Letter: Agassiz resident opposes cell tower

Cites health and environment concerns

I am a resident of Agassiz for the last 2 years and also the CEO of a successful digital marketing firm in the area – I am writing in regards to the proposed cellular tower installation at 1501 Johnson Road in Agassiz B.C., and wish to register my extreme opposition to it.

Agassiz does not need additional electro-pollution sources, and one of the reasons we chose to move our home and business to Agassiz was the reduced amount of EMF radiation sources that are so prolific further West in the larger cities. We have, as a population, become the ‘great experiment’ – future generations will have to deal with the results of this oversaturation of electromagnetic and wireless radiation exposure to our ecosystem, which we are a part of.

While the cellular companies laud the benefits of ‘improved coverage’, ‘faster data’, ‘better services’ as a result of installing this technology which so many people have become near-completely dependent on, they avoid any focus on negative health effects and it’s the duty of local council to have these discussions and do the research ahead of time to prove beyond a doubt (they cannot), that this technology is safe for the population and future generations. I urge you to consider the following:

Our opposition is based upon the following concerns:

World Health Organization studies have shown that children exposed to cell tower radiation have experienced severe health effects including increases in rates of asthma, autism, ADHD and other ailments. Adults can and do experience EMF sensitivity, the effects of which can include dizziness, migraine headaches, heart palpitations and nosebleeds. And the International Association of Firefighters “oppose the use of fire-stations as base stations for towers and/or antennas for the conduction of cell phone transmissions until it is proven that such sitings are not hazardous the health of our members.”

Many in our community neighborhood have pets, and several varieties of wildlife and agriculture. While it is inconclusive whether EMF directly causes the impairment of birds and animals, and more research is needed, one recent review of 113 studies from peer-reviewed publications found that two-thirds of the studies reported “ecological effects of RF-EMF at high as well as at low dosages.” (See “A review of the ecological effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF)). Given the suspected risk of harm to the public and environment due to Electro-Magnetic Frequencies (EMF), and in the absence of scientific consensus that EMF is not harmful, the best course is not to site telecommunications facilities in residential areas.

In addition, I present this article that contains within a wealth of information regarding cancer incidences and cell towers:

As well as the above health concerns, what is also not mentioned is the fact that once this tower is established, it will continually be added to with additional carriers and antennas, increasing the level of radiation and exposure – I am confident that it will be a ‘told you so’ situation once you realize that the cancer and health issues surrounding the tower, especially within 300 metres has drastically gone up – there are many studies and bodies of evidence supporting this claim – does the District of Kent or the property owner care more for the health of the community, or a monthly royalty they are sure to be paid in return for ‘hosting’ the tower on their property?

We already have BC Hydro’s ‘smart meters’ which emit a substantial amount of pulsed microwave radiation 24/7 which should never have been approved by the now replaced Provincial Government, we certainly do not need Agassiz loaded up with additional cellular antennas degrading citizen’s health.

Financial Decrease in home value due to perceived negative health effects. Although the telecommunications act of 1996 doesn’t allow a municipality to prohibit the location of cell towers based on adverse health effects, people’s fears about the presence of electro-magnetic signals will drive down home values. Research shows home values drop between 4-20% where cell towers are installed in residential areas (see “A Pushback Against Cell Towers” by M. Fischler NY Times, 8/27/10, and “The effect of distance to cell phone towers on house prices” by Sandy Bond, Appraisal Journal, Fall 2007). If home values drop, the City loses too, as property taxes are lower.

Cell Antenna facilities require maintenance that may be performed at any time, day or night. We will see an increase in trucks and service personnel that will be an additional unnecessary public nuisance. Additionally, the operation of a generator and cooling systems is quite likely to increase noise levels especially for those living close to and in the building, and the back-up diesel generators will add to air pollution in our neighborhood.

In light of all above factors I request that Turris Sites IWG Corp, the district of Kent and the owner of the property immediately halt the planned installation of EMF antennas at 1501 Johnson Road in Agassiz.

Daryl Osborne

Wynquest Technical Solutions Ltd.

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