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Alamosa News | Physics professor debunks worries about harmful effects of communication towers


SAN LUIS VALLEY – Responding to repeated concerns in several contexts expressed by local resident Marianna King regarding the health and safety of communications towers located throughout the San Luis Valley, Dr. Eric Swanson made a brief presentation to the County Council of Commissioners of SLV Monday.

Swanson, who was asked by the CGIA – “a group in the telecommunications industry” to speak to the Commissioners, is a professor of physics at the University of Pittsburgh, and he made the presentation via zoom using visual aids he he uses it regularly in the courses he teaches. at University. In addition to his many references, Swanson has also stated that he is a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

In a brief but thorough scientific review, Swanson refuted the most common objections voiced by those opposed to, as he called it, cellphone radiation, adding that the information he was about to present was the point of consensus scientific view of health. effects of electromagnetic radiation.

After delineating the difference between nuclear (“very dangerous”) radiation and electromagnetic radiation, Swanson discussed the electromagnetic spectrum – which includes the highest range of the spectrum, where x-rays would register, at lower levels, such as ultraviolet rays and “visible light” to common household appliances such as microwaves, radios and televisions.

Swanson did not deny the potentially harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation on the high end of the spectrum. He readily agreed that electromagnetic radiation at this level of intensity could cause injury to people and animals due to “ionization” – the presence of sufficient energy to remove ions from an atom. “If this happens in a skin cell and it happens in the DNA of that skin cell and it happens in exactly the wrong way, it could disrupt the biological mechanisms of that cell enough to cause a Cancer. And, of course, that’s what we know best about skin cancer where, if you expose yourself to enough UV rays, your skin tans, which is a defense mechanism. And if you overdo it, you could develop skin cancer.

However, further down the spectrum, the energy is not strong enough to cause ionization, a discovery Swanson would certainly credit Einstein with not only to give credibility, but also to point out that this is about ‘an ancient science that has been proven time and time again.

There is a threshold between ionizing and non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, Swanson’s main point being that electromagnetic radiation below this threshold is simply incapable of producing the potentially harmful effects that occur on the other side of the threshold, that is, that is, the upper end of the spectrum. . There is simply not enough energy present.

“It’s like a Boy Scout trying to throw a rock across a river but he doesn’t have the strength to do it. He could try to throw three stones across the river or he could try to throw a stone for a year. It still won’t get there because the energy just isn’t there. This same analogy is true with 4 and 5G technologies.

“Microwave radiation in 5G and 4G radio waves – all of these are tens of thousands to millions of times below this magic threshold. Of course, radiation does something. Your microwave heats things up, so obviously it’s doing something. But the FCC doesn’t care about the heater.

Swanson said regulations keeping radiation below the threshold are strictly monitored by the FCC, with a limit set 50 times below what is detectable at a distance.

Swanson referred to a “myth” that the FCC is not up to date on recent developments, saying it is simply not accurate.

Swanson went on to quote specific regulations and studies. The 5G located on a light scanner represents one tenth of the electromagnetic radiation that the light pole itself is. A long-term study of cancer rates has shown that cancers linked to electromagnetic radiation have remained stable since cell phones came online.

Marianna King, who was on the agenda, was not present at the Commissioners meeting to ask questions or challenge Swanson’s statements.

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