Two towns in Massachusetts have blocked the installation of 5G cell towers until independent research has confirmed the new high-powered technology is safe.
The US’s Federal Communications Commission has not acted on court orders issued in 2019 and 2021 to review its health and safety guidelines for RF (radiofrequency) exposure.
Until the FCC carries out a new review, the citizens of Sheffield and Great Barrington are judging applications to build wireless infrastructure in their towns as “incomplete.” The review should include independent research that has not been funded by the telecoms industry, they add.
They passed a warrant at their annual town hall meeting on May 1st that cites two mandates issued by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The towns are mainly agricultural communities, and residents are concerned about the possible impact on the bee population of the 5G transmitters.
Despite being twice mandated, the FCC has failed to produce revised safety guidelines that reflect more recent research, and especially the safety of faster 4G and 5G technologies.
In the 2019 ruling, the FCC was told to follow the National Environmental Policy Act guidelines and conduct an environmental impact review on 5G technology, and the court issued a fresh mandate in 2021 that requires the FCC to review all the scientific evidence about the safety of RF radiation on people and the environment.
The rulings follow a challenge by the non-profit Children’s Health Defense after the FCC had refused to update its safety guidelines issued in 1996.
On the day the residents passed their warrant, the citizens of Pittsfield marked a thousand days since they were able to live in their homes, citing a Verizon cell tower as the cause of a sudden spate of sickness.