MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Long Island residents are raising health concerns as cellphone transmission equipment continues to be installed in many areas.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, some neighbors are joining together to fight towers going up close to their homes, schools and houses of worship.
Jodi and Peter Abraham anxiously clutched their just-filed federal lawsuit as they walked out of Nassau County Supreme Court Thursday, challenging hundreds of unregulated and wireless facilities, still going up by the dozens across Huntington and Oyster Bay.
“We are not anti-tech. We are not anti-cellphone,” Peter Abraham said. “But we believe cell towers should be put up in a responsible way.”
The Abrahams called CBS2 to their home last December, when in an overnight period, they said a pole with a wireless box was installed on the edge of their front property. They confronted the installer – Crown Castle – and the town for an explanation.
“I want a voice,” said Jodi Abraham. “And I want my town to stand up for us – you know, their residents. And they have told us their hands have been tied.”
A Huntington town official explained the stated purpose of the cell towers.
“Crown Castle has told the town that this is designed to fill in gaps in cellphone service in the town,” said Town of Huntington spokesman A.J. Carter.
As they joined hands in front of the courthouse, worried homeowners said the law must be changed to stop the new towers from being allowed.
“This is an issue that is critical — not just to all of Long Island, but all of the United States,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Andrew Campanelli, “because across the United States, no wireless facilities are being tested.”
Some call it a microwave brew – steps from their bedroom windows. Are radio frequency emissions mushrooming out to envelop nearby schools and churches?
The Federal Communications Commission has RF thresholds, but the agency says it has not enough resources to test them.
“Who’s monitoring that what the FCC says is a ‘safe limit’ is actually what’s coming out of these things?” said Oyster Bay homeowner Sandra Decker. “We don’t know that.”
Currently, several California communities are requiring wireless installers to pay for independent safety checks.
“We understand that technology is moving forward. I understand that,” said Oyster Bay homeowner Rosalie Menduni. “Let’s do it mindfully.”
Residents now want the FCC to conduct regular radiation readings, and embark on a new study testing health effects of wireless boxes and cell phone towers.
The wireless company named in the lawsuit Thursday, Crown Castle of Texas, did not return CBS2’s calls for comment.