LA Board of Ed Prohibits Cell Towers Near Schools

May 29, 2009


Los Angeles –The “Wireless Telecommunication Installations” resolution, which opposes the location of cell phone towers in close proximity to schools, was introduced by Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member Julie Korenstein and adopted earlier this week by the Los Angeles Board of Education.

This resolution will ensure individuals, especially children, are protected from the potential health effects associated with exposures to extremely low frequency electromagnetic and radio- frequency radiation.

“With this resolution, we will continue to protect our children by working with cities, counties, and local municipalities regarding cell phone towers,” said Korenstein. “With their help, we will provide safer schools for many generations to come.”

In an effort to combat this critical issue, the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) has requested cities, counties, and local municipalities responsible for zoning approval to provide timely notification when new cellular permit applications are filed.

One of many new roles of the OEHS will be to challenge these municipalities to show that the proposed cellular installations are in compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations. In the event FCC compliance has not been demonstrated, OEHS will take appropriate and reasonable action to appeal proposed installations. The debate over the safety of school-based towers has been going on for many years. There is growing scientific evidence that the electromagnetic radiation they emit, even at low levels, is dangerous to human health. In 2000, the Board of Education passed a resolution authored by Board Member Korenstein restricting cell phone towers on its school sites. Recently, an Oregon district also banned them on school grounds.

Interim Director of the OEHS, Yi Hwa Kim said, “To ensure the health and safety of our students, it is critical that the District receive timely notification of these projects and is given ample opportunity to evaluate compliance with federal guidelines.”

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