Cellphone towers, health and democracy

Hataitai

I went to a hastily organised public meeting up the hill from my house last night about a proposed cellphone tower in Hataitai, Wellington. Vodafone want to put a cellphone tower on top of a street light pole among a bunch of houses near the school.

Vodafone only notified two local residents, and they in turn notified some of the local community – one of those notified was Fiona Kidman and she ended up in the DomPost yesterday about it. 

The meeting at the school, organised at short notice, had 30 or so people at it. They resolved to ask Vodafone to talk to the community about the tower before they built it. We were fortunate to have someone come along from the fight over towers in Titahi Bay to give us some support and advice.

Health and precaution

The issue of concern is the potential health risk associated with chronic exposure to non-ionising radiation, or radio frequency radiation, being emitted by these towers, or base stations. A French Court, for example, forced a telecommunications company to take down a cellphone tower in 2009 on the grounds that 

While the scientific discussion remains inconclusive, the company Bouygues Telecom has not demonstrated in the present case either the absence of risk nor the respect of any principle of precaution…..Considering that, while the reality of the risk remains hypothetical, it becomes clear from reading the contributions and scientific publications produced in debate and the divergent legislative positions taken in various countries, that uncertainty over the harmlessness of exposure to the waves emitted by relay antennas persists and can be considered serious and reasonable

 

There is a lot of evidence out there that casts some uncertainty over the safety of these masts and enough uncertainty to suggest a precautionary approach to the issue.

And yet, as I will demonstrate, NZ’s approach has been the exact opposite of the precautionary principle. How cellphone towers are put up in our neighbourhoods is a case study in how corporations exercise power and how the Labour Party is complicit in this.

Your rights and Labour’s NES

The extraordinary fact is that you have no legal right to have any say over the placement of cellphone towers on street poles on the road reserve. You have no legal right to stop them putting a cellphone mast one metre outside your kids’ bedroom if that’s where the street pole is. Period.

Your legal rights were all removed by the Labour Govt by regulation on Sept 8, 2008.

Labour removed all of your legal rights while calling it something rather positive sounding – they did it by enacting a National Environmental Standard. Sounds good doesn’t it; say it aloud and you’ll feel positive about our government: National Environmental Standard.

Trevor Mallard was the so-called Minister for the Environment who pushed through this so-called National Environmental Standard (NES) for Telecommunications Facilities.

The NES says that, so long as the telcos meet certain rules around the size of the cellphone towers and boxes, and meet a NZ Standard (NZS 2772) on the radiation coming out of the equipment, the telcos don’t have to get any permission from the local council or the residents to put up as many cellphone towers as they like on street poles on the road reserve. You can read the cabinet papers here.

Normally you think of an environmental standard as a minimum standard of environmental protection. Instead this standard is a maximum standard – councils are not allowed, for example, to say that they want to have a more precautionary approach to radiation in their district and require the towers emit less radiation than they are allowed to under this NES.

I think it’s wrong to impose a maximum standard of protection. If a local community, as represented by their elected council, wants to reduce the radiation coming out of cellphone base stations in their area then they should be allowed to.

Telcos and the NES

Now, Labour’s NES is pretty draconian, forcing people to accept devices around their homes and schools that continuously emit radiation, so if you were going to impose such a draconian set of rules on people, you’d want to be pretty confident that independent people with a strong health focus wrote the rules wouldn’t you?

Think again. According to the Parliamentary Library, Labour got the following people together to form the  Telecommunications Industry Reference Group which wrote the report which formed the basis of the NES:

  • Alistair Dixon, TelstraClear Limited
  • Chris Horne, Incite (Auckland) Limited, Resource Management Consultant for Telecom
  • Christine Turner, formerly Telecom New Zealand Limited
  • David Willetts, Enfocus Planning Limited – Ministry for the Environment Consultant
  • Harry Hopkinson, Telecom New Zealand Limited
  • Ian Hutchings, Ministry of Economic Development
  • Irene Clarke, Local Government New Zealand
  • Karl Mischewski, Vodafone New Zealand Limited
  • Pat Holm, Local Government Advisory Group
  • Poul Israelson, Harrison Grierson, Resource Management Consultant for Vodafone and TelstraClear
  • Richard Hawke, Ministry of Economic Development
  • Sally Gilbert, Ministry of Health.

As you can see there was just a single person who was there to represent a health perspective, the rest were either the telcos, or govt agencies supporting the telcos,. or local govt. The telcos had an interest in lowering the cost of putting up towers, the government departments were there to help lower costs, and Local Govt NZ was not there as a health expert. It was a jack up.

Labour then used the report of these people as the basis of the National Environmental Standard. Feeling safe and secure?

The NZ Standard

But I hear you say, what about the New Zealand Standard 2772 that underpins the NES. That’s gotta be legitimate right? I mean a New Zealand Standard just sounds solid and proper doesn’t it? We’re the most uncorrupt country on the planet, surely a New Zealand Standard, is the gold standard of health protection?

OK here is the group that decided on the New Zealand Standard, NZS 2772: Part1: 1999, Radiofrequency Fields, Part 1, Maximum Exposure Levels, 3kHz to 300 GHz (according to the list at the front of the standard):

  • Adopt Radiation Control
  • Broadcast Communications NZ
  • Local Govt NZ
  • Ministry of Commerce
  • National Radiation Lab
  • NZ Assoc of Radio Transmitters
  • NZ Inst of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
  • Telecom NZ

Again, another committee dominated by industry and government departments with one health professional. A group dominated by those trying to reduce costs for telcos.

The telcos, and government departments supporting the telcos, wrote the New Zealand Standard that underpins the NES, and ‘guarantees’ its safety. Or does it guarantee its safety? It has this rather disturbing little disclaimer at the start:

There is scientific research, including epidemiology, which has suggested associations between some adverse health effects and exposure to RF [radio frequency] fields at levels lower than the basic restrictions specified in this Standard, however causation has not been shown.

So they haven’t guaranteed that it’s safe. You may remember this language – it is the same language that the tobacco industry used about smoking . They were forced to agree that there was a correlation between smoking and disease but quite correctly said you can’t prove “causation”. Of course eventually causation was established but the tobacco industry used exactly this argument for years to fight off attempts to regulate tobacco.

The NZS 2772 Committee said that, while there was uncertainty as to the safety of radiation from these cellphone towers, they would “continue to monitor the results of this research and, where necessary, issue amendments to this document.”

That was in 1999. There has been only one minor amendment in November 1999, which looks like a correction but has no explanation. So much for amending and updating the Standard. It hasn’t changed.

Now the paper on which this NZS 2772 relies is by the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNRP) from 1998.  Yet, there has been lots of research questioning the level of radiation allowed by the ICNRP in the more than a decade since it was written but the ICNRP standard has remained unchanged. A number of countries have abandoned the ICNRP standard and have required lower radiation levels from the towers. But not NZ.

Summary

So, in 1999, a committee dominated by the telcos and the Ministry of Commerce wrote the NZ Standard 2772 that set the levels of radiation allowed from cellphone towers. Then a committee dominated by the telcos and MED used this NZ Standard as the basis for the National Environment Standard that the Labour Government adopted in 2008. This NES forces us all to have cellphone towers on any street pole in the country without any legal right to object regardless of how close it is to people’s houses or schools.

I would wager that 99% of New Zealanders know almost nothing about this story and if they did they would be furious. But they will only find out when the tower goes up, and that happens pole by pole. The Government should have protected us from the telcos and operated a precautionary approach, instead they did their dirty work and willfully tied the hands of citizens and councils. The corporations have taken hold of our government, and Labour happily aquiesced.

If the Nats really wanted to show that they weren’t in the pockets of the telcos like Labour, they could publicly review the NES and the NZ Standard, but I don’t like the chances.

126 thoughts on “Cellphone towers, health and democracy

  1. Happy New Year all!!!

    You seem to have glossed over the fact that your reference to my link (section 4 and the section entitled covert antennas) does not support anything you’re saying at all. What are you talking about?

    From the link, section “COVERT ANTENNAS”:

    Keep in mind that cell tower density is directly connected to population density.

    Which is one of the things I noted earlier, and which that author is agreeing with me on. Where you get people with phones, you get cellsites.

    Quoting Todd again:

    Reducing broadcast strength of CPT by having more lower power output units, is a recommendation by many independent studies, reducing high levels of RFR from widely spaced existing CPT which causes ill health in their (D) maximum output area is advisable. But as with every other recommendation, it’s being ignored. Presently the only reason for more CPT is to increase area response, not limit existing CPT output. It is no longer required to increase “bandwidth”.

    What I believe you are saying here is that more cell sites are being installed, but they are not of lower power.

    Quoting me, earlier:

    When cellphones started out in the 1980s, there were very few phones, and very few cellsites, and those cellsites were all placed in high up places for maximum coverage. A mobile phone back then was quite a powerful thing, the car phones (and the “transportables”) had 4W transmitter output, and handhelds had 2W.

    As the number of phones goes up, an the number of delivered services and bandwidth required of those services increases, the size of cells have to shrink, because the upper bound is placed by licence and technical considerations.

    And thats how we get to where we are today. Phones these days have a power output of 0.75-1W, so they radiate much less energy than old phones, and the batteries last a lot longer, and the phones are smaller and lighter.

    More than this, the transmitter power of both cellsites and phones varies according to the encountered conditions. So both ends will use the absolute minimum transmit power to make the call possible. So although a phone may be capable of transmitting 750mW of RF, it may actually only need 10mW to do the job, and that is what it will actually use.

    Thus the closer the base station and the tower are to each other, the less power both use.

    Thus “Reducing broadcast strength of CPT by having more lower power output units” is exactly what is happening and what has happened since GSM started out. When a new cellsite is installed, the new site has to “squeeze” in between the existing sites, partially displacing the existing cells, thus the coverage of the existing sites around it has to reduce, and thus the existing sites need (and thus use) lower power than they previously did. And the phones nearer the new site can use less power to reach the new site than they would have to reach the surrounding sites.

    And this is why a telco can roll up with a cellsite on a trailer to an event of some sort, start it up, and it seamlessly integrates into the network; the cells around it “make way” for the newcomer.

    Having very few types of standard cellsite equipment is a sensible thing to do on many fronts, and the fact that should a site go down then the surrounding sites can fill in the gap by upping their power a bit is a distinct bonus.

    The engineering of cellphone systems is clear and unequivocal; the more cellphone sites there are the better the system works. The limit on that is economic viability; cellsites cost money.

    Changing tack a little: I’m not a pro or anti cellsite campaigner; I’m not a campaigner at all on the issue. I’m someone who likes to have the availability of a cellphone (even though I use it very little) and have some understanding of the way cellphone networks work, and ditto RF and stuff in general.

    I see people worried about radiation from cellphones (lets assume its a valid worry for this paragraph), yet these people don’t want cell towers near them, but the engineering is that having close-by cellphone bases is the best way of reducing cellphone transmission powers, as I’ve explained a few times now.. People are fighting against what they want to achieve (lower radiation) simply because they don’t understand how this stuff works, and they believe the mis-information spouted by those who also don’t understand the technology.

    The link to health is that people (who may or may not know better) are making outrageous claims about the safety of cellphone systems to bend good engineering (and safety) principles. As best as we know it, cellphone systems are not provably dangerous, but there is a possibility that down in the noise that they may have risks associated with them.

    If people are worried about the risks posed by cellphone systems, then really they ought to do an analysis of all the risks they subject themselves to, and put that risk into context. For example, the safest form of transport we have is the humble elevator, which is many times safer than taking the stairs. If one thinks that cellphones pose a hazard, then one really better not take the stairs where there is a lift available. And that’s before you get onto the really dangerous stuff like step out onto a road or into a car, or eat meat, or use a tool, or heaven forbid, go drinking or smoking…

  2. Todd – you seem to be missing my point by discussing the performance when the received signal is above the threshold. What counts when determining how much power is needed is what is the threshold. My point was that the threshold itself increases with higher data rates because the receiver is making choices between more options and if the (average) power level isn’t increased, then those options are closer together and the system becomes more vulnerable to noise. Hence the need for more power to send more data. However this is all about the minimum power level needed.

    You also seem to be confusing coding schemes with compression. Perhaps you are used to the terms being used interchangeably, but when I said that you can’t compress an already compressed signal, I was thinking about compression algorithms such as RAR and ZIP. Attempting to compress a compressed file rarely gives any significant improvement. The same applies when you are trying to send a PDF file to a cell phone for example.

    Trevor.

  3. BJ/Trevor29

    I never said there was unlimited future capabilities. That was never a part of my argument. I said compression, transmission and reception is improving. I never said there was no limit to increasing data transfer by compression either. It appears that you’re both so bent on winning the debate concerning my small contention, that you’re both putting words in my mouth and then arguing against yourselves.

  4. Trevor

    I think this boils down to a matter of theoretically possible future improvements being applied to demand and traffic handling requirements in the present.

    Your argument that there is a limit given current capabilities is being countered by an argument that includes unlimited future capabilities. There is a bit of orthogonality here I think.

    With what we have, we need more lower powered Cell sites closer to the customers, and there is almost certainly a hard limit on how much traffic can be borne by the technology without raising power to cancer causing levels. If we could have tomorrows DSP today, that limit is higher.

    Sorry if I am not participating directly… the reasons are obvious enough.

    respectfully
    BJ

  5. Trvor29

    I have used Fourier Transforms. They are irrelevant to my point.

    DFT are relevant to your contention that the signal cannot be compressed further. They’re an exact example that it can be. Your argument that they’re not efficient is rather naive, considering implementation. The digital aspect of data compression is highly relevant as well. I never said there was no limit to increasing data transfer by compression btw. Please don’t make things up.

    As processors become more complex and powerful, more “choices” can be deciphered. These choices are not related to noise ratios. The incoming data is not affected by interference because it’s above that threshold. A threshold makes the system work and is a given. I’m applying my reasoning to what is in effect, not just theories concerning principles.

    In effect you’re correct in that power needs to increase until it meets that threshold. But I’m correct in that increasing power past that threshold does not help to send greater amounts of data. There is an optimum power level. As receivers, compression and processors improve, this level can drop. Reducing interference is a huge factor in transmitter power reduction. The current infrastructure has signal “drenching” making more power required. I don’t know how many times I have to put the same thing different ways. You must understand by now?

    Once the required signal to noise ratio is achieved, there is no advantage in increasing the power further…

    Correct! Apart from distance achieved of course.

    unless you want to change the coding to send even more data.

    Incorrect! Increasing the power output, does not relate to sending more data by changing its code. Although code compression can have a lot to do with how much data is sent, this does not relate to increases in power output above the threshold.

    I feel you’re clutching at straws here Trevor29. Yawn!

  6. Todd – I have used Fourier Transforms. They are irrelevant to my point. The receiver has to make a series of decisions about the values of the incomming data to decide which of various possible values was transmitted. The data throughput can be increased by having more possible values at any one time. If there are two choices, then one bit can be sent. If there are four choices than 2 bits can be sent, etc. However the more choices there are, the more difficulty the receiver has in deciding which choice is correct as the choices are more closely spaced. Since the incomming data is affected by noise, a lower noise level is needed if the choices are closer together, so more power is needed to improve the signal to noise ratio to achieve reliable discrimination. TANSTAAFL. Of course, once the required signal to noise ratio is achieved, there is no advantage in increasing the power further – unless you want to change the coding to send even more data.

    Trevor.

  7. I’m sorry Todd, but I haven’t worked out which – if any – of those links was about data compression.

    And yes I comprehend your belief that you can send more data without limit without using more power. I just don’t share your belief and you haven’t provided any explanation.

    Trevor.

  8. Trevor29

    Data compression doesn’t work when the data is already compressed.

    1G, 2G, 3G, 4G and then 5G: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4Ghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5Ghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-carrier_FDMAhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OFDMA

    Etc… There is no reason that the technological aspects of data packet compression cannot continue to be developed to reduce throughput requirements. Please pull your heads out of the sand.

    Techniques to increase the data throughput for a given bandwidth require higher signal to noise ratios.

    Higher signal to noise ratio, is required for signal continuity (noise interference and data corruption reduction), which is required no matter what the bandwidth is. What you’re saying is that there must be enough signal strength to not be interfered with for it to work properly. Correct! The bandwidth utilized can determine the amount of data transferred. Probably why they’re using dangerous frequencies. Increasing the signal means there is more overlap because greater distance is achieved. Current noise from other RFR because of incorrect application means a higher power output requirement.

    Here’s the important bit: It’s possible to transmit information nearly without error at any rate below a limiting rate. Increasing the output power over and above the limiting rate (noise) does not reduce data corruption further. It does not increase the amount of data able to be sent. It does increase distance achieved. Comprehend?

    I am right about this; all the testing analysis and studies since Shannon support my contention.

    By using more CPT but lower power per CPT.

    Where within that post of mine did I say that CPT power output was reduced? In a perfectly applied infrastructure or on a piece of paper calculation you’re correct, but that’s not what we have. We have a badly implemented and governed infrastructure that often fails. Currently the more overlapping signals which reduces the ability for CPT to utilize overlapped bandwidth, means less bandwidth is available overall. There is currently saturation creating negative technical issues as well as adverse health conditions.

    The interesting thing about advancements in technology is they can utilize various transmitters that are already in place. Effectively this will resolve much of the over application of multiple infrastructure that does the same job. Well let’s hope so anyway.

    I find the technical aspect rather boring to debate… It ‘s also not specifically the argument here which is concerned with peoples health and incorrect administration processes. We need to correct that before any proper application of the technology can be achieved.

  9. Todd – you are totally wrong when you say:
    “CPT that do not have overlapping signal can reuse the same bandwidth. More CPT creates more overlap and thus less bandwidth ability overall…”

    By using more CPT but lower power per CPT, each CPT has a lower range. Two cell phones in different positions can reuse the same frequency/channel to talk to two different CPTs if the signal strengths at the receivers of the correct signal are sufficiently higher than the signal strengths of the wrong signal, requiring the CPTs to be adequately separated so that their cells don’t overlap. By using lower powers and smaller cells, the CPTs on the same frequencies can be closer together, therefore increasing the number of simultaneous conversations, etc that can take place in a given area, i.e. the effective bandwidth increases.

    Trevor.

  10. Advancing technology still has its limits. Increasing sensitivity doesn’t help when the limit is ambient noise levels. Data compression doesn’t work when the data is already compressed. Techniques to increase the data throughput for a given bandwidth require higher signal to noise ratios.

    The bottom line is that it is better to have more smaller cells and lower power.

    Trevor.

  11. You’re not in the debate about health and precaution considerations… that’s what this post is all about dbuckely. Are you in the debate as a pro cell phone tower (CPT) campaigner?

    You seem to have glossed over the fact that your reference to my link (section 4 and the section entitled covert antennas) does not support anything you’re saying at all. What are you talking about?

    as time goes on and the density of cell bases increases the power output per base is reducing.

    Reducing broadcast strength of CPT by having more lower power output units, is a recommendation by many independent studies, reducing high levels of RFR from widely spaced existing CPT which causes ill health in their (D) maximum output area is advisable. But as with every other recommendation, it’s being ignored. Presently the only reason for more CPT is to increase area response, not limit existing CPT output. It is no longer required to increase “bandwidth”.

    and a growing range of services making more demands on the bandwidth. Thus the need to subdivide existing cells continues

    I did generally understand what you’re saying concerning +CPT dbuckely, but I still disagree. Lets put my viewpoint this way then: More CPT producing more output power is not required because of increased load. More CPT equals better distance and stronger signal achieved. There is no requirement to increase “bandwidth” within that signal strength. Let’s all say that again… Digital 3G effectively means; there’s no need to increase bandwidth by increasing the amount of existing CPT, even if this was still an effect of adding more CPT in most areas at all. CPT that do not have overlapping signal can reuse the same bandwidth. More CPT creates more overlap and thus less bandwidth ability overall (different telcos probably have different spectrum’s, but this increases radiation within multiple placed CPT areas). In most built up areas, the signal is “drenched” enough already. Comprehend?

    To implement the recommendations effectively, we would need to remove all existing CPT and install purpose built smaller CPT within exact spacing guidelines that are still not in close proximity to humans. Being that a section is probably enough safe distance for a very low power CPT, such a scenario is achievable within our current suburban design.

    I hope by now you can appreciate that the fact that urban cellsites have height restrictions is neither here nor there, and even if there were no restrictions whatsoever, it would make little or no difference to the implantment of new cellphone base stations.

    Height restrictions limit the ability for some CPT to be placed in their optimum advantage point. Being properly placed means less power output is required to achieve the same effect. Currently, the more CPT, the more cross accumulation and higher RFR there is in certain X signal areas. This is not recommended.

    Cell placement is normally thought of as hexagons, however a signal is circular (to state the obvious). It would be: “well we get a signal here, we don’t get one there. The distance the new CPT can broadcast is… let’s plonk one right here next to a primary school then because it gives the best bang for the buck”. The current rules allow this even though many studies show it to be dangerous. Placing many small CPT on the outskirts of a town instead of one big CPT in the middle of that town would be one solution. But that doesn’t help sort out the cities and the profits before people will mean the telcos and the Government for that matter would not even consider it.

    The main thing I think we’re missing here is that a change in the bandwidth spectrum so that it does not coincide with frequencies that resonate with the human body is an easily achievable undertaking. There is no signal loss from changing the spectrum. Making my contention that there is a conspiracy at play here, not just a financial consideration that is causing widespread ill health from these devices; even more plausible.

    There are many frequency spectrums without excessive noise that do not correspond to resonate molecular structure within the body. That would be a way to change the existing technology so that it was not dangerous. Why aren’t those radio spectrums being used?

  12. Hi dbuckley
    Lookup Femtocells, these are small low powered Cellular access points that can be plugged into a standard ADSL connection. The technology has been around for a few years and was supposed to be the ultimate solution to Cell Phone Towers for the very reasons we are debating. The technology certainly has merit, I would have to measure the Microwave radiation output before giving it the tick. I have only seen them in a few of the larger businesses.

  13. Hi Todd,
    Electrosensitves suffer from Fibromyaglia syptoms. I have been in contact with a person in the South Island who is electrosensitive. He had an accident several years ago with chemicals which made him chemosensitve and later electrosentive. The poor fellow cannot live in the modern world as all forms of EMF causes him pain.

  14. My argument was against your assertion that power output needs to increase

    I have never stated this; I have stated the opposite. I’m saying there will be more cell bases, and as time goes on and the density of cell bases increases the power output per base is reducing.

  15. Hey, sorry guys, I don’t have time read all this commentary—the few bits here and there taken as my fayre seeming little different from those of foes and counter flows back in the 80s/90s..

    Mind ye, I did spot Russell’s header incl. “Democracy”.. and, as previously, wondered how how well the rf thing was rated among birds. aka aves. do they go for this cell-stuff..? like they did not go for the older rf stuff.. which accounts for why many flocks took up coastal properties back in the day..

    BTW: speaking of birds I’d like to place a big tick onsite FOR R. Norman, who this day was heard to coin a new ‘bird’ — being a bluebird variety named Craven. Congratulations sir!

    For this, and all attendent to it, is a most enlightening media/politics occupation. As you will have noticed… wot!

  16. Hey Toa, would you say that ailments like fibromyalgia could be associated to RFR? Considering the known negative effects of RFR are similar to Fibromyalgia’s symptoms. The doctors still don’t have any cohesive explanation for that ailment and it also appears to be a new disease. Cheers!

  17. The Cell Phone Tower website http://www.nes.org.nz is now averaging 150 unique visits per month with the majority of visitors from the United States. For the past three months the most popular web page viewed by 40% of visitors is the one on Cell Phone Tower Tinnitus. The fact that 40% of visitors are viewing this page is a good indication that many people are developing Cell Phone Tower Tinnitus.

    I am now setting up a Health Register/Petition so that people from around NZ/World can publicly record the types of health issues suffered from Cell Phone Towers. I have setup the introductory page and will finish the register/petition later this week.

    This is what the Ministry of Health should be doing NOT ME!!!!

  18. dbuckely

    And the phrase “because they should require less radiation to function on” is straight out of Back to the Future.

    I’m a keen movie buff but can’t recall such a phrase in those crappy movies. The implication of advancements in technology to reduce high radiation levels is valid. Developing safe technology that does the same job is very achievable. It just takes money and thus reduces profits. Something that is sacred in the land of capitalism.

    Are you refering to this:

    4. POWER LEVEL – What the strength of the signal is. This is measured in microwatts, milliwatts and watts. One microwatt is a millionth of a watt, One milliwatt is one-thousandth of a watt. For example, 1,000 milliwatts is one watt.

    Cell phone power levels are often in the 100 milliwatt to 4 watt class. In the past, older bag type cell phones people carried around, were up near 4 watts of power. Getting a strong signal was no problem. Today’s pocket cell phones are in the 100 milliwatt area. Reducing the power goes with size reduction and a smaller battery. This also reduces cell size, which actually is beneficial
    as I’ll explain latter.

    and this:

    COVERT ANTENNAS

    The closer to a radiating antenna you are, the higher the health risk there is. In an effort to increase channel availability for the increasing number of cell phone users, cells have to be made smaller. These are often known as microcells. In the past, cell towers typically covered a 10 mile cell. Microcells today are often less than one mile, depending on local population size. More towers are required to be assured a cell phone will get a channel when talk is pressed, or when someone answers a cell phone.

    I was not arguing against proliferation. In fact I think proliferation is a requirement to reduce output levels in the face of high density space restrictions.

    My argument was against your assertion that power output needs to increase to handle more information. Applying current compression algorithms, sensitive receivers and better program language has probably meant a reduction in overall requirements even with streaming media and more uptake of devices.

    To say this can’t be enhanced further so that less broadcast radiation is required is not correct. Trying to argue against broadcast strength vs bandwidth by implying I’m saying proliferation is wrong is also an incorrect cognitive process.

  19. Trevor

    If I understand this at all it would appear that the “level of service” expectations have to be pulled back as well. Streaming video and internet through your phone? It begs the question “why?”

    Might also be a wifi issue. Don’t know the signal strengths involved, though I am sure they are low – the antennae are also close and the bandwidth required is large.

    Convenience trumps caution in the world these days. Has for decades.

    respectfully
    BJ

  20. BJ may well be right in saying that the existing limits should be reduced. However the fact remains that the lowest exposure for a given level of service is obtained by having cell sites close to the point of use. We should be encouraging the telcos to roll out more micropower cell sites – ideally one on every light pole, with proportionally lower power levels. However I don’t see that it is necessary for all of them to be transmitting all the time.

    Trevor.

  21. Todd – I’m not in the debate about health risks.

    However, your points after my quote are quite wrong; although the bandwidth required to deliver a voice call has shrunk somewhat over the years, new high bandwidth services (video, internet) dwarf the voice traffic. And as I noted just a couple of posts above, cell site output (and phone output too) is decreasing as the sites get smaller. And the phrase “because they should require less radiation to function on” is straight out of Back to the Future.

    In that article you linked to, you’ll note section 4, and the section entitled “COVERT ANTENNAS” says exactly the same things I’ve been saying here.

  22. There are two issues here, not well served by the argument that is going on.

    The first issue is that the government has in its wisdom, provided a “safe” limit to the RF field strength that is basically 10 years old, based on the heating and other direct effects of the RF, and below which the Telco has the right to site a tower without asking anyone. The limits used are, based on what we have learned in the intervening years now, almost certainly far too high to be regarded as safe.

    This is not related in any way to the argument over how many cell sites are sited where. It is a discussion of what is safe based on the field strength, and the current regulations have got it wrong.

    This means that mobile phones, wifi sites and all manner of peripheral equipment are, quite possibly contributing to increasing rates of cancer, and will continue to do so for years to come as cancer is a long lead time problem.

    This has to be corrected. It has nothing to do with number or altitude of cellphone towers.

    The second issue is whether “power” is an issue when determining the NEED for additional cell sites, and in this dbuckley is doing an excellent job of informing us.

    The critical issue at the phone is almost always the signal to noise ratio, not the gross power.

    An example problem.

    Assert that we have a two cell sites next overlapping. If one is on frequency A and the other is on frequency B they can serve 2 users simultaneously using frequency Division.

    (We leave out the complicating considerations of different sorts of multiplexing and simply make the division on frequency, as the multiplexing tech is not relevant to the fundamental limitations of power, distance and number of users that can be served… Introducing TDMA or CDMA or any other Multiplexing multiplies this by a constant, but does nothing to remove the basic constraint. ).

    At this point we can serve 2 conversations simultaneously and there is no amount of power applied, signal strength or magic that can allow a 3rd simultaneous conversation. The only way to add another user is to see to it that the sites do NOT overlap. (ie, making it harder for a phone that “sees” one site to get any signal from the other). So raising a cell antenna is pretty much the last thing to want to do.

    For many reasons related to quality of service and available frequencies, the cell sites want to be more numerous and lower powered overall. This is being done within the limits of the safety standards as the exist in NZ today.

    The problem is that those STANDARDS are set based on the best data available over a decade ago and the best data available now tells us that they are set significantly higher than they should be.

    Which means that lower powered or not, all these new cell towers are not low powered enough to protect the population near them. The regs don’t limit them to anything like “safe”.

    Right up at the top of this thread I pointed out that I don’t like the damned things, and that there was NOT a completely safe way to deploy this technology… much less to overuse it as we are doing… and that risk had to be distributed fairly.

    It appears that there really is NOT a safe way to do this, and we really have to consider limitations that will (I suspect) cripple the ability of the Telcos to deploy additional services and on current form risk is nothing like fairly distributed.

    Just another inconvenient truth that we have to champion.

    BJ

  23. dbuckely

    There are fundamental principles you’re getting wrong.

    Load is not increased through increasing radiation output. Distance achieved is increased. By increasing the height of cell phone towers, we need to increase the safety zone so that the maximum radiation zone shown (D) does not adversely affect peoples health. By increasing the height and power of cell phone towers (CPT) we increase the maximum distance achieved. When a CPT is placed low the maximum radiation effect is achieved in zone D and horizontally.

    The horizontal safety distance is therefore the critical calculation. If we ensure that there is enough horizontal distance between CPT and people, we can increase power and thus output distance because the outer and lower radiation zone is also increased. However this is not achievable in built up areas so many low powered CPT are required that require less safe zone. Under current legislation they have no safe zone calculated into there application placing many people in the unsafe D zone.

    As the number of phones goes up, an the number of delivered services and bandwidth required of those services increases, the size of cells have to shrink, because the upper bound is placed by licence and technical considerations.

    As the technology gets better, increased numbers of phones has little to no effect on infrastructure because they should require less radiation to function on. Especially in light of applicable compression algorithms.

    There has been no consideration to reduce power output and little limitation because of license conditions. There is no body ensuring output conditions conform to license restrictions and councils certainly have no willpower to govern this sector.

    http://www.rense.com/general56/rad.htm

  24. It’s a nice read. Thanks for it. But my view is that the radiation from cellphones are safe. It’s too weak to make much of an impact on the body. But i could be wrong.

  25. You are still missing my point in that the current restrictions encourage high numbers of Cell Phone Towers as the low CPTs are inefficient for optimal area coverage.

    I fully understand your point. You keep making it. But that doesn’t make the point correct.

    You say “restrictions encourage high numbers of Cell Phone Towers”.

    That is simply not true, even though it looks like it could be, and sounds eminantly reasonable and plausible.

    You’ve got the relationship between cellphone heights and numbers of cellphone bases required upside down.

    It is the need to have large numbers of cellsites that cause them to be placed very close and at a height where people are.

    When cellphones started out in the 1980s, there were very few phones, and very few cellsites, and those cellsites were all placed in high up places for maximum coverage. A mobile phone back then was quite a powerful thing, the car phones (and the “transportables”) had 4W transmitter output, and handhelds had 2W.

    As the number of phones goes up, an the number of delivered services and bandwidth required of those services increases, the size of cells have to shrink, because the upper bound is placed by licence and technical considerations.

    And thats how we get to where we are today. Phones these days have a power output of 0.75-1W, so they radiate much less energy than old phones, and the batteries last a lot longer, and the phones are smaller and lighter.

    I hope by now you can appreciate that the fact that urban cellsites have height restrictions is neither here nor there, and even if there were no restrictions whatsoever, it would make little or no difference to the implantment of new cellphone base stations.

    Having read your paper, its clear that you understand the principles that govern how radio spectrum contention works: “…however mass rollout of Wireless broadband to urban households will not achieve 100MB due to limitations of a finite and allocated radio frequency spectrum and the large number of subscribers” Cellphone networks are no different; there is finite banwidth, and a large and growing number of “subscribers”, and a growing range of services making more demands on the bandwidth. Thus the need to subdivide existing cells continues, and as you subdivide the need is to segregate cells from each other. Having them low definitely helps in this regard, whereas having them high makes matters worse.

  26. Toa – plant trees. The moisture in foliage absorbs radio frequency energy. No permits normally needed.

    Trevor.

  27. Hi samiuela,
    The regular low dosages of Vitamin C sorted out the flu like symptoms in March this year. The Audiologist advised that nothing can be done about Tinnitus (I am still investigating this).

    I do have some plans for shielding the entire property by mounting it in my tree opposite the Cell Phone Tower. Still trialing out different light weight materials. Interestingly the most cost effective is a large array of foil plates (they bend in high winds though).

    I have checked and will need consent from the City Council and probably approval of the Telco to proceed.

  28. Toa,

    Have you considered shielding your house? I believe there are paints specially designed to do this ( have a look here: http://www.yshield.com.au/ ). I reckon that it shouldn’t be too difficult to improvise some cheap DIY solution (especially since it would appear that you have access to a meter to measure the signals in your house, and can experiment a bit with shields etc). But if you are using some sort of metallic or conductive shield, make sure that it is electrically safe.

    I still reckon you should see a GP at the same time; having flu like symptoms for months is not normal, and you wouldn’t want to later find out that it was actually caused by something else other than the cell phone tower.

  29. Hey Frog, I noticed there’s been so many thumbs down on some of the posts on this thread that I can no longer read them because they’re hidden. Even when I change the viewing requirements, they do not seem to come back online. In the least, I would determine that this feature is being abused because there was nothing in those posts that was derogatory. But in actuality I believe the feature is being tricked into accepting multiple votes from the same people because of the process I have already made you aware of. Would you be so good as to fix or remove the thumbs up/down feature?

  30. Trevor29

    It’s the distance required that determines power output. Not the load. Situating multiple towers outside of a township so that the distance achieved covers that township in low level radiation costs more because mutliple towers are required. Hence the privately owned telecom companies plonking their radiation devices in the middle of towns without consideration of exposure symptoms.

    There’s certainly enough bandwidth assigned and utilized already by those companies for any increased capacity requirements.

    Siting the cell phone towers in industrial areas and on ridges, etc away from the populated areas will not reduce exposure in the general population – it will increase it instead.

    The highest level of radiation is often in close proximity but not directly next to the tower. I refer you to Fig. 2 of the German study linked to above: From the mast height h and the downtilt angle a, the distance D at which the main beam reaches ground is given by D = tan(90-a) _ h

    Meaning that the optimum level of receiving distance and safety is on the outside circle of D.

    Situating cell phone towers so that they are not in close proximity to people, utilizing more low-powered towers which handle all data transfer (not implementing multiple towers for the same job) and ensuring that the existing guidelines are changed to fit current international understanding and are actually applied, is the only way to utilize the existing technology so that it does not cause wide spread illness. However these measures will probably still not alleviate all adverse health effects from cell phone tower radiation.

  31. Suggestions of moving the cell phone towers away from schools, residential areas, etc misses the obvious point that a high number of cell phone users are in these precise areas. The radio frequency power level required by both the cell phone tower and the cell phone itself is determined by the noise level at the other end and the path loss. The latter follows an inverse-square law in free space, but losses can increase faster than this if the path has obstructions. When you consider the total number of cell phone calls being made simultaneously, the conclusion is that the total radio frequency power required to support those calls increases with at least the square of the distance between cell phone sites. Even siting the cell phone towers away from populated areas (if you can find any) doesn’t help much because that just increases the required power even more.

    The other problem is that there is a limited bandwidth available to cell phone services. This means that the frequencies must be reused to achieve the necessary throughput, requiring multiple cell phone towers to operate on the same frequency across a city. This only works if the cell phones using those sites have a much lower path loss from one cell phone tower than other towers on the same frequency. Therefore the cell phone towers need to be close to the users where they can use low power levels.

    These new power pole cell phone sites are using much lower power levels than the older base stations as their intended range is much smaller, and therefore pose much less risk.

    Siting the cell phone towers in industrial areas and on ridges, etc away from the populated areas will not reduce exposure in the general population – it will increase it instead.

    Trevor.

  32. I cannot fault your impeccable logic and extensive research done here Toa. It appears that instead of answering relevant questions about their inconsistencies, the Government has chosen to ignore you. This is a common tactic so you should not take it personally.

    Whereas your concerns encompass negative health effects of EMF, mine are more to do with carcinogenic substances being released from pulp and paper mills. I received similar dismissal of my concerns through underhanded tactics such as disinformation, non-response, buck passing and even threats. They certainly did not respond to the various studies and information I presented that shows negative health effects at even low doses from carcinogenic substances released into the environment en masse. Some of which are the most toxic substances known to mankind.

    We need to understand that there are vast amounts of finances tied up in these dangerous practices. The industries seem to have no moralistic bounds and there is certainly no proper safety stipulations imposed by the powers that be. There is not even any prosecution when these dangerous technologies exceed the unrealistically pro industry guidelines that are in place. making them superfluous and completely ineffective at safeguarding the public. It’s the Wild West and the lawman is apparently being bribed to ignore the facts. The only saving grace is that when enough people are affected and start asking questions, then the technology will have to change, or there will be nobody left to sell it to.

    It’s not only the improper business practices and governmental non-comprehension and action that we need to be concerned with. It’s also the health systems denial of the detrimental effects.

    I would predict that if someone was instantaneously burnt from a cell towers high emission of radiation, the effect would be dismissed by the medical profession, as specialists determine their findings under official guidelines and ACC directives. That is why they deny any knowledge of negative health effects from RFR. There certainly is no consideration given to cumulative effects and if there was, that particular health professional would find difficulties in undertaking their business.

    How can government effectively monitor EMF issues when there is clearly no system for reporting them?

    The answer is that this is most likely a deliberate dynamic to dissuade people from reporting effects in the first instance and then loosing those complaints within a tower of corrupt bureaucracy that has no intention of quantifying that information into a report that finds the actual extent of the problem. We must also consider that people who are likely to complain about a cause of their illness, are also having to fight that illness and in the case of cancer, that fight takes all their energy.

    The government might not appreciate the time and research you have put into this, but I certainly do. Even though you have come up against a brick wall, keep up the good work.

  33. Hi Todd,
    For my reply to parliaments response go to:

    http://www.nes.org.nz/ – Reply to parliaments response on petitions – Thursday 25 March 2010.

    After 9 months they have still not replied. It would be excellent if the Greens follow this up by putting it to parliament at question time as the public deserves to know why Government is blatantly ignoring the obvious?

    Of interest did you know that there are Low Frequency EMF pulse devices used to Heal Bone fractures?

    These are called EMF Pulse Bone Growth Stimulators. They were discovered in 1973 and FDA approved in 1998. The devices pulse (below ICNIRP standard) low frequency EMF through the Bone Fracture. This accelerates growth/repair by up to 40%.

    There are also devices being developed that use (below ICNIRP standard) pulsed Microwave radiation to accelerate the healing of skin. This was discovered in 2007 and still undergoing clinical trials. Last year there was success with using various AM pulsed fields to slow down the progression of various terminal cancers.

    These devices used in medicine show that the effects of Low-High EMFs can be positive under strict conditions. By comparison Cell Phone Transmission equipment are manufactured by multiple vendors, with multiple models, using multiple communications protocols and frequencies ranging from 800Mhz – 2.4Ghz.

    It is impossible to say that these will ever be “safe” when this technology is evolving at a rapid pace and there is no clinical studies confirming it. That is why the precautionary principal is in place and it is insane that NZ does not follow it.

  34. Hi dbuckley,

    You are still missing my point in that the current restrictions encourage high numbers of Cell Phone Towers as the low CPTs are inefficient for optimal area coverage.

    We can set parameters to ensure that there are less CPTs required in the future (eg infrastructure sharing) and that they are placed away from residential areas and schools (tall multi-panel towers). This is only if there is political will to do so.

    You are obviously a technical person. Below is a submission I sent to the MeD last year in response to the Broadband initiative, you might find this interesting as NZ needs an overarching plan.

    http://www.med.govt.nz/upload/70936/FDBI-Submissions-008-Toa-Greening.PDF

  35. Hi Samiuela,

    For the Tinnitus I went to the Auckland University Audiology clinic. They confirmed that I responded to their tests (2 hour examination) as someone who had recently developed Tinnitus. They found no physical causes, underlying conditions, head/ear trauma, loud music history, work history or age range (30s). In fact apart from the buzzing my hearing was excellent for my age. I talked to them about the Microwave Hearing effect and they were unaware of this effect. They did advise that most people eventually develop Tinnitus but usually in their 60’s not 30’s. They gave me CDs of whale calls and the ocean as they believe stress brings it on. The CDs did not work but you do eventually get used to the continuous buzzing.

    With regards to the eight months of flu I ended up on a concoction of flu suppressants, anti-congestants, anti-histamines, cough suppressants etc. Very little relief, felt more ill as I had never needed that stuff before. The symptoms I had were more like hay fever however in mix were real colds, which were making me really ill. I was about to go for several blood tests and anti-biotics when I decided to take Vitamin C. Now I need only take one 250mg tablet every 3-4 days and ramp up to 500-1000 mg/day when real colds appear. The CDs of whale calls and the ocean also had no effect.

    There is anecdotal evidence of this happening to other people but it is understandably meet with skepticism. I have reported this to the NZ Medical Director of Health so the problem is his to deal with.

  36. Thanks for the link Toa Greening.

    Some excerpts:

    caused by mild whole-body heat stress and/or tissue damage caused by excessive localised heating

    So radiation has to instantaneously burn you to be accepted as a defining negative health effect from cell tower radiation. Long term exposure causing cancer is not a consideration. WTF!

    In addition, the recent in vitro and animal genotoxicity and carcinogenicity studies are rather consistent overall

    They obviously haven’t read the independent studies on humans, some of which are linked to above. Ignorance is bliss!

    The Interagency Committee already includes a number of members with expertise and experience in health impact assessment, including risk assessment.

    Risk assessment of not getting prosecuted for implementing dangerous infrastructure and technology perhaps.

    The ability of communities to participate in the decision making process has been preserved through the amendments.

    But there is no way for the public to stop implementation of dangerous infrastructure because there is no acknowledgment that private enterprise might want to implement such detrimental technology.

    The Government considers that local councils and the communities they serve should continue to decide the level of consultation they consider is appropriate.

    If you’ve ever tried to deal with a council, you’ll know this is a complete crock! Most councilors are compulsive liars.

    It will consider what options are most appropriate for implementation of future technology through both spectrum planning and incentives for operators to share a single set of infrastructure.

    What a complete waste of material development in the first instance. In many respects the area determines the best situation for a cell tower. Multiple towers situated in the same area would make some of the higher readings Toa has reported as being caused by cell towers very plausible.

    Existing towers can be developed to adapt to increased load requirements without increasing power output btw.

    BJ

    We have statistical evidence that the cell tower may cause cancer.

    We have independent scientific studies that are pair reviewed that show cell towers cause cancer. Some I’m aware of put the increased cancer rate at 4.15 times the base cancer rate.

    The indicated increases in risk remain a matter of small numbers but they are infinitely significant to the people affected.

    I would not say that 216,370.05 New Zealanders is a small or insignificant number.

    We have fairly reliable evidence that on rates of use common in the 1990’s and early 2000, there is little effect from cellphone use.

    There is in fact delayed effect. That’s because of the nature of cancer in that it’s a time reliant disease. Those affected by cancer causing radiation can take a few years before any evidence of that cancer is apparent. It often takes a few years more before a diagnosis is made.

    There is sometimes no diagnosis. I have not figured in that amount into the figure above, as I have no way of knowing the amount of cancer that goes undiagnosed.

    A coat of conductive paint

    Are you kidding?

    I think Toa’s reference to not seeing a GP since 1986 was that existing ill health is not the reason for the causative health condition Samiuela.

  37. The number of Cell Phone Towers are dictated by the terrain and number of customers.

    Two out of three ain’t bad, as Meatloaf noted. The capacity of a cellsite is also impacted by the types and numbers of services offered.

    But more than that, because of licence conditions and technical limitations, there are finite limits on the bandwidth that a site can deliver. A single cellsite atop the sky tower would be within range of a huge chunk of Aucklanders, but it would have nothing like the overall bandwidth required.

    As the services offered by telcos increase, then the bandwidth requirements go up, and the only way to fit the use into the bandwidth available is to further subdivide, and the more you subdivide an area the more cellsites you need.

    So get used to lots more cellsites.

    I’ve explained how this works a number of times now, so this’ll probably be my last attempt at education.

  38. Hi dbuckley

    The Telcos are faced with height restrictions, restrictions to our parks, reserves, ridges, cones etc. We need to place restrcitions on residential areas and schools and open up the above areas.

    The number of Cell Phone Towers are dictated by the terrain and number of customers. Flat terrain require less CPTs and uneven terrain or obstructed areas (ie humans, houses, buildings, trees) require more low height CPTs. Put the CPTs at higher points then you require less. Cross interference is dealt by the distance between each CPT, height of the tower, output power and the angle of the panels (direct downwards to reduce the area).

    If you drive around the flat parts of Central Auckland you will find fewer CPTs. If you drive around the uneven/obstructed parts of East Auckland you will find more CPTs.

    There are 9 panel CPTs which are designed to cover large areas and numbers of users. You tend to see these in flat areas, usually away from homes (which is what we want). These could be used in uneven areas if allowed on the isolated high points.

  39. Toa,

    Seriously, if you are experiencing the symptoms you listed, and haven’t seen a GP since 1986, you should see a GP. There are a lot of common things which could be causing your problems. Irrespective of the cell phone tower near you, it would be really sensible to rule out other possibly serious ailments.

  40. At the top of this piece I recommended

    “that any lower level used as that maximum below which consent is not required should be directly related to the distance from residences and schools”

    This is still a reasonable place to start, though I might expand the “residences and schools” portion to include anyplace where anyone is required by living or working arrangements, to be regularly exposed over a long period of time.

    _________________

    The issue of balanced risk and the fair apportionment of risk among those who live in proximity to the towers and those who use the phones is still not properly resolved. We have statistical evidence that the cell tower may cause cancer. That assessment IS based small numbers. It is significant, though the effect may be a lot larger or smaller than what the numbers offer. The indicated increases in risk remain a matter of small numbers but they are infinitely significant to the people affected.

    In addition, examination of the details of study and its statistics indicate that the field was strong there due to some secondary antenna lobes. In other words, the effect is not a simple distance function but includes antenna design. This implies that the only way to be certain is, as Toa has done, to measure after it is installed. Not a practicable way to proceed as it is now a lot harder to FIX.

    We have fairly reliable evidence that on rates of use common in the 1990’s and early 2000, there is little effect from cellphone use. The literature however, is fairly unanimous that the towers have a negative effect. This argues at a macro level, that risks are being borne more by the people living close to the towers than the people using the phones.

    This would APPEAR to violate the considerations around the inverse square law which Samiuela has kindly scratched out for us, but cell use is intermittent and not everyone in an area will use it at all, while the tower is constant and affects everyone no matter whether they use a phone or not. Apparently this is a more important factor than raw distance in the cancer statistics…. and smaller children still do not usually have cellphones.

    …and people living close to the towers have little or no choice about it.

    Cell radiation tends to be a more manageable thing than the magnetic fields of a power line. A coat of conductive paint and some other measures can make a large difference to cell signals indoors while the power line EMF is almost impossible to block with anything short of heavy steel/iron armor plate.

    Conductive paint and other things should not be the responsibility of the person whose bedroom has just been invaded by the RF from the cell tower and is not a preferred answer. It requires maintenance and people like to putter around outside and occasionally open their windows. It may be a partial answer for some people in some situations.

    I think that’s probably a fair summary. I think that Russell has the right of it. For all that he moved quickly, it appears that he did the right thing and has taken a good (supportable by the science) approach to it.

    http://www.icnirp.de/documents/emfgdl.pdf

    The ICNIRP guidelines on which our standards are based contain this:

    Induction of cancer from long-term EMF exposure was not considered to be established, and so these guidelines are based on short-term, immediate
    health effects such as stimulation of peripheral nerves and muscles, shocks and burns caused by touching conducting objects, and elevated tissue temperatures resulting from absorption of energy during exposure to EMF. In the case of potential long-term effects of exposure, such as an increased risk of cancer, ICNIRP concluded that available data are insufficient to provide a basis for setting exposure restrictions, although epidemiological research has provided suggestive, but unconvincing, evidence of an association between possible carcinogenic effects and exposure at levels of 50/60 Hz magnetic flux densities substantially lower than those recommended in these guidelines.

    Aside: I note with some asperity, that the NZ standard itself is behind a paywall. This is stupid. I must comply but the government is not going to tell me what it is I must comply with unless I PAY?

    The point here is that the BASIS (ICNIRP) of the NZ standards explicitly excludes carcinogenic effects. That there are now more data linking the cell towers to such effects (ICNIRP dates to 1997-98 – and cellphones were not in common use long enough at that point to even have longer term cancer data to examine).

    Green Party action to take: It is time for an update to the standards.

    I would wager that 99% of New Zealanders know almost nothing about this story and if they did they would be furious. But they will only find out when the tower goes up, and that happens pole by pole.

    Exactly right Russell… exactly right.

    respectfully
    BJ

  41. The point is if you put the Cell Phone Towers at low elevations where humans, houses, trees and hills are blocking the signal then you will need more towers. Place them high and you will require less.

    Again, you’re missing the point; the goal is to have more cellsites. Your logic is impeccible, but the telcos (and indirectly, we the users of the services) don’t want less cellsites; they want more.

    To stop cellsites interfering with each other (thats a gross oversimplification, but we’ll let that slide for now) they need to (in effect) minimise the view the cellsites have of each other, and thus they are mounted lower, exactly so houses, greenary, terrain etc provides a segmentation effect.

    Given that a cellsite costs $$$$$, and a 10m length of extension tubing to raise the antennas an order of magnitude less, do you not think that if more height was the alternative to more cellsites then the telcos would do just that, to save a shedload of money?

    Do you think the telcos are monumentally stupid and build more cellsites if just putting the antennas up a bit would provide the same benefits?????

  42. Hi Todd,

    I am not prepared to move, I want the CPT to move into the park or up the nearby Pylon. Many people who have been fighting the CPTs have now moved on for understandable reasons.

    The NES needs to be revoked, legislation allowing taller CPTs, opening up public parks, reserves, banning CPTs in residential areas and schools. It all needs to be reworked to minimise exposure (as per the precautionary approach) but provide for the advancement of technology.

  43. Touched off an interesting and attractive debate here Russel!
    Can’t talk in equations my self (except for the fact that one may or may not equal two).
    Food generally can’t absorb much electro-radiation – unlike water and air….

  44. Hi Samiuela,

    I have measured up to 12uW/cm2 in other homes. You may want to recalculate for the entire human body area (18000cm2) as the Microwave Radiation plume from a Cell Phone Tower Panel is much greater than the small antenna in your Cell Phone.

    I took the Tinnitus all the way up to the NZ Med Director of Health. They put me in contact with a Motorolla Scientist who had performed studies on a very real effect called Microwave Hearing. After several emails we agreed that Cell Phone Tower Microwave radiation is pulsed (he was unaware of that) and that the levels in my lounge were too low. The stalemate was that he had never exposed humans continuously to low levels of pulsed Microwave radiation and therefore could not rule out the effect. I have come across others who have developed Tinnitus since Cell Phone Tower was installed.

    I manage the flu like symptoms with large doses of Vitamin C. Worked this basic treatment out in March this year after nearly 8 months of continous flu, 13 days off work, 5 weekends in bed. I am very active, swim over 10kms per week and last saw a GP in 1986 when I nearly took my arm off surfing Cyclone Bola.

    No one is monitoring whether theses types of effects are occuring. The industry consultants say it is all stress related. Industry is wrong by their own conflict of interest.

  45. BJ

    He has a problem. Possibly it is a problem with me specifically but it is certainly a problem I have to deal with.

    I don’t have a specific problem with you BJ. I have a specific problem with the inaccuracies in your posts. I also feel that you personalise things when it is your disinformation I’m attacking. If you feel that ignorance is the best reaction to me calling you out about those inaccuracies, then please don’t read my posts.

    John-ston

    Todd, do you want to know where the word cancer came from?

    Yes! I’m aware of the words origins. A word has nothing to do with the considerable increase in cancers today. In fact words are often cross pollinated, and can be adopted didn’t you know. Please refer to my previous post, which reports on the findings from tests on hundreds of mummies etc. Clearly cancer is a new epidemic; there is no question of that. In New Zealand it’s growing at a rate of around 22,000 people per year, if our own figures are to be believed.

    Samuiela

    But no phone tower is anywhere near this close to people.

    It’s the constant that is the issue. A cancer causing affect is reduced when it is intermittent. The findings from many studies show that people do live close enough to have cancer causing affects. Our own guidelines show that cell towers are placed in dangerous proximity to humans, however the placement of those cell towers by telcos are bypassing widely accepted safety guidelines. Probably because of a lack of convenient space within built up areas.

    One thing which has surprised scientists is that there have been far fewer deaths from radiation caused diseases after Chernobyl than were expected.

    Really! Where is this reference taken from? The radiation from fallout is quite different to RFR. No studies have been able to point to a direct link between Chernobyl and increased cancer risks or other health problems outside the immediately affected republics of Ukraine, Belarus and the Russian Federation. Those areas have seen a marked increase in cancer from the fallout. There were no reports made to predict increased cancer rates. You’re talking rubbish!

    the radiation from cell phones is _much_ less damaging to cells than the radiation from atom bombs and power stations

    No kidding! Way to state the obvious… Lets all start smoking again because taking heroin is worse. FFS!

    by all means conduct studies into the safety of cell phones and phone towers

    Please refer to the studies linked to above. Is there further requirement to undertake further testing and thus waste finances and time? They have already been proven to be unsafe within their current construct.

    especially given that there are long records of people being exposed to much higher levels of RF radiation without any apparent ill effects

    Really! What records are those? Please explain our growing cancer epidemic then? The aging process has been scientifically disproved as a cause; RFR has been scientifically proven as a cause. I fail to see the relevance of your statement when it is clearly inaccurate.

    Toa Greening

    Place them high and you will require less.

    There is often a lengthy consent process for structures over a certain height. This varies depending on area. The costs of implementing higher cell phone towers would be considerable, far more than just increasing the height of the structure itself.

    I would surmise that the entire family is affected. Shifting the blame for such effects is often a tactic used to continue polluting and in this case radiating. It is a bit more difficult to say you all have the flu though when you have a test device that shows high levels of radiation. I suggest you move.

    Three of my friends have died from cancer now.

  46. One has to ask the question: Why do New Zealanders get more cancer than the German’s?

    Skin cancer stats indicate that it is not attributed to the ozone hole. Being that our life expectancy is not greatly different from the Germans (cancer is not related to longer lives anyway) and is a new disease en mass that is directly attributed to our industrialisation, what part of that industrialisation within New Zealand in particular is causing our doubled cancer rate?

    Some cancer might be attributed to our high meat diets but I doubt a doubling in cancer rates can solely be due to dietary difference. The increase is also not attributed to bowel cancer alone.

    I would be interested to see a similar study done to that of the German one, on the people living in proximity to New Zealands many Pulp and Paper mills, as this is the only comparative difference I can think of that would affect our cancer statistics. Pulp and Paper mills are well known to release large amounts of carcinogenic material into our air and waterways. I believe such environmental pollution is a contributor to our higher than average cancer rates. There is a lack of regulation and safety measures within that industry as well.

    Balancing risk might not be simple but ensuring that systems are in place to safeguard the public from high levels of pollutants and cancer causing radiation should be simple. It’s as simple as putting the publics health above private profits. This should be an automatic process within the systems procedures.

    The current situation clearly highlights a particular problem within Aotearoa, the priority of profits before people. An endemic issue, which pervades our government and private business structures. The higher than average cancer rate is just one of the negative aspects of such ignorant and contemptuous administration.

  47. Toa,

    4 uW/cm^2 is very high for a cell phone tower, but possible.

    Assume the cross-sectional area of your head is 500 cm^2. This means your head will intercept 2000 uW of RF radiation (0.002 W). Assume that putting a cell phone against your head will result in about half the emitted radiation being intercepted; that’s about 0.5 W, or 250 times more than the level in your living room. So a days dose or radiation from the tower (or wherever its coming from) will be equivalent to about 6 minutes on the phone.

    Have you ruled out other causes of your health problems?

  48. Hi Samiuela,
    I have measured the Microwave Radiation in my lounge from the Cell Phone Tower opposite my home. It is now up to 4uW/cm2 which is equivalent to what is leaked from a Microwave oven on full at 30cm-50cm distance.

    No one really knows what the effects of this will be long term. It all falls in the area of peri-genetics where biological processes are influenced by external sources.

    After 6 weeks of sitting in our lounge I developed Tinnitus (continuous buzzing in the ears) a little later on I developed flu like symptoms. When my electro meter arrived from the US I found that the highest readings was where we sat watching television. We no longer sit in that part of the lounge….

    We had no choice about the Microwave radiation in our lounge and the development of Tinnitus. You can choose how often to use your Cell Phone.

  49. Hi dbuckley,

    The point is if you put the Cell Phone Towers at low elevations where humans, houses, trees and hills are blocking the signal then you will need more towers. Place them high and you will require less.

    The Telcos objective is area coverage for x amount of users only.

  50. Here are some back of the envelope calculations:

    An average 2G cell phone tower emits 20-100 W ( https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Mobile_phone_radiation_and_health ); 3G towers emit less. Lets take the high value of 100 W for the calculation. A GMS phone emits up to 2 W.

    If the phone and tower and your head/body are considered to be points (which they’re not quite, but its an OK assumption for back of envelope calculations), placing the GSM phone 2 cm from your head is roughly equivalent to having the cell phone tower at sqrt(100/2) * 2 cm, which is approximately 14 cm. But no phone tower is anywhere near this close to people. Lets assume that there is a cell phone tower 10 m from a house (and given that they’re usually up quite tall masts, this would place the house almost right beside the tower). That means the radiation from the cell phone tower will be approximately 1/(10/0.14)^2 or about 1/5000 of the radiation from the cell phone 2 cm from the head. This means that the amount of energy received by the person 10 m from the cell phone tower in a day will be the same as received by talking on the GSM phone for about 17 s.

    But there’s even more … a very low level of radiation may not cause as much damage, even if the exposure is for a long time, as a high level exposure for a short time. One thing which has surprised scientists is that there have been far fewer deaths from radiation caused diseases after Chernobyl than were expected. Furthermore, animals living near Chernobyl are not as severely affected as expected. The reason is that most data for high level radiation exposure comes from events such as the atom bomb attacks on Japan; there is relatively little data for intermediate levels of radiation exposure. Therefore a simple interpolation has been assumed to be OK … but it now appears that the body can repair itself more effectively after moderate levels of radiation exposure than after high levels. Its not surprising when you think about it.

    So possibly the risks associated with the cell phone tower are even less than the previous calculation assumed.

    Finally one has to explain the mechanism by which radiation from cell phone towers will cause cancer. We’re not talking about ionising radiation (and it was a bit naughty of me to even mention Chernobyl in the previous paragraph; the radiation from cell phones is _much_ less damaging to cells than the radiation from atom bombs and power stations). The only thing which is known for sure is that the radiation from cell phone towers can warm substances such as water (in your head) … but so does the heat from the sun (and to a much greater degree than any cell phone can).

    So OK, by all means conduct studies into the safety of cell phones and phone towers, but I’m sure its pretty clear that the risks are not anything to panic about, especially given that there are long records of people being exposed to much higher levels of RF radiation without any apparent ill effects (as previously mentioned by other posters to this thread).

  51. A study of ancient bodies has determined that cancer is a man-made disease. Tumors turn out to be extremely rare until very recent times, when environmental effects such as pollution and poor diet became issues.

    Todd, do you want to know where the word cancer came from? It came from a chap named Hippocrates, who was the father of medicine and lived 2500 years ago. Read this (http://cancer.about.com/od/historyofcancer/a/cancerhistory.htm) and you will see that the ancients did know about cancer and had their ways of treating it. Perhaps you might want to be aware that Galen who lived about 2000 years ago had over a hundred references to tumours, with a further hundred to cancer (see here: http://www.cancerdecisions.com/speeches/galen1989.html).

  52. The lamppost mounted towers are not tall enough in areas with Hills and therefore you need many more than you would get in a flat area. If they were placed at higher elevations then less would be required …

    You’re misunderstanding the point.

    In populated areas, more cellsites is the goal, not less; limiting range by mounting relatively low assists that goal.

  53. I won’t be reading Todd’s posts any more.. The insults far outweigh any value presented.

    Balance is all I argued for from the top of this thread.

    He has a problem. Possibly it is a problem with me specifically but it is certainly a problem I have to deal with.

    Therefore: From now on if someone wants me to discuss something that Todd brings up or argues, THEY have to address it to me, I will neither read his posts nor respond to them directly. The board is not served by any further interactions.

    BJ

  54. I note that our 2011 4.8/1000/yr base cancer rate (overall) has to be considered in comparison to the German non-cellphone rate of 8/647/5 or about 2.5/1000/yr in 2004. As noted above, our cancer rate is higher overall. The German cellphone exposed population is 8.125/1000/yr

    Note: This is an imperfect comparison as well, as the NZ data includes cell contributions where people live close enough to be affected, but it is likely close enough.

    Basically the reason for continuing is to get some sense of how the German data can be related to NZ.

    The sense of this remains that there is good reason to believe that the siting of cellphone towers CAN cause significant harm to the small percentage of the population who are living near them…

    Failure to site them close enough can cause people using cellphones to be subjected to significantly more RF. Such use is usually intermittent.

    Balancing the risks involved is not simple. Nor is the simplicity of the inverse-square law sufficient, as dbuckley points out.

    If the people in close proximity to a site are going to get cancer more often, and this is not in balance with the rates for the cell users, there is a fairness issue. I suspect that if this were studied properly the residents would be found to be subjected a much greater risk than the cellphone users… even if they were also users.

    This also falls out of the German data, as the people in the distant zone were still using phones AFAIK, which would certainly use more power, but were MUCH less likely to hit the big C. So the balance of risk there is not fairly allocated. How is it allocated here? I have to doubt that anyone really knows at all.

    So the homework Russell has to do, having started this mess… is to arrange some survey of cellular towers with respect to the power/proximity-to-people of the fields produced… and the cancer frequency.. and the risk ratios for people in and out of the high exposure areas… and then set out to equalize those risks.

    AFAIK, nobody on the planet has every tried such a thing.

    respectfully
    BJ

  55. A study of ancient bodies has determined that cancer is a man-made disease. Tumors turn out to be extremely rare until very recent times, when environmental effects such as pollution and poor diet became issues.

    Researchers analyzed potential references to the disease in classical literature, and also searched for signs in the fossil record and in mummified bodies. But despite examining tissue from hundreds of Egyptian mummies, they confirmed only one case of cancer

    According to the Daily Mail:

    “Dismissing the argument that the ancient Egyptians didn’t live long enough to develop cancer, the researchers pointed out that other age-related disease such as hardening of the arteries and brittle bones did occur…

    Fossil evidence of cancer is also sparse, with scientific literature providing a few dozen, mostly disputed, examples in animal fossil… Even the study of thousands of Neanderthal bones has provided only one example of a possible cancer.”

  56. Hi dbuckley,

    The terrain is also a major factor for the number of Cell Phone Towers. The lamppost mounted towers are not tall enough in areas with Hills and therefore you need many more than you would get in a flat area. If they were placed at higher elevations then less would be required and exposure to them would be minimised.

    The Cell Phone Tower in front of my house could have been placed on top of a nearby Pylon or the large park which is across the road. Unfortunately they put it up over night giving my no opportunity to question their decision.

    Another Cell Phone Tower was notified to be placed in front of a house in Howick. The residents found an alternative site, which was a lamppost opposite a park 200m away at a higher elevation and far from homes. The Telcos did not want to pay the cost to run cable to the new site and proceeded with the installation.

    At Surfdale Waiheike Island a Cell Phone Tower was mounted on top of the Bowling club right in the middle of the residential area. There were a number of ridges where it could have been placed yet the Telcos ignored the suggestions and proceeded with the installation.

    There are always alternative sites that will minimise exposure, the current situation is totally avoidable.

  57. I was of the opinion that my offence was quit reasonable BJ. It was certainly intended. Especially considering the minimalisation of cancer rates from RFR in reference to anxiety disorders that you were duplicitous in reiterating.

    The paragraph you again refer to is this:

    The result of the study shows that the proportion of newly developing cancer cases was significantly higher (p<0.05) among those patients who had lived during the past ten years within a distance of 400 metres from the cellular transmitter site, which has been in operation since 1993, in comparison to people who live further away.

    Table 7 : Summary of tumours occurring in Naila, compared with incidence expected from the Saarland cancer register.

    However this result is directly attributed to cross-reference and is only part of the studies findings. Here is another part of the study:

    Using this method we obtained the value of 6.27, which is over the critical value of 3.84.

    The difference in analysis can be determined because one is of the overall public, many of whom already have cancer, the other is the increased amount in the test subjects. Do you understand? It includes other cell towers effects on the public and therefore 0.05 cannot be a defining figure in determining the effects of RFR from this source.

    So why did you choose the lowest possible result in the study, one that is not the significant conclusion?

    My basic analysis would put 5% of the New Zealand population with cancer attributed to cell phone towers. 0.05 is still not a dismissible amount and I would contend that you have plucked that figure out just to diminish the seriousness of the problem; that is why I do not agree with your statements BJ.

    Read the following paragraphs from the same study:

    This means the doubled risk of cancer in the inner area cannot be explained by an average age difference between the two groups. That the transmitter has the effect that speeds up the clinical manifestations of the illness and general development of the cancer cannot be ruled out.

    This means the null hypothesis that both groups within the 400-metre radius of the mast and beyond the 400 metre radius, have the same chance of developing cancer, can be rejected with a 95% level of confidence. With a statistical significance of 0.05, an even more significant difference was observed in the rate of new cancer cases between the two groups.

    Here is the conclusion again: The result of this retrospective study in Naila shows that the risk of newly developing cancer was three times higher among those patients who had lived during past ten years (1994-2004), within a distance of 400m from the cellular transmitter, in comparison to those who had lived further away.

    How does that conclusion relate to 0.05? The answer is it does not, but I doubt you will admit your mistake.

    Of course, the bulk of the population is not being exposed to the sort of cellphone radiation that is apt to cause trouble.

    How did you determine that BJ. Another statement you have made as if it is fact when there is no evidence to suggest it is so. Come on man!

    Which is why I have been trying to keep my discussions to pointing out that there is a risk BALANCE that has to be struck. Someone who fails to understand that is certainly waiting to pounce on this post as well. So be it. I have no control over the aggressively childish. Who if he had thought to discuss this politely would have made a lot less trouble.

    Interesting summary considering I have posed that a balance needs to be found as well. I would determine that me pointing out the incorrectness of your musings is what you have termed as “aggressive childishness”. How amusing! When somebody obviously does not understand the data, and continues to express their argument formulated on that incorrect assumption; I will certainly call them an idiot!

    I’m still unsure what you mean by 100% mortality rate? Perhaps these highlighted discrepancies within your statements are why your arguments are not relevant. Nice try though BJ.

  58. OK…

    Looking at the NZ numbers we see the cancer death rate here is quite high to start with – one reason being:

    http://www.cancernz.org.nz/reducing-your-cancer-risk/sunsmart/about-skin-cancer/skin-cancer-facts-and-figures/

    …and another being the pesticide loading. Agriculture has its downside.

    So again, I am largely agreeing that cancer is a problem and it is not a problem that gets better with the use of cellphones. It definitely gets worse and it should be looked at and the Telecoms have no mandate to make it safer… last I checked they all want to make mo’money.

    sigh.. why do I let myself be dragged into this?

    Lets give it the treatment anyway.

    I suspect that these numbers have to be considered properly… a 191/100000 rage of cancer deaths is 0.19% That is to say, 2 people per 1000 die of cancer here. That’s the rate we have, but it is a death rate, not a rate of getting cancer. Not everyone who gets cancer dies of it. So this number can’t be compared with the German numbers.

    http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/pagesmh/1780

    These however, may be more useful. Going to the summary:

    http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/82f4780aa066f8d7cc2570bb006b5d4d/8e1d731682cab3d9cc256c7e00764a23/$FILE/04-summary-of-results.pdf

    450/100000 for females, 510/100000 for males. That’s the expected in 2011 rate of us getting cancer. In the 1980’s this rate was reported differently (detection was less aggressive for some cancers as noted), but was 371/100000 and 437/100000

    So we have an increasing rate of cancer due to all causes of 0.073% for men and 0.079% for women or not quite 1 person per 1000 (per year). Some part of this is due to cellphone usage… there were no cellphones before 1980.

    Against this we have German data that suggests that the increase should be… a lot larger for people who are near the cellphone towers. Not everyone is of course.

    I am re-reading this and it is table 6 that is important… it shows 46/1000 vs 12/1000 as the inner (with) and outer(without) cellphone.

    Of course, the bulk of the population is not being exposed to the sort of cellphone radiation that is apt to cause trouble. We would still have to sort the NZ cancer data into those near Cell towers and those not… and so I am finally baffled by the absence of good data.

    I never said this was insignificant… that it is small compared to other causes of death, and it still is that.

    Which is why I have been trying to keep my discussions to pointing out that there is a risk BALANCE that has to be struck. Someone who fails to understand that is certainly waiting to pounce on this post as well. So be it. I have no control over the aggressively childish. Who if he had thought to discuss this politely would have made a lot less trouble.

    BJ

  59. There is a miunderstanding here of how shared RF sperctrum in general, and cellphones in particular operate.

    The main point is missed in all this discussion. Cell Phone Towers can operate up to 30km…

    A given cell site has allocated to it a range of frequencies, and using those frequencies a cellsite can support a number of simulataneous activities.

    If you have one cell tower up a big hill, like where I live, then that tower can cover a big radius, can support a number of simultaneous activities.

    But I am in a very sparsely populated area. One tower could not deal with all the conversations taking place in Auckland, even if you did put it at the top of the sky tower.

    So, you need more cell base stations. And the more phones there are, and the more cellphones use per given area, and the higher bandwidth that is used (mobile internet, for example) then the more bases you need. And you want them as close as possible to the people making use of them.

    And thats all just basic radio engineering.

  60. Yeah… there’s a reason I don’t find your arguments persuasive, you don’t read your own links. At least not sufficiently to do some maths… and the people you claimed I insulted have nothing to do with you. You were the one who initially started in with it. Read the German numbers from YOUR OWN link.

    I didn’t argue against you but you called my posts “pathetic” and then more specifically “it’s an insult to people who have cancer because of RFR”. Because I am not as extreme as you are and I actually read table 7 out of this

    http://www.emf-health.com/PDFreports/Germanreport_celltower.pdf

    …that you posted. Difference is that I recognized the size of the numbers. From table 4 – 3.1/1000 vs 6.3/1000, mostly Breast and Pancreatic cancers. A difference of 0.32% at most.

    I didn’t say we should do nothing about those extra 3.2 people in 1000 who were at risk either. I simply pointed out that 3.2/1000 is a small number for additional risk of sickness/death.

    http://www.wpro.who.int/countries/2010/nez/health_situation.htm

    Leading causes of mortality and morbidity

    Chronic or long-term conditions are the leading cause of preventable morbidity, mortality and unequal health outcomes. They include diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, respiratory conditions, mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, and arthritis.

    Together, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes account for a significant burden of chronic illness and premature death. About 10500 New Zealanders die from cardiovascular diseases each year, accounting for 40% of all deaths, and there are 7000 new stroke ‘events’ every year. Over 7000 people are newly diagnosed with diabetes each year and 4.5% of the population live with diabetes.

    The major causes of death (rate per 100 000) in 2006 were: malignant neoplasms (191.0); ischaemic heart diseases (141.2); cerebrovascular diseases (63.8); chronic lower respiratory diseases (40.6); other forms of heart disease (27.4); diabetes mellitus (20.5); organic, including symptomatic, mental disorders (18.3); intentional self-harm (12.6); diseases of arteries, arterioles and capillaries (12.4); and other degenerative diseases of the nervous system (12.0).

    As long as you irrationally offend people who are in the main agreeing with you you are going to be regarded poorly.

    BJ

  61. The dangers posed by cellphone transmitters are orders of magnitude less than the danger of allowing adolescent fantasists near the levers of power. We really need to get rid of MMP…

  62. Your self-imposed silence lasted all of two seconds BJ. But that’s nothing new.

    I didn’t insult anyone. I looked at the numbers in one of your studies. Risks did indeed double. Significance noted and accepted.

    You did in fact call me childish BJ. If that is not an insult, I don’t know what is. Not that it bothers me in the least.

    I’m not aware of any study I linked to, that states that only 0.05% of the population get cancer from RFR. Your unsubstantiated figure and minimization of the studies findings already highlighted is an insult BJ. It’s also a stupid deductive process without any semblance of logic. Most positive studies put the figure at X3 or more likelihood of getting cancer. Please re-read those conclusions.

    I explicitly accepted the correctness of the research you provided

    You believe there is an increase of cancer but put that increase at 0.05%. You’re insulting your own intelligence by disregarding the facts and making up unsubstantiated figures. If 10% of the nearly 50% of New Zealanders with cancer equating to 216,370.05 people, is not caused by RFR, then please pose a logical argument to the contrary instead of making things up.

    Todd… show me where I argued against the facts provided. I didn’t support either side in this… didn’t you notice?

    I beg to differ… You agreed with samiuela that anxiety is the cause of more ill health than RFR. When I asked you to confirm this with relevant studies etc you could not. Instead you just ignore the request.

    I wouldn’t call myself an expert on RF, but I know a fair bit about it.

    There is no easy way to ascertain who has more knowledge within this context. Personalising the debate is relatively boring.

    EXACTLY not 100% … somebody is put at risk no matter how you position and power the transmitters

    Yes! There is risk in utilizing existing technology no matter how it is placed. But there is a great reduction in risk if many low powered towers are used instead of a few high-powered towers and clearance margins are realistic in light of scientific proof. Saying that new technology that does the same job without the risks can’t be developed is just silly! It also points to a lack of technological knowledge.

    In many respects, it’s the way the technology is implemented and administered that defines safety margins. Just like any other aspect of our lives, the amount and not the construct is the defining process.

    I did not say that your studies were incorrect

    Please stop referring to them as my studies. They are independent studies I have linked to.

    You go ask your buddy who did the install on the sky tower, ask HIM about the effect of distance on the cellphone users associated with a tower.

    And your point is?

    You remind me of my kids… they don’t listen to me either.

    That’s because you’re talking nonsense! If you had a reasonable argument that risk was only doubled to 0.01% then I would listen to it. But you do not.

    and the death rate remains 100% and I see no likelihood of that changing.

    I’m not sure I know what you mean? Cancer can often be survivable. You’re not clutching at straws again? I must say that the negative argument in this debate is rather pathetic! I don’t just refer to some of your statements in that conclusion either BJ.

  63. when you argue on the side of the negative and against the facts provided.

    Todd… show me where I argued against the facts provided !!!

    Go ahead. I want to see it. I explicitly accepted the correctness of the research you provided, that RFR is able to increase cancer rates. I know I never argued against it and I read the statistical argument.

    I am ONLY a member of the party… one who happens to know a hell of a lot of science and engineering but still, nothing more than a member. I do my level best to make my posts correct and polite, as they DO reflect on the party. I didn’t support either side in this… didn’t you notice?

    So calm way down and consider that my posts all reflect the fact that there is, inherent in the technology used, an elevated risk that SOMEONE is going to get cancer, no matter how that technology is deployed. They also reflect the fact that the risk can be asymmetric.

    I didn’t say that we should not regulate it, I did not say that the current system was correct, I did not say that your studies were incorrect, I did not say anything except to point out that to get RID of the risk you have to get rid of the phones entirely, and short of that you have to decide who is at how much risk.

    Which is entirely and utterly true. I wouldn’t call myself an expert on RF, but I know a fair bit about it. Can’t do the things I’ve done and misunderstand it. I explicitly pointed out that I was not arguing with you because I have come to know how you go into these things. You go ask your buddy who did the install on the sky tower, ask HIM about the effect of distance on the cellphone users associated with a tower.

    You remind me of my kids… they don’t listen to me either :-)

    BJ

  64. The inverse-square law actually shows that material positioning can be utilized and a RF system can be developed safely. Perhaps not 100%

    EXACTLY not 100% … somebody is put at risk no matter how you position and power the transmitters… you move the cell tower further away and the USER gets to adopt more risk… but you make it safer by doing a minimization function on the total. You can’t remove risk without throwing the phones into recycling.

    The only question is who and how much risk.

    I didn’t insult anyone. I looked at the numbers in one of your studies. Risks did indeed double. Significance noted and accepted.

    …and the death rate remains 100% and I see no likelihood of that changing.

    BJ

  65. BJ

    I am demanding perspective

    0.05% is not perspective; it’s an insult to people who have cancer because of RFR.

    the inverse-square law will tell you that there is NO SUCH THING as “Developing the technology so that it is not invasive and detrimental to a persons health

    How so… are you an expert on RF technology? The inverse-square law actually shows that material positioning can be utilized and a RF system can be developed safely. Perhaps not 100% but many of the studies cited state that this is effective in reducing risk. It is our governing measures and implementation that are most at fault in causing health reactions. More low powered towers cost more, less high powered towers are more cost effective. It all comes down to money. I’m pretty sure that the technology can be further developed with enough collateral and time. To say otherwise is slightly irrelevant to the facts present in technological advancement.

    Is that the extent of your argument; “we can’t make it safe”? Now that’s a cop out.

    I don’t care much for this topic in any case.

    Then why post incorrect information on it?

    You ought to consider just how you are coming across. It isn’t a good look for us.

    There’s no “us” when you argue on the side of the negative and against the facts provided. Until people accept the scientific evidence that shows there is a danger from RFR and stop deliberately providing false information; having a realistic and constructive debate concerning RFR and it’s effects is a moot point.

    I have noticed the tactic before, of using false information to try and win a debate; does it work?

    Since you have gone way over the top in terms of insult here, and are in fact the person who is acting childish by doing so, I am out of here.

    I was actually very restrained in my opinion at the falsehoods perpetuated here by idiots. I would appreciate you sticking to your statement that you’re not going to post further disinformation on this subject again.

    BTW there are high powered cell phone transmitters on the Sky tower already. My friend installed some components for them. I’m unsure what power they are.

  66. Insider
    Cell Phones and Cell Phone Towers work best in a line of sight situation. Your Cell Phone outputs more power when there are humans, houses, trees, terrain in the way and at extreme distance. Cell Phone Towers output power depending upon the number users. They typically operate at 20-100W per panel and increase in steps of 20W. There are generally three panels per light pole tower with an operational output of 60-300W.

    The difference is that you can choose how long to use your Cell Phone.
    The child asleep at night 10 meters away from a 60W-300W Cell Phone Tower has no choice.

  67. Todd

    The claim that “nearly 50%” of New Zealanders have cancer is curiously lacking when compared with the real world. I need only look up and down my block to see that there is a problem with what you are saying. I am demanding perspective, not claiming that Cellphone Towers are good, bad or indifferent, and I am showing you how the risk you are describing has aspects that must be balanced, because if the studies you are citing are indeed the scientific gospel and I am casting no doubt on them at all, the inverse-square law will tell you that there is NO SUCH THING as “Developing the technology so that it is not invasive and detrimental to a persons health “ – either you have more towers (at lower power perhaps) locally or you have more power coming out of that cellphone 3 centimeters from your brain.

    It isn’t “safe” to everyone no matter how it is done, it is simply a question of the amount of risk and which part of the population is subjected to it.

    Since you have gone way over the top in terms of insult here, and are in fact the person who is acting childish by doing so, I am out of here. I don’t care much for this topic in any case… as stated before, I’d rather not have to have the phones in the first place… but a little more calmly would be a lot smarter. You ought to consider just how you are coming across. It isn’t a good look for us.

    BJ

  68. Toa

    They are called cell phones and sites for a reason. They rely on a mesh of overlapping sites for their effectiveness. 30km range means putting one on Mt Vic or the Skytower for the whole wellington or Aukland. Imagine how big the site would be to handle the volume of traffic and the power output to get a signal to carry to the other side of a hill. Imagine the power your handset would have to put out to respond. All would increase significantly.

  69. The main point is missed in all this discussion. Cell Phone Towers can operate up to 30km and do not need to be 10 meters away from our children’s bedroom. There are 1000s of studies showing effects and no effects and it is obvious that there is a level of risk to those people who are now being involuntarily exposed to modulated microwave radiation in their homes.

    The good news is that the technology operates at greater distances to minimise exposure/risk and yet still deliver the benefits. It is government’s role is to minimise this risk.

  70. I apologise for the extensive references in that previous post. I just thought that taking one result from the Wikipedia website and trying to say that it was the only scientific result was rather naïve and pathetic.

    Kadin

    Further evidence of not understanding electromagnetism. Microwaves (the radiation) cannot leave the microwave (the appliance). Do you worry about irradiated food, too?

    Studies have shown that the radiation from microwaves does leave the device. I don’t eat irradiated or microwaved food because it tastes bad. I see no reason for the irradiation process and prefer to source my sustenance locally.

    Tay

    Someone needs to muzzle Russell.

    Keep letting us know about these issues Russell, they’re important and despite people like Tay here, making the public aware of the dangers apparent in our lifestyles is a worthy endeavour.

    In effect they’re all bluster and hot air. Bullies will hit you when you’re down but when it comes to it, are just cowardly idiots without a backbone.

    Mark

    It seems we have more differences than fingerprints or dna – I regard each human (Para sympathetically) as an unique entity, governed by general rules, but mostly mysterious and unique.

    I agree with you but with these specific circumstances I think humans on a genetic level generally react the same. It is often predetermining factors that mean one person will react and another will not, even when the conditions are similar.

    BJ

    However, there is nothing that is risk-free.

    There are many things that are risk free.

    if a cancer statistic that amounts to 0.05% doubles to 0.1% it makes a rather small impact on the rate of sickness and death overall.

    The cancer statistic amounts to nearly half the population. I’m unsure how you have divided the causes of those cancers into only 0.05% from RFR. Even if your figures were realistic, which they aren’t, 0.1% would equate to 4327 Kiwi’s. Those people should not be dismissed as a small percentage. However some studies put the increased “chances” of getting cancer from cell phone towers at 4.15 times more cases than in the entire population.

    I’m unsure of how many people live within the radius of cell phone towers in New Zealand so that the inverse square law does not dissipate RFR to safe levels but I would presume there are thousands if not millions. I would put the percentage of that nearly 50% with cancer at around 10% (at a low estimate), that’s 216,370.05 Kiwi’s with cancer because of cell phone towers. Not such a dismissible figure huh!

    If we have nearly 50% of the population with cancer, at what percentage should we take action to alleviate the identified causes, 80% 90% or 100% of the population with cancer? We should take action now to change technology and remove substances that are known to cause cancer. Just like we stopped building with asbestos.

    Personally, I think food additives play a greater role in causing cancer.

    The only way to avoid the risk entirely is to do away with the phones AND the towers.

    Developing the technology so that it is not invasive and detrimental to a persons health as shown in many independent studies is the answer. Continuing to utilize a dangerous technology because it is relatively easy to manufacture and implement without further research and development costs thus maximising returns is rather short sighted.

    Samuiela

    The arguments over cell phone safety are based on fear and ignorance, not on science.

    Please refer to the peer reviewed scientific studies already linked to and referenced above. There are many more and they have no reason or invested interest to produce incorrect data and in effect lie.

    Indeed, the worry and anxiety people have over the cell phone tower down the street is likely the real health issue.

    I don’t think worry and anxiety has increased our cancer rates three fold from the 1900’s. You should be worried that you might get cancer and limit exposure to substances and conditions that are known to cause cancer; like cell phone towers.

    BJ

    I also reckon that on all counts of risk, the truth is that it isn’t a big deal. I take risks crossing the street too.

    Nearly 50% of the New Zealand population with cancer isn’t a big deal? I would hazard a guess that people being hit by cars is far less, perhaps 1%. The hit and run driver called cancer doesn’t care if you look both ways.

    I think you’re right overall. The worry and anxiety is more important as a cause of ill-health than the tower.

    Please link to studies that show that your insipid argument that it is worry and anxiety that is causing our increasing numbers of cancer victims is correct?

    and it wouldn’t matter what the science said, people would still use it to become anxious.

    People with a disposition for anxiety will always find things to worry about. Attacking peoples concerns that are vilified through many scientific studies and our increasing cancer rate is a rather childish debating style. Just like trying to put the cancer epidemic down to age is ill conceived.

    If you’re not aware of the facts, then don’t post pathetic arguments that don’t hold any water.

  71. True Samiuela – but just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.

    I reckon the truth is out there and it is not good and will make me want to throw my cellphone in the lake, but that isn’t actually a change for me, I already want to throw the infernal thing in the lake.

    I also reckon that on all counts of risk, the truth is that it isn’t a big deal. I take risks crossing the street too. Overall there are (as we note) the people who are extremely alarmed by the doubling of a very small number. Real risk, and real doubling, but not real important to the population as a whole… and we have the people who deny that there is any risk from this stuff… and overall there is quite enough sturm and drang accomplishing nothing to keep us supplied with angst for another year.

    I think you’re right overall. The worry and anxiety is more important as a cause of ill-health than the tower.

    …and it wouldn’t matter what the science said, people would still use it to become anxious.

    respectfully
    BJ

  72. BJ,

    The telecommunication companies may well be wanting to obfuscate and conceal any health risks associated with mobile phone usage. However, even if they were “model” companies with great concern for the well being of the community, they’re screwed when it comes to this argument. The arguments over cell phone safety are based on fear and ignorance, not on science. It wouldn’t matter how many studies one did on cell phone towers which showed they are not a health risk, people would still object to towers being built near where they live. Indeed, the worry and anxiety people have over the cell phone tower down the street is likely the real health issue.

  73. Todd

    This isn’t an argument against what you’re saying. Dr Norman does have a point of science in his favor too. It is some clarification around some points you and Kerry and others seem to be arguing. An attempt to make the arguments more thorough and to understand how we can ALL be “correct”… and wrong at the same time.

    One of the points to the Inverse-Square argument is that the phone is more of a risk than the cellphone tower, and the power emitted by the phone increases as a function of the distance to the cellphone tower. It is always a minimum needed to maintain the conversation (to conserve battery), but the further it is from the tower, the more it has to radiate.

    So one does better with more and closer cellphone towers on that basis. They can be lower power because there are more…

    However, there is nothing that is risk-free.

    Unlike some here I am going to accept that you are at least somewhat correct in the assertion that the telecom industry in general is working hard to prevent anything like the truth from surfacing about that risk.

    However, if a cancer statistic that amounts to 0.05% doubles to 0.1% it makes a rather small impact on the rate of sickness and death overall. This makes it easier for the Telecoms to obfuscate and conceal the significance to health, of their product… and other causes of mortality and morbidity figure much higher in the statistics.

    In addition, the nature of old folks is that a fair few of us use the cellphone at a risibly low rate… so they aren’t going to be very inverse-square vulnerable but will (as everyone is) be hit by the tower broadcast. Also old folks will die of cancer simply because they haven’t been killed by something else earlier in their lives. They may be more vulnerable to certain kinds of damage too. Lots of theories.

    My personal point of view is what I pointed out near the top of the thread. Cellphones just make ordinary telephones worse. Inventions of the devil. Would prefer to have none of them, I REALLY would.

    That Genie is not going back anywhere near that bottle anytime soon. :-(

    So accepting that we are keeping the cellphones, we have to have towers, and accepting that we have to have the towers some damned where, this technology (if the science on the “it causes cancer” side is correct), is going to affect users adversely or people near the towers adversely… depending on the number and location of the towers and the amount of cellphone use for each individual user.

    The only way to avoid the risk entirely is to do away with the phones AND the towers… and like I said, that’s a BIG ask.

    respectfully
    BJ

  74. Todd; whilst I applaud the efforts of scientists to close or conclude points of view – ime humans are all different (As in their fingerprints or dna) – we cannot be readily confined by the dynamics of physics or chemistry – the highest paid specialists (internationally) I have consulted, regarding electro-magnetic sensitivity, preface their findings by remarks like; – “However, in your case”
    Meaning – cause and effect and as wide and high as the sky in their outcomes.
    But thanks for the work you’ve done!
    It seems we have more differences than fingerprints or dna – I regard each human (Para sympathetically) as an unique entity, governed by general rules, but mostly mysterious and unique.
    It’s why throwing millions at our health system doesn’t work – when the best diagnosticians have gone, we seem to have resorted to dishing out ‘dill pills’ as an attempt at management.
    NZ is largely bereft of of modern medical science.

  75. Inverse square law, is this what your talking about Kerry Thomas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverse-square_law

    From that same Wikipedia link as yours:

    A Swedish scientific team at the Karolinska Institute conducted an epidemiological study (2004) that suggested that regular use of a mobile phone over a decade or more was associated with an increased risk of acoustic neuroma, a type of benign brain tumor. The increase was not noted in those who had used phones for fewer than 10 years.[25]

    The INTERPHONE study group from Japan published the results of a study of brain tumour risk and mobile phone use. They used a new approach: determining the SAR inside a tumour by calculating the radio frequency field absorption in the exact tumour location. Cases examined included glioma, meninigioma, and pituitary adenoma. They reported that the overall odds ratio (OR) was not increased and that there was no significant trend towards an increasing OR in relation to exposure, as measured by SAR.

    In 2007, Dr. Lennart Hardell, from Örebro University in Sweden, reviewed published epidemiological papers (2 cohort studies and 16 case-control studies) and found that[27]:

    * Cell phone users had an increased risk of malignant gliomas.
    * Link between cell phone use and a higher rate of acoustic neuromas.
    * Tumors are more likely to occur on the side of the head that the cell handset is used.
    One hour of cell phone use per day significantly increases tumor risk after ten years or more.

    A self-published and non-peer reviewed meta-study by Dr. Vini Khurana, an Australian neurosurgeon, presented what it termed “increasing body of evidence … for a link between mobile phone usage and certain brain tumours” and that it “is anticipated that this danger has far broader public health ramifications than asbestos and smoking”.

    A publication titled “Public health implications of wireless technologies” cites that Lennart Hardell found age is a significant factor. The report repeated the finding that the use of cell phones before age 20 increased the risk of brain tumors by 5.2, compared to 1.4 for all ages.[31] A review by Hardell et al. concluded that current mobile phones are not safe for long-term exposure.

    A 2009 study examined the effects of exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) emitted by standard GSM cell phones on the cognitive functions of humans. The study confirmed longer (slower) response times to a spatial working memory task when exposed to RFR from a standard GSM cellular phone placed next to the head of male subjects, and showed that longer duration of exposure to RFR may increase the effects on performance. Right-handed subjects exposed to RFR on the left side of their head on average had significantly longer response times when compared to exposure to the right side and sham-exposure.

    Genotoxic effects

    A large early 2009 meta-study of 101 scientific publications on genotoxicity of RF electromagnetic fields shows that 49 report a genotoxic effect and 42 do not.[36] Research published in 2004 by a team at the University of Athens had a reduction in reproductive capacity in fruit flies exposed to 6 minutes of 900 MHz pulsed radiation for five days.[37] Subsequent research, again conducted on fruit flies, was published in 2007, with the same exposure pattern but conducted at both 900 MHz and 1800 MHz, and had similar changes in reproductive capacity with no significant difference between the two frequencies.[38] Following additional tests published in a third article, the authors stated they thought their research suggested the changes were “…due to degeneration of large numbers of egg chambers after DNA fragmentation of their constituent cells …”.[39] Australian research conducted in 2009 by subjecting in vitro samples of human spermatozoa to radio-frequency radiation at 1.8 GHz and specific absorption rates (SAR) of 0.4 to 27.5 W/kg showed a correlation between increasing SAR and decreased motility and vitality in sperm, increased oxidative stress and 8-Oxo-2′-deoxyguanosine markers, stimulating DNA base adduct formation and increased DNA fragmentation.

    In 1995, in the journal Bioelectromagnetics, Henry Lai and Narenda P. Singh reported damaged DNA after two hours of microwave radiation at levels deemed safe according to government standards.[41] Later, in December 2004, a pan-European study named REFLEX (Risk Evaluation of Potential Environmental Hazards from Low Energy Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Exposure Using Sensitive in vitro Methods), involving 12 collaborating laboratories in several countries showed some compelling evidence of DNA damage of cells in in-vitro cultures, when exposed between 0.3 to 2 watts/kg, whole-sample average. There were indications, but not rigorous evidence of other cell changes, including damage to chromosomes, alterations in the activity of certain genes and a boosted rate of cell division.[42] Reviews of in vitro genotoxicity studies have generally concluded that RF is not genotoxic and that studies reporting positive effects had experimental deficiences.

    Health hazards of base stations

    A 2002 survey study by Santini et al. in France found a variety of self-reported symptoms for people who reported that they were living within 300 metres (984 ft) of GSM cell towers in rural areas, or within 100 m (328 ft) of base stations in urban areas. Fatigue, headache, sleep disruption and loss of memory were among the symptoms reported.[58] Similar results have been obtained with GSM cell towers in Spain,[59] Egypt,[60] Poland[61] and Austria

    Clearly the science is inconclusive because of differing results from various studies. One can put this down to influence from interested parties or the fact that the subject matter is difficult to test. However it would be advisable to err on the side of caution and not use such technology until it is conclusively proven safe. That is clearly not the case with cell phone towers.

  76. A sensitive issue this one Russel – if the ancient edict of thumbs up or down signifies anything (but the naievete of the host).
    A simple comment on the electro-magnetic effects of street-lights on some souls draws disapproval?
    Well we have a party (so-called) in Government who believes that the sun revolves around the earth.
    There is no end to the mighty Lod of ignorance about.
    I am beginning to see why NZ is so impoverished.
    All our best and brightest are awake enough to leave!
    What station will This train arrive at?
    Somehow I think disapproval may became a National characteristic…

  77. Kerry, You display your lack of understanding of the issue/ problem so clearly. Your computer, your cell phone, your flourescent light – Many items do not put out a pulsed radiation frequency and most cases you will be outside of their range or they will be turned off for large period of time. Whereas the cellphone tower will radiated 24/7 and your body will get no respite.

  78. the freedom you are after is the antithesis of human freedom, it is corporate freedom.

    If you think the two are directly opposed in some historic battle between good and evil then you really aren’t fit to be a Parliamentary representative…

  79. This is really, really simple. Take Auckland.

    You can have 1 tower on extremely high power, or a tower on every street corner with low power.

    Of those, the option that gives the lowest average radiation is the one you’re objecting against.

    If you have one, then only those at the out-most edges of coverage are going to have less radiation than any person standing directly under a streetcorner tower.

  80. Kerry of course, but is it “50” metres away and this source is a constant, whereas the others are not. And is “cancer” the sole arbiter of safety?

    Why are there differing standards inter-nationally?

  81. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone_radiation_and_health

    “A variety of studies over the past 50 years have been done on workers exposed to high RF radiation levels; studies including radar laboratory workers, military radar workers, electrical workers, and amateur radio operators. Most of these studies found no increase in cancer rates over the general population or a control group. Many positive results could have been attributed to other work environment conditions, and many negative results of reduced cancer rates also occurred”.[70]

    A cordless phone close to your head, computer or cellphone emitting at 2 watts (About average) or a flourescent light 2 meters away. Are going to give you many times the RFR exposure than a cellphone tower 50 plus meters away emitting at about 100 watts.

    No doubt some of you have heard of the inverse square law??

  82. The issue is how does New Zealand’s regulatory regime compare to that of other nations.

    “The telcos, and government departments supporting the telcos, wrote the New Zealand Standard that underpins the NES, and ‘guarantees’ its safety. Or does it guarantee its safety? It has this rather disturbing little disclaimer at the start:

    – There is scientific research, including epidemiology, which has suggested associations between some adverse health effects and exposure to RF [radio frequency] fields at levels lower than the basic restrictions specified in this Standard, however causation has not been shown.”

    “Now the paper on which this NZS 2772 relies is by the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNRP) from 1998. Yet, there has been lots of research questioning the level of radiation allowed by the ICNRP in the more than a decade since it was written but the ICNRP standard has remained unchanged.”

    “A number of countries have abandoned the ICNRP standard and have required lower radiation levels from the towers. But not NZ.”

    The “libertarians” basically say there is other electronic stuff out there anyway and besides the horse has bolted and somehow concern for best international practice oversight of consumer and public safety is somehow a fringe issue. Yeah right.

    And now, let’s wait for the free speech “individualists” out there to arrive enmasse to strike down dissent.

  83. The frequency of the electromagnetic wave greatly changes it’s interaction with the environment.

    Comparing AM radio with cellphone towers is not helpful because they operate at completely different frequencies. Have a look at the ICNIRP exposure guidelines and you’ll see that the level of exposure varies greatly depending on the frequency.

    Further, wireless telephones and wifi operate at much lower power levels than cellphone towers as their intended range is much less so it is not very useful to compare with them either.

    Distance is also a major factor – electromagnetic fields drop off quite quickly with distance so living under high voltage power lines is completely different to living 50 meters away from the same power lines. Or cellphone tower.

    All of this is high-school physics stuff so IMO those attacking Russel over this by raising the question of AM radio, wifi, microwave ovens and suchlike seems a bit disingenuous to me. Those people either think our readers are stupid or they don’t have the necessary knowledge to have an adult conversation about it.

    Personally I am fine with cellphone towers that are a decent distance away (a dozen meters?), and completely unconcerned about wifi, cordless phones and radios. But I won’t live right under power lines.

  84. I think this topic illustrates just how far the Green MPs are out of line with informed public (and scientific) opinion.

  85. Huh! Me being a Luddite is a cop out… what do you mean insider?

    The simple fact is that some technology is safe and some is not. Trying to argue that all technology should be removed because some technology might be unsafe is just silly. Even when some technology is slightly unsafe, the benefits of implementing that technology often outweigh the negative side effects. Unfortunately finances have been included in that equation making the current implementation of dangerous technology widespread.

    We’re starting to see some of the effects of such implementation for financial gain. In effect the capitalist system has no consideration for our health and well being, because it makes more money when people are sick. At what percentage of cancer in the population should we readjust our technology to suit our physical structure… 80% 90% or 100% of the population with cancer? Future predictions put the cancer rate at around 80% of the population by 2040. It would be smart to consider removing possible causes now instead of pandering to a financial system that has no consideration for our well being.

    I believe the negative side effects from cell phone towers as shown in the studies linked to above are great enough to remove that technology from close proximity to humans in favour of safe technology. Especially so in cases where children are exposed to dangerous levels of radiation and thus have a higher risk of developing cancer later in life.

  86. I don’t have a microwave because I’m dubious about their safety.

    Further evidence of not understanding electromagnetism. Microwaves (the radiation) cannot leave the microwave (the appliance). Do you worry about irradiated food, too?

  87. Maybe have a look on the back of your equipment insider. It usually states what tests have been undertaken. I don’t have a microwave because I’m dubious about their safety.

  88. @Todd

    “I think systems to test equipment should be in place so no further dangerous items are placed in peoples homes. In most cases they are…”

    Are cordless phones, wi-fi, CFLs, microwaves, FM radios dangerous items? What testing has been done to show them as safe for home use?

  89. Kadin

    Pray tell, what is the typical power of a cell tower?

    This is a variable rate depending on the requirement.

    Are you aware of any evidence that television, or radio, or street lights, or lightbulbs in homes are safe? If not, is it your opinion that all of these things should be removed from our communities pending extensive testing of their health effects?

    Stop trying to divert the debate. I think systems to test equipment should be in place so no further dangerous items are placed in peoples homes. In most cases they are, with cell phone towers they are not. People should be made aware of any existing dangerous equipment they might be exposed to. If that equipment is found through independent study to be highly dangerous, it should be recalled or removed. Just like the toxic kids toys from China.

    john-ston

    Today, that figure is 78.4 years

    Yes! Age has increased by less than half, while cancer rates have increased dramatically more so. The increase in cancer rates over the implementation of these devices is nearly exactly the same as the studies I linked to above, X3 to 4.15 increase in cancer rates. It would be smart to investigate this further because I do not believe the correlating increase is a coincidence.

    If you are more likely to get cancer as you get older, then the rates are going to increase dramatically when life expectancy increases by a small amount.

    I wonder why cancer rates are predicted to increase while life expectancy is predicted to decrease then?

    Then why is it that predominately older people get cancer?

    I’ve already answered that; Increased exposure and cumulative effect. Age does not cause cancer; exposure time causes cancer. The facts and statistics point to something in our industrial lifestyles as the cause. Cancer causing substances often take a while to build up in the body before they become malignant, a scientific fact by the way. Cancer has nothing to do with the aging process itself, although with age there is often less resistance to carcinogenic conditions and the bodies ability to rectify negative health effects. The fact that more elderly have cancer can be put down to prolonged exposure.

    Age itself is not the cause of cancer and you’ve lost that debate. A nice try though, rather amateurish deduction process but you do seem to believe in what you’re saying.

  90. Why is Russel Norman ducking and dodging like a prizefighter? He is being completely schooled by the poster calling himself ‘Libertyscott’, it is almost humiliating that a an MP can write such nonsense.. and then when presented with some facts to counter his point… resorts to strawmen and insults.

    I wish all NZers would read this blog and comments, and judge for themselves. I am guessing Greens would plummet in the polls. Someone needs to muzzle Russell….

  91. No the irony there Trevor is that The Greens would force you to have a radio network installed in your house by mandating all smart meters have a HAN chip. My meter is on the wall of my son’s bedroom.

    Why are the Greens so keen to see him irradiated by smart meters but saved from smart phones?

  92. Todd, I think you are mixing up statistics again. The life expectancy of an American female in 1900 was 47.3 years, while the life expectancy of an American male in 1900 was 46.3 years (http://kclibrary.lonestar.edu/decade00.html). Today, that figure is 78.4 years (http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb-wdi&met=sp_dyn_le00_in&idim=country:USA&dl=en&hl=en&q=american+life+expectancy).

    Whilst cancer rates might have trebled in the last 110 years, with life expectancy not quite doubling during that period, it doesn’t mean that the significant increase in cancer has been caused by something other than age. If you are more likely to get cancer as you get older, then the rates are going to increase dramatically when life expectancy increases by a small amount.

    Cancer is not an age related illness.

    Then why is it that predominately older people get cancer?

  93. A rather amusing attack on Russell there Libertyscott. Especially the “all you are interested in is a childish anti-capitalist crusade rather than science” bit. What a hoot!

    Mr Norman’s concern’s at the structure of the Telecommunications Industry Reference Group are founded. There’s a lot of money to be made from such equipment, not only for the telcos but also for the Government. As with many things in the past, health concerns do not take precedence over finances, even when the item has been proven unsafe. There are studies which strongly question the safety of such devices, here are links to a few:

    http://www.emf-health.com/PDFreports/Germanreport_celltower.pdf

    Conclusion: The result of this retrospective study in Naila shows that the risk of newly developing cancer was three times higher among those patients who had lived during past ten years (1994-2004), within a distance of 400m from the cellular transmitter, in comparison to those who had lived further away.

    http://www.emf-health.com/PDFreports/Israelstudy_celltower.pdf

    Conclusion: A comparison of the relative risk revealed that there were 4.15 times more cases in area A than in the entire population.

    http://www.emf-health.com/PDFreports/Austrianstudy.pdf

    However the science is still inconclusive because the subject matter is very difficult to study and there are conflicting reports generated by the telco industry.

    Cancer is not an age related illness. It is an environmental and substance related issue. The longer you’re around, the more likely you’ll be exposed to cancer causing conditions. Even if we were to consider age causing cancer, the increase of cancer rates easily outstrips the increase in life expectancy. So you cannot put it down to this effect alone, or in my opinion, at all.

    According to the American Cancer Society, Forty-one thousand (41,000) Americans (64 people per 100,000) died of cancer in 1900. This figure equates to more than 112 people per day.

    According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention: “In 2005, an estimated 570,280 Americans-more than 1,500 people a day-will die of cancer.” This figure equates to nearly 200 people per 100,000.

    Comparing the statistics in the previous two paragraphs, we can see that cancer deaths per 100,000 have more than tripled since 1900. Previously, I suggested that cancer is a disease of our modern establishment. At the beginning of this century there were relatively few cases of cancer. In the 1800’s and previous to then, it was even less prevalent.

    From 2010 to 2030, the total projected cancer incidence will increase by approximately 45% in the United States. Interesting considering life expectancy is projected to decrease over this time.

    I can understand why Russell is not engaging in your silly arguments Trevor29, Libertyscott and Kerry Thomas.

  94. So Russel wants my neighbour to have a say in what cell phones, cordless phones, laptop computers, wireless routers and cordless mice I have in my house? They are all radio transmitters. Does Russel also want my neighbour to have a say in what microwave ovens I have as well? What about my electrical meter? I didn’t even get a say in that one!

    Trevor.

  95. Russel said:
    “You have no legal right to stop them putting a cellphone mast one metre outside your kids’ bedroom if that’s where the street pole is.”
    I don’t know about other areas of the country but when I built, I was not allowed to site any part of the building within 4.5 metres of the edge of the property. So cell phone base stations will not be within 1 metre of any bedrooms in my area. (A possible exception could be where road widening has taken place after a house has been built.)

    Trevor.

  96. Russel Norman – Assuming you are the MP (wouldn’t expect the Greens to allow otherwise) your response to my post is pitiful, evasive and exactly what most people expect from politicians. Complete failure to engage with what is put in front of you, rather you put up some strawmen.
    Says it all really that you prefer personal attacks, strawmen and actually prove my point that all you are interested in is a childish anti-capitalist crusade rather than science.

    Like I said, Radio NZ and its predecessors have been emitting enormous amounts of non-ionising radiation for many decades. In fact all radios emit non-ionising radiation (FM radios all transmit at 10.7MHz above the frequency they are tuned in).

    So how about it? Will the Greens call for property owners everywhere to veto all broadcast transmitters adjacent to their homes? There is one of these in Aro Valley next to homes, another in Miramar, another in Melrose, one in Seatoun, one in Strathmore. Will the Greens seek a ban on wifi transmitters (or indeed laptops with wifi/bluetooth capability since nothing delivers RF radiation more directly that it sitting on your lap)?

    Or is this really just a front for a childish anti-capitalist crusade that complete evades science, and you wouldn’t dare apply to RNZ, TVNZ or people’s own home appliances?

    Nice one with the abuse Russel, real leader material there. What other MPs would respond with name calling rather than debate?

  97. What I am saying is, we have had the safety test for RF frequencies. It has been tested on almost everyone in the western world for nearly a hundred years.
    There have been a great many epidemiological studies into causes of cancer, identifying causes such as radon in stone houses. Many by non industry public health bodies. Except for some people with excessive exposure no harmful effects have been reliably isolated in all that time.

    A flourescent tube just out side your bedroom window is going to give you a lot more radiation exposure than a cellphone tower 200m away.
    A computer screen right in front of you even more. What about your house wiring?

    A precautionary approach with these is likely to be a good idea because they are much closer, so you are getting many times the RF dose that you would from a cell tower. Going around with the phone clamped to your ear is not a good experiment to make as some studies show the MAY cause cancers..

    I am onside with the Greens about Nano-tech and GMO’s because they are being tested on us now and very little money is being spent on research into harmful effects. But with RF the horse has already bolted.

  98. ICNIRP – International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection
    http://www.icnirp.de/what.htm

    This is the organisation that maintains the low to high frequency Electro Magnetic Standards. The World Health Organisation adopted these standards, and NZ adopts the WHO standards.

    ICNIRP is a private oragnisation, if you download their Charter you will see that they privately select the Committee members, have no professional membership and many of their members are from industry background. The reason why WHO adopted these standards is because the previous Chair of ICNIRP was consulting to WHO at the time. They actually dumped standards by the Institute of Electrical Electoric Engineers (200,000 Engineers).

    NZ has no need to adopt industry influenced standards and needs to take a precautionary approach.

  99. Todd, cancer is more common nowadays because people are living longer. Check this out. We get cancer because we’re healthier. Note that this does not preclude children getting cancer.

    a street light is hardly a high powered transmitter that has not been proven to be safe.

    Pray tell, what is the typical power of a cell tower? I would also like to know: are you saying that street lights have been proven to be safe? What is your opinion of radio and television broadcasts? They operate in radio frequency, and I believe at a rather higher power than cell towers.

    Shouldn’t a device or substance be proven to be safe before it is utilized?

    Are you aware of any evidence that television, or radio, or street lights, or lightbulbs in homes are safe? If not, is it your opinion that all of these things should be removed from our communities pending extensive testing of their health effects?

    Typically the people who are worried about mobile phone radiation have no idea what “radiation” is, and have bought into some scam being peddled by a hustler. The alternative “medicine” scammers do this a lot to convince people to buy their “all-natural” “cures” for whatever they say causes cancer this week (they’ll tell any lie to make a buck; that’s capitalism for you).

    Russel. If RF does do harm it is minimal compared with say, driving cars.
    I.e. Statistically insignificant.

    Kerry, you are misusing the phrase “statistically insignificant”. If there were a “statistically insignificant” effect, this would be equivalent to saying that RF does not do any harm at all; i.e. there are zero differences in health outcomes that cannot be attributed to random chance. If there is any detectable effect at all, even if it is extremely small, it is incorrect to say that the effect is “statistically insignificant”. It may, however, be “practically insignificant”.

    Interestingly enough, street lights can be a real problem to the electro-magnetically sensitive.

    Mark, “electromagnetic sensitivity” is a myth propagated by con artists who like to prey on the gullible; people who are no better than Ken Lay or Bernie Madoff.

  100. Russell, what most of these comments go to show is how poorly NZ citizens are informed. Across Europe and North America RF Radiation is a growing concern. A paper out of the Austrian Health Dept in 2007 suggest that the growing numbers of people becoming sensitive to Electrical Radiation could be 50 % of the population by 2017. Many people are already sensitive to a greater or less degree including many in NZ. Public exposure will only increase the number becoming sensitivity. In May 2009 over thirty US States and provincial cities declared May “Electromagnetic Sensitivity Awareness Month” I quote from the Governor of Colorado proclamation.
    “ WHEREAS, people of all ages in Colorado and throughout the world have developed the illness of Electromagnetic Sensitivity (EMS) as a result of global electromagnetic pollution; and WHEREAS, Electromagnetic Sensitivity is a painful chronic illness of hypersensitive reactions to electromagnetic radiations for which there is no known cure; and WHEREAS the symptoms of EMS include, dermal changes, acute numbness and tingling, dermatitis, flushing, headaches, arrhythmia, muscular weakness, tinnitus, malaise, gastric problems, nausea, visual disturbances, severe neurological, respiratory, speech problems, and numerous other physiological symptoms; and WEREAS, Electromagnetic Sensitivity is recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the US access Board and numerous commissions; and WHEREAS, this illness may be preventable through the reduction or avoidance of electromagnetic radiation, in both indoor and outdoor environments and by conducting further scientific research….” For more information see http://www.electrosensitivesociety.com/rewire-me-emagazine/

  101. Insider

    It’s a radiation source and Russel was objecting to the placement of radiation sources close to homes.

    I think you misinterpret Russell’s meaning there just to try and make a silly point. Yes! A light is a radiation source. But it has nominal negative effects, which are well known and accounted for and negated through design. Devices and substances should be “safe” within the bounds that they’re proven to not cause serious widespread ill health.

    They should also not reduce the value of a personal asset because of proximity. A street light does neither.

    Oh and the 50% of NZers getting cancer might just possibly be because cancer has a close association with increased age. It’s a disease that increases with wealth and good healthcare.

    More people are getting cancer because there are more rich people with better health care?

    WTF! There are many children with cancer these days insider, it does not attack the well to do more than anyone else. What was the percentage of people with cancer before RF became widespread and what percentage had cancer before cell phones and cell phone towers became commonly used? Widespread cancer is a relatively new epidemic, didn’t you know. If you think that 50% of people getting cancer is a normal aging process, your more illogical than I first thought.

    Unless you’re mental, you cannot argue that something is safe because it has not been proven otherwise. Cautionary testing is always preferable to mass implementation, unless there is another motivational aspect for so many dangerous substances and devices we have not considered here yet.

  102. “a street light is hardly a high powered transmitter that has not been proven to be safe.”

    It’s a radiation source and Russel was objecting to the placement of radiation sources close to homes.

    “Shouldn’t a device or substance be proven to be safe before it is utilized? That would be the logical approach.”

    Logic seems to have gone out of the window. If you wanted everything to be ‘safe’, you may as well not exist. Because even lightbulbs have their risks. The greens have been great proponents of CFLs which contain highly toxic mercury – even wanting to introduce standards that would almost mandate their use. Let’s not even think about the radiation from your bedside lamp. Seems an odd approach to risk management based on the balance of probabilities to then want to ban celltowers near homes ‘just in case’.

    Oh and the 50% of NZers getting cancer might just possibly be because cancer has a close association with increased age. It’s a disease that increases with wealth and good healthcare.

  103. Kerry Thomas

    but I think we would have found any major effects by now after over a hundred years of using RF.

    I wonder what the reason is for nearly 50% of New Zealanders getting cancer? But that’s OK! Everything is totally safe… Nothing to see here, please go about your business.

    Insider, a street light is hardly a high powered transmitter that has not been proven to be safe. A street light does not diminish the value of a property. It’s a fcken street light for gods sake!

    Shouldn’t a device or substance be proven to be safe before it is utilized? That would be the logical approach. Unfortunately the reality is pretty horrendous with many substances and devices that are completely untested being used on the public to make money, often without any information being given to the test subjects about possible negative side effects. But that’s capitalism for you.

  104. Not only radiation, but electro-magnetic progenitors of all kinds seem to be playing a major role in destroying Human Immune Systems – rendering people to all kinds of illness’.
    As much of this research is covered by the blanket of ‘military security’, definitive answers are not readily forthcoming.
    Caution; ultra-caution, around these issues is sensible.
    To do more until we know more is foolhardy.

  105. “what i object to is the restriction on people’s right to have a say over the placement of radiation emitting devices literally next to their houses”

    Do you really want to make the placement and bulb type of street lights subject to community consultation?

  106. js, if you read my post you will see that what i object to is the restriction on people’s right to have a say over the placement of radiation emitting devices literally next to their houses.

    It seems that you and DungeonScott are very proactive talking about freedom except when the rubber hits the road you are all in favour of restricting people’s rights and increasing corporate rights. the freedom you are after is the antithesis of human freedom, it is corporate freedom.

  107. Kerry, I’m not a scientific expert so I’m not going to second guess the science, but the uncertainty remains and it is found even in the ‘politically correct’ and ‘acceptable’ reports like the ICNRP report.

  108. GS, With regard to the makeup of the NZS committee that decided whether the radiation levels were safe or not, I have listed them all so that everyone can form their own judgements as to what I’m saying.

    I would argue that such a committee should be dominated by health and techical experts, with some community representation and possible one commercial interest. Yet there were only 2 such experts on the cttee – Inst enviro health and Nat Radiation Lab.

    There were four reps with vested interest, 3 are operators with an interest – ie Broadcast Communications, Telecom, NZ Radio Transmitters Assoc. One is the Ministry Commerce w the same agenda. So the industry dominated the cttee.

  109. Russel. If RF does do harm it is minimal compared with say, driving cars.
    I.e. Statistically insignificant.
    WiFi would worry me much more than cellphone towers because it is very close to the user. There is evidence that strong RF very close can cause damage and some indications of possible head tumours from excessive cell phone use, but I think we would have found any major effects by now after over a hundred years of using RF. Especially from the very powerful transmitters that were used in the first half of the last century..

  110. I’m interested that a blogger called Liberty Scott seems to have so little concern with freedom.

    I would suggest that you read his comment again. If you wish to restrict cellphone towers because of radiation fears, then why not restrict everything that might cause radiation?

  111. “A group dominated by those trying to reduce costs for telcos.” – Really? Actually of your list of 8 groups involved in developing the Standard only 2 are commercial organisations with a telecomms interest. But hey don’t let the facts get in the way of political scaremongering.

  112. The whole saga is a classic example of vested interests manipulating the policy process in Parliament. The media are also complicit. When the Green party tried to alert people to the so-called National Environmental Standard, and its effects, the media completely ignored it. Only the Wellingtonian reported on it. Could this have anything to do with the massive advertising by our telecommunications companies?

  113. Your pursuit of wingnut issues like this and allying your sympathies with the Uruwera mob is why you will remain a fringe group, not trusted by the large majority of voters.

  114. I’m interested that a blogger called Liberty Scott seems to have so little concern with freedom. The state ties people’s hands over the control of cellphone towers so they can’t resist telcos and you applaud – rather typical Act Party position – freedom for corporations and no rights for individuals. CaptivityScott might think that the people are illinformed to be concerned about a cellphone mast outside their kids bedroom, but genuinely freedom loving people would defend their right to tell the state and corporations to move away, as the courts have done in france.

    Kadin, bj and Kerry, there are of course many other sources of non-ionising radiation already present. The question is should we be concerned at adding to the increasing background level. We are doing it with wifi quite extensively at the moment. And there are studies raising issues around it. I say keep an open mind.

  115. You should be more worried about all the RF frequency devices in your house, than a cellphone tower 20m above your head and several hundred meters away.
    Currently within 10m of me I have two cellphones, 2 Radars, 2 SSB radios, 4 VHF radios, 3 Computers, 6 fluorescent lights and other assorted electronics.

    The danger to my health I am most worried about is slipping on the deck.

    I think if RF was actually that harmful epidemiologists would have detected a pattern of illness among people who work in environments with a lot of RF radiation.

    The only cancers seafarers seem to be prone to, is melanomas from too much radiation from the sun

    While I doubted the sanity of some radio operators in the past, I think that was from listening to morse code for 12 hours a day.

    If you want to maintain credibility have a go at things like nano-technology which have yet to be proven safe.

  116. Lower RF per unit means more units required.

    Greater distance to the relay means more power required to come out of your cellphone which you are holding to your ear, and the inverse-square law applies.

    So we should have LOTS of cellphone relays. One on EVERY streetlamp…

    Me, I don’t like cellphones. Not at all, not anywhere. If a telephone is “an invention of the devil that somewhat abrogates the advantages of keeping a disagreeable person at a distance” (Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”) then a cellphone makes that invention an inescapable invention of the devil…

    So we have lots of them. :-)

    I won’t get into this too deeply… but the emissions of the device next to my head is almost always going to be more important that the emissions of something 100 or more meters away. With no science that shows demonstrable risk, it is never going to be an easy cell.

    :-)

    …and there is a level below which no harm has ever been measured in humans, yet there is no way to prove that there has been no harm. Prove that negative. I dare you.

    So go cautiously in this – I am not convinced either way, but I suggest that any lower level used as that maximum below which consent is not required should be directly related to the distance from residences and schools and the like… and it should be acknowledged/understood that it will raise costs AND that it is unlikely to have any measurable effect on public health.

    Good luck

    BJ

  117. I’m afraid I have uncovered some disturbing information, Mr. Norman. In my investigation of several houses in the Auckland area, I found that every single one contained multiple devices designed explicitly for the purpose of emitting non-ionising radiation. Typically, there was at least one in every room. They are small contraptions of metal and glass – mostly sort of pear-shaped, but some in funny spirals or other designes. None of the residents I spoke to said they were informed of any possible health risks; every single one said that they believed there would very few houses without these devices installed; if any at all.

    I have not looked into other parts of the country, but have heard some anecdotal evidence that the situation is similar at least in Hamilton. Who knows how far this has gone? How many people across the nation sit in their homes completely oblivious to the threat of non-ionising radiation?

  118. Suggest you shut down the AM transmitters for National Radio, the AM Network and Newstalk ZB in Titahi Bay since they have been transmitting non-ionising radiation blanketing Porirua City at levels of over 100x the strength of cellphone transmitters since the 1940s. Mt Victoria has had radio transmitters on it for some years as well, and then Khandallah and Johnsonville have had nearly 50 years of Kaukau blanketing them.

    I have a friend who was part of a detailed study into levels of non-ionising radiation in Australia. A group of unscientific cellphone site phobics demanded readings be made in one town, and it was found the local TV transmitter on the hill exposed residents to much more continuous exposure at higher volumes than those who would live within a radius of the cellsite. She told them the TV transmitter and local FM radio stations would need to be closed first before removing cellsites – naturally there was an outrage and people couldn’t stand losing TV and radio.

    However, don’t let science and the fact that human beings have been bombarding each other with high levels of non-ionising radiation for a couple of generations get in the way of renewing scaremongering over something that hasn’t been remotely demonstrated to be dangerous to human health. Don’t confuse it with the issue of cellphone handset exposure to brains, which does have some merit as an issue (as people haven’t been doing that).

    I’m amazed you haven’t jumped on cordless phones at the home, wifi base stations at home, electric blankets (sleeping on an electrical element), the people sitting in front of cathode ray tubes for the last couple of generations (LCD, Plasma and LEDs are ending this). How many of the people who you’ve scaremongered about cellphone towers happily have any number of these devices and let their kids use them and don’t think twice about it?

    Or is this really about beating up privately owned telcos instead of a balanced rational debate about science? Otherwise you would have long campaigned for National Radio’s 500kW transmitter at Titahi Bay to be shut down years ago.

  119. TL;DR = Telecos don’t give two hoots about potential health risks and proven property value decreases associated with cell towers. Last Labour govt took away rules that made telecos consult before erecting one in your community.

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