Protestors rally against cell tower

She is asking the planning board to deny the site plan for the tower.

John O'Malley, a spokesman for Verizon, said the cell phone provider had been interested in the area for a while since coverage there has been spotty and inconsistent, especially in buildings.

"It's been a trouble a spot for a while," O'Malley said. There are pine trees on three sides of the proposed 60-foot tower, and he said there are aesthetic and practical advantages of putting the tower in that location.

"It's a typical cell tower," he said. "There really is no scientific evidence that cell towers pose any threat to a person's health," O'Malley said.

He said the Federal Communications Commission, American Cancer Society, the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization do not have any concrete science to connect the towers with cancer or other health effects.

O'Malley said cell towers are built to extremely stringent guidelines, and every one of Verizon's towers are built well within those parameters.

He said the towers operate on about 50 watts, which is far lower than television and radio towers that emit as many as 100,000 watts. The horizontal signal emanates at the tree line and goes from one tower to the next.

"There's very little energy radiated toward the ground," he said. Information form the American Cancer Society corroborates the claim that ground level power levels are significantly lower than near the antenna.

O'Malley said although cellular technology as we know it today is only about 25 years old, wireless emissions from UHA television channels and radio stations have been around for much longer.

Cordless phones, baby monitors and wireless hot-spots emit similar radio frequency, or RF, waves as the proposed tower will, and people use those every day, he said.

Angela Smith, a spokeswoman with the American Cancer Society's Loudonville office, said the ACS does not have any statistics to support the parents' concerns about the tower.

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