Posted by JA3+, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jan 24, 2012 at 7:21 am
Thank you, Clare Campbell, for all your hard work on the review of AT&T's application. I'm an enthusiastic supporter of enhanced cell reception throughout our City. I hope the City works expeditiously with AT&T to install the next 60 Tyco DAS units throughout our City.
Posted by A-Strong-Wireless-Signal-Is-Good, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 24, 2012 at 9:41 am
The city needs to build its own wireless network for government, public safety purposes and low-end public use. Whether it outsources the work to a 3rd party (like AT&T), or installs/operates the network itself--pole tops are likely to be needed for antennas for that network.
This whole episode has been beyond silly.
Let's hope that the next AT&T application meets with more acceptance.
Posted by PA Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 24, 2012 at 10:05 am
I am not concerned about the aesthetics or the small amount of radiation that may be emitted. However, I am concerned about the noise from the fans. The noise level only has to comply with Palo Alto's noise ordinance which means that on a hot day the fans may emit as yet an unspecified amount of noise.
These 20 antennas are only the first to be installed AT&T wants to install a total of 80 antennas. Other companies are sure to apply for permission to install their antennas which may mean over 300 antennas could be installed throughout Palo Alto including in residents backyards. That is why I'm so concerned about the noise level.
Posted by David, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 24, 2012 at 11:56 am
This is long over due, and a huge 'thank you' to the city council for approving this. With over 50% of the city limits west (or south) of Hwy-280 or Foothill Expwy (the foothills), don't over look that portion of the city and the need for reliable cell signals for AT&T, Verizon, etc. We can't even go to the city's largest park and reliably use a cell phone. In an emergency, we have to move around to find a sweet spot to make a call, and it usually drops the call.
Posted by Bill, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm
> However, I am concerned about the noise from the fans
Since the poles with the DAS antennas will be clearly visible to anyone how happens to notice them, it won't be that hard to walk up the pole and listen for the noise.
Noise dissipates as the inverse of the distance from the source--so walk away from the poles, counting paces (assume 3 feet per pace). Make notes about how loud you think the boxes are as you walk away. At some point (assuming 45 db of noise strength) you should not be able to hear the box. Please keep good notes, and post your findings on this thread.
Posted by Jerryl, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Jan 24, 2012 at 12:33 pm
I attended the meeting and was very pleased with what I saw of our Council in action. I think the council did the right thing and put a lot of effort into understanding the design aspects and the various issues. City staff were well informed and able to address many questions intelligently. Well done to all!
Posted by JA3+, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jan 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm
"AT&T refused to supply specific information about the sound levels."
AT&T's component supplier, Tyco Electronics, supplied equipment noise information. The City requested a noise study; the study was peer-reviewed.
The data, report & review are set forth in the City staff report; it's available on the City's web site.
Note Tyco's DAS gear is not new; this same gear has been previously installed in many locations in the US.
As noted above, it will easy to measure the noise level of a DAS unit, once installed and operating.
Given the sound level dissipates significantly with distance from the unit -- as noted, sound levels vary inversely with the square of the distance -- it's highly likely the sound will be compliant with current City regulations.
Thank you, City Council members, for your approval of these first 20 units; I'm excited to see the next 60 units installed in our City.
"Make notes about how loud you think the boxes are as you walk away."
A resident might also use a sound level meter; they are commonly available and not too expensive to rent or buy.
Posted by Toby, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2012 at 1:44 pm
I can't believe this educated community hasn't looked into the extensive health risks. I hope you all enjoy cancer, leukemia, and taking drugs in an attempt to get rid of problems could easily be avoided by not having radiation spewing all over our neighborhoods!
Posted by svatoid, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2012 at 3:10 pm
"Am I supposed to run and hide when there is a problem? Wireless radiation is harming EVERYONE! We didn't know this before--we know it now!..."
That is what I suggest you do, since you feel that it is such a problem. Presenting a study in rats and websites with crackpots is not proof. Sorry--if you are so worried about wireless radiation then get rid of your cell phone (you may as well toss your microwave also) and go live in the less densely populated areas of Montana or Idaho.
Posted by Toby, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm
Dr. Carpenter is Harvard trained. Obviously you were NOT interested enough to look at all the links. Since when is NIH an unreliable source? You have made up your mind, and your mind is closed.
The reason wireless information is starting to come out right now is because so many people have gotten ill from "smart" meters. Your cell phone most likely puts out 900MHz just like smart meters. But smart meters more violently pulse the radiation which has the more severe (and immediate) biological effects. It is like having a cell tower attached to your home. We are lucky to be living in Palo Alto because Palo Alto has not yet gone to smart meters.
You can say wireless is harmless all you want, but your opinion will not stop the growing number of people who have had to leave their homes to find refuge in places like West Virginia. I don't think my moving to Montana will solve the problem which affects us all!
How long do you want to ignore the problem? Until most of America is ill? Until all children develop autism? Will you want to be one of the few healthy left who is forced to provide support for all the disabled?
A wise person would say, "Let's stop the antenna spread and look into the issue before continuing. There IS enough evidence to know there is a problem...Web Link
Posted by Robert Smith, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2012 at 5:02 pm
To those who believe cell phones are dangerous to health:
The federal Communications Act of 1996 sets standards for emissions. As long as the applicant's equipment is below those standards, it is illegal for a governing body to reject an application.
Those who think that cell phones are dangerous should direct their efforts to changing the law.
It is very disingenuous of people to argue that cell antennas are "ugly" when their real complaint is the belief that they are dangerous.
At best, those who believe that cell phones are dangerous are merely postponing the process by using these irrelevant arguments. They need to assemble their evidence and attack the federal law if they are to have any chance of winning.
I for one do not think that cell phones are dangerous. Detractors have not convinced me, and their tactics are very off-putting.
Posted by Bad science, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 26, 2012 at 8:48 am
Do you not read these links you post, or do you not understand them? One document claims health risks at 300hz and 3000k Hz. You could reproduce these frequencies with a piano. Are you asking us to believe listening to music causes cancer? At least some of this "evidence" is junk.
Posted by Robert Smith, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 26, 2012 at 12:53 pm
If the NIH paper is sufficient evidence, then I would suggest that cell phone detractors should proceed to use that evidence to persuade the congress to change the law. The present law gives the city almost no ability to listen to arguments about health.
I should add that there are two separate issues: risks to actual cell users, and risks from antennas to the general population.
Detractors often use claims of risk to cell users to support not installing the antennas. But this is confusing individual choice with social choice.
Ironically, when a cell phone is used in a poor coverage area, it uses more power and generates more signals. By depriving cell users of excellent coverage, detractors are probably increasing any health risk that exists.
One must also consider the ways in which cell phones aid safety. There are now numerous instances of people using cell phones to protect lives and property. Are we overall better off with cell phones even if there is some risk? Automobiles kill a huge number of of people each year and have not been outlawed.
In any case, detractors need to work to convince people of the risk and change the law.
Detractors are pursuing a losing strategy. They are simply pitting themselves against cell users who are increasingly annoyed by poor coverage. The many publicized failures to get new antennas installed have awakened users to the need for supporting the antennas. Cell users are also seeing that a small number of people have succeeded in the past to prohibit antenna installations. We are becoming determined to get involved.
AT&T collected about 2000 signatures supporting their recent initiative. That is one in 30 residents of the city. I am also told that Palo Alto has the highest per capita cell ownership of any city in the country.
Cell users are not being convinced by the health arguments, and feel that the detractors are trying to deprive them of a tool that they see as useful for irrational arguments about health.
Posted by JA3+, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jan 26, 2012 at 4:49 pm
"I can't believe this educated community hasn't looked into the extensive health risks."
From CNET's November 2011 article on cell phone radiation [Web Link=]:
"Research abounds, but there still is not conclusive or demonstrated evidence as to whether cell phones cause adverse health effects in humans. While some studies have found a possible link between long-term (10 years or longer) cell phone use and brain tumors, decreased sperm count, and other ailments, other research has found no such effects. The science will continue, and we will continue to monitor the results, but it can take years of exhaustive research before studies actually prove anything (if they ever do)."
"If you're concerned about limiting your SAR exposure, you can take a few easy steps. You can text instead placing a voice call, use a speakerphone or headset whenever possible, and carry your phone at least 1 inch from your body (making sure the antenna is facing away from you). If you're pregnant, you should avoid carrying a phone next to your abdomen. Some researchers also caution against using your phone in areas with a weak signal since phones emit more electro-magnetic radiation during those times. Children, who have smaller and thinner skulls, should limit cell phone use, and people of any age should not sleep with an active phone next to the bedside or under the pillow."
Note the following sentence therein:
"Some researchers also caution against using your phone in areas with a weak signal since phones emit more electro-magnetic radiation during those times."
Kindly note, Toby: more AT&T Tyco DAS will enhance signal propagation throughout Palo Alto.
Robust cell signals will likely lower radiation at the hand-set.
Hand-set radiation is of far greater concern than tower or DAS radiation; more DAS -- not fewer -- will likely result in appreciable reduction in user radiation.
Posted by Toby, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 26, 2012 at 5:38 pm
JA3+--Do you seriously expect me to take the word of CNET over doctors and the NIH? I guess if you developed a brain tumor you’d have it removed Lady Gaga?
Robert--First, cell phone users are NOT being told about the risks!!! Yes, they've heard something, but they have heard more from the wireless industry’s purposely flawed studies. People think that there isn’t a problem because the government hasn’t stepped in. Extremely few doctors know about the problem, and don’t know the signs which are everywhere!
Second, people are addicted to their cell phones—literally. Cell phones cause a glucose reaction in the brain which appears to mimic addiction. So you are asking clueless addicts to vote against their "drug". It's not a fair vote!
As for legal issues. Again, this problem has been brought out by "smart" meters, and since you haven't noticed, PG&E has NOT followed laws. They didn’t do the required environmental impact studies which would have shown there was a problem, they forced meters on people telling then they were required when they were only supposed to offer them to people, they have successfully used fear and threat tactics, and some of the meters exceed the ridiculously high and outdated FCC limits.
The people fighting smart meters are so shocked by the corruption that the laws are obviously meaningless. When they try to tell people what is going on—it sounds so “science fiction” that they can’t believe it is true. So changing the law has to start by raising awareness.
How do you educate people about such a complicated issue—especially when they think CNET is a credible source for health information? Have we become such a society that Lady Gaga will have to drop dead with her last works, “I was killed by my iPhone”, before anyone will listen?
Posted by Toby, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 26, 2012 at 9:47 pm
Wow, I sure hope your doctorate is in philosophy! Exactly where did I say that the NIH says cell phones cause cancer? I did not! You shouldn't jump to such conclusions. Look at the studies and you find lots of information about how wireless is harming us all. Cancer, by the way, is only one of the many concerns!
Posted by Anon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 27, 2012 at 9:02 am
I was honestly very concerned about Palo Alto there for awhile. I was shocked that a city full of such educated, technically adept people would fight this because of perceived health risks. If the posters here are any indication, my concerns are invalid. It looks like there are a very small amount of people who are (insert word of choice here, I can't seem to find a nice one). While the bulk of the residents are intelligent enough to know that unless they swallow it their cell phone isn't likely to harm them. They are also smart enough to know that increased cell phone coverage is a very good thing. Placing an antenna on top of an existing telephone poll is neither going to destroy their home value, nor kill their children.
Posted by Robert Smith, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm
Regarding the NIH article, I did read the abstract. I don't have access to the full article and am not competent to review this in general.
It would however appear that the study is aimed at simulating the actual USE of a cell phone. It apparently is not concerned with the effects of an antenna in one's community.
In fact, almost all claims about cell phone risks concern actual use.
Yet, many detractors are not simply advocating that people not use cell phones, or use them sparingly or in certain manners. These folks are trying to stop antenna installations, which will impede everyone from using cell phones, including those who do not believe that there is a risk, or who think that the risk is acceptable or can be mitigated.