WPCNR COMMON COUNCIL CHRONICLE EXAMINER By John F. Bailey. May 1, 2021:
On Monday evening the White Plains Common Council will vote on a new telecommunications code regarding the installation of new “small cell” antennas required for the deployment of 5G technology. The code has been the subject of concern for many residents who object to the placement of these antennas in close proximity to their homes or apartments because of issues of safety, privacy, security, property values and health.
A White Plains resident who has been following this issue contacted WPCNR and expressed their concerns:
“The proposed amendment to the White Plains telecom code is weak and provides no protections for residents. It enables telecoms to install their powerful cell antennas next to homes, schools, play areas and houses of worship in residential neighborhoods exposing residents especially children to nonstop radiofrequency radiation. The City of White Plains needs to first and foremost protect its residents immediately.”
The resident elaborated:
Critics of the new proposed code say it fails to address many of these concerns and leaves the City open to potential liability because the giant telecoms promoting 5G technology have been unable to obtain liability insurance against health claims. Taxpayers could be on the hook for future problems.
Concerns about potential health problems have been growing since a 2018 study by the National Institutes of Health that found that exposure to RF radiation – the kind emitted by wireless antennas – caused an increase in cancer and DNA damage in lab animals. The ten-year, $30 million dollar study was the most comprehensive ever conducted, and was designed to determine whether or not such radiation could cause biological harm. The results confirmed thousands of smaller, independent studies.
“The wireless industry is just pretending that study never happened,” said Doug Wood, Founder and Director of Americans for Responsible Technology, a non-profit organization. “Instead of pushing their unproven technology on the public, what they should be doing is figuring out how to make it safe.”
While the Federal government has restricted the ability of local governments to regulate the placement of wireless antennas, critics say there are many things the City could still do to improve its code and make it more protective, but that numerous meetings with the mayor have failed to produce a satisfactory result.
Meantime powerful cell antenna installations continue to proliferate local residential neighborhoods across White Plains right next to homes and play areas including most recently on Bolton and Overlook, Miles and Ralph, and Seton and Sammis Lane.