Massachusetts Here’s the Church, Here’s the Steeple, Put in a Cell Site and Hear from the People

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Neighbors near a tower in a church steeple in Centerville, MA are complaining about health issues related to electromagnetic radiation exposure. The Cape Cod Times reported that recent electromagnetic readings show a three-times increase compared with the previous analysis. The T-Mobile tower, which houses six antennas, was placed in the steeple in April 2021.

Symptoms “have been kind of accumulative” over the past year and most recently increased dramatically, according to Janet Davis, chairwoman of the Concerned Citizens group. Davis owns a store next to the church and says she and her employees are experiencing physical symptoms including headaches, brain fog, heart palpitations, ringing in the ears, and extreme nausea. According to Davis, the closer you are to the antenna, the higher the radiation readings.

The Times reported the group met last Friday and created an action plan. Some efforts include alerting residents of the radiation emission readings, having professional emissions readings taken, and assessing the radiation levels.

The Concerned Citizens group was formed in 2018, and opposed the tower project. Since its inception, the group has been encouraging officials to adopt an ordinance that would “give the town some control over the location of telecom infrastructure, specifically towers and antennas.”

According to Lynne Poyant, director of communications for Barnstable, “Town staff have been working with outside counsel to develop draft regulations for wireless facilities in the public way. These regulations would update and codify our existing grant of location procedures to tailor them specifically to the installation of small wireless facilities and to ensure compliance with federal law. We expect to make a draft available to the public for comment sometime during the week of June 27.”

The Concerned Citizens group plans to press on, according to The Times. Davis said they would contact state and federal officials to report their concerns and research what emissions levels T-Mobile communicated at local meetings. They will also continue to take and record readings and catalog residents’ symptoms. “We are not very optimistic,” said Davis, but the group will continue to seek the town’s assistance and open a dialogue with church leaders. 

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