Cell towers and cancer risk: Let us not endorse unscrupulous Corporate Irresponsibility

We refer to the news item appearing on page 5 of The Island newspaper on 24th June 2010 under the heading “No link between cell towers, kids’ cancer risk.’ To begin with, the headline is misleading as shown by the title of the article it refers to: “Mobile phone base stations and early childhood cancers.” Moreover the conclusion of the said study is that it “found no association between risk of childhood cancers and mobile phone base station exposures during pregnancy” (italics, ours). Therefore, on the basis of the findings of this study one cannot arrive at the conclusion suggested by the headline, generalizing it for children living near cell phone towers being exposed to the radiation over long periods of time. In interpreting the data of the said study ( pl. see here for the full text of the article at http://www.bmj.com ) the proximity of the children studied to the location of the cell phone towers and the height of the towers are crucial.

Our concern here is misinterpretation of study findings such as the present one as indicated by the relevant headline may be used by unscrupulous corporate sector companies to indiscriminately encroach upon dense residential areas erecting cell phone towers without any ethical corporate social responsibility towards residents of such areas.

We the residents of Elie House Road, Mutuwal, Colombo 15, have been protesting against such an erection of a cell phone tower by Dialog at the premises 94/3, a three storied house on Elie House Road, right in the middle of a densely populated neighbourhood without consulting the residents of the neighbourhood at all. One house affected by this installation is a two storied house directly opposite the installation separated by a mere 20 feet road.

It is our belief based on the examination of the vast literature available on the subject on the internet that the health risks involved in the long drawn exposure to radiation from cell phone towers during 24 hours of the day, on children, the sick and the elderly and even healthy adults due to the close proximity and the lower elevation of cell phone towers as found in our case cannot be simply overlooked due to the results of studies such as the one referred to in the above news item.

We need to consider the fact the effects of long term whole body exposure to transmissions from cell phone antenna towers is not simply not known yet with certainty to simply conclude that it has no negative impact on the health of the people thus exposed. We need to take into account not only the personal experience of various sickness by people who are thus exposed over long periods of time and relatedly leave room open to examine the body of such evidence at hand that suggests that bio effects and health impacts can do occur at exquisitely low exposure levels of radiation from these towers, levels that can be much below standard public safety limits. The prevailing public safety limits area based on the thermal effects of radiation whereas the non-thermal effects of radiation are yet to be studied in any significant manner.

What is suggested by the literature available is that Electromagnetic Frequencies related to “cellular” relay antennas will affect the children most as they will be exposed to these over a longer period. Therefore the public should not buy into the Corporate view that that “one more antenna in a residential neighbourhood won’t do much harm”?

Hence, we the neighbours at the Elie House Road urge Dialog to decommission and dismantle the cell phone antenna tower it has erected right on our face on the premises 94/3, Elie House Road, Mutuwal.

Elie House Road Neighbours

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3 responses to “Cell towers and cancer risk: Let us not endorse unscrupulous Corporate Irresponsibility

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