As I drove through Grass Valley today, the cell phone tower disguised as a pine tree reminded me that Tuesday night, the City Council will consider once again the cell phone tower proposal for the Chico Elks Lodge property.
I expect the usual suspects will be there, telling us all how “dangerous” the “radiation” from the proposed cell tower will be. Given the intenisty with which some will argue health issues, I expect some councilors will cave to the overly concerned. I don’t have a stake in this fight, except to say improved cell phone coverage in Upper Park will benefit everyone.
We’ll hear the old tired arguments about “dangerous radiation” emanating from cell towers, which I don’t see dangerous at all, I’d like to point out things around town that give off equal or greater amounts of “dangerous electromagnetic radiation” and the approximate relative field strengths to the proposed cell tower given its distance from the road.:
- Cell phones next to your head – 1000x greater
– Cell phone in the car you are riding in, – 100x greater
– Cell phones carried by people walking at the farmers market – 10x greater
– STL microwave link from radio station KZFR above city plaza to their transmitter – about the same
– WiFi router in your house 10x
– WiFi public hotspot in Has Beans 10x
– Channel 12/24 Live van around town, live at city plaza concert 100x
– Microwaving popcorn 1x
– Police radar traffic gun 10x (concentrated narrow beam)
So you see, “dangerous electromagnetic radiation” is everywhere. The fact is, its not dangerous at all, and I’d suggest those city councilors that don’t know their science, bone up. There really isn’t a leg for them to stand on when you look at the many other accepted electromagnetic radiation sources around town that emit equal or greater radio signal strengths.
Radio signal strength follows the inverse square law
That means that doubling the distance from a transmitter means that the power density of the radiated wave at that new location is reduced to one-quarter of its previous value.
Given the location of the proposed tower at the Elks Lodge is well set back from the road and building, and the park, I see no realistic issues of concern.