Lynn Beiber: Benjamin Tasker cell tower proposal is at a crossroads

Milestone Communications, the company that wants to erect a cell tower at Benjamin Tasker Middle School, has yet to satisfy terms of the 1996 Federal Telecommunications Act. They looked at the data and only sent letters of notification to those they "felt needed to be notified." Sorry, that doesn't cut it!

Furthermore, the Prince George's County school board and City Council have not acted in the best interests of the citizens. As usual, the buck has been passed very quickly and quietly, and it would not surprise me at all to see the cell towers crop up mostly in schools with the largest populations of students receiving free and reduced meals.

The FCC, now run by former telecom and wireless industry lobbyists and CEOs, assures us that the levels of radiation are safe. This is based on science that is almost 20 years old and funded by the wireless industry. Independent scientific studies from all over the world indicate very strongly that we are making a huge public health mistake that will make tobacco and asbestos pale in comparison.

As the proliferation of wireless gadgets, including smart meters (which also need more cell towers), continues, the debate over health effects is heating up. Even the International Association of Firefighters is concerned about the health effects and wants no cell towers or antennas on their facilities.

The EPA's website is at least honest enough to literally print question marks, as to the biological effects of non-ionizing, non-thermal radiation which is the form that is emitted from all forms of wireless communications.

We are at a crossroads. This is not a NIMBY issue to me. I don't want a cell tower in anyone's back yard. I have given up my wireless home phones as they emit more radiation than a cellphone, and I keep my cellphone turned off and only use for emergencies. I'm seriously thinking of getting rid of it all together. That is a personal decision, but a cell tower for the entire neighborhood is not.

Wireless communication is not going to go away and neither is radiation from EMFs. However, we could exercise the precautionary principle and at least drastically reduce exposure until more science is applied as opposed to the cutthroat capitalism and greed that now rules the issue. We must weigh the costs not only in dollars but the health of every living thing on the planet.

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