The Cellular Phone Task Force is dedicated to halting the expansion of wireless technology because it cannot be made safe. We provide:
education to the public concerning electromagnetic pollution (electrosmog)
advocacy for an electromagnetically cleaner environment
support for individuals disabled by radiation from wireless technology and other sources.
Wi-Fi in the Sky
“Just a little rain falling all around
The grass lifts its head to the heavenly sound
Just a little rain, just a little rain
What have they done to the rain?”
- Malvina Reynolds
On September 23, 1998, 66 satellites, launched into low orbit by the Iridium Corporation, commenced broadcasting to the first ever satellite telephones. Those phones would work equally as well in mid-ocean, and in Antarctica, as in the middle of Los Angeles—a remarkable achievement.
But telephone interviews revealed that on that day exactly, electrically sensitive people all over the world experienced stabbing pains in their chest, knife-like sensations in their head, nosebleeds, asthma attacks, and other signs of severe electrical illness. Many did not think they were going to make it. Statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control reveal that the national death rate rose 4 to 5 percent during the following two weeks. Thousands of homing pigeons lost their way during those two weeks, all over the United States.
Several companies are now competing to provide not just cell phone service, but Wi-Fi, to every square inch of the earth from satellites in space, or from balloons, or from drones. Their target dates are three to four years from now. They are planning not 66 satellites, but thousands of satellites. There isn’t much time to prevent a global ecological catastrophe.
The companies include:
SpaceX: 4,000 satellites, 750 miles high
OneWeb: 2,400 satellites (648 satellites initially), 500-590 miles high
Facebook: Satellites, drones, and lasers
Google: 200,000(?) high altitude balloons (62,500 feet) (“Project Loon”)
Outernet: Low-orbit microsatellites
Honeywell, which already has signed a memorandum of understanding to become OneWeb’s first large customer—it plans to provide high-speed WiFi on business, commercial, and military aircraft throughout the world—has posted this on its website:
“OneWeb is building a constellation of more than 600 satellites, which will provide approximately 10 terabits per second of high-speed Internet access to billions of people around the world, even in the most remote areas. Once launched, OneWeb’s constellation will be the largest telecommunications constellation in orbit, enabling more capacity with higher speed and lower latency than any satellite technology to date.”
In addition to microwaving the Earth, these plans have the potential to destroy the Earth’s ozone layer.
The New York Times (May 14, 1991, p. 4) quoted Aleksandr Dunayev of the Russian Space Agency saying “About 300 launches of the space shuttle each year would be a catastrophe and the ozone layer would be completely destroyed.”
At that time the world averaged only 12 rocket launches per year. These were thought to cause less than 0.6% depletion of the ozone layer. Research into the effects of rocket exhaust on the ozone layer has virtually ceased, but the number of launches is poised to increase astronomically.
If 12 rocket launches per year reduced the ozone by even 0.3%, then Dunayev was correct, and 300 launches in a year would destroy the ozone layer totally. To maintain a fleet of (ultimately) 4,000 or 2,400 satellites, each with an expected lifespan of five years, would involve enough yearly rocket launches to be an environmental catastrophe.
An international coalition, Global Union Against Radiation Deployment from Space (GUARDS) has just formed.
Please Help Edna and Marshall Pettipas
Just over two years ago Edna and Marshall Pettipas of Afton, Nova Scotia, having lost their health and their home, filed a lawsuit for personal injuries against Bell Aliant Regional Communications for operation of a cell tower on their land. On January 27, 2014 the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia issued a ruling against Bell Aliant, allowing their case to go to trial. The Pettipas have the best chance of winning against this industry, and of setting a precedent on behalf of us all, of anyone I know—and they need some financial help. Donations can be made here (see below for details).
The Pettipas bought their 16-acre property in 1994 with the hopes of one day building a home with views of St. Georges Bay. In 2001, they were approached by Bell Aliant about the possibility of placing a cell phone tower on the property. Edna said they faced intense pressure by the company.
“They told us that we either agree to let them put the tower up there behind our homesite or if we didn’t they would go to a neighbour and the tower could have been located beside or in front the house,” she said. “I felt blackmailed.”
Having been reassured that there were no safety issues, they gave a 20-year lease to the company, which erected the tower in February 2002. In 2007 they built what was supposed to be their dream home, and they moved in. “We started getting sick instantaneously,” Edna said. “The more exposure we got the sicker we got.” And in September 2008, she and her teenage daughter moved out of the house after discovering Edna’s tumor marker levels were “through the roof.” They tried moving back into the house in March 2009 but didn’t last the day. Every time she was on the property her tumor marker levels skyrocketed, and when she left, they came back down.
Edna has been diagnosed with electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), and she has also developed breast cancer and had a bilateral mastectomy. “I won’t be getting my breasts back,” she says. I may never completely recover from this but I’ll take what I can get if I am completely compensated. It would be nice for me to move into my dream home.” The Pettipas are suing Bell Aliant for fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation, and for breach of implied warranty.
The Pettipas’ lawyer, Jamie MacGillivray, is handling the case on contingency, which means he will only get paid if they win. But to put together the best possible case, they will need to raise significant funds to pay for expert witnesses and other expenses. Dr. Ben Boucher, who is Edna’s family doctor, as well as Dr. Jonathan Fox of the Nova Scotia Environmental Health Center, and Dr. Magda Havas of Trent University, have already submitted reports, and have agreed to testify at trial, which is scheduled to take place in April 2015. But the Pettipas are also looking at flying in experts from France and Australia. Their deadline for naming expert witnesses is July 20, 2014, so they must begin fundraising now.
The Pettipas are asking the court to order the termination of Bell Aliant’s lease and the removal of the tower, as well as to award them damages for the loss of use of their property and for personal injuries.
The Nova Scotia Supreme Court’s decision that this case shall go to trial is here: http://canlii.ca/t/g2z88.
A project within the Cellular Phone Task Force, called the Pettipas Project, has been created for the purpose of accepting tax-deductible donations to pay expenses for this lawsuit. Donations can be made via Paypal here or by check to: Cellular Phone Task Force, PO Box 6216, Santa Fe, NM 87502, USA. Remember to write “Pettipas Project” on your check, or choose “Pettipas Project” on the donation form on this website. Canadian or other foreign donations will not be tax-deductible, however we will accept and forward all donations to the Pettipas.
The New Mexico Court of Appeals is now considering arguments that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the U.S. Constitution require cities to protect the rights of people injured by wireless technology.
The biggest threat to the lives of people injured by wireless technology is the Telecommunications Act of 1996—a shocking piece of legislation that turns the role of government on its head. This law makes it illegal for cities and counties to protect the public health and welfare if to do so would interfere with the construction of a national wireless telecommunications network. Municipalities are prohibited from taking action to stop antennas and towers from being built where they will injure people. As a result, a growing class of refugees have been forced to leave their homes in order to survive.
The Cellular Phone Task Force is funding a groundbreaking lawsuit brought by our president, Arthur Firstenberg, in order to restore the rights of the people to protect themselves. The lawsuit was filed in 2010 and is still being fought in the courts. See ADA Lawsuit page for complete information.
INDIA BEGINS TO REGULATE CELL TOWERS
City of Mumbai Prohibits Cell Towers near Schools, Colleges, Orphanages
Cell towers are being dismantled by the thousands in various parts of India.
In August 2013 the city of Mumbai, the most populous city in India, prohibited cell towers within 100 meters of schools, colleges, orphanages, child rehabilitation centers, and old age homes. It ordered that existing antennas on schools, colleges and hospitals be removed. It also prohibited the installation of antennas on residential rooftops without the consent of every person on the top floor, as well as the consent of 70% of the people in the rest of the building. And it began the process of dismantling 3,200 illegal rooftop towers. The policy, first developed in January 2013, is here:
The government of the state of Maharashtra, however, in which Mumbai is located, released a draft policy in mid-October 2013 that lowers radiation limits tenfold, but otherwise ignores the policy of Mumbai. Negotiations between city and state are ongoing.
Actor and activist Juhi Chawla addresses
the media at the Press Club, Mumbai
Supreme Court of India Orders Cell Towers Removed From Schools, Colleges, Hospitals in Rajasthan
On November 27, 2012 the High Court of the state of Rajasthan, India’s largest state geographically, ordered the removal of all cell towers from the vicinity of schools, colleges, hospitals and playgrounds because of radiation “hazardous to life.” The court’s amazing 200+ page decision thoroughly reviews the worldwide evidence that cell towers are harming human beings and wildlife. It is available here:
On July 5, 2013 the Supreme Court of India upheld this decision.
High Court of West Bengal prohibits cell tower for health reasons
A dispute between brothers in the village of Garankati resulted in a permanent injunction against a cell tower, issued by the High Court of the State of West Bengal on the basis of health.
Netai Chandra Haldar took his brother, Gouranga Mohan Haldar, to court, because Gouranga had entered into a contract with telecom company BSNL to erect a cell tower on his portion of their land. Netai contended that the tower would be “dangerous to the life and health of human beings and flora and fauna, and such a tower has its harmful effects to all the people of the locality which may cause many diseases including cancer.”
The judge, after reviewing the worldwide evidence about health and environmental effects, issued a permanent injunction. The judge said:
“The radiation of the said tower is dangerous to the life of human beings and also flora and fauna causing severe imbalance to the wholesome environment which is emancipated as one of the basic fundamental rights included with right to life as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India.”
“For an immediate financial gain,” said the judge, “the installation of the telephone tower will obviously help the defendant no.1 but in the long run it will cause greater harm to him and his family members also including the risk of so many diseases including deadly cancer.”
UPDATES ON PROPOSED SANTA FE CELL TOWERS
See Santa Fe news page for complete information
Hotel Santa Fe
To passersby, it looks like the hotel has built a fourth story. But it is really a façade for antennas: AT&T has installed a cell tower on the roof of the penthouse, whose walls have been extended upwards another nine feet to hide it. The hotel’s spa and fitness center are in the adjoining building on the second and third floor, just twenty feet away from where twelve antennas have been installed.
The hotel is owned by the Picuris Pueblo.
This project is still under appeal in New Mexico District Court, but construction was completed in June 2013 and the tower is fully operational.
Marcy Street Tower
New antennas will not be added to this downtown tower by AT&T. AT&T never picked up its permits for these antennas, and the permits have expired.
Saint John’s Methodist Church
This AT&T tower, concealed in a false chimney, is fully operational. It was turned on on September 22, 2012.
A new 75-foot “monopole,” at this site, described by some as resembling a giant tampon, went into operation in early 2013. It is across the street from Vitamin Cottage.
Capital High School
A new 100-foot-tall fake pine tree, adjacent to both Capital High School’s football field and its day care center, is also up and running.
This project will require a public hearing because AT&T is applying for exemptions from height and setback requirements, and also because it is a new tower in a historic district. The hearing is scheduled for November 12, 2013. The plans shows a 64-foot tower similar to the one recently built at Baillios.
St. John’s College