wrong.
Joel Moskowitz, Director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health
“It’s just a giant experiment on the entire population and the planet,”
Moskowitz says tens of thousands of peer-reviewed studies have established that exposure to radio frequency emissions from cell towers of any size and any "G", like the one on top of Channing House, can have serious biological and health effects:
“Headaches, what people describe as brain fog, memory and confusion, skin conditions, heart palpitations, a whole range of symptoms have been associated with long term exposure to prior forms of cell phone radiation."
S4WT Comment: As for the new densified 4G/ 5G cell towers in the public rights-of-way, there have been thousands of studies on the adverse biological effects of RF-EMR exposures, yet, no one is taking sufficient notice of this established science.
5G is different from 2G/3G/4G because it aggregates bandwidth across many frequencies . . .
- low band (600 MHz to 2100 Mhz)
- mid-band (2100 MHz to 6000 MHz) and
- high-band (6000 MHz to 90,000 MHz)
. . . all at once ]. Millimeter-wave frequencies, used by Verizon and AT&T (currently 24,000 MHz to 39,000 MHz) have smaller waves than those emitted in 4G networks (700 MHz to 2,100 MHz). It is the combinations of all of these frequencies being transmitted simulataneously which presents the real and present danger.
“Thousands of scientists and doctors have signed appeals, calling on governments at least to establish a moratorium until we can understand what the hazards are.”
But David Witkowski (see profile below) with Pro-Wireless advocacy group, Wireless Communications Initiative, says peoples’ knowledge of the biological effects of RF-EMR from cell towers is unfounded. “If you expect that there were health effects, you would expect them to be showing up in the population by now after 25 years. And they’re not,” said Witkowski.
S4WT Comment: Witkowski is clearly wrong and just spinning propaganda for the Wireless industry. Electromagnetic Sensitivy now affects between 10 and 30% of the population. Many are sickening and even dying from 24/7 exposures from Wireless infrastruction → see https://scientists4wiredtech.com/sebastopol/#death
While there have been hundreds of studies finding health impacts, hundreds of others refute them, Witkowski said, noting cities cannot consider health concerns when permitting wireless equipment.
S4WT Comment: But cities can and must consider substantial written evidence of actual health effects from RF-EMR exposures because the city must provide public safety — actual documented effects are distinct and separate from the dismissive lobbying term of "concerns" — a term which implies an irrational fear of some future outcome. People are suffering from RF-EMR exposures today — from exposures that are tiny fractions of the FCC RF-EMR guidelines.
“The FCC has said the guidance on health is a federal matter,” said Witkowski.
S4WT Comment: Witkowski is wrong, again. This is what the 1996 Telecommunications Act (1996-TCA) actually says . . . no mention of health, at all.
No State or local government or instrumentality thereof may regulate the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that such facilities comply with the Commission’s regulations concerning such emissions.
“And as long as you remain within the guidelines that are set forth by the FCC then you cannot deny a permit or application for a site based simply upon the fact that you or a group of citizens believe that it’s unsafe.”
S4WT Comment: But the City can deny a permit or application for a site — not based on beliefs — but based simply on actual evidence of harms from RF-EMR exposures, of which there is ample evidence. Electromagnetic Sensitivy now affects between 10 and 30% of the population. Many are sickening and even dying from 24/7 exposures from Wireless infrastruction → see https://scientists4wiredtech.com/sebstopo/#death
Channing House turned down our request for an interview. In an email CEO Rhonda Bekkedahl told us “I would be surprised if residents were not notified in 2006 given the transparent culture at Channing House … the antennas have not been a secret.”
As for the new 5G small cell tower outside the building: “Channing House was not consulted” about it, said Bekkedahl.
Bekkedahl told us Channing House makes about $36,000 dollars a year from leasing its roof to T-Mobile. Mary Robell organized some other residents and led a petition to Channing House’s board asking to terminate the contract. “It’s a risk, and I don’t know why we need to take that risk for $36,000 a year,” said Mary Robell.
But Bekkedahl told us there’s no way out. She’s locked in for another 12 years, and only T-Mobile can break the contract. Chris Robell isn’t taking no for an answer.
“You can relocate this equipment somewhere else that’s not where seniors live 24/7 right? That is the issue. And they deserve that respect and they certainly deserve to know about it,” said Robell.
While Palo Alto’s wireless ordinance has a residential zone of exclusion, exceptions can be made to allow wireless communication facilities just 20 feet from homes. There are also exceptions to the 600 foot setback for schools. That can go down to 300 feet.
Who is David Witkowski?
David Witkowski is a wireless and telecommunication industry expert and leader who became Executive Director of Joint Venture’s Wireless Communications Initiative (WCI) in 2015.
David’s passion for technology and wireless began as a hobby during childhood and continued during his service in the US Coast Guard where he led deployment and maintenance programs for mission-critical radio, radar, and data networking systems.
After earning his BSEE from University of California – Davis, with a study emphasis on modulation theory and RF/wireless design, he held managerial and leadership roles for companies ranging from Fortune 500 multi-nationals to early-stage startups.
David is the CEO of Oku Solutions LLC, a leading professional services company specializing in business development, market entry strategies, business intelligence, and public policy for the wireless and telecommunications industries.
David serves as Co-Chair of the Deployment Working Group at IEEE Future Networks, Co-Chair of the GCTC Wireless SuperCluster at NIST, on the Board of Expert Advisors for the California Emerging Technology Fund, and is a Senior Member in both the IEEE and the Radio Club of America.
David is the author of "Bridging the Gap : 21st Century Wireless Telecommunications" (Joint Venture Silicon Valley, – 1st Ed.: 2016, 2nd Ed.: 2019), co-author of "Carrier & Public Wi-Fi" (Mobile Experts LLC, 2015), co-editor of "The Municipal Internet of Things Blueprint" (GCTC @ NIST – 2019), co-author of "Evaluation of RF Network Testing" (Anritsu, Bird Technologies, CommScope, & Motorola – 2013), co-author of "Carrier & Public Wi-Fi" (Mobile Experts LLC – 2015), and co-author of "HayWired Scenario Volume 3 – Telecommunications and ICT" (U.S. Geological Survey, planned release April 2021). He has written feature articles and op-eds for CIO Review, EETimes, IEEE Microwaves Magazine, Make:Magazine, Mercury News, MissionCritical Communications, QST, RCR Wireless, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Insider, and Urgent Communications. David has presented and moderated panels at Alberta Wireless Connections, APCO, Broadband Live, CDX Global Forum, Comtech Forum, CTIA, DAS & Small Cells Congress, IEEE International Microwave Symposium, IEEE 5G World Forum, IoT World, IWCE, League of California Cities Conference, GSMA Mobile World Congress – Americas, Public Works Officers Institute, RAN USA, RCA Technical Symposium, SCWS Americas, State Of The Valley, TC3, and Wireless West.
David is the Founder & CEO of Oku Solutions LLC. His career began in the US Coast Guard where he led deployment and maintenance programs for mission-critical telecom, continuity of government, and data networking systems. After earning his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from University of California @ Davis, he held managerial and leadership roles for high technology companies ranging from Fortune 500 multi-nationals to early-stage startups.
David serves as Executive Director of the Civic Technology Program at Joint Venture Silicon Valley, as Co-Chair of the Deployment Working Group at IEEE Future Networks, as Co-Chair of the GCTC Wireless SuperCluster at NIST, on the Board of Expert Advisors for the California Emerging Technology Fund, and is a Fellow of the Radio Club of America and a Senior Member of the IEEE.
A noted industry author, his publication list includes:
Author of "Bridging the Gap : 21st Century Wireless Telecommunications" (Joint Venture Silicon Valley – 1st Ed: 2016, 2nd Ed: 2019)
Co-editor of the "Public Wi-Fi Blueprint" (GCTC/NIST – 2017)
Co-editor of the "Municipal Internet of Things Blueprint" (GCTC/NIST – 2019)
Lead co-author of "Evaluation of RF Network Testing" (Anritsu, Bird Technologies, CommScope, & Motorola – 2013)
Co-author of "Carrier & Public Wi-Fi" (Mobile Experts LLC – 2015)
Co-author of "Advanced Broadband Networks" (California Emerging Technology Fund – 2019)
Co-author of "The HayWired Scenario – Telecommunications and Information Communication Technology" (U.S. Geological Survey – Expected: April 2020)
David has written feature articles and op-eds for CIO Review, EETimes, IEEE Microwaves Magazine, Make:Magazine, Mercury News / East Bay Times, MissionCritical Communications, QST, RCR Wireless, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Urgent Communications.
As a public speaker he has delivered keynotes, presented, and moderated panels at Alberta Wireless Connections, APCO, Broadband Live, CDX Global Forum, Comtech Forum, CTIA, DAS & Small Cells Congress, IEEE International Microwave Symposium, IEEE 5G World Forum, IoT World, IWCE, League of California Cities Conference, GSMA Mobile World Congress – Americas, Public Works Officers Institute, RAN USA, RCA Technical Symposium, SCWS Americas, State Of The Valley, TC3, and Wireless West.