The 115-foot Verizon Wireless cell tower in Pittsfield, Massachusetts is still standing. Gina Armstrong, the city’s director of public health, has stated that “The Health Department is not qualified and does not have the expertise to accurately assess the residents’ health concerns, nor is the Health Department qualified to assess the causes of the residents’ health concerns.” According to the Berkshire Eagle, neighbor Courtney Gilardi has continued to challenge the presence of the cell tower, first arguing against its proximity and now claiming it is a health hazard.
Armstrong said she would consider referring the matter to the state level so the Massachusetts Department of Public Health could investigate. The complaint made its way to Armstrong’s desk in January when the City Council responded to Gilardi’s weekly challenges advising Armstrong that “health concerns that have been reported by some of the residents that live near the cell tower … since its activation” and requested that her department “report back.”
The World Health Organization maintains that “no adverse health effect has been causally linked” to cell tower transmissions, 5G or otherwise. It has noted that there is value in continuing to monitor “the possible long-term health impacts of all aspects of mobile-telecommunications,” but has reported no such findings thus far.
Dismissing Armstrong’s claim that such an investigation was beyond Pittsfield’s capabilities, Ward 5 Councilor Patrick Kavey responded, “If our Health Department is unable to look into the health concerns of our residents, then who is? The bottom line is, we have been hearing about these health concerns for the last seven, eight months, and no one has looked into them. The city’s just trying to wash their hands of the whole situation,” he added, “And I think it’s deplorable.”
Gilardi called the refusal of the health department to address her concerns “disappointing” and announced her own plans to consider running for a vacant council seat.