US Department of the Interior warns: communication towers threaten birds

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4In a letter regarding a new nationwide wi-fi deployment (called *FirstNet), the US Department of the Interior states the wireless proposal threatens birds, and is not consistent with current information and laws that protect birds.  They called for an environmental review.

Two  hundred forty one bird species are at mortality risk from 3both tower collisions and from exposure to the radiation towers emit.  This includes birds that are endangered or threatened, Birds of Conservation Concern, migratory birds, and eagles.  They estimate up to 6.8 million bird deaths a year may result from collisions with towers.

2Studies of radiation impacts on wild birds documented nest abandonment, plumage deterioration and death.  Birds studied included House Sparrows, White Storks, Collared Doves, and other species.  Studies in laboratories of chick embryos documented heart attacks and death.

In their letter, The Dept of the Interior criticizes the FCC’s radiation 1safety guidelines stating,“the electromagnetic radiation standards used by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continue to be based on thermal heating, a criterion now nearly 30 years out of date and inapplicable today.”

For more information see Dept of Interior letter and background:

*In 2010 President Obama called for a new nationwide wireless network.  FirstNet is that broadband initiative. See background proposal and More info on FirstNet.  

“The world is going wireless and we must not fall behind. ” President Barack Obama

Birds protected by The Migratory Bird Treaty Act

Al Manville PhD, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, gives a presentation to Congress on radiation impacts on wildlife (2007).

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