There have been people in several countries in recent years who have reported a wide range of symptoms which they believe are related to exposure to radiation from cell phone towers and other sources. Their suffering is real. But (see the Wikipedia article on "electromagnetic hypersensitivity") the only scientifically reputable, double-blind tests done on this matter have shown no correlation between individuals' self-reporting of symptoms and the actual measurable amounts of electro-magnetic radiation in their environments. So, illness related to the kind of radiation emitted by cell phone towers is not a recognized medical or scientific diagnosis. Should we ban cell towers in residential areas anyway, just in case there really is a health threat from them?
If we as a society are to have cell phones, there must be a sufficient number of towers to insure reliable coverage. If none are allowed in residential neighborhoods, those neighborhoods will not have the best coverage, obviously. You may think that should be the choice of the individual neighborhoods. How would that work, exactly? Neighborhood associations typically only have a small percentage of residents who actually attend their meetings. Should these associations be able to decide?
But should cell phone towers be allowed even in nonresidential, industrial areas? It is worth pointing out that the supposedly idustrial areas in Tucson and Phoenix actually have many people living as well as working in them, mostly poor people. So, either there is no credible threat from cell phone tower radiation, or, if the threat is real, people who are fortunate enough to live in neighborhoods zoned as strictly residential can make enough of a protest to keep the towers out of their own backyards if they are willing to settle for spotty coverage to keep themselves safe, and those people who are the very poorest will bear the burden of all the radiation exposure. If they really believe the threat is real, the NIMBY folks should be willing to give up their own cell phones and campaign to rid the world of all the towers and the cell phones, which would be useless without the towers.
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