Press Release 14 October 2022
Radiation Limits Ballot Initiative Planning
Cell tower opposition remains strong in many local communities, such as in Pittsfield where the Board of Health issued a cease and desist order early this year because locals persuasively reported a cluster of illness soon after a Verizon cell tower turned on in 2020, reporting headaches, ringing in the ears, dizziness, heart palpitations, nausea, and skin rashes. The board, however, reversed course and the city and Verizon are now being challenged in court by residents, who claim pressure from and conflicts of interest of the town mayor and city solicitor.
While the Pittsfield case may advance promptly and with good results, such challenges can be time consuming and expensive – Murray v. Motorola, case no. 2001 CA 008479 B, finally held hearings on brain tumors associated with cellphones at the federal D.C. Superior Court this September, after 21 years. If industry loses on this or in similar cases, legislation may then suddenly play an enormous role, determining industry accountability and acceptable exposures.
Ballot question committee RadLimits at Last Tree Laws is pursuing a 2023 ballot initiative, which would be an enormous signature drive of registered voters. If about 100,000 certified signatures are gathered, then voters can decide whether to enact a relevant law in 2024 that would limit exposures from wireless and electricity. The committee is seeking planning committee members, funding, and other assistance as well as town contacts or organizers across the state.
Last Tree Laws director Kirstin Beatty explains the reasoning for pursuing a ballot question, “I can’t help but notice that despite ongoing education about serious damage from non-ionizing radiation since 2013, the proposals that advanced furthest simply asked industry to sit at the table with legislators to discuss what might be done. If ever passed, this would mean a delay of 2 years for discussion while we all suffer physical and mental consequences, plus opportunity for industry influence. If there must be feet dragging, I’d rather at least have a bill that takes a few concrete steps.”
In August, a draft proposed law to limit non-ionizing radiation was submitted to the attorney general’s office for review and found generally acceptable if an expanded disease registry were revised or omitted. The committee would like to improve this draft and, if legislative sponsorship and time enough exists, submit a version as state legislation in January.
Currently, the draft limits non-ionizing radiation emitted from wireless antennas and electricity, while still allowing for functionality. Software, equipment, infrastructure, and institutions are required to minimize emissions, including by moving towards hard-wired functionality. Such limits already exist in countries like France, where reduced electrical and wireless exposures are required in all schools and WiFi is banned entirely in elementary.
Informal interviews are currently being held for committee leadership and assistance. Information on applying, joining or donating can be found at Last Tree Laws (https://lasttreelaws.com) or at Donorbox.org/RadLimits (https://donorbox.org/RadLimits).
- Timeline of Massachusetts non-ionizing radiation legislation: https://beatty.fyi/timeline-ma-rf-bills/
- Sample of DPU testimonials: https://beatty.fyi/smart-grid/
- Timeline of Massachusetts non-ionizing radiation history: https://beatty.fyi/ma-timeline-rf/
- RadLimits quick review: https://lasttreelaws.com/2022/10/radlimits-review/
- 22-09 Initiative Petition for a Law Relative to Non-Ionizing Radiation Limits (1 of 4 versions submitted) – https://www.mass.gov/doc/22-09-initiative-petition-for-a-law-relative-to-non-ionizing-radiation-limits/download
- Donation link with information: donorbox dot org/RadLimits
Pittsfield Cell Tower Opposition:
- Local opposition: https://stoptower.com/faq/
- Board of Health order: https://www.iberkshires.com/story/67151/Pittsfield-Health-Board-Ordering-Verizon-to-Remove-Cell-Tower.html
- Local residents sue, claiming conflicts of interest: https://www.berkshireeagle.com/news/central_berkshires/legal-action-pittsfield-cell-tower-mayor-linda-tyer/article_91aa3d2e-0f4b-11ed-a2fb-0bd279394765.html
International laws discussed at the Environmental Health Trust:
- 2015 French Wireless Legislation – “Law on sobriety, transparency, information and consultation for exposure to electromagnetic waves.” Original Report: http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/14/propositions/pion2065.asp
• 2018 French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) published a report on power line exposures and issued recommendations to limit exposures from electricity: https://www.anses.fr/fr/content/effets-sanitaires-li%C3%A9s-%C3%A0-l%E2%80
- • Overview of French ANSES and other countries reducing electrical exposures: https://ehtrust.org/reduce-exposure-to-children-french-health-agency-issues-2019-report-on-health-effects-of-low-frequency-electromagnetic-fields/