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Ward 6 Verizon meeting, June 29, 2021

A protest by Peter Howell residents of the installation of a small-cell tower at the corner of 5th and Longfellow has been ongoing since June 1st, 2021 (see here).  In response, Ward 6 Council Member Steve Kozachik announced there would be a meeting of the Peter Howell Neighborhood Association (PHNA) and Verizon on June 29th.  

The protest group asked for clarification on whether their voice, including the voice of over 100 Petition signers, would be part of the conversation.  In response, Mr. Kozachik wrote

 "The meeting will be by zoom.  Your board will send out the link.  Their role is simply to facilitate, not to take a position.  The meeting is open to all Peter Howell residents.  Its purpose is for Verizon to describe their plans for PHN, and to address health concerns. There will be Q&A.  Steve K."

It became clear that this meeting would be the standard wireless carrier information meeting designed to dispel the “myth” that there is credible scientific evidence of negative health effects of cell tower radiation. The main speaker would be Dr. Eric Swanson, a paid consultant for the CTIA, the wireless industry’s lobby group that spends $12.5 million per year to promote the interests of companies like Verizon. There would be no voice for the protesters and no representation from their Council Member or neighborhood association.

The tower protest group decided not to attend the meeting.  A recording, along with excerpts from the group's letter to Steve Kozachik following the meeting, are below.

Excerpt from letter sent by Peter Howell tower protest group to Steve Kozachik following the June 29th meeting 


"When we heard Dr. Swanson would be speaking on the health effects of RF radiation, we carefully reviewed his background and qualifications.  We learned that he is a nuclear physicist whose main research interest is in “how quarks and gluons build the universe”.  He has not published any relevant health research himself nor does he have the expertise to understand and interpret the literature on this subject.  We wonder if you know that in the 1940s the tobacco companies hired doctors and dentists to endorse their products and reduce public health concerns.  Now, in the 2020s, we see that the telecommunications companies have hired a physicist to perform this same function.  Could they not find one qualified health scientist to serve this role?


While our group did not attend the June 29th meeting, we were able to view a recording ...   Dr. Swanson started by asserting that he was presenting the “consensus scientific view” with no verification of that statement.  Even as ordinary citizens we saw major flaws in his logic throughout the rest of the presentation—and as our learned Council Member we hope you saw them too.  His arguments were based not on any evidence, but on his knowledge of the laws of physics.  He made the blatantly false assertion that beyond tissue heating there can be no biological effects of radiation below the “magical threshold” of ionizing radiation.  He did not present one empirical study proving that RF radiation is safe. 


Dr. Swanson went on to make an incoherent statistical argument about the 25,000 existing studies on the biological effects of RF radiation.  Specifically, he stated that there is a “false positive” rate of 5% (so 1,250 studies falsely finding negative health effects). Then he made the illogical statement that therefore all the remaining 23,750 studies must show that there are no effects.  This is the same kind of tactic used by the tobacco industry right up until our government finally put into place regulations that helped greatly lower smoking rates  and lung cancer deaths in our country. 


Dr. Swanson’s brazen misrepresentation of the science on this subject is unconscionable when more and more people all over Tucson, including in our neighborhood, are being injured by the rapidly growing levels of RF radiation—radiation that will grow even more if the small-cell tower rollout is allowed to continue.

The truth will become clear when Dr. Swanson produces the 25,000 studies, as requested by Dr. Drugay, our neighborhood association president.  We await those studies.  We will of course be happy to retract our criticism of Dr. Swanson’s presentation if he is able to prove to us that the radiation from Verizon small-cell towers does not pose a safety risk for our children and all Peter Howell residents.

Recording of Ward 6 Verizon Meeting,

June 29, 2021


We have learned that in 2011 RF radiation was classified by a sub-group of the World Health Organization as a “possible” carcinogen and that as early as 2023 the new scientific evidence will be reviewed, including two studies finding clear evidence of cancer.  Many scientists expect that it will be up classified to a “probable” or even “known” (Group 1) carcinogen—like cigarette smoking and asbestos.   Furthermore, in response to new evidence of cancer risk, in 2016 the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that the FCC tighten RF radiation exposure limits and that parents reduce children’s exposure to the radiation.  More recently, in March 2021, the former director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the CDC released a report concluding that there is a “high probability” that RF radiation causes brain tumors. 


As of March 2021, 415 scientists and doctors from 47 nations have signed The 5G Appeal, which calls for a moratorium on the deployment of 5G stating that "5G will substantially increase exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) on top of the 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, etc. for telecommunications already in place. RF-EMF has been proven to be harmful for humans and the environment."   The scientists include biologists, biochemists, toxicologists, neurologists,  public health experts, etc., that is, professionals with the necessary qualifications for making this judgement.

We simply cannot allow our children, not to mention ourselves and the plants and animals in our neighborhood, to be subjected to this toxic substance. We know you would not want the same for your family and neighborhood and can understand our position. 


Recent presentations on the health effects of radio frequency radiation from industry-independent sources  

Dr. Russell Witte, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Medical Imaging and Neurosurgery  University of Arizona.  May 27, 2021 (17 mins)

Dr. Witte: "There are far more peer-reviewed and government studies reporting the adverse effects of microwave radiation than those caused by smoking, lead, or asbestos."   

Dr.  Kent Chamberlin, Chair and Professor Emeritus, University of New Hampshire Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  July 5, 2021 


This video documents an expert forum held by Massachusetts for Safe Technology regarding a Verizon cell tower installed in Pittsfield, MA next to a residential neighborhood where children and adults became ill. 

[Dr. Chamberlin's presentation starts at 44 min] 

Dr.  Hillel Baldwin, M.D. , Carondelet Neurological Institute of St. Joseph's Hospital (formerly Chief of Neurosurgery at Tucson Medical Center and Northwest Medical Center).   June 26, 2020


In this video (starting at minute 11:00) Dr. Baldwin urges use of the precautionary principle and recommends we protect ourselves from exposure to radio frequency radiation. 

Dr. Devra Davis, Epidemiologist and Toxicologist.  President of the Environmental Health Trust.

October 2, 2019

Dr. Baldwin's wife, Jenny Baldwin, is electrosensitive due to overexposure to EMFs like radio frequency radiation.  Read her story here.

Dr. Martin Pall, Emeritus Professor of Biochemisty and Basic Medical Sciences, Washington State University.

April 14, 2019 

Learn more about the thousands of studies on the health effects of RF radiation at EMF Wellness Tucson/EMF Health effects


Read some studies yourself!

Did you know? 


The ICD-10-CM diagnosis

code for "Exposure to Radio-

frequency Radiation." 

Authorized by the World Health Organization, the ICD-10-CM codes are used by health care personnel for clinical diagnoses and billing.  They are also used by the CDC to track health conditions, and for epidemiological research.

If exposure to radio frequency radiation has no health

effects why is there a medical diagnosis code for it?

Insurance companies will not cover Verizon for RF radiation-related health claims.  It's too risky. 

In 2015 insurance companies began refusing to cover Verizon and other wireless providers for health-related claims related to electromagnetic fields like microwave radiation from cell towers. Verizon began warning its investors about their vulnerability to liability claims.

In 2019, 5G was classified as a high impact risk by the insurance authorities due to "potential claims for health impairments that may come with long latency."


Read more here.    

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