US Department of Interior has attacked the Ferderal Telecommunications Commission (FCC) because of problems that radiofrequency radiation (RFR) from cell phone towers and other sources is causing to wildlife.
The Director of the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance of the United States Department of the Interior sent a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in the Department of Commerce that addresses the Interior Department’s concern that cell tower radiation has had negative impacts on the health of migratory birds and other wildlife.
The Interior Department accused the Federal government of employing outdated radiation standards set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a Federal agency with no expertise in health. The standards are no longer applicable because they control only for overheating and do not protect organisms from the adverse effects of exposure to the low-intensity radiation produced by cell phones and cell towers:
“Study results have documented nest and site abandonment, plumage deterioration, locomotion problems, reduced survivorship, and death (e.g., Balmori 2005, Balmori and Hallberg 2007, and Everaert and Bauwens 2007). Nesting migratory birds and their offspring have apparently been affected by the radiation from cellular phone towers in the 900 and 1800 MHz frequency ranges – 915 MHz is the standard cellular phone frequency used in the United States. [Website editors note: These frequencies are used by many “smart meters” in NZ and the 915 MHz band is also used for cell phones.]
However, the electromagnetic radiation standards used by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continue to be based on thermal heating, a criterion now nearly 30 years out of date and inapplicable today. [Website editor’s note: NZ standards for RFR are similar designed to protect against thermal injury and shocks, not other adverse effects, despite voluminous evidence of harm at non-thermal levels: see www.bioinitiative.org for more information on RFR.]
The Department criticized the Federal government’s proposed procedures for placement and operation of communication towers, and called for “independent, third-party peer-reviewed studies” in the U.S. to examine the effects of cell tower radiation on “migratory birds and other trust species.”
“The problem, however, appears to focus on very low levels of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation. For example, in laboratory studies, T. Litovitz (personal communication) and DiCarlo et al. (2002) raised concerns about impacts of low-level, non-thermal electromagnetic radiation from the standard 915 MHz cell phone frequency on domestic chicken embryos – with some lethal results (Manville 2009, 2013a). Radiation at extremely low levels (0.0001 the level emitted by the average digital cellular telephone) caused heart attacks and the deaths of some chicken embryos subjected to hypoxic conditions in the laboratory while controls subjected to hypoxia were unaffected (DiCarlo et al. 2002).
The full text of the letter, the addendum and citations are available at:
Al Manville PhD, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, gives a presentation to Congress on radiation impacts on wildlife (2007):
[2 min 33 sec video at webpage]
Sources & more information: