Hang up on cell tower idea

There is no doubt that better cell service is needed in Willow Point

There is no doubt that better cell service is needed in Willow Point.

That is not the issue. The issue is where the city has offered Telus to place such a needed tower. The proposed location is at the edge of the Sportsplex grounds near the baseball diamond and the bocce ball field, by Parkway Road. It is in direct proximity to children and adults playing in the park and for those residences across the street.

We can argue both sides of the story but the fact is, there is evidence showing that chronic low level exposure to cell phone tower radiation has increased the risk of developing cancer and many other health problems. Numerous studies have indicated this trend. The Kempten West Study in 2007 by Dr. A. Blanz et al, showed a significant decrease in serotonin and melatonin production in those living within 300 metres of a cell tower. Physical effects can include depression, insomnia, daytime sleepiness and behavioural problems.

Another study done in 2004 followed a group of people over a 10 year period who lived within 400m of a cell tower and found that after five years their cancer rate was three times higher than those living further away. Breast cancer saw the highest rate of increase, but others included prostate, pancreatic, and colon. (H.Eger et al, “The Influence of Being Physically Near to a Cell Phone Transmission…”) I’m sure if you Google how safe cell phone towers are, there will be just as much data saying there are no increased risks.

Industry Canada has a wonderful website that will convince you that chronic low level radiation is safe. But Industry Canada stands to profit on all the towers being put up, so why would they admit there is a plausible link between cell towers and negative health effects? Let’s be practical here, how many times in the past have we made the mistake of accepting something as safe before all the data was conclusive only to find out that, oops, we were wrong. This is the perfect time to practice the precautionary principle. Maybe we don’t know for sure whether our kids playing disc golf or splashing at the new waterpark will be affected, and maybe we can’t tell for certain that the people living on Parkway will develop cancer at a higher rate than people living on Evergreen, but do we really want to find out?

Let’s hope it’s not too late. Telus says they will have a hearing where the public’s concerns will be considered. However, rumor has it they’re already surveying the site and are looking at signing the lease agreement. We need to band together and convince them this is not the site. Choose a safer location! Watch for the announcement in the paper and voice your opinion.

Krista Boulding

Campbell River