Find out if new cellular towers and new antennas are planned to be installed near my home?

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Resident

I want to know about Telus's plans for all new antenna installations near my home.  Are there plans to add antennas to existing cell towers, install "small cell" antennas, or upgrade existing antennas near my home?

 

I am concerned for the health and safety of my family due to the health effects of radiofrequency radiation that comes from wireless devices, including cellular antennas/towers.  The scientific evidence that I have reviewed has shown potential for adverse health effects at levels below Heath Canada's Safety Code 6 guidelines.  For this reason I do not consent to new cellular antenna installations (or upgrades to existing towers) near my home.  I would like to be informed of any plans for antenna installations or modifications in advance of the work beginning.  Who in Telus can I contact to provide this forward looking information?  

 

The radiofrequency radiation from the cell towers applies a force to myself and my family.  I believe that Telus is committed to working together with its customers and the residents of Calgary, AB to consult and inform people of new infrastructure installations.  Please let me know how I can access this information.

 

Thank you,

Adrienn

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Community Power User
Community Power User

Telus will not provide any details to you regarding potential new towers and there will be no one to contact about it. Nor will any telecom notify you before any work is done to existing infrastructure. 

 

There is a process that all telecom companies go through for installing new towers. Public consultation is one such step. You can find more information here: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/h_sf11435.html. While you may not approve, it's up to the majority of people in your area what happens. 

 

Microcells may have different rules but they also have a very limited range. Unless there is one really close to your house, you have nothing to worry about there. 

 

If you are this concerned about EM radiation, you may want to move far outside any city. Likely deep in the mountains where you won't even have cell service. The only other alternative is to line your house in lead or a farraday cage to block the outside EM radiation.


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Connector

Not lead. It is used mainly for x-ray and gamma ray shielding. I think copper or aluminum (or gold if you are rich) screening would make effective shielding. 

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Rockstar

Well, sorry to tell you this, but you are not the regulator.  Some things are not going to be in your control.  We do live in a democracy so if you can convince a lot of other people, you can possibly effect change, but that's not going to be between you and the provider.  

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Rockstar

@Nighthawk Years ago, there were a couple of areas in Calgary (Ranchlands, Edgemont) where local people including the Alderman were putting up a fuss about towers.  Eventually they were told that the telecom companies had a license and they had to be allowed to put up towers.  No problems since.  It was a major pain to have gaps in coverage, and when you think that public safety, transit, TV, radio etc. already had "radio waves" in the areas anyway, cell was the only one that suffered.

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Community Power User
Community Power User

It's always helpful when a municipality cuts out much of the red tape a telecom has to deal with locally. Now if only Edmonton's city council would be that forward thinking. Their singular obsession is putting more bike lanes everywhere to the detriment of everything else.


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Rockstar

@Nighthawk In Calgary, by the entrance to at least one of the subways going under the railway tracks, they put a counter so people could see how many bicycles went on that bike lane.  I could only imagine they did that because from watching the lane, one would hardly ever see a bicycle on that lane, particularly not in the winter, so it was some indication that it was actually used. Of course they didn't put a counter on one of the traffic lanes for comparison, which would have shown likely far more usage in an hour or a day than the bike lane would have in weeks or longer.

 

On the subject of cell tower coverage, these two gaps caused inconvenience for quite a few thousands of people every day, so it is good that the towers were finally put in place.  It always amazes me to see posts about electromagnetic radiation on a website since that person would have had to use some sort of electronic device and to connect to the internet to do so.

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Resident

@BillTelusCust @Nighthawk Thank you very much for your replies!

 

I am accessing this website through a safe, wired connection. By connecting an ethernet cable to my router, shutting off wi-fi, and putting my computer onto airplane mode, I can reduce my personal exposure to RF radiation. 

 

Please do not confuse concerns with wireless radiation with being anti-tech.  I love technology and the internet as much as the next person.  However, our society is heading in the wrong direction by expanding wireless infrastructure instead of focusing on safer, more reliable, and more energy efficient wired connections.  

  

As far as cell towers go, we already have many cell towers in Calgary.  I do not know anyone who is experiencing cellular connectivity issues within the city.  When my children play in our backyard playground, they are in direct line of sight of two cell towers that expose them to the RF radiation levels equivalent to being right next to a Wi-Fi router.  While I have taken precautions to minimize the amount of RF radiation from the devices in our house, the addition of more cellular antennas would increase our family’s exposure to RF energy, involuntarily, without consent or consultation.    

 

The science on the effects of radiofrequency radiation is far from settled.  There is evidence of harm at non-thermal levels (thermal effects are used to establish thresholds in Health Canada’s Safety Code 6), some effects being long term.  Is it responsible to add more cellular antennas and small cells that increase our exposure to RF radiation, when the long-term health impacts may not be felt for years or even decades? 

 

I am not the regulator but I am part of the community and I would like to know about plans for new cell towers and new antennas on existing cell towers near my home.  As per the ISED’s Antenna Sitting Policy: “The company must consider the community's views.”  How does this occur currently and how do I become a participant in this process?

 

Surely, someone can tell me if there are plans to add more cellular antennas near my home, BEFORE I wake up one morning to a small cell antenna outside of my child’s bedroom.  I believe this conversation is in the best interest for both Telus and the community so that infrastructure installations go in with adequate community consultation and any issues are addressed in advance, to allow for efficient project execution.

 

Thank you,

Adrienn

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Community Power User
Community Power User

Telecom companies (since Telus isn't the only cellular provider in Calgary) typically have a public consultation if a new tower goes up. No one company will tell you any plans for other new towers in an area because it is a process that can take years to complete. As far as I am aware, none of the telecoms are required to notify an area if upgrades are done to an existing tower. If you're in an area with existing towers, especially if they are as close as you claim they are, it's very unlikely more towers will be added that close to existing ones.


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Rockstar

So you mean NIMBY....

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Community Power User
Community Power User

The ISED document you reference describes who, and how those neighbouring an antenna installation will be notified. You may wish to pay close attention to section 6. If you wish to participate, I suggest your local government as the first point of contact.

 

NFtoBC
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Neighbour

To be physically affected by microwaves (That is what cell phone signals are) you must have a receiver or be close to a transmitter (the length of the micro wave). That means if you think you may be affected, and there are some studies that support this claim, then don't hold a cellphone to your ear or walk withing touching distance of a cellphone tower. Communications are the lifeblood of a community and the use of microwaves is an established way of supporting communications in today's world. There is no chance of ever going back in time and replacing microwaves with longer waves, we have been through that since Marconi invented the wireless. I would suggest the remedy of protecting yourself with a suit of clothing made from tiny pieces of foil, or a much heavier lead helmet if you live so close to a tower that you could touch it or hear such high frequencies.