Monday, March 29, 2021
Register for An Expert Webinar "Montgomery County 5G Small Cell Information Session"
What are the Health and Environmental Effects of 5G Deployment in Montgomery County Maryland and How Will the Montgomery County County Council Proposed Cell Tower Zoning Affect Our Neighborhoods?
- Speaker: Theodora Scarato, Director of the Environmental Health Trust
- Date: Tuesday, Mar 30, 2021
- Time: 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Register in advance for this webinar:
What You Need to Know About Montgomery County, 5G and the New Zoning ZTA 19-07
The Montgomery County Council has proposed a new zoning ordinance named ZTA 19-07 which allows 4G and 5G so called "small" cell towers to be deployed just 30 feet from your home. The street lights and utility poles in front of your home will be able to be replaced with 5G cell towers without any notice sent to you, nor public hearing required so long as the pole is at least 30 feet from your home.
A Montgomery County Maryland group MoCoSafeG has invited Theodora Scarato to speak about the health and environmental issues related to 5G and 4G antenna densification.
Research shows that unfettered 5G deployment would greatly increase the greenhouse gas emissions which are driving the climate crisis. Solutions exist to provide internet connections without forcing these cell towers into neighborhoods. Fiber networks are ten times more energy efficient, have no health risks, are cheaper and offer greater privacy protection.
Published research reviews warn that cell tower radiation can harm bees, birds, trees, plants and wildlife. There are further substantial impacts to the tree canopy and wildlife from the digging and tree trimming necessary to deploy all of these antennas.
The cellular antennas on these poles will transmit radio frequency microwave (RF/MW) radiation 24/7 which has never been safety tested on people for long term exposure. Many doctors and scientists recommend a halt to 5G until safety research is performed due to the substantial body of research that already exists indicating current 3G and 4G technology is harmful at legal levels. This issue is the center of a lawsuit in federal court launched by Environmental Health Trust- now awaiting a court verdict.
Learn about the latest proposed cell tower zoning for Montgomery County and why doctors recommend caution. Get your questions answered in this informative session on March 30th, Monday at 7:00pm with expert Theodora Scarato MSW, Executive Director of the scientific think tank Environmental Health Trust.
Date: March 30th, Tuesday at 7:00pm
About 5G in Montgomery County
The issue of 5G and cell towers has been before the council for several years now and every year residents call to halt cell towers in residential neighborhoods. The issue has been the subject of several news stories and strong community opposition.
About Theodora Scarato MSW
Executive Director Environmental Health Trust
Theodora Scarato MSW is Executive Director of Environmental Health Trust (EHT), a scientific think tank that publishes research and educates policymakers on environmental health issues. EHT scientists are among the leading independent voices calling for reducing wireless worldwide and launched a historic lawsuit against the FCC regarding their decades old wireless radiation exposure limits.
Scarato directs EHT educational programs, publishes research and coordinates scientific conferences and programs in the US and internationally alongside EHT’s Senior Science Advisors. Scarato has co-authored several articles on electromagnetic field policy and is a lead policy analyst and researcher for the EHT database on international actions– the most comprehensive collection of information on policy actions on cell phones and wireless.
- Building science and radiofrequency radiation: What makes smart and healthy buildings, Building And Environment
- If 5G is So Safe Then Why Do Wireless Companies Warn Their Shareholders but Not Consumers? Medium
- The US And Europe Need Safer Technology For Children
- Europe and America have a Right To Know About #5G Cell Phone Safety EU Reporter
- Everybody has the right to know about cell phone radiation, University of Maryland Mitzpeh
- Why Isn’t Our Government Protecting Us?” Alert On Health Risks of 5G Rollout
She was invited to present to the National Institutes of Health, the New Hampshire State 5G Commission, the San Francisco Teachers Union, the University of California San Francisco, the Henley Business School at University of Reading and the American Federation of Teachers National Conference. She has presented at several US and international conferences on environmental health including the 2020 Tel Aviv Expert Forum, the Michigan State Briefing on 5G, the 2018 “The Dramatic Changes on the Planet and the Hellenic Roots of Ecological Ethics” held at the University of Patras, Greece, the Hebrew University Medical School Expert Forum on Wireless and the Health in Buildings Roundtable Conference held at the National Institutes of Health.
Scarato helped coordinate the 2019 US medical conference designed exclusively to train medical professionals on electromagnetic radiation and also presented on worldwide EMF policy at the 2021 EMF Medical Conference. She is on the board of PhoneGate Alert.
Lawsuit Press CoverageWashington DC Top News: (WTOP) “Federal appeals court hears case on FCC’s 5G safety standards“
Montgomery County News Reports
Montgomery Community Media Elrich Urges Council to Take Pause on Cell Tower Regulations
Investigative Journal Articles
Washington Spectator, Wireless Hazards : An Expose on Industry Influence into 5G
Society of Environmental Journalists Journal, Is Wireless Technology an Environmental Health Risk?”
The New Republic Is 5G Going to Kill Us All?
Members of European Parliament “The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection: Conflicts of Interest, Corporate Capture and the Push for 5G.” (PDF)
Investigate Europe’s Two Part Investigation on 5G
The Center for Public Integrity Investigations
- “5G Cell Service Is Coming. Who Decides Where It Goes? (New York Times)
- ‘Residents worried about small cell safety
- “5G wireless pits cities against telecoms and their friends in the FCC”
- “FCC says small cells will close the digital divide. Most say they won’t”
Sunday, March 14, 2021
A "small" cell is anything but small as each one can be as tall as 50 feet and erected right in front of your home. Each small cell has a thick pole with transmitting antennas on top. Plus they will have an equipment cabinet which could be very large.
Check it out.
Montgomery County Council will vote soon on ZTA 19-07, which allows cell towers 30 feet—or less!—from our homes.
Special thanks to TechWiseMoCoMD.org for this update!
Your Urgent Response Requested: Please see below action alert and attached PDF to print and share. Our Countywide Petition Opposing ZTA 19-07 is in the works and will be posted at link provided. Please tell people that a petition will be ready within the next day or so.
If the recently revised ZTA 19-07 passes, these powerful antennas will expose you and your family to 24/7 radio-frequency (RF) radiation. Volumes of independent scientific studies indicate that this type of radiation is linked to serious health effects, as well as harm to trees, bees, and wildlife.
|4G/5G cell antennas would be installed on utility poles, street lights, and light poles in parking lots. The antennas require large equipment boxes that can block drivers’ and pedestrians’ views-a special concern with children. The current proposal would allow cell towers just 150 feet apart, which could be every 2 to 3 homes.|
Below are top issues raised around the U.S. and by your Montgomery County neighbors about wireless installations—especially 5G—placed so close to homes:
* Surveillance/commodification of our private activities, without our knowledge or consent. * Bias towards industry—and its 5G propaganda—is short-circuiting elected officials’ duty to prioritize public interests.
Update created 3/14/21
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Action Alert: Montgomery County Council to Vote on Cell Antennas Placed 30 Feet From Homes ZTA 19-07
The Montgomery County Planning, Housing, and Economic Development (PHED) Committee just voted for a new ZTA 19-07 that would allow a utility pole or street light at least 30 feet from your house to be swapped out with a new pole that has antennas.
30 FEET SETBACK
Cell antennas can now be placed 30 feet from our homes.
ZERO PUBLIC COMMENT & HEARINGS:
Antennas proposed for street lights or utility poles 30 feet or more from homes would be effectively automatically approved. There will be no notice nor hearings.
New wider poles will be replacing the street lights and utility poles in order to hold the heavy equipment
TALLER STREET LIGHTS
Our street lights will go up several feet higher to be capped with cellular antennas.
WHAT CAN YOU DO
Next step is this ZTA goes to the full council for a vote. Our elected officials need to hear from you by email, a real phone call and better yet- ask for a meeting.
Please send and email to
Send email to all Councilmembers: County.Council@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov
Gabe Albornoz 240-777-7959
Andrew Friedson 240-777-7828
Evan Glass 240-777-7966
Tom Hucker 240-777-7960
Will Jawando 240-777-7811 Councilmember.Jawando@montgomerycountymd.gov
Sidney Katz 240-777-7906 Councilmember.Katz@montgomerycountymd.gov
Nancy Navarro 240-777-7968 Councilmember.Navarro@montgomerycountymd.gov
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
“In assessing causal evidence in environmental epidemiology, Bradford Hill himself pointed out that ‘the whole picture matters;’ he argued against prioritizing any subset of his famous nine criteria for causation. One’s overall assessment of the likelihood that an exposure causes a health condition should take into account a wide variety of evidence, including ‘biological plausibility’. After reviewing the evidence cited above, the writer, an experienced physician-epidemiologist, is convinced that RF-EMFs may well have serious human health effects.”
-John William Frank of Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health entitled "Electromagnetic fields, 5G and health: what about the precautionary principle?"
A new publication in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Healthentitled "Electromagnetic fields, 5G and health: what about the precautionary principle?"by John William Frank of Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK concludes that "one cannot dismiss the growing health concerns about RF-EMFs, especially in an era when higher population levels of exposure are occurring widely, due to the spatially dense transmitters which 5G systems require" and Frank " echoes the calls of others for a moratorium on the further roll-out of 5G systems globally."
The article identifies four "relevant sources of scientific uncertainty and concern":
- lack of clarity about precisely what technology is included in 5G;
- a rapidly accumulating body of laboratory studies documenting disruptive in vitro and in vivo effects of RF-EMFs—but one with many gaps in it;
- an almost total lack (as yet) of high-quality epidemiological studies of adverse human health effects from 5G EMF exposure specifically, but rapidly emerging epidemiological evidence of such effects from past generations of RF-EMF exposure;
- persistent allegations that some national telecommunications regulatory authorities do not base their RF-EMF safety policies on the latest science, related to unmanaged conflicts of interest.
FrankJW, Electromagnetic fields, 5G and health: what about the precautionary principle?J Epidemiol Community Health Published Online First: 19 January 2021. doi:10.1136/jech-2019-213595
ALL HANDS ON DECK
MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCILPERSONS WANT TO DOUSE US WITH WIRELESS
From the Offices of Councilmember Hans Riemer, Vice President Gabe Albornoz and Craig Rice
Council Committee returns to zoning change for 5G wireless
PHED Committee Chair Hans Riemer said, “Wireless is a critical issue for our economic future. COVID-19 has shown how much we need strong networks. Students are working at home over wireless networks. Employees are working remotely over wireless networks. Doctors are consulting with patients over wireless networks. We must update our zoning laws so that companies can continue building stronger wireless networks. Falling behind on wireless is unnecessary, untenable and frankly unconscionable.”
“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently estimated that more than 60 percent of all health care institutions and 40 to 50 percent of all hospitals currently use some form of telehealth. During the pandemic, telehealth claims have increased more than 8,000 percent,” said Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz. “This will only grow in the future. It is vital that our hospitals and medical professionals have high functioning wireless network to serve patients.”
Education and Culture Committee Chair Craig Rice said, “This is an opportunity to use lessons learned from the pandemic as a positive force to reveal and implement resources that serve the critical needs of our residents. As co-chair of a national task force on the digital divide, I am reminded daily of policies that have limited our potential to fully exploit wireless capabilities. ZTA 19-07 is one step toward mitigating the effect of federal policies which have hampered our ability to adequately serve the communities we know so well. While this won’t address the inequitable access to broadband speeds for everyone, it is the start to ensuring our residents have the capacity they need to access the internet in their daily lives. The pandemic has simply revealed how critical the need is for fast, reliable connectivity for our students, businesses and medical professionals.”
Martin Rosendale, CEO of the Maryland Tech Council, added, “Rapid and equitable deployment of 5G technology is critical to maintaining a competitive business environment, expanding broadband services to be more inclusive, and supporting the technology infrastructure. ZTA 19-07 is a necessary step forward.”
Background on ZTA 19-07
When we make a call or download an email, our phones are connected to networks through antennas on top of distant buildings or radio towers. The next generation of wireless network technology will reach speeds and capacity normally only found with broadband cable or fiber access. This high-speed wireless technology is called 5G. To build 5G capacity in communities, networks require antennas close to the ground or at street level, such as on utility poles and light poles. At this time, Montgomery County’s zoning code does not allow wireless antennas on poles in residential areas. With most of the County off-limits, companies are not building networks here.
The impact of this proposal is that the industry is incentivized to use poles that are setback further from residential buildings. When the setback distance is less than prescribed, a hearing is required so that impacted residents will be informed and will have the opportunity to advocate for another location that may be less obtrusive.
The sponsors, Riemer, Albornoz and Rice, introduced ZTA 19-07 in October of 2019, followed by a PHED workession in January 2020. PHED Chair Riemer, at the request of his PHED colleagues, postponed further worksessions to allow for litigation in the 9th Circuit Court to be resolved. The County joined a coalition of local governments across the country to challenge an FCC order that curtailed local governments’ authority to site wireless infrastructure. The 9th Circuit largely ruled in favor of the FCC, diminishing the role of local governments in siting wireless infrastructure.
5 Reasons for 5G Now
As we grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, Montgomery County residents are relying on communications networks now more than ever. Fiber optic and wireless networks work together to create connectivity. While the County has strong fiber optic networks, we cannot afford to slide to the wrong side of a digital divide in wireless networks. The County has long benefited from advance deployment of networks, both wireless and fiber optic. These deployments have happened because the private sector has invested in the County based on a legal framework that supports deployment. Today that framework is obsolete for the next generation of wireless, as the County no longer has a legal strategy for continued deployment of advanced wireless networks. They are prohibited in most of the County by the zoning code. While small wireless antennas are allowed in some urban areas, to attract the investment we need from private companies they must be allowed broadly in the County.
Montgomery County’s existing posture on small wireless infrastructure is untenable, unsustainable and undesirable. The time has come for the Council to embrace the future and legalize the future of wireless network technology throughout Montgomery County.
Distance Learning Relies on Wireless Networks
Telework Relies on Wireless Networks
Telemedicine Relies on Wireless Networks
Public Safety Relies on Wireless Networks
5G Brings Broadband Speeds to More People
View all Council press releases: https://www2.montgomerycountymd.gov/mcgportalapps/press_List.aspx?id=01
Contact the Office of Councilmember Hans Riemer:
Contact the Office of Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz:
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
November 17, 2020
To: Carla A. Reid
General Manager and CEOCC: Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission Officials
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission
WSSC Board of Commissioners
WSSC Corporate Secretary, Julianne M. Montes de Oca, Esq.
WSSC Legal Counsel, Amanda Stakem Conn, Esq.
WSSC Board of Ethics, c/o Latonya Allen, Administrative Assistant to the Board
WSSC Office of the Inspector General, Arthur A. Elkins, Jr., J.D., CFE, CBA
Officials of Maryland Counties Served by WSSCFrom: Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D.
Montgomery County Executive, Marc Elrich
Montgomery County Council Members
Prince George's County Executive, Angela D. Alsobrooks
Prince George's County Council Members
Retired U.S. Government career scientistSubject: Introduction to "Wireless smart meters harm human health."
As a retired U.S. Government scientist, I urge you to stop WSSC from making its biggest mistake ever: the conversion of its metering system to wireless smart meters. They will increase the exposure of the public to harmful radiofrequency radiation every day and every night for the indefinite future.
In this era of COVID-19, we do not need another assault on the health of the public, especially in the two counties served by WSSC. They continue to have the highest cumulative numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths of any counties in Maryland.
My understanding of WSSC's Plan, in Brief
WSSC plans to provide wireless smart meters for all of its customer accounts, which number 475,000 in the two Maryland counties that WSSC serves: Montgomery County and Prince George's County. If I understand correctly, each of these smart meters will likely have a peak radiofrequency (RF) power output between 1 and 2 watts. Thus, altogether, WSSC is planning to add 475,000 to 950,000 watts of peak RF power output capability, distributed throughout the two counties. And WSSC apparently wants us to believe that this capability will have no adverse health effects on any county residents.
The Health Argument Against Wireless Smart Meters
To be judged "safe", those wireless smart meters must cause NO HARM TO ANYONE, even though these meters will be communicating with WSSC every day and every night, indefinitely. However, to date, WSSC seems to be showing very limited interest in safety. In fact, to those of us outside of WSSC, even that limited interest seems to have surfaced only AFTER WSSC Management had already decided to implement wireless smart meters. That limited interest took the form of a presentation, and a related document, from a consultant hired by WSSC Management to speak to the WSSC Commission at its meeting on February 19, 2020. That consultant made an earnest effort to make the case for safety, but had insufficient evidence to assure NO HARM TO ANYONE. WSSC has apparently supplemented that opinion of a single individual with isolated bits of information presumably indicating safety. This paucity of data on safety must be weighed against the overwhelming evidence of harm from radiofrequency radiation presented by the scientific community throughout the world and by the hundreds of individuals actually harmed by the radiofrequency radiation from wireless smart meters specifically. Key elements of that evidence are presented in the attachments to this message. Sadly, it is not possible to present here the thousands of individual peer-reviewed biomedical research papers in which scientists throughout the world have thoroughly documented the evidence of harm from radiofrequency radiation. But it is possible to include here references to review papers and other documents that summarize such evidence.
Please see the first attachment, called "Wireless smart meters harm human health." This document was first presented to WSSC Management on January 19, 2020 and has just been updated for you. To date, no response has been received from WSSC, not even to the many questions raised about the wireless smart meters that WSSC is planning to install. This document cites many references and is further supported by four additional attached documents that present the results of surveys of those harmed by the radiation from wireless smart meters specifically.
For a quick look at what is covered in the first attached document, here are key section titles:
o Overview of the health challenges posed by radiofrequency radiation
o Personal stories of those harmed by radiofrequency radiation from wireless utility meters and other wireless devices continue to accumulate.o Three surveys link health problems to exposure from wireless utility meters.o Scientific evidence of harm from radiofrequency radiation has been growing for decades and has become overwhelming.More than 600 individuals contributed to these surveys, indicating how their health and lives have been harmed.o Individuals harmed by exposure to radiofrequency radiation tell their stories in videos.o The NIH National Toxicology Program finds "clear evidence" that radiofrequency radiation causes cancer.
o The World Health Organization classifies radiofrequency radiation as a Group 2B human carcinogen.
o 253 of the world's EMF scientists appeal to the UN and the WHO to protect the public from harm from radiofrequency radiation, including the radiation from smart meters.
o Review papers document the scientific evidence of harm from radiofrequency radiation.
o Books document the harm from radiofrequency radiation.
o Public awareness of harm from radiofrequency radiation is growing and is finding expression at local, state, national, and international levels.
Other Concerns that WSSC's Plan Raiseso 40,369 Maryland ratepayers have "opted out" of wireless smart meters for electricity.
o 297,823 individuals and organizations have signed the "International Appeal to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space".
o 217,000 individuals have signed up for the "5G Summit".
o Multiple Jurisdictions in Switzerland implement a moratorium on 5G because of health concerns.
o Public Television programs raise public awareness about the risks of exposure to radiofrequency radiation.
o Video documentaries bring discussions of the risks of radiofrequency radiation to the public.
o Children's Advisory Council to the Governor of Maryland recommends phasing Wi-Fi out of Maryland's schools.
While this message focuses on health concerns, there are other important concerns that are stated below but that are not further elaborated in this message or in the attached documents:
o Privacy concerns arise from the daily monitoring of customers' behavior through their water consumption (such as when their homes are occupied and when they are not, and when their children arrive home from school).There is no argument for wireless smart meters strong enough to overcome their threat of harm to human health and their myriad other drawbacks.
o Security concerns arise from the need to keep secure an immense database of largely unnecessary information about WSSC's customers, since no organization, not even the Department of Defense, has succeeded in protecting its data from unwanted intrusion.
o Economic concerns arise from the immense cost ($100 million, estimated by WSSC) for the conversion to wireless smart meters, at a time of extreme fiscal stringency. Also of concern is the high uncertainty that these costs can ever be fully recovered without rate increases, as WSSC attempts to maintain technically complex wireless smart meters that will likely have shorter lifetimes than current metering technology.
o While WSSC claims that no meter readers will be fired when wireless smart meters are implemented, employment concerns still arise because the projected cost recovery motivates such firing, when unemployment is already dramatically high in this era of COVID-19. And most of these staff do outdoor jobs that are much safer in this era than most indoor jobs.
o The MANDATED installation of wireless smart meters, as currently contemplated by WSSC, would ignore the rights of property owners to control which equipment is installed on their property, especially in the absence of an unpaid opt-out option. A paid opt-out option, though better than no option, would smack of extortion ("pay or we will irradiate you, forever"). And neither an unpaid, nor a paid, opt-out option would protect the public from the radiation from their neighbors' wireless smart meters.
Who am I?
I am a retired U.S. Government career scientist (Ph.D., Applied Physics, Harvard University, 1975). During my Government career, I worked for the Executive Office of the President of the United States, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. For those organizations, respectively, I addressed Federal research and development program evaluation, energy policy research, and measurement development in support of the electronics and electrical-equipment industries and the biomedical research community. I currently interact with other scientists, with physicians, and with other informed individuals around the world about the impact of electromagnetic fields, including radiofrequency radiation, on human health.
I have been a resident of Montgomery County since 1979.
Thank you for your attention.
Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D.