Electromagnetism Fears Spread to Oakland

Verizon Wireless criticized for not caring enough about the children

By Jackson West
|  Friday, Jun 11, 2010  |  Updated 4:41 PM PDT
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Electromagnetism Fears Spread to Oakland

Benny Mazur

Cellular network antennas like this one may look menacing, but there remains little scientific evidence that they are hazardous to anyone's health.

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Life on earth has been bombarded with electromagnetic radiation from the cosmos since it began, but don't let that stop concerned parents from opposing a plan to put cellular network towers near an Oakland school.

Verizon Wireless wants to install nine new antennas near near an elementary school, leaving parents to appeal to the City Council.

But the neighborhood is zoned as a mixed business and residential district, which prohibits the council from canceling the project.

And of course, Verizon's own map says the area is well-covered with signal, but just ask any AT&T customer how credible wireless signal coverage maps are.

Of course, Oakland isn't the only city in the state to start worrying about electromagnetic radiation. San Francisco is leading the way among nervous nellies worried about what's essentially background radiation.

But like every political issue in America, once you pull the "won't somebody think of the children" card, it becomes hard to debate any issue on its merits.

Jackson West figures cell tower radiation is pretty low on the list of things that will inevitably give him cancer.

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