Department of the Interior calls FCC RF exposure guidelines obsolete and inapplicable.

A February 7, 2014 letter from the Department of the Interior (of which US Fish & Wildlife Service is a part) to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (part of the Department of Commerce) notes:

The placement and operation of communication towers, including un-guyed, unlit, monopole or lattice-designed structures, impact protected migratory birds in two significant ways. The first is by injury, crippling loss, and death from collisions with towers and their supporting guy-wire infrastructure, where present. The second significant issue associated with communication towers involves impacts from non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation emitted by them.

While most of us understand obvious physical problems associated with towers like lighting, guy wires, power lines and the towers themselves, a growing body of knowledge is also realizing the radiofrequency radiation (RFR or RF) from communication towers (and other wireless technologies) is also harmful to at least some wildlife. The DOI letter goes on to say FCC guidelines for RFR exposure are obsolete and then references a number of studies dealing with RF effects on wildlife.

However, 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by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continue to be based on thermal heating, a criterion now nearly 30 years out of date and inapplicable today. This is primarily due to the lower levels of radiation output from microwave-powered communication devices such as cellular telephones and other sources of point-to-point communications; levels typically lower than from microwave ovens. The problem, however, appears to focus on very low levels of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation…

There is a growing level of anecdotal evidence linking effects of non-thermal, non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation from communication towers on nesting and roosting wild birds and other wildlife in the U.S. Independent, third-party studies have yet to be conducted in the U.S. or Canada, although a peer-reviewed research protocol developed for the U.S. Forest Service by the Service’s Division of Migratory Bird Management is available to study both collision and radiation impacts (Manville 2002).

Click here for the letter.