Simcoe cellphone tower to be moved: Neighbours complaint of illness

Cheryl Bauslaugh

Local News - Wednesday, June 07, 2006 @ 01:00

Norfolk councillors have decided to get rid of a cellphone tower in the centre of Simcoe that residents say is a health risk.

After hearing from more than 20 people in an often emotional five-hour debate Tuesday, council voted to move recently installed Rogers Wireless Inc. antennae on the Simcoe water tower - even though it could cost the county an estimated $300,000.

"I'm proud to be a resident of Norfolk County," said Dan Currie, who first raised the issue in February, shortly after the antennae were installed.

"Council was receptive and concerned about the welfare of its citizens," said Currie, who has been unable to live in his century home on Union Street because of symptoms such as nausea, headaches, fatigue and dizziness that he says are caused by the cell tower.

"I was fine before the antennae went up and I'm fine when I'm not at home," he told council.

Students in the senior law class at Simcoe Composite School did a survey of residents in the area - which is close to Elgin Avenue School and Norfolk General Hospital - and discovered several more residents with similar symptoms.

To date, 17 people have reported recurring illnesses since the cell tower was installed.

No evidence

Staff said there's no conclusive evidence linking radio frequency waves with illness. And they noted that the cell tower meets federal health and safety regulations in regard to exposure levels.

But Mayor Rita Kalmbach said she'd rather err on the side of caution when it comes to people's health.

"When I hear people say they only get sick at home, when they're close to the tower, I have to believe there's something to this," she said.

"I believe we have to do what is right and good. But it is going to cost all the people of Norfolk County considerable money."

Just how much money isn't clear. When Kalmbach asked a Rogers representative about the possibility of getting out of the lease before the March 31, 2008, expiry date, Jack Hills said that will be up to the company's lawyers to decide.

He was also non-committal about the possibility that Rogers might voluntarily move its cell tower to another site.

"It's not our policy," he said, adding that the tower is operating within guidelines set by Health Canada and Industry Canada.

"The alleged fear can be mitigated by the guidelines."

Hills also noted that Rogers has many other telecommunications towers that are close to hospitals and schools. Some, in fact, are on top of schools.

However, Magna Havas, an environmental scientist at Trent University, told council that Canada's guidelines aren't as stringent as those in other countries. She cited studies that show an increased risk of cancer, as well as symptoms such as headaches, insomnia and nausea, when people live within 400 metres of a cell tower.

"I think there's enough evidence to cause a concern. I recommend not allowing antennae within 400 metres of schools, homes or buildings where people work."

Havas said she is particularly concerned about the risk to students at Elgin because children are more vulnerable to developing cancer than adults.

Council directed staff to begin negotiating a way out of the lease agreement as soon as possible. County manager Bill Allcock said that process will begin this week but he's not sure how long it will take before the cell tower finds a new home - or what the cost will be to taxpayers. He said Rogers will have to find an alternate location before the antennae can be removed.

Coun. Roger Geysens voted in favour of moving the cell tower but he warned that this might be the start of similar requests from other county residents who live near cell towers.

"I certainly don't want to put children at risk but there's not very many places in Norfolk County where you're not gong to be within 400 metres of some residents.

"I think we're asking for some very difficult times."

//tinyurl.com/sx45p



Campaign brews over second cell tower

Residents encouraged by council decision to move Rogers tower

Monte Sonnenberg - SIMCOE REFORMER
Thursday June 08, 2006

The Simcoe Reformer — Families in the south end of Simcoe are deciding whether to make an issue of the microwave cellphone antenna in their neighbourhood.

Residents in the area of Ireland Road are encouraged by Norfolk council’s decision this week to order the removal of a microwave cellphone antenna from the Simcoe water tower at the west end of Union Street.

The Rogers Wireless antenna in that case was installed late last year. The 100-metre Bell Cellular tower behind Sprucedale Youth Centre and secondary school near Boswell Street was erected in late 1997.

“Oh yeah, what we’ll probably do is go around and get another petition,” says Brad Cronkwright, who lives on Ireland Road near the intersection with Decou Road.

Cronkwright gathered a petition against the tower and presented it to the former Simcoe council nearly 10 years ago. Simcoe council chose not to get involved, saying telecommunications issues are a federal responsibility.

Like the dozens of concerned community members who crammed the council chamber at Governor Simcoe Square this week, residents in the southeast part of Simcoe are concerned about the potential health effects of microwave cell tower transmissions.

Chris Cronkwright, wife of Brad, says there’s an unusually large number of people in the neighbourhood suffering from cancer.

And as with the Union Street-Elgin Avenue situation, a number of residents complain of vague symptoms such as headaches, sleep disorders, mood swings, depression, aches, pains and the like. Some wonder if the Bell tower is to blame.

Chris Cronkwright herself beat cancer more than 10 years ago and intends to keep it that way. She’s disturbed that her three young sons complain regularly of headaches.

“It’s an ongoing problem,” she said. “Nothing seems to be causing it.”

Neighbour Lori Ernst also wonders if microwave cell towers are especially bad for young people. She noted that young people are concentrated in the neighbourhood at Sprucedale, Lynndale Heights Public School and St. Joseph’s School on Oakwood Avenue.

“I have kids playing outside all the time,” Ernst said yesterday. “If there is any kind of risk, I want it taken down.”

Ernst added that she’s developed spots within her field of vision since the tower went up.

The situation regarding the Bell tower is significantly different from the Rogers Wireless tower that was ordered removed this week. The Bell tower is located on private property. As well, Bell owns all the infrastructure on the land.

Ken Glasser of National Antenna in Elmira was site foreman for the Bell project in 1997.

Nine years ago, he dismissed theories that microwave transmissions cause illness as “a bunch of hocus pocus.” He noted at the time that the broadcast unit at the top of the Bell tower was rated at eight watts. Glasser said this is substantially less than the 10,000 watts associated with typical FM radio broadcast towers.

“If the seal on the door of your microwave (oven) isn’t perfect, you’ll get a lot more radiation from there than you will from this tower,” he said.

“Most microwave ovens are driven by a 100-watt system. There is just no comparison.”

//www.simcoereformer.ca/story.php?id=235142


Informant: Martin Weatherall

--------

Simcoe Phone mast, Ontario, Canada

SWEEP 19 Simcoe Special
//www.buergerwelle.de/pdf/sweep_19_simcoe_special.htm

Please take time to read the enclosed information about the fantastic campaign going on in Canada, well done to Professor Magda Havas and to the residents and children working on this serious issue, I especially like the way they have encouraged the teenagers in school to campaign it will teach them great values in life, they will learn that you can make a difference if you pull together as a team. Maybe all schools should follow this shining example.


Eileen O’Connor

Trustee – EM Radiation Research Trust
//www.radiationresearch.org

--------

Letter to the Editor - Simcoe Reformer

Dear Editor

Please see the attached letter, which relates to the Simcoe Water Tower, Cell Phone Tower.

Yours sincerely

Martin Weatherall


866729 Township Road 10 R.R.#3 Bright, Ontario N0J 1B0

13 June 2006

Health Canada's Unhealthy Agenda?

The residents of Simcoe in Norfolk County and the citizens of Canada in general should be very concerned about the hidden agenda of Health Canada. During the Norfolk council meeting of Tuesday 06 June 2006 residents complained about harm to their health from the recently installed, Rogers cell phone antennas on the Simcoe water tower. Many fellow citizens had conducted research and unearthed facts that clearly showed the dangers of living in close proximity to cell phone antennas. Included in their presentation was information showing that citizens in many different countries have reported cancer clusters and serious harm to health due to the nearby presence of cell phone antennas. Despite the reported health problems related to the antennas, Health Canada and the local health authority have done nothing about investigating the victims health problems, or providing assistance.

Contrast this inaction by Health Canada with the response that one would expect to an outbreak of food poisoning, SARS, e-coli, meningitis, Legionnaires disease, bird flu or a host of other infectious diseases. Reports and research from around the world indicate that exposure to electro-magnetic radiation from cell phone antennas and other sources is harming and killing many people. It is possible that E.M.R. is causing more harm to more citizens than all the above causes combined. Yet Health Canada's only response to Canada's victims is to state that these people cannot possibly be ill from cell phone masts because their exposure is below Canada's guidelines.

What Health Canada is not telling our citizens is that the guidelines are derived from the industries that cause the problem. The scope of the guidelines is limited to only the heating of the skin from the cell phone microwaves. The guidelines are not based on the biological effects, how they affect the brain, the immune system and various other parts of the human body. Compared to countries that have conducted detailed research into the health dangers of electro-magnetic radiation, our standards are extremely lax. It is probable that the research to which Health Canada chooses to refer is funded primarily by the cell phone industry itself.

Health Canada also relies upon information provided by the World Health Organization, even though the department head that governs electro-magnetic exposure considerations has been accused of receiving large amounts of money from the cell phone industry for travelling expenses. Considering the available research, the World Health Organization is far from realistic about the dangers of electro-magnetic exposure. They have clearly disregarded the interests of those they should be protecting.

At the meeting in Simcoe, the officials of Health Canada sat in a back row seat alongside the Rogers Canada and Industry Canada representatives, as if presenting a united front against the citizens who dared to report health harm from cell phone antennas. What do these three groups have in common? Industry Canada is the group that allows dangerously high levels of exposure to our citizens. Rogers uses those lax rules and saturates our environment with dangerous levels of electro-magnetic radiation, then denies any health effects. Health Canada is the organization that should be investigating the reported facts and health problems, and from whom the victims would reasonably expect to get some help. Yet with whom have they aligned themselves? It appears to me as if Health Canada is acting as a pimp to the cell phone industry, allowing the dirty work that is causing so many ill health effects.

Why has Health Canada turned a blind eye to what so many others can see? Are the health officials so incompetent? Or is it something more? Are they taking bribes, or orders from corrupt bureaucrats or politicians? There must be some reason why Health Canada is looking only at research that fits their "official view", while ignoring reports of all the harm that is being caused worldwide. The reckless spread of wireless technology is being allowed with little concern for the health of Canada's citizens. Health Canada and our government are allowing the interests of big business to take precedence over the safety of the population, even when there is clear evidence of very serious harm.


Martin Weatherall
519 463 6251
weather@golden.net

--------

This is a great victory! An existing installation being taken down. A rare, but much needed event. A great example of what a united community can accomplish.


Hi Milt,

thanks for the information. Last night our Councillors voted 8 to 1 in favour of beginning negotiations with Rogers to remove the cell phone antennas from the water tower.

Global News will be interviewing Kelly and I today. Apparently it will be aired on their 6:00 pm newscast tonight.

Pam.

Cheers,

Milt Milt Bowling
Clean Energy Foundation

Phone: 1 888 436 2152 or 604 436 2152 in Vancouver
Fax: 604 436 2154
//www.cleanenergycanada.com



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