Cell Antenna Resource Page
Welcome to Temple Isaiah’s Cell Antenna Information Repository
We are taking steps to encourage community dialogue and foster greater understanding of all sides of the cell antenna topic.
Announcement - March 4, 2016: Routine RF Measurement Report
The summary of measurements taken January 25, 2016 shows that, as in 2014, the reading at every point was less than 1% of the FCC limit, that is, more than 100 times below. The limit applies for all persons –old or young, large or small, healthy or infirm – and applies to exposures of unlimited duration.
Click here to view the Hammett & Edison, Inc. consulting engineers report
Announcement - June 20, 2014: AT&T Construction Update
The east-facing antennas are now live and we have obtained the official pre-construction and post-construction radio frequency (RF) measurements from the engineers to distribute to you. Below you will find the report of an experienced independent third-party engineering firm, followed by some clarifying information meant to address some concerns that we have heard expressed.
From Hammett & Edison, Inc. Consulting Engineers:
“Measurements were conducted at 28 locations, intended to represent the exposure conditions in different areas of the site, for comparison with the prevailing federal limits on human exposure. Every reading at every point was less than 1% of the limit, that is, more than 100 times below. The limit applies to all persons – old or young, large or small, healthy or infirmed –to exposures of unlimited duration and includes a 50-times safety factor intended to provide a prudent margin of safety for persons who may be more sensitive to electromagnetic fields. The low measured levels derive from a number of factors at this installation: the height of the antennas (on top of the roof), their position (at the east end of the roof), their directivity (±8° in the elevation plane), their orientation (east and south), and the steep drop in elevation to the school and administrative buildings in those directions.
At all locations except five (20, 21, 24, 26, and 27), every reading was less than even 0.1% of the limit, that is, more than 1,000 times below. And at locations 6 through 13, the readings were at or below the calibrated sensitivity of meter, that is, more than 40,000 times below the public limit.
The meter used was a Wandel & Goltermann Type EMR-300 Radiation Meter with Type 18 Isotropic Electric Field Probe (Serial No. F-0034). The meter and probe were under current calibration by the manufacturer. The meter is broadband, measuring the additive levels of all RF sources, and the probe is isotropic, measuring RF sources from any direction.”
In January we understood from AT&T and shared with you that there would be no addition to the ambient radio frequency that currently exists on our campus. You will see from the readings that there is a slight increase in the ambient radio frequency at 5 locations, but the radio frequency at all of those locations still measures at less than 1% of the limit, that is, more than 100 times below the prevailing limit.
CLICK HERE FOR A PDF OF THE CONSULTING ENGINEERS’ FULL REPORT, which includes a table of the pre- and post-construction readings, a map of the measured locations, and a technical explanation of the federal standards for those of you who are more technically inclined. Because we recognize that raw data of this type might be difficult for many of us to comprehend and appreciate without some familiar basis for comparison, the same PDF also includes a comparison chart, which illustrates that the post-construction ambient radio frequency on campus does not differ much from the ambient radio frequency found in the typical home. With the exception of one measured location (a portion of an outdoor staircase never occupied for more than moments at a time), the ambient radio frequency at all locations on campus, and in the typical home, is at a level less than one-third (1/3) of 1% of the prevailing limit (and even on that staircase it’s less than 1%).
Here are some Questions and Answers we hope will be helpful:
Q: Why should we trust the federal government’s exposure criteria?
A: The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) adopted the exposure criteria that are now the federal standard, but the FCC did not do the research that established the criteria. The limits the FCC adopted came from a 1986 report published by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (“NCRP”). Although the NCRP was never “the federal government,” it was an organization chartered by Congress.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (“IEEE”), on the other hand, has never been an organ of, or controlled by, the federal government. Instead, the IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional association, so perhaps you might feel more comfortable trusting it. It is a global institution that uses the innovations of the practitioners it represents to, among other things, establish technology standards. One of those standards, IEEE C95.1™-2005, which is titled “Safety Levels with Respect to Human Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields, 3 kHz to 300 GHz,” was so respected that it was promulgated by the American National Standards Institute (“ANSI”). ANSI coordinates the U.S. private sector voluntary consensus standards system, providing a neutral forum for the development of policies on standards issues and serves as a watchdog for standards development and conformity assessment programs and processes. The IEEE C95.1™-2005 standard includes limits very similar to the current FCC standard. (You can download a copy of the full standard for yourself by clicking HERE.)
Q: We’ve heard that someone other than your approved “consulting engineers” recently took measurements at Temple Isaiah using sophisticated RF equipment, and that the measured levels, although within FCC limits, were high, according to biological guidelines used worldwide by experts. Why aren’t we concerned about that?
A: We want you to express your concerns, now and going forward. In this particular case, you might also wish to consider some additional information. First, based on a photograph of it, the “sophisticated RF equipment” used in taking those measurements was a Gigaherz Solutions model HF35C RF-analyser, which the manufacturer itself describes as a device for “technical amateurs.” See HERE.
It can measure only a limited range of frequencies. More important, its antenna is directional. As a result, it is incapable of measuring ambient radio frequency, only radio frequency in one direction at a time. A quick review of the HF35C’s user manual available HERE, reveals that the “biological guidelines used worldwide by experts” are actually the “Standard der baubiologischen Messtechnik” (Standard for Building Biology Measurements), SBM-2008, a German standard applicable only to indoor spaces. See HERE.
The measurements reflected on the consulting engineers’ table, on the other hand, were taken by a trained and experienced Professional Engineer using professional-grade, calibrated equipment, including isotropic (omnidirectional) probes. We’ve been advised that all future readings will, likewise, be taken by trained engineers using calibrated equipment. Uncalibrated meters can be off by factors of 10 or more, either too high or too low. For ease of comparison by anyone who might have taken measurements with their own meters, the consulting engineers provided the results in units of field strength (V/m), in units of power density (mW/cm2) and as a percentage of the FCC public limit.
Q: Aren’t you really just trying to confuse us, because you know that the ambient radio frequency has increased, which puts our children at risk from a known carcinogen?
A: No. We’re not trying to confuse anybody. On the contrary, we’re trying to help empower you with information about the real danger (or lack thereof). There are many misconceptions floating around. One misconception is that radio frequency from a cell antenna base station is a known carcinogen. It is not. Radio frequency is a form of radiation that is non-ionizing. This means that radio frequency cannot cause (i.e., is incapable of causing) the destruction of chemical bonds in DNA, which might otherwise lead to cancer. The most harmful effect of radio frequency is called “the thermal effect.” At very high levels, radio frequency waves can heat up body tissues. Engaging in physical exercise can heat up your body tissues, too. When one is removed from those high levels of RF (stops exercising) the body tissues cool down and there are no lasting effects. Exposure to low levels of radio frequency, and on the Temple campus the levels are extremely low, is of no physiological significance. For more information, please refer to the American Cancer Society’s medically-reviewed fact sheet on Cellular Phone Towers, available HERE.
Q: Say what you like, but it’s clear to us that the Temple Isaiah leadership has lied about what the post-construction levels would be and (collectively) has a closed mind about the true dangers of radio frequency. Have you done a Google search?
A: It truly pains Board members that any member of the Temple Isaiah community would ascribe nefarious motives or intentions to anything the Board does. The Temple Board is made up of volunteers from the community. Board members serve because they care. Most have children, too, some of whom are current and future students at Gan Ilan. No one has intentionally lied to you. In January of this year, we reported that we had received assurances from AT&T that the signal would be directed only horizontally, out toward the horizon. That was, and is, a true statement, because the signal is, in fact, directed only horizontally. Unfortunately, we also reported that there would be no addition to the ambient radio frequency, which was a misunderstanding born of a miscommunication. We now have learned that a certain amount of scatter is apparently inevitable, no matter how tightly a signal is beamed from an antenna. We regret the misstatement, but it is wrong to label it a lie.
We do not believe that we have a closed mind when it comes to the true dangers of radio frequency. We recognize that there are many opinions out there, but, as most scientists do, we tend to rely upon the weight of the evidence approach, which considers and evaluates the entire body of relevant literature, as opposed to selecting a few studies in support of a particular opinion.
Announcement - April 3, 2014: AT&T Construction Update
We have received notice that AT&T will turn on the east antennas on or after April 20.
Announcement - January 23, 2014: AT&T Construction Update
We are pleased to report the following update regarding the AT&T antenna installation on our campus.
A key concern was that radio frequency would be directed at the Gan Ilan playground. We have been able to gain assurances from AT&T that the signal would be directed ONLY horizontally, out toward the horizon. There will be no addition to the ambient radio frequency that currently exists. The technology does not allow the signal to reach downward at all. AT&T also agreed to have an independent third party measure the levels of radio frequency over time at the playground level.
Due to some construction delays, this installation will go live in the middle of March at the absolute earliest. We will have a minimum two weeks’ notice prior to being turned on.
Another major concern was expressed by the Contra Costa Jewish Day School. A different antenna sector had been planned atop the west side of the social hall. Since the signal at that location was directed at CCJDS (unlike Gan Ilan’s playground), Temple Isaiah and CCJDS worked together aggressively to have AT&T dismantle that antenna. The brackets on the west social hall wall were removed today.
In response to the concerns that we expressed (and close cooperation between CCJDS and Temple Isaiah), AT&T has identified at least one new site on our campus near the freeway that would ensure no radio frequency toward CCJDS or Temple Isaiah. We will update further when additional information is available.
Announcement - December 3, 2013: AT&T Construction Update
AT&T has a contractual obligation to continue construction while they explore options to address our concerns. The antenna equipment is not operational, we continue to work tirelessly to find solutions and will continue to post updates to this and the Facebook page.
Announcement - November 22, 2013: AT&T Construction Update
Dear Temple Isaiah Community,
Shalom Bayit commonly refers to marital peace and domestic harmony. We recognize that this Jewish value also has relevance in our community.
In this spirit, leaders representing Temple Isaiah and the Contra Costa Jewish Day School have been working side-by-side, hand-in-hand, toward identifying alternative locations for the cell antenna project. We recognize that some of our constituents and families have concerns about the current project. In an effort to explore substantive changes that address these concerns, together we have been having a frank dialogue with AT&T.
This past Thursday a group of TI and CCJDS leaders met with AT&T in what will likely be a series of meetings to explore alternative locations for the planned cell antennas on the TI grounds. They heard the concerns loud and clear, as did we. You will be happy to know that the representatives from AT&T (who included senior executives) were genuinely interested in helping to find a solution that satisfies those concerned, and that reunites our community.
We are pleased to report that AT&T has conveyed that they feel confident that there exists a potential solution to allay both CCJDS and Gan Ilan’s concerns. This statement is important, as families are looking to enroll their children at CCJDS and Gan Ilan next semester and in future years.
We have decided to issue this joint statement for several reasons. First, it is important to reassure you that TI and CCJDS are working to re-affirm our partnership that has flourished over the years. Second, we want to keep you informed as these positive developments occur. Third, it is critical that you know that your leaders are fully engaged in exploring changes to this project.
Finally, as leadership from both the school and synagogue acknowledged to each other on Thursday at our meeting, there is no easy answer. Much work remains to be done to make substantive changes to the location of these antennas. But the reality is that a solution is essential and imminent, and the path toward that end should not be acrimonious, but traveled in a spirit of cooperation that builds a stronger Jewish community.
Robert Goldberg, President, Temple Isaiah Board of Directors
Jay Koppelman, President, CCJDS Board of Trustees
David Douglas, Executive Vice President, Temple Isaiah Board of Directors
Paul Candau, Vice President, CCJDS Board of Trustees
Announcement: November 5, 2013. RE: FAQ update.
What did the Temple Isaiah Board of Directors base their decision on in June 2011 when voting to contract with AT&T?
The Board decision was made based on several factors, including, but not limited to the following:
1. Our experience with the Nextel tower on Temple Isaiah’s property, which had been a fixture at the Temple for over 7 years. After conducting their own studies, the CCJDS chose to build their school adjacent to the clearly labeled tower and the minimal community concern for the existing tower, helped us to feel confident in our decision to contract with AT&T.
2. Communication with stakeholder audiences through multiple channels, including one-on-one conversations, Temple Isaiah Board of Directors meetings (recorded in Board minutes) with preschool and CCJDS representation, and the Temple’s annual membership meeting.
3. A review of scientific and engineering resources to ensure the presence of the antennas would pose no risk to anyone on the Temple Isaiah campus.
4. Thorough discussions with AT&T and the City of Lafayette to reaffirm the safety of the installation.
5. Certainty that the antennas complied with all federal, state and local regulations.
6. Fiscal responsibility by securing ongoing unrestricted revenue for Temple operations.
What did Temple Isaiah Board of Directors base their decision on in October 2013 when voting to uphold the 2011 decision and continue with construction?
The board decision was made based on several factors, including, but not limited to the following:
1. Temple Isaiah consulted with multiple sources advising that the cost of reversing the antenna work to date including professional services is in the range of $500K - $1M and lost revenue to the Temple from the contract is approximately $1.2M during the term.
2. The lease does not include any termination right on behalf of the Temple and since it is a lease, AT&T may have rights to retain possession whether or not the Temple would like to eliminate the antennas. The contract stipulates a 25-year lease, renewable every 5 years by lessee.
3. Our review of similar cases finds that AT&T assumes a hostile position with organizations that seek to breach contracts into which they have legally entered. One example comes from the City of Pinole, which found itself bound to abide by the terms of the contract after seeking to revoke it based on negative community input that arose after the contract was signed.
4. Revisiting the deciding factors for the 2011 Board decision and determining that they still hold true.
5. Communication with stakeholder audiences through multiple channels, including one-on-one conversations, Temple Isaiah Board of Directors meetings (recorded in Board minutes) with preschool and CCJDS representation, congregational meeting with community conversations, Facebook group posts, consult with experts in the field and consult with other organizations that have cellular technology on their property.
What steps have been taken to address concerns about the antennas?
Temple Isaiah’s Board has taken several steps. These include, but are not limited to the following:
1. Establishing a closed Facebook group to encourage dialogue. The group was opened to Temple members, including member CCJDS families, and nonmember Gan Ilan families. It remains open.
2. Posting information about the project to the Temple’s public website, and maintaining the page with new information as it became available. The page remains accessible today.
3. Hosting a community discussion in which all viewpoints were welcome. The session also included presentations and Q&A with objective, unbiased engineering and medical experts.
4. One-on-one meetings with members, preschool families and CCJDS families who accepted the invitation.
5. In response to input from the community forum, Temple Isaiah committed to routine monitoring of the antennas, and reporting of the results.
6. In response to a request from CCJDS, Temple Isaiah established an Antenna Task Force to ensure information is made available to stakeholder groups and encourage dialogue. The Task Force is led the by Temple’s Executive Vice President. CCJDS withdrew its representative from the task force based on a perceived conflict of interest. The antenna taskforce continues to have regularly scheduled meetings.
7. A binder of Board minutes and supporting documents dating back to the June 2011 Board decision has been made available at the Temple front office for current Temple members to view.
8. A governance task force has been established to review Temple board decision-making, record keeping and communication strategies to establish best practices.
Announcement: October 24, 2013. RE: Binder of Board minutes now available at the front office
Announcement: As of Friday, November 1st, current Temple Isaiah members can visit the Temple front office during office hours to check-out a binder containing:
1. The complete Temple Isaiah Board minutes dating back to the June 2011 meeting where the motion to approve the AT&T antennas was passed.
2. The articles presented at the June 2011 meeting pertaining to health and safety.
3. AT&T images of where the antennas will be located and how antennas will appear.
The binder must stay at the Temple front office and duplication and distribution are not permitted. The October 2013 minutes will be made available once they are approved at the November 2013 Board meeting. We remind members that the minutes are just a summary of proceedings and do not reflect the depth of discussion. As announced at the Oct. 1, 2013 congregational meeting, a governance task force is being formed to establish best practices moving forward.
Announcement: October 17, 2013. RE: Construction update
AT&T has informed us that construction is scheduled to restart on Wednesday, October 23rd. We will continue to provide updates as we get them from AT&T, including a timeline of when the antennas are scheduled to go live, which is dependent on how things progress once construction resumes.
Announcement: October 16, 2013. RE: Board of Directors Statement
The Board learned from our community and through this experience that there is a need and a desire for greater transparency of our decision-making process around potentially controversial topics.
As a result:
A taskforce of Board members, appointed by President Robert Goldberg, will be established to review decision-making, record keeping, and communication processes to establish best practices moving forward.
In June 2011, after due diligence and discussion on safety, architectural and financial impacts, the Temple Isaiah Board voted to contract with AT&T to install fully-enclosed cellular antennas on the Sanctuary roof that would guarantee annual revenue. The contract was reviewed by the Board and signed in April 2013. Construction began in August 2013. A group of families brought their health risk concerns to the September 2013 board meeting. A subcommittee of the Board, Senior Clergy, Senior Staff and consultants was established to respond. A webpage was created to collect resources related to the science of cellular antennas and an official Temple Facebook group was launched. A congregational meeting was held October 1, 2013 for Temple members, preschool families, CCJDS families and campus employees to hear from the Temple Board President and Senior Clergy, and to ask questions of a panel of independent experts after presentations on the engineering and science of cellular towers, and engage in community conversations. An executive committee of the Board met on October 7, 2013 to discuss next steps. An executive session of the full Board met on October 15, 2013:
As a result:
The Temple Isaiah Board of Directors heard all viewpoints, including comments from non-
Board members, reviewed the history and current information available from experts on engineering, science, health and safety, legal and financial considerations to ensure the integrity of the discussion and decision process, and, after a full and lengthy discussion with all voices heard, agreed that “prior decisions of the Board regarding the AT&T cellular antennas will be undisturbed.”
Therefore, the installation of the cell antennas will resume on our campus.
In listening to the community, we learned that Temple members, Gan Ilan families and CCJDS families, would appreciate ongoing representation of their concerns.
As a result:
A taskforce of stakeholders appointed by President Robert Goldberg and led by Temple Isaiah Executive Vice President David Douglas and including 1-2 members each from the Temple Board, Temple Congregation at large, CCJDS, and Gan Ilan preschool, will be established to represent their communities and be liaisons to the TI Executive Committee and Board of Directors on the topic of the cellular antennas, including but not limited to oversight of our agreement with AT&T for routine monitoring.
How will the campus community be notified of updates?
Temple Isaiah will continue to notify its members and Gan Ilan preschool families by email and will post updates on the website and official Temple Facebook group. CCJDS leadership will be kept informed through its designated liaisons and will be responsible for keeping their CCJDS families informed.
When will construction resume?
We have requested an additional 24 hour delay to notify our membership of the Board’s decision before construction resumes. As the construction has been on hold for many weeks and various contractors and subcontractors are involved, it is unknown when AT&T will reassemble the crew to resume construction.
When will the antennas go live?
It is our current understanding that once construction resumes, it will be several months before the antennas are operational. It is our intention that the campus community be notified well in advance.
What will installation of the cellular antennas look like?
Click here to view CC4128_View1.pdf
Will there be monitoring of radio wave activity levels from the antennas and if so, how frequently?
The activity will be monitored by an approved engineering firm both upon completion and activation of the installation and every six months thereafter to verify compliance with regulations. The Stakeholder Task Force can look at other monitoring options and will determine how best to disseminate the results of the monitoring to our campus communities.
Announcement: Congregational Meeting
Thank you to those who participated in the Oct. 1 congregational meeting to discuss the AT&T cellular antennas. A summary of the evening is as follows:
Welcome - Robert Goldberg, TI Board President
Kavanah for the Meeting - Rabbis
The Rabbis gave a heartfelt apology to the community for not anticipating concern about the cellular technology on campus and helped frame the intention for the meeting format
What’s going to happen tonight ? - Michael Saxe-Taller
The moderator explained the flow of the evening and guidelines for interaction
How did we get here? - Robert Goldberg
Robert described the Board’s motivation and decision making process for contracting with AT&T, the timeline of events that led to the congregational meeting, and provided a response to the requests for the Board minutes and contracts
Willam F. Hammett http://h-e.com/william-f-hammett-pe
Dr. Michael Fischman BIO and http://www.fischmanmed.com/?page_id=20
Questions from the Community
The panel provided answers to questions for over thirty minutes
Small Group Community Conversations
Tables of 10+ participated in facilitated conversations to share all viewpoints
Community Conversation Summary
Table facilitators presented a summary of their community conversation to the whole group
Comments from the Community
Participants were invited to make public statements
Next Steps - Robert Goldberg
The ultimate decision is in the hands of the Temple Isaiah Board. There is an executive committee meeting of the Board and full Board meeting in the coming weeks. We will continue to email updates and will maintain the Facebook page and this webpage. There will also be a task force to establish best practices moving forward.
Close - Rabbis
The Rabbis encouraged us to come together to move forward as a community.
Current Temple members and Gan Ilan Preschool families can join the conversation on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/696218353739736/
Interested in becoming a Temple Isaiah member? Click here!
Links (in order received). Please make note that some reference cell phones vs. cell antennas.
Lafayette Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
Lafayette Staff Report
American Cancer Society
World Health Organization:
National Cancer Institute
NY Times articles re: study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association performed by the National Institute of Health:
And here’s the link to the study:
Cell antenna search site