David O. Carpenter, MD is Director, Institute for Health and the Environment University at Albany
Honorable Mayor Linda Tyer Pittsfield Community Development Board
Pittsfield City Councilors
Dear Mayor, Board and Councilors:
I am a public health physician and former Dean of the School of Public Health at the University at Albany. I am also the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Bioinitiative Report (www.bioinitiative.org), a web-based encyclopedic review of the adverse human health effects caused by excessive exposure to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMFs). For a number of years I worked for the New York State Department of Health prior to my move to the University at Albany and served as the spokesperson for New York on issues related to EMFs.
Residents of Pittsfield have requested that I write concerning the operation of a newly constructed cell tower in a residential neighborhood. This is extremely unwise, and its operation is going to increase the risk of several different and serious disease among the people who live nearby. These diseases have been reviewed carefully by Levitt and Lai (Environ Rev 18:369-395: 2010). They include an increased risk of cancer (Egar et al., Umwelt-Med Gesell 17L 42004: 2004), altered hormones (Eskander et al.,Clin Biochem 45: 157-161: 2012) and development of the syndrome of electro-hypersensitivity, characterized by headache, fatigue, “brain fog” and ringing in the ears (Baliatsas et al., Sci Total Environ 565: 714-720: 2016.
The evidence for harm from cell towers is made much stronger based on a recent report from the Ramazzini Institute in Italy. They exposed rats and mice to RF EMFs at an intensity similar to what humans would receive if they live near to a cell tower, and found that they developed two types of brain cancer (Falcioni et al., Environ Res 165: 496-503: 2018).
Cell towers should not be placed in residential areas or any other area where people spend prolonged periods of time. Approval of the operation of this tower, with its potential of 48 different antennas, poses significant risk to the health of nearby residents.
Thank you for your consideration.
Yours sincerely, David O. Carpenter, MD Director, Institute for Health and the Environment University at Albany
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On February 2, 2022, the Pittsfield, MA Board of Health unanimously voted to issue a cease and desist order to Verizon to shut down its tower located at 877 South Street. Families living in the neighborhood near the tower reported wireless radiation-related health issues soon after the tower became operational in 2020 and since then, have been working tirelessly to turn the transmissions off. This action is the first known vote on a cease and desist by a Board of Health in the United States for a cell tower
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The Environmental Health Trust has worked on the issue of wireless radiation for over a decade submitting thousands of pages of evidence to the FCC in the years leading up to the court’s decision. EHT scientists testified in 2009 Senate hearings and 2008 congressional hearing on cell phone radiation- the last ever held. EHT scientists have continued to publish research on the health effects of non -ionizing electromagnetic radiation and organized numerous national and international scientific conferences on the issue. Visit www.ehtrust.org for more information and sign up for our newsletter.