After months of grueling work by Fire Board Member David Kimball, local elected official Don Smith, informed, concerned Bolinas citizens, and EON members, the Fire Board came to a conclusion about the proposed new cell antennas requested by AT&T.
(Photo: EON’s Mary Beth Brangan questions Bolinas Fire Board on AT&T antenna plan.}
At last Monday’s meeting the Fire Board voted unanimously to (1) become a co-applicant with AT&T to add three additional antennas, while (2) modifying their contract to include a measuring of the new baseline radiation level and then regular twice a year testing to make sure that antennas emit no more than10% radiation increase over that level.
FB Member David Kimball negotiated the contract amendment with AT&T that stipulates they test their emissions up to twice yearly. The Fire Board will decide when the radiation measurements will be taken. AT&T will hire the actual testing engineer.
Don Smith, a retired engineer and Member of the Bolinas Public Ulitlites District (BPUD) has worked diligently for months with the engineering particulars and has worked out a way of hopefully reducing RF exposure at Mesa Park.
Don’s proposal – for which he invites peer feedback – is an antenna arrangement in collaboration with AT&T that uses a more efficient antenna for part of the old GSM (G2) signal and tilts the antennas up further towards the horizon so that the radiation on the ground at Mesa Park locations should be reduced.
If Don’s plan is valid (and we sincerely hope it is) it represents a breakthrough: AT&T has agreed to modulate and adjust its RF emission patterns in response to public concerns about biological and health impacts and will have periodic testing of compliance.
With Don’s wholehearted cooperation, we’ve engaged another qualified professional to review his work. We hope Don’s approach will prove accurate and provide a model for other communities. We’ll report what we find out from the engineer’s report.
Our concern about adding more complex radiation from the new antennas from the UMTS signal (G#3) – it’s efficiency is gained by more pulsing that will cause more complex biological effects – is mixed with gratitude for the progress made by David and Don.
The result hopefully is a reduction of the ground radiation around the site where the fire house, playground, health clinic and ball fields are. Also hopefully, the negotiating by David Kimball will force AT&T to stay within 10% of the new radiation levels, that, according to Don’s calculations, should be lower than before.
Don Smith and the Fire Board also intend to investigate what Verizon’s antennas emit and if they too could be improved.
This work by Don and the Fire Board is an important and appreciated improvement, but not a panacea. Our continuing concern is that there’s not a strictly linear dose response with RF radiation. There are windows of extremely low exposure levels that cause biological effects. Studies show long term exposure to low levels is as harmful as short term exposure to high levels. This is not ‘fearmongering.’ This is fact.
Plus more levels of RF radiation continue to be added to public exposure further causing biologically complex signals from, among other sources, ‘smart’ meters.
In addition to our forced involuntary public exposures from cell towers and ‘smart’ meters, we hope more people become aware of how their personal choices of wireless devices affect them, such as cell phones, wi-fi routers left on all the time as well as cordless phones, which are like having cell phone antennas in your house.
We sincerely appreciate the time and effort the Fire Board and Don put into the resolution of this difficult situation. We understand that this has been a grueling effort by the Fire Board, especially since they are not as convinced as we are about the risk from RF radiation.
So despite being thrust into this unwanted position, the Fire Board has struck a Precautionary Principle compromise between community concern and what their attorney advised were their contract obligations.
Next week we’re off to cover a Summit on Wireless Safety in Washington, D.C. We’ll report back to you on the latest when we return.
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