Marlboro College

NewsPress Release -Radiation Experts Discuss Siting Communications Towers Near Schools

BRATTLEBORO, VT - On Saturday, May 19, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. at The Persons School of Marlboro College, Gary Brown and Cindy Sage will present "Wireless LANs: Questions of Science, Health, Public Policy and Ethics." Brown and Sage are advocates for examining issues of siting wireless local area network (LAN) installations. Wireless LANs often involve installing communications towers on and around school buildings, creating electromagnetic radiation (EMR) that may be hazardous to public health.

The presentation will include an overview of some of the research issues, the wireless industry view, and standards -- from industry to government. The presentation will conclude with a look at the professional ethics and responsibilities that school stakeholders need to consider as well as an examination of other emerging communications technologies that may be less harmful. A question-and-answer period will follow the presentation.

In the information economy, wireless LANs are increasingly popular, since they transmit and receive data over the air, minimizing the need for wired connections. But according to EMR Network, a nonprofit awareness group, "electromagnetic radiation (EMR), which includes the extremely low frequencies (ELF), the radio frequencies (RF) and microwave (MW) radiation, may be hazardous to life and may constitute a significant threat to public health. This belief is based on credible research, spanning decades of scientific inquiry."

Organizations such as EMR Network are working to enhance local, regional, national, and international efforts to reduce, mitigate and where possible eliminate hazardous exposure to EMR, including advocating for local control of cellular towers.

Among the advocates for local control of tower-siting are U.S. Represenative Bernie Sanders (I-VT), U.S. Senator James Jeffords (R-VT) and U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Leahy has introduced legislation to restore local authority in tower-siting by repealing a 1996 law that gave sole jurisdiction to the Federal Communications Commission.

Gary Brown is a Ph.D. candidate in instructional technology and distance education. He is president and co-founder of Families for the Appropriate Cell Tower Siting (FACTS), based in Boca Raton, Florida.

Cindy Sage is the owner of Sage EMF Design (EMR is also known as electromagnetic fields, or EMF), an environmental consulting firm in Montecito, California. Sage has been involved in EMR issues as an environmental consultant and public policy researcher since 1982. She has provided professional consulting services to cities, counties, various states and a national policy group on the issue of EMR policy and prudent avoidance

More information about wireless LANs is available from EMR Network ( and FACTS ( Senator Leahy’s press release on this issue is also available from

The presentation is free and open to the public, and The Persons School is fully accessible, located in the Marlboro College Technology Center, at 28 Vernon Street in downtown Brattleboro. For more information about this or other Marlboro College events, call 802-257-4333, or visit

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