May 1, 2018
By Paul-André Schabracq
Approving Verizon’s application is the veritable nose of the camel under the tent. It would mean that colocation of cellphone towers would occur without any further review and Sebastopol could no longer deny the future applications of other telecom companies wanting to install 4G towers throughout the city. The result would be 4G and 5G cell towers throughout the city. This would increase by several orders of magnitude the community’s exposure to toxic levels of microwave radiation.
218 scientists in 40 nations have signed The International EMF Scientist Appeal, which states: “Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life.”
The Federal Communications Commission regulations have prevented local governments from denying cellphone towers based on the well-established serious adverse health impacts of cellphone radiation. Nonetheless, many cities and counties in California have successfully denied the installation of 4G cellphone towers based on other very defensible findings.
While it is understandable that Sebastopol City staff may have a reluctance to risk involvement in costly legal disputes, protecting the public health and safety of the community should be their first priority. It is essential that the Planning Commission act now to deny Verizon’s cell tower application.
Paul-André Schabracq is an urban and environmental planner who only uses his cellphone when it is absolutely necessary.
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