by Karen J. Rogers
The safety of cell phone towers is the subject of extensive scientific debate. There is a growing body of scientific evidence that the electromagnetic radiation they emit, even at low levels, is dangerous to human health. The cell phone industry is expanding quickly, with over 100,000 cell phone towers now up across the U.S., which is expected to increase ten-fold over the next five years. The industry has set what they say are “safe levels” of radiation exposure, but there are a growing number of doctors, physicists, and health officials who strongly disagree, and foresee a public health crisis. Many towers have been built recently in Siskiyou Colorado, with dozens more planned, as telecommunications companies rush to corner markets in this fast-growing industry. These towers emit radio frequencies (RF), a form of electromagnetic radiation (EMR), for a distance of up to 2-1/2 miles. They are essentially the same frequency radiation as microwaves in a microwave oven. Studies have shown that even at low levels of this radiation, there is evidence of damage to cell tissue and DNA, and it has been linked to brain tumors, cancer, suppressed immune function, depression, miscarriage, Alzheimer's disease, and numerous other serious illnesses.  Children are at the greatest risk, due to their thinner skulls, and rapid rate of growth. Also at greater risk are the elderly, the frail, and pregnant women. Doctors from the United Kingdom have issued warnings urging children under 16 not to use cell phones, to reduce their exposure to radio frequency (RF) radiation. 
Over 100 physicians and scientists at Harvard and Boston University Schools of Public Health have called cellular towers a radiation hazard. And, 33 delegate physicians from 7 countries have declared cell phone towers a “public health emergency”.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is in charge of setting the standards of exposure for the public, and claims that, based on scientific studies, the current levels are safe. But it is not a public health agency, and has been criticized as being “an arm of the industry”. Many who work for the FCC are either past, present or future employees of the very industries they are supposed to regulate. With an explosively emergent $40 billion dollar a year industry at stake, critics have stated “you can bet that their studies are going to show whatever they want them to show”. “Our federal government also once told us that asbestos, cigarettes, thalidomide, and the blood supply were "safe", but which were later found to be harmful. “You can bet that their studies are going to show whatever they want them to show.” – Cathy Bergman-Veniza, at Vermont Law School Environmental Law Center Conference, 1996 The current U.S. standard for radiation exposure from cell phone towers is 580-1,000 microwatts per sq. cm. (mW/cm2), among the least protective in the world. More progressive European countries have set standards 100 to 1,000 times lower than the U.S. Compare Australia at 200 microwatts, Russia, Italy, and Toronto, Canada at 10, China at 6, and Switzerland, at 4. In Salzburg, Austria the level is .1 microwatts (pulsed), 10,000 times less than the U.S. New Zealand has proposed yet more stringent levels, at .02 microwatts, 50,000 times more protective than the U.S. Standard. [3, 4] Contrary to what the communications industry tells us, there is vast scientific, epidemiological and medical evidence that confirms that exposure to the RF and microwave radiation emitted from cell towers, even at low levels, can have profound adverse effects on biological systems. [5, 6, 7, 8]. There is vast scientific and medical evidence that exposure to cell tower radiation, even at low levels, can have profound adverse effects on biological systems. Scientists and advocacy groups say that the current FCC “safe” standards are based on 1985 research, and fail to...