Woodstock Planning Board Green-lights 5G Cell Networks – Environmental Health Trust


The Woodstock Planning Board’s unanimous vote September 29 approving Verizon’s 5G equipment addition to the town-owned cell tower came after discussion about radio frequency radiation and its cumulative effect from all providers.

Read more at https://hudsonvalleyone.com/2022/10/05/verizon-gets-approval-for-cell-tower-additions/

Many communities have passed strong ordinances restricting cell towers and small cell antennas near homes and schools. 


Several school districts prohibit cell towers such as: 

  • Los Angeles California 
  • Palo Alto California 
  • West Linn-Wilsonville, Oregon 

Several municipalities have protections for trees.  

  • Washington DC: A standalone pole shall not be located within an existing street tree’s protected zone and poles shall not be placed within 15 feet of any open tree planting space. 
  • No street tree shall be removed, or have its protected root zone impacted and “no tree shall be pruned related to the installation or functioning of small cell infrastructure.” 
  • Denver Colorado: A minimum of 15-25 feet of separation to the tree trunk such that no proposed disturbance shall occur within 5 feet of the critical root zone (drip-line) of any tree. 
  • Thornton Colorado:  Poles shall not be located…”less than 15 feet or within the drip line of an existing tree, whichever is greater in order to protect the health of the tree.”

Reviews That Recommend Cell Towers Be Distanced Away From Homes and Schools  

  • A review paper entitled “Limiting liability with positioning to minimize negative health effects of cellular phone towers” reviewed the “large and growing body of evidence that human exposure to RFR from cellular phone base stations causes negative health effects.” The authors recommend restricting antennas near home and within 500 meters of schools and hospitals to protect companies from future liability (Pearce 2020). 
  • An analysis of 100 studies published in Environmental Reviews found ~80% showed biological effects near towers. “As a general guideline, cell base stations should not be located less than 1500 ft from the population, and at a height of about 150 ft.” (Levitt 2010) 
  • A review published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health found people living less than 500 m from base station antennas had an increased adverse neuro-behavioral symptoms and cancer in eight of the ten epidemiological studies (Khurana 2011).
  • A paper by human rights experts documented the accumulating science indicating safety is not assured and considered the issue within a human rights framework to protect vulnerable populations from environmental pollution. “We conclude that, because scientific knowledge is incomplete, a precautionary approach is better suited to State obligations under international human rights law.” (Roda and Perry 2014)
  • A review entitled “Evidence for a health risk by RF on humans living around mobile phone base stations: From radiofrequency sickness to cancer  reviewed  the existing scientific literature and found radiofrequency sickness,  cancer and  changes in biochemical parameters. (Balmori 2022)

 World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer 

In 2011, radiofrequency radiation was classified as a Class 2B possible carcinogen by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO/IARC). The WHO/IARC scientists clarified that this determination was for RFR from any source be it cell phones,  wireless devices or cell towers. Since 2011, the published peer-reviewed scientific evidence associating RFR to cancer and other adverse effects has significantly increased. 

In 2019, the WHO/IARC advisory committee recommended that radiofrequency radiation be re-evaluated as a “high” priority in light of the new research. The date of the re-evaluation has not been set. 

Currently, several scientists conclude that the weight of current peer-reviewed evidence supports the conclusion that radiofrequency radiation is a proven human carcinogen (Hardell and Carlberg 2017, Peleg et al, 2018, Miller et al 2018).

Research Studies to Know

  • European Parliament requested a research report  “Health Impact of 5G” which was released in July 2021 and concluded that commonly used RFR frequencies (450 to 6000 MHz) are probably carcinogenic for humans and clearly affect male fertility with possible adverse effects on the development of embryos, fetuses and newborns. 
  • A large-scale animal study published in Environmental Research found rats exposed to cell tower emission RF levels had elevated cancers, the very same cancers also found in the US National Toxicology Program animal study of cell phone RF. Falcioni 2018 
  • A study published in Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine found changes in blood considered biomarkers predictive of cancer in people living closer to cell antenna arrays (Zothansiama 2017). 
  • A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found higher exposure to cell arrays linked to higher mortality from all cancer and specifically lung and breast cancer (Rodrigues 2021).
  • A 10 year study published in Science of the Total Environment on cell phone antennas by the local Municipal Health Department and several universities in Brazil found a clearly elevated relative risk of cancer mortality at residential distances of 500 meters or less from cell phone towers (Dode 2011).  
  • A study commissioned by the Government of Styria, Austria found a significant cancer incidence in the area around the transmitter as well as significant exposure-effect relationships between radiofrequency radiation exposure and the incidence of breast cancers and brain tumors (Oberfeld 2008).
  • A review published in Experimental Oncology found “alarming epidemiological and experimental data on possible carcinogenic effects of long term exposure to low intensity microwave (MW) radiation.”  Even a year of operation of a powerful base transmitting station for mobile communication reportedly resulted in a dramatic increase of cancer incidence among the population living nearby (Yakymenko 2011).  

A Myriad of Health Effects Reported in People Living Close to Cell Antennas

Surveys of people living near cell tower antennas in France, Spain, Iraq, India, Germany, Egypt, Poland have found significantly higher reports of health issues including sleep issues, fatigue and headaches (Santini et al 2003,  López 2021, Alazawi 2011 Pachuau and Pachuaua 2016,, Eger et al 2004 Abdel-Rassoul et al., 2007, Bortkiewicz et al., 2004). 

  • A study published in American Journal of Men’s Health linked higher cell tower RFR exposures to delayed fine and gross motor skills, spatial working memory, and attention in school adolescents (Meo 2018).
  • A study published in Environmental Research and Public Health found higher exposures linked to higher risk of type 2 diabetes (Meo 2015). 
  • A study following people for 6 years linked increased cell phone and cell phone tower antenna exposure to altered levels of hormones including cortisol, thyroid, prolactin and testosterone (Eskander et al 2021). A study that followed people in a German town after a cell tower was erected found stress hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline significantly increased over the first 6 months after the antenna activation and decreased dopamine and PEA levels after 18 months (Buchner 2011).