Worker Safety and Violation of Radiation Limits

an excerpt from An Electronic Silent Spring by Katie Singer

In March, 2013, the EMR Policy Institute (EMRPI) launched “Americans Beware,” a campaign to alert workers and families about nationwide violations of FCC radiation limits. EMRPI tested industry-operated antenna sites in twenty-three states and found them in gross violation (up to and in excess of 600%) of the FCC’s public exposure rates. This means, for example, that hundreds of thousands of people who work on rooftops and cannot avoid standing near antennas (that do not have adequately posted warnings or barriers) are exposed to radiation beyond FCC limits. The FCC has not levied a single fine against a wireless carrier for exceeding these limits. The EMRPI called on Congress to hold the FCC accountable, to inform Americans about their risk of unlawful exposure to radiation–and their right to protection from such exposure.

On May 22, 2012, PBS’ Frontline News reported, in “Cell Tower Deaths” that “independent contractors who are building and servicing America’s cellular infrastructure are ten times more likely than the average construction worker to die on the job.” notes that “complex layers of subcontracting insulate the carriers against liability, despite the fact that they set the aggressive schedule that can force subcontractors to cut corners in order to meet deadlines, and those ambitious time frames may be one of the reasons why workers are dying.”

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