Catriel Lev's Blog: VeHaShalom VeHaEmmet

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Catriel Lev
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Jun 8, 2010

Mobile Phones and Cellular System Antennas

There has been a lot of debate about the antennas which the cellphone companies have constructed around Bet Shemesh, especially the large number of antennas (four, I believe) which were placed on top of the new shopping center on Nachal Dolev in RBS.

While some citizens believe that the radiation generated by these antennas is not strong enough to harm people, many others are concerned that it may indeed be harmful. I know people from both sides of this debate, and I am sure that they are all well-meaning; and I wish to propose a way of confronting this issue to which I think all sides can (or, at least, could possibly) agree.

The public pressure should concentrate upon demanding that there always be a legal requirement for a company to obtain municipal approval of any type of antenna, and that the request for such approval MUST INCLUDE FULL DISCLOSURE of amounts (and types) of radiation generated by the antenna under all circumstances, and that the public always be granted a reasonable period of time to review the request, and file objections, before it is approved!

If the public is granted a reasonable period of time to review any company's request to install an antenna, and that request fully discloses how much and what radiation will be generated by the antenna; there should be no more room for companies to claim that the antenna is safe, while citizens claim that it isn't. Everything should be spelled out clearly (which is usually NOT the case with Israeli regulatory agencies), and the public along with the municipality should be able to decide whether the antenna should be erected or not. If necessary, health professionals and engineering professionals can be consulted about the data which should be presented for all to see.

If the data is presented in an honest and objective manner before the public, the cellphone companies, according to their claims that there are no health hazards involved, should have nothing to fear. In fact, if new antennas pose no health hazards the cellphone companies should have much to gain from legislation which forces the "full light of day" to be shed upon antenna construction. The cellphone companies will no longer appear to be "thieves in the night" erecting antennas without public knowledge, which creates a public furor no matter what, because the citizens want to be consulted on what occurs in their neighborhood and in their city.

So I suggest that my proposal for legislation to require full public disclosure of amounts (and types) of radiation generated by an antenna under all circumstances, with the public having a reasonable period of time to review the data, before erection of an antenna, be presented to all sides involved in this issue. I hope that all sides will sincerely consider the benefits of such a proposal and work together to implement it.

And EVEN BEFORE SUCH A PROPOSAL IS ADOPTED INTO LAW, the cellphone companies can voluntarily implement the terms of the proposal in order to provide good public relations for themselves!

I know that it is unlikely that all sides would agree to such a plan voluntarily; but I think that it is, at least, worth attempting, since an active struggle is possible (and is already in operation) anyway.

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