1 I I UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY WASHINGTON, D.C OFFICE OF AIR AND RADIATION Ms. Janet Newton President The EMR Network P.O. Box 221 Marshfield, VT Dear Ms.Newton: This is in reply to your letter of January 31, 2002, to the Environmental Protection Administrator Whim in which you express your concerns about the adequacy of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) radiofrequency (RF) radiation exposure guidelines and nonthermal effects of radiofiequency radiation. Another issue that you raise in your letter is the FCC's claim that EPA shares responsibility for recommending RF radiation protection guidelines to the FCC. I hope that my reply will clarify EPA's position with regard to these concerns. I believe that it is correct to sav that there is uncertainty about whether or not current guidelines adequately treat nonthermal, prolonged exposures (exposures that may continue on an intennittent basis for many years). The explanation that follows is basically a summary of statements that have been made in other EPA documents and correspondence The guidelines currently used by the FCC were adopted by the FCC in The guidelines were recommended by EPA, with certain reservations, in a letter to Thomas P. Stanley, Chief Engineer, Office of Engineering and Technology, Federal Communications Commission, November 9, 1993, in response to the FCC's request for comments on their Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), Guidelines for Evaluating the Environmental Effects of Radiofrequency Radiation (enclosed). The FCC's current exposure guidelines, as well as those of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers W E) and the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection, are thermally based, and do not apply to chronic, nonthemal exposure situations. They'are believed to protect against injury that'may be caused by acute exposures that result in tissue heating or electric shock and bum. The hazard level (for frequencies generally at or greater than 3 MHz) is based on a specific absorption dose-rate, SAR, associated with an effect lnlemet Address (URL). hup:lhnwr.spa.gov R*c~cl*dlR*cyclaM* Pmled Mh Vegelable OH Based Inb on Recyded Paper (Mlnlmum 20% Podconsumer)
2 ,+ I that results from an increase in body temperature. The FCC's exposure guideline is considered protective of effects arising from a thermal mechanism but not from all possible mechanisms Therefore, the generalization by many that the guidelines protect human beings from harm by any or all mechanisms is not iustified. These guidelines are based on findings of an adverse effect level of 4 watts per kilogram (Wkg) body weight. This SAR was observed in laboratory research involving acute exposures that elevated the body temperature of animals, including nonhuman primates. The exposure guidelines did not consider information that addresses nonthermal, prolonged exposures, i.e., from research showing effects with implications for possible adversity in situations involving chroniclprolonged, low-level (nonthermal) exposures. Relatively few chronic, low-level exposure studies of laboratory animals and epidemiological studies of human populations have been reported and the majority of these studies do not show obvious adverse health effects. However, there are reports that suggest that potentially adverse health effects, such as ~ r, may occur. Since EPA's comments were submitted to the FCC in 1993, the number of studies reporting effects associated with both acute and chronic low-level exposure to RF radiation has increased. While there is general, although not unanimous, agreement that the database on low-level, long-term exposures is not sufficient to provide a basis for standards development, some contemporary guidelines state explicitly that their adverse-effect level is based on an increase in body temperature and do not claim that the exposure limits protect against both thermal and nonthermal effects. The FCC does not claim that their exposure guidelines provide protection for exposures to which the 4 Wikg SAR basis does not apply, i.e., exposures below the 4 Wkg threshold level that are chroniclprolonged and nonthermal. However, exposures that comply with the FCC's guidelines generally have been represented as "safe" by many of the RF system operators and service providers who must comply with them, even though there is uncertainty about possible risk from nonthexmal, intermittent exposures that may continue for years. The 4 Wikg SAR, a whole-body average, time-average dose-rate, is used to derive doserate and exposure limits for situations involving RF radiation exposure of a person's entire body from a relatively remote radiating source. Most people's greatest exposures result from the use of personal communications devices that expose the head. In summary, the current exposure guidelines used by the FCC are based on the effects resulting from whole-body heating, not exposure of and effect on critical organs including the brain and the eyes. In addition, the maximum permitted local SAR limit of 1.6 Wkg for critical organs of the body is related directly to the permitted whole body average SAR (0.08 Wkg), with no explanation given other than to Sit heating.
3 I also have enclosed a letter written in June of 1999 to Mr. Richard Tell, Chair, IEEE SCC28 (SC4) Risk Assessment Work Group, in which the members of the Radiofrequency Interagency Work Group (RFIAWG) identified certain issues that they had determined needed to be addressed in order to provide a strong and credible rationale to support RF exposure guidelines. Federal health and safety agencies have not yet developed policies concerning possible risk from long-term, nonthermal exposures. When developing exposure standards for other physical agents such as toxic substances, health risk uncertainties, with emphasis given to sensitive populations, are often considered. Incorporating information on exposure scenarios involving repeated short duratiodnonthemal exposures that may continue over very long periods of time (years), with an exposed population that includes children, the elderly, and people with various debilitating physical and medical conditions, could be beneficial in delineating appropriate protective exposure guidelines. I appreciate the opportunity to be of service and trust that the information provided is helpful. If you have hrther questions, my phone number is (202) and address is 3'm.lk Sincerely, horbert Hankin Center for Science and Risk Assessment Radiation Protection Division Enclosures: 1) letter to Thomas P. Stanley, Chief Engineer, Office of Engineering and Technology, Federal Communications Commission, November 9, 1993, in response to the FCC's request for comments on their Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), Guidelines for Evaluating the Environmental Effects of Radiofrequency Radiation 2) June 1999 letter to Mr. Richard Tell, Chair, IEEE SCC28 (SC4) Risk Assessment Work Group from the Radiofrequency Radiation Interagency Work Group
5 "- now Home I Contact us Fiber optic broadband vs. wireiess broadband CLOUT'S position is that the federal government's national broadband initiative should ensure that fiber optic broadband be deployed to provide the highest-quality Service to ail Americans, including those in lower-income and other underserved communities in both rural an urban areas. Such communities should not be accorded second-class Status by means a relatively cheap and qulck wireless solution when a far superlor fiber Optic broadband solution is readily available. While installing fiber optic broadband is initially more expensive than wireless, due largely to the excavation costs involved in laylng fiber optlc cable underground, the jobs such a national effort would create and the long-term benefits that result from building this infrastructure now far surpass any short-term gains from a reliance on wireless to close the "digital divide." Reliability Wireless technologies are constrained by inherent performance limitations that do not apply to fiber optic broadband. Wireless broadband networks, whether licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (e.g., Verizon, AT&T, SprintNextel/Clearwire and T- Mobile) or unlicensed by the FCC (e.g., WiFi), use microwave radiation to transmit and receive their signals. Radio signals can be blocked by buildings, trees and other objects, and transmission quality is even subject to atmospheric conditions. Many WiFi networks operate in unlicensed bands of the spectrum and use the same carrier frequency as cordless phones, microwave ovens, and other consumer devices, and are therefore even more subject to interference problems than licensed wireless networks. Fiber optic technology presents none of these problems. In fact, network traffic moves across fiber optic cables in a manner that makes it even less susceptible to Interference from other data traveling along the same fiber cables than other wired technologies (e.g., copper or co-axial cables). Speed and Capacity Wireless broadband network speeds are s~gn~f~cantly slower than f~ber optic networks In adrl~tcon, the greater the number of users accessing a wireless access point at a given time, the greater is the degiadation of servlce experienced by those users The current Welcome Home Sign the petltion Etldurbt. Llle pelillorl List of endorsers Local government resolutions Contact us About US Links Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors lune 2, 2009 Resolutions on Telecommunications Act of 1996 and FCC Standards LOS Angeles Unified School District May 26, 2009 Resolution on Wireless Telecommunication Installations Anti Cell Phone Antenna Demonstration, San Francisco (video) Matt Gonzalez Takes on the Cell Phone Industry (video) European Parliament Resolution on EMFS European Parliament TV: Mobile phone health threat should not be wdved off lightly (video)
6 lndustry standard for f~ber optx broadband is 10 G~gab~ts per second (GBis or b~ll~on bit5 per seco;>d) per itbe. optic pair. Bondlng multiple 10 GS!s fiber pars possible to produce even faster channels. By contrast, the present theoretlca! maximum speed for ap 692l!n ledcated wlreiess access pornt 1s 150 ivlegabits per second (hlb;s or mliiloil bit5 per secos:d). Ir! attier,:do:di, the standard fbbei c~t!cnnnection for curvent romrnelclai desktop Nusage is over 56 ttmes iastei thar it; wireleis coilnterpalt Security NIL LOU~CII MeniDer Pelt Vallone 11 Takes on the!cell PhU~:? Industry 6al Reception The Wireless Rwoiutio!? n San Francisco [Open~ng MontageiPreriei.i) San Francisco 9es;dei:ts Take on the Ceil Phone Industry [vldea) Wireless networks are more expensive and d~fficuito secure than %.vlred ilber optlc networks and are tllerefore vulnerable to hackcng, identity theft, natlonal securlty threats. and unauthor~zed surverllance of users. Unllke wired f~ber optlc networks, wireless networks can be sublect to attack wherever a slgnal is present. Although encryptcon makes such attacks inure dfliicuil, eilcl.yption inethods do not eilrnlnate thts problem. For those with the interest and technical ability (e.g., lndtvldual hackers, crlminal organizations, and national governments, both forelgn and domestic), wlreiess signals are easily intercepted, tapped, eavesdropped upon, and used as platforms to launch maiiclous attacks on useis. Environmental Impacts Wireless networks entail the installation of unsightly cell tower and intrusive wlreless facilities in residential neighborhoods and scenic areas. Concerns that arise when these types of facilities are proposed for communities include reduction in property values, destruction of views, and adverse impacts on human health and the environment. Installing a high capacity fiber-to-the-premises broadband network throughout the U.S. is an investment in superior technology For the long-term benefit of all Americans that moves away from a relatively short-term, disposable wireless infrastructure that must be continually upgraded and modifled. Links n A Blueprint for Big Broadband, a white paper on broadband commissioned by EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology h Comments to the FCC regarding the Broadband Provisions of the Recovery Act. Bill Schrier, Director and Chlef Technology Officer, Department of information Technology, City of Seattle Peter F. Vallone Jr. New York City Council Member Astoria, NY petervallollecoln Cathy Schlicht City Council Member Mlssion Viejo, CA Center for Food & Justice Los Angeies, California Stephanie Mills Author/Ecologist Maple City, MI Mission Viejo Cell Out Mission Viejo, California Coalition for the Appropriate Placement of Cell Antennas LO5 050s. CA Friends of Loma Alta Creek Oceanside, CA Selected Quotes from A Blueprint for Big Broadband "Building big broadband networks is not just a matter of international competition; it is also economically efficient. Because of the limited dollars available, it is more economically efficient to invest these resources into networks with unlimited potential csuch as fiber-optic cable) than to invest in the deployment of a multitude of interim technologies whose bandwidth could be overwhelmed by Internet traffic in a few years. American policy should thus focus on future-proof networks - networks employing technologies that are scalable and adaptable to future growth in demand. Several exlsting technolog~es are limited by physics and geography and will be obsolete in three to five years. Our resources will be better spent on technologies that have a long shelf life." "Some states are admirably developing programs to fill the gaps in small broadband deployment and availability. Certain municipalities are building fiber networks on a caseby-case basis, but many more municipaiities have been bogged down on wlreless networks that will not satisfy consumers' hunger for much greater capacity." "Big Broadband: U.S. broadband policy should focus on the future. Cable modem, DSL, and wireless technologies are unlikely to meet our future needs." Page 2 of 3
7 Tel: FnX: Contact: Susan Foster Ambrose, M.S.W.. Medical Writer P.O. Box 3605 Rancho Santa Fe, CA FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIREFIGHTERS (IAFF) VOTES TO STUDY HEALTH EFFECTS OF CELL TOWERS ON FIRE STATIONS Call for Moratorium on New Cell Towers on Fire Stations Until Health Effects Can Be Studied Boston, MA - August 24, Firefighters returned to their home stations throughout the United States and Canada following last week's IAFF convention after passing a resolution to study the health effects of cell towers placed on the fire stations where they work and live. Added to the resolution was an amendment calling for the IAFF to support a moratorium on the placement of new cell towers on fire stations until the completion of the study. In many parts of the U.S. and Canada, the wireless industry has sought to place cell towers on fire stations because of their strategic locations. Fire stations tend to be located in densely populated areas, many of them near main highways, making them attractive locations for cell towers to maximize coverage. The wireless industry is not alone in the benefits of placing cell towers on these stations. Municipalities receive revenue from the wireless companies in exchange for locating the antennas on fire station property. Lt. Ron Cronin of the Brookline, MA Fire Departmentand Acting Lt. Joe Foster of the \iancouver Fire Department and Vice President of Vancouver, B.C. Local #I8 spearheaded the passage of the resolution. "Some firefighters with cell towers currently located on their stations are experiencing symptoms that put our first responders at risk. It is important to be sure we understand what effects these :c#e:s may have Gii :he firefighters living in these stations," Cronin expiained. "If iine jakes in iine fire house are suffering from headaches, can't respond quickly and their ability to make decisions is clouded by a sort of brain fog, then entire communities they are protecting will clearly be at risk. No one wants the guys responding to their family emergency to be functioning at anything less than 100 percent capacity. " A recent pilot study of six California firefighters, first publicly revealed at the IAFF convention by medical writer and study organizer Susan Foster Ambrose of San Diego, CA, raises concern about the safety of fire fighters working and sleeping in stations with towers.
8 The study, conducted by Dr. Gunnar Heuser ofagoura Hills, CA, focused on neurological symptoms of six firefighters who had been working for up to five years in stations with cell towers. Those symptoms included slowed reaction time, lack of focus, lack of impulse control, severe headaches, anesthesia-like sleep, sleep deprivation, de~ression, and tremors. Dr. Heuser, along with Dr. J. Michael Uszler of Santa Monica, CA, used functional brain scans - SPECT scans -to assess any changes in the brains of the six firefighters as compared to healthy brains of men of the same age. Computerized psychological testing known as TOVA was used to study reaction time, impulse control, and attention span. Disturbingly, the SPECT scans revealed a pattern of abnormal change which was concentrated over a wider area than would normally be seen in brains of individuals exposed to toxic inhalation. as might be expected from fighting fires. Dr. Heuser indicated the only plausible explanation at this time would be RF radiation exposure. Additionally, the TOVA testing revealed among the six firefighters delayed reaction time, lack of impulse control, and difficulty in maintaining mental focus. Because of increasing complaints among firefighters with cellular antennas on their stations coupled with the California study showing damage among the six firefighters tested, a group of five individuals spread across two provinces and three states wolked with Southem California firefighters to draft the resolution put before the IAFF membership last week. Lt. Ron Cronin and Acting Lt. Joe Foster were joined by Dr. Magda Havas of Trent University in Peterborough. Ontario, Vermont-based Janet Newton - president of the EMR Policy Institute, and Susan Foster Ambrose. 'It is imperative to understand that in spite of the build out of an extensive wireless infrastructure in the U.S. and Canada," explained Ambrose, "we have no safety standardsfor cell towers. There are only regulatory standards, not proven safety standards. The Heuser Study in California calls into question whether or not we are sacrificing the health and well being of our countries' first responders for the convenience of a technology we've come to rely upon." Considering approximately 80 percant of the firefighters attending last week's convention voted in favor of a medical study with the spirit of a cell tower moratorium attached, it appears firefighters throughout the U.S. and Canada share that concern. This study has far-reaching public health implications in view of the fact that the wireless industry pays local governments to place cell towers, not only on fire stations, but also on top of schools and municipal buildings. For more information contact: Susan Foster Ambrose: ; Lt. Ron Cronin: ; Acting Lt. Joe Foster ; Magda Havas, Ph.D.: x 1232; Janet Newton: ; Gunnar Heuser. M.D.. Ph.D.. F.A.C.P.: ; w.toxaun.com J. Michael Uszler, M.D.: ;
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