The Menace of Cell Phone Towers
By Carol Ward, Vice President of DAMS

In December 2003, six 15- foot cell phone transmissions towers were put up on the roof of the three story apartment building across the driveway from my three level apartment building of row homes in Philadelphia. They were only 50 feet away from my house, appeared to be aimed at the back bedrooms of the row homes and were eye-level with my bedroom window.

T-Mobil, the company that erected the towers, was paying the owner of the apartment across the street $7,000 month for the use of the roof space.

The neighbors were given no notice; there was no zoning application that we knew of. For a few months my partner and I did not notice any particular symptoms, but it was in May or June, when sitting in the living room, I noticed that my entire body was strangely heating up. My partner noticed the same thing at around the same time.

To me the symptoms were unmistakable because I was familiar with some of them from having looked up the subject of cell phone towers and health on the Internet- tissue heating and intense, unnatural fatigue were two early symptoms, along with an excessive sense of smell.

I developed a marked increase in my sense of smell. At work, I was able to smell what people had cooked hours before.

In the summer, I noticed that though I got the same amount of sleep as before, I had a sleepless feeling and dark circles under my eyes. I woke up feeling just as tired as I had been the night before because my sleep cycle was being constantly interrupted. My partner noticed this also. We both began having times when we would experience a sick fatigue where we couldnít move for an hour or two at the end of the day.

My partner, generally healthier than I, noticed episodes of "sick fatigue" during which he would literally be unable to get up from the couch or chair he was in. This would last for two or more hours. I had the same problem. I also noticed a very bizarre effect- that of hearing some sort of whizzing noise which would be almost subliminal. He noticed a peculiar symptom at one point- intermittent spots of light.

In the meantime I contacted my block captain. He was as concerned as I was. We circulated a petition among the four sides of residents around the block. These were sent to the councilman of our district. He did not take immediate action. Finally after some months we learned that an automatic permit had been issued to the T. Mobil Company to put up these "antennas." The Department of Licenses and Inspections granted the permit as a matter of "right." No environmental impact study was done. And we learned further that it would require a fee of $200 to open up the zoning permit question.

I took to sleeping in the living room at the farthest end of the house with several walls in between. Much better sleep resulted. In mid October, being concerned about the long-term effects of being, in essence, a human antenna for cell phone calls, I hired a building biologist to come to the house and test it for the waves from the cell towers. His findings were alarming!

He said that at the level he measured on that October Saturday morning, which he judged to be not a particularly busy time, the EMR (electromagnetic radiation) was from 0.01 where DNA damage is balanced by repair up to 0.1 and beyond. At 1, this is a dose response for cancer and reproductive effects, especially brain tumor, leukemia, and miscarriage (melatonin reduction and calcium ion efflux). At level 10 DNA damage exceeds repair. He estimated that the cell phone use could go up to l0 at busy times!

The EMF (electro-magnetic field) level was so high that we risked permanent DNA damage. By this time, I had developed some heart irregularity and it was found to be an infection in the heart which the stress of the microwaves from the towers could have triggered. The biologist had said that cancer or heart disease could result from the microwave exposure. The most vulnerable people would be the youngest and the oldest residents of the block. The waves from the towers evidently had the effect of constantly switching the bodyís natural electrical field.

He gave me a table concerning radio waves. The table showed that at level 1, people in electrical or occupations exposed to radio waves could end up with cancer, heart arrhythmia, heart attack, suicide, MS, or brain tumors. Cell phone users are in danger of getting more headaches, memory loss, fatigue, and loss of concentration.

The building biologist judged the only truly safe area in our home to be the basement.

Due to my previous chemical sensitivity and mercury poisoning, I decided I had to move out of that location as soon as possible. I searched for an area fairly near where I had lived which had few if any microwave transmission towers. I was able to find this in a single family home area, where the nearest towers were on very high buildings about a mile away.

After moving into my new place, I noticed immediately that I felt normal when I woke up. I didnít have the feeling of fragility, weakness, or fatigue. On the other hand, I felt very angry that I had been forced to leave my home because of the reckless technology and greed of the cell phone industry.

Within three to five years there probably will be clusters of serous illnesses in many areas around these towers, especially ones which are low lying. Other symptoms which I located by looking on the Internet under cell phone towers were: brain fog, dizziness, excessive sense of smell, sinus headaches, and many others.

Other residents of the block had serious symptoms also. The block captain, living in a row house some 20 houses away from mine, experienced similar sick fatigue symptoms. My neighbor immediately to my right, a woman 38 years old, had a heart attack. As I said before, I developed arrhythmia which was diagnosed as an infection in the heart. Coincidences? I think not. I am concerned about the babies and children on the block. The EMR waves are particularly dangerous for both the very young and the old.

In my opinion, cell phones should have been studied before being put on the mass market. This is one more example of a headlong rush into technology before finding out whether it is safe.

I feel much compassion for the neighbors I have left behind.

See also the story of Debbie Bevel's poisoning from gold crowns over mercury fillings where the heat (electromagnetic fields) from her cell phone heated up her fillings.

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