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The Boston Phoenix Waves of Doubt

Welcome to the environmental battle of the coming decade: The fight against broadcast, cell-phone, and PCS antennas, whose ubiquity may be matched only by the health dangers they pose

By Dan Kennedy

APRIL 5, 1999:  We've become accustomed to environmental threats that we can't see, smell, taste, or hear. We fear that toxic waste may be oozing into our water, and hence into our bodies, causing cancer and death. We know that human-made chemicals have destroyed a good chunk of the protective ozone layer, exposing us to a heavier dose of the sun's ultraviolet rays. We worry that the cars we drive are heating up the atmosphere, which in turn may lead to an apocalyptic rendezvous with melting ice caps, sinking continents, devastated croplands, and exotic diseases.

Now just beginning to creep onto the edges of public awareness is an environmental threat that may turn out to be every bit as pernicious as toxic waste and global warming: electromagnetic fields, or EMFs, pulsating waves of low-level radiation that emanate from toasters and space heaters, from microwave ovens and broadcast towers.

The conventional wisdom is that EMFs are utterly harmless. Sure, there have been a few minor scares here and there. In the late 1970s, several scientists reported that families living near high-tension lines experienced higher-than-expected rates of childhood leukemia, although other researchers have been unable to replicate those findings. There's long been a buzz, if not hard scientific evidence, that women who work in front of computer terminals are more likely to suffer miscarriages than women who don't. And maybe your mother knew best when she told you not to sit too close to the TV. For the most part, though, the technology that allows kids to watch Blue's Clues has been considered as innocuous as the show itself.

That's beginning to change. The reason: the wireless revolution, or the "unwiring of America," as its proponents like to call it. Cell phones and pagers, and a new generation of digital PCS (personal communications systems) devices such as wireless phones and modems, have exponentially increased the extent to which we're exposed to EMFs in our daily lives. These innovations were made possible by a dramatic overhaul of the nation's telecommunications infrastructure. Some 52,000 cell-phone and PCS antennas have been erected across the country in the past few years, on the sides of schools and in church steeples, on existing broadcast towers and atop roadside signs. It's estimated that another 50,000 will be added during the next half-dozen years.

Now, hundreds of citizens' groups across the country are fighting for moratoriums and for laws to keep these antennas away from homes, schools, and heavily populated areas. Often mobilized by the aesthetically displeasing prospect of having an ugly antenna in the neighborhood, these activists invariably become far more alarmed when they learn about the potential health effects -- cancer, headaches, learning disorders, and hyperactivity, to name just a few. In Newton and West Roxbury, in Northborough and North Smithfield, Rhode Island -- indeed, in Pittsburgh, on Long Island, and in Northern Ireland and the Philippines -- activists are saying no.

The crusade against EMFs may well grow into the environmental battle of the coming decade.

"In a new era of global technology, there's no place to hide, and we have to realize we're accountable here," says Virginia Hines, a physician's assistant from Concord who got involved when an antenna was installed in her church's steeple. Hines later founded the Massachusetts Council on Wireless Technology and Impacts, a coalition of activists in about 50 communities.

"We're being exposed while the scientific community is trying to get consensus," she says, "and that's not a good situation."

In fact, although there's a fairly strong scientific consensus that EMFs are harmless, a small but growing body of evidence suggests otherwise.

A study in Australia several years ago conducted by Bruce Hocking, then a researcher with a telecommunications company, showed that households close to TV-transmission antennas suffer from elevated childhood-leukemia rates -- raising the possibility that the same may also be true for cell-phone and PCS antennas, which put out weaker signals but are far more ubiquitous. Hocking's results are similar to those of studies in Hawaii and Britain.

At the University of Washington in Seattle, a research team headed by bioengineering professor Henry Lai reported that exposing biological cultures to the same level of microwaves encountered by cell-phone users causes irreparable DNA damage, which is a precursor to cancer. Lai's team also showed that rats exposed to low levels of microwaves sustain brain damage associated with spatial-learning problems, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. And though putting a cell-phone antenna up against your head clearly represents a greater potential danger than living several hundred feet from an antenna, some researchers believe that such chronic, low-level exposure may be just as harmful.

"At this point we cannot make any definite conclusions, but there are concerns," says Lai. "I think we should be more cautious."

For reasons that are not entirely clear, the foreign media have taken questions about EMFs far more seriously than has the American press. Henry Lai is quoted in the Times of London and the Toronto Star more often than he is in the New York Times and the Washington Post. Newspapers in Australia and New Zealand regularly weigh in on the issue -- which may explain why New Zealand, unlike the US, has banned antennas from schoolhouses. Just two weeks ago, the British and French media reported on a former engineer for British Telecom who filed a lawsuit over memory losses he claims to have suffered as a result of frequent cell-phone use.

A particularly noteworthy story appeared in the Sunday Times of London on February 28, in which it was reported that "some of Britain's leading scientists have curbed their use of mobile phones because they fear they could damage their health." Colin Blakemore, a prominent physiology professor at Oxford University, was quoted as saying that he had suffered from confusion -- "a gap in experience," he called it -- while using his cell phone, and he attributed that to the intense EMFs that are emitted by the phone's antenna.

In the United States, by contrast, media accounts of battles over antennas tend to center on aesthetics and property values, with health concerns getting a passing mention but little explanation. Lurking just below the surface of many of these reports is the sense that yuppies, who constitute by far the largest segment of the country's 60 million cell-phone users, are pulling a NIMBY when it comes to supporting the technology that makes their toys possible. "The problem usually arises in suburban areas, and ironically enough it's the people who use phones the most who sometimes object to the towers that make those phones work," says Tim Ayers, a spokesman for the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, the leading trade group. Congress has given the industry a big assist in overcoming those objections, passing a provision in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that makes it impossible for local officials to ban antennas, and that prohibits them from regulating antennas on the basis of "environmental" concerns -- which is generally understood to include potential health effects as well (see "Fighting Back," right).

But the concerns over EMFs cannot be so easily dismissed. The unusually high number of children who contracted leukemia near TV-transmission towers (and, earlier, near power lines) may represent the canary in the mineshaft. Many scientists tend to disparage statistical correlations, arguing that they're more likely to be a fluke than evidence of a real problem. But such findings are often the best way we have to document health problems. In Woburn, for instance, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health concluded in 1996 -- solely on the basis of statistical analysis -- that the city's elevated rate of childhood leukemia in the 1960s, '70s, and early '80s was the result of toxic chemicals in drinking water. Even in the case of smoking and lung cancer, it was many years before scientists had any evidence more powerful than statistical correlation.

David Ozonoff, an epidemiologist at the Boston University School of Public Health who studied Woburn earlier in his career, says the statistical correlations linking health effects and EMFs are "quite solid" and have been played down by many scientists mainly because "we don't have any agreed-upon mechanism." In other words, because mainstream science holds that low levels of EMFs shouldn't cause health problems, most scientists conclude, illogically if not necessarily incorrectly, that they don't. That could be risky.

"You are really promoting the dissemination in society of a technology that may be problematic, but you won't be able to put the toothpaste back in the tube," Ozonoff says. "We don't know very much about these things. This stuff might turn out to be safe. But I don't really think there's a societal need to take that chance at the moment."

At this point, all Susan Sangiolo has are questions. Why does her seven-year-old son, Adam, have short-term memory problems? Why do at least three other kids on her street have learning disabilities? Why did she have a miscarriage, and a friend have a miscarriage, and another friend have two? Why does it seem that too many of her neighbors are dying of cancer in the prime of their lives?

Sangiolo knows that one answer to those questions -- perhaps the most likely answer -- is fate, coincidence, the luck of the draw. But every time she looks out her kitchen window, she can't help but wonder whether the real answer is staring her in the face. Some 850 feet away looms a broadcasting tower, rising 1249 feet and bristling with antennas for radio stations and paging systems. It is one of four such towers -- two in Newton, two in Needham -- that surround Sangiolo's neighborhood in Newton Upper Falls.

Last fall, American Tower Systems (now, following several mergers, American Tower Corporation) unveiled a plan to take the tower down and replace it, a short distance away, with a 1349-foot structure that would accommodate the digital and wireless revolution. To what's there now would be added antennas for high-definition television and cell phones, both the traditional analog types and the newer PCS models.

The company's pitch was soothing. Even though the new tower would put out nearly five million watts of juice (compared to just 160,000 watts from the existing tower), it would be safer: the 50-year-old existing structure leaks radiation, whereas the replacement would use state-of-the-art technology to hold emissions in the immediate neighborhood far below what's allowed under state and federal standards. American Tower also agreed to implement a monitoring system and to fix up a nearby playground.

But Sangiolo and some of her neighbors were not mollified. They began reading up on the potential dangers of EMFs. They sponsored public-awareness events. They demanded that their elected officials reject the company's proposal. And when the Newton Board of Aldermen voted overwhelmingly, in January, to approve American Tower's plan, Sangiolo and about a half-dozen of her neighbors sued, charging that the city had exceeded its zoning authority.

"What if five years from now health effects are proven?" asks Sangiolo. "At this point we have to be concerned about doing the right thing for our kids, and if that means selling and moving, we will." (The Sangiolos also have a daughter, Allee, who's a fifth-grader.) For the Sangiolos, the potential danger is especially troubling because she and her husband, Mark Sangiolo, are architects who work out of their home, leaving them exposed to EMFs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. "We're not fanatics," says Mark. "We really have better things to do. I really resent that we've had to spend so much time on this."

The Sangiolos are not alone. Moratoriums are in effect in several communities on Martha's Vineyard. Activists are fighting the installation of a huge array of antennas, known as PAVE PAWS, at the Massachusetts Military Reservation, on Cape Cod. In Wayland, Diana Warren pushed for a six- to twelve-month moratorium last June after she learned that her church was considering allowing a PCS antenna to be installed in its steeple. And when then-attorney general Scott Harshbarger threw the moratorium out on legal grounds, the town promptly adopted another; Warren now leads the town's efforts to draft a new wireless bylaw.

In Northborough, Richard Gianattasio, a product-marketing manager for Compaq, learned about two years ago that Bell Atlantic had reached an agreement with Northborough officials to put a cell-phone antenna on town-owned land, just 60 feet from his neighborhood. Gianattasio led a successful fight against the antenna, which led to the town's adopting a bylaw requiring that antennas be kept away from residential areas. "It's forced both the tower companies and the town to not really jump into anything, to try to understand the impact, and to try to find the most suitable location for the towers," says Gianattasio.

In North Smithfield, Rhode Island, high-school teacher Alan Glasser and a group of neighbors campaigned against a 190-foot cell-phone antenna that Cellular One wanted to install near their neighborhood. Opponents mobilized, leafleting residents repeatedly and conducting their own study in nearby Cranston to show that antennas reduce property values. The zoning permit was defeated at a town meeting, but the experience has left Glasser and his neighbors financially drained (he estimates their costs at $4000 to $5000) and emotionally spent. "Nobody should have to go through that," Glasser says. "It's absolutely unbelievable that people should have to fight for their health and home and community over the power of a cellular-phone company. To me it's incomprehensible."

To mainstream scientists, what's incomprehensible is the notion that EMFs could damage people's health. Only the most pathologically paranoid (a description that does, unfortunately, fit some in the anti-EMF movement) believe that industry and government are foisting technologies such as cellular phones, PCS devices, and digital TV on us for evil purposes. The truth is that proponents of these technologies, as well as the vast majority of scientists, genuinely believe that low-level exposure to EMFs does not cause any health problems.

Peter Valberg, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health who works as a private consultant for industry and for municipal governments (the city of Newton hired him to review the American Tower proposal), says that activists are worrying about levels of EMFs so low that they are on "the borderline of detectability." He notes that the human body itself is an ongoing storm of electrical activity. The idea that barely measurable amounts of EMFs could have any kind of harmful effect is simply not supported by research, he asserts, and even studies that do show problems are contradicted by other studies.

"No study can prove that something does not exist," concedes Valberg. "I think it's a very natural reaction that when a new technology comes along you're going to be suspicious of it." But the overwhelming weight of scientific research, he insists, "suggests, at least, that the technology is safe."

Robert Hallisey, director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Radiation Control Program, is justly proud of his agency's record. Since 1983, Massachusetts has mandated that EMFs at the border of an antenna installation's property line cannot exceed 20 milliwatts per square centimeter. The federal standard, by contrast, was 100 milliwatts -- until last year, when the Federal Communications Commission adopted the Massachusetts standard.

"We believe that the standard we put in effect in 1983 adequately protects public health, that levels below that standard would not have any health effect on individuals," says Hallisey. And in Newton Upper Falls, American Tower went much further, agreeing to limit EMFs to just 10 percent of the state-allowed maximum. Granted, it's impossible for a layperson to know milliwatts per square centimeter from Einstein's general theory of relativity. But clearly, Massachusetts and Newton officials have held EMFs below the already-low levels that federal regulators had believed to be safe.

But there is a completely different scientific dimension to the question of standards. Despite solid theories suggesting that extremely low levels of EMFs shouldn't be harmful, there is evidence that they are. And the work of scientists such as Henry Lai and Bruce Hocking may be just the beginning of understanding this alternative perspective.

A leading advocate of this view is B. Blake Levitt, a Connecticut-based writer and a former science and medical reporter for the New York Times. Her book on the subject, Electromagnetic Fields: A Consumer's Guide to the Issues and How to Protect Ourselves (Harvest, 1995), sheds light on a number of obscure scientific studies that suggest that things are not at all as they appear; she's currently working on a revised edition. Her central point, undisputed even by the mainstream, is that the EMF standards used by government regulators are based on so-called thermal effects -- that is, if the radiation in question doesn't cause flesh to heat up, it's presumed to be harmless. That presumption, she asserts, is seriously flawed.

In conversation, Levitt is no-nonsense and practical, and she takes pains in her book to present her views in technical terms. Nevertheless, her views are radical. Levitt believes that mainstream scientists have gone off track because they fail to understand how readily human-made electromagnetic disruptions can raise havoc with the human body's own electrical essence.

Electromagnetic Fields cites scientific studies suggesting that health problems such as cancer, learning disorders, and miscarriages can be caused by even very low levels of EMFs. Levitt theorizes that EMFs may have some relationship to AIDS, chronic fatigue, and Gulf War syndrome (the troops were exposed to massive amounts of EMFs from high-tech weapons). She raises the possibility that EMFs disrupt the human body's orientation with respect to the extremely low level of natural magnetism emitted by the earth's core. She even wonders whether EMFs in the atmosphere may have played a role in the increase in thunderstorms that has been documented since 1930, the mysterious deformations found in frogs, and the damage to trees that is usually attributed to acid rain.

"This is such an esoteric area that the biologists don't get near it," Levitt says. "But you don't have to go very far from the science on this one. It's a legitimate issue."

Other studies have suggested that low levels of EMFs are associated with such health problems as decreased appetite, decreased cellular activity, a drop in reproduction, and even, oddly enough, a change in the effectiveness of medication given to glaucoma patients.

None of this is definitive; indeed, the findings are an argument not for panic but for more research. Unfortunately, little of that research is going on, at least in the United States. The Wireless Technology Research project, a five-year, $25 million effort funded by industry, wraps up later this year. Critics say the money has been squandered, and its very existence has resulted in a cutoff of funds for dissenting researchers such as Henry Lai.

Still, what's known so far is suggestive enough that in 1997, more than 40 researchers and faculty members at the Harvard School of Public Health, and others at the BU School of Public Health, signed a petition asking that state officials block Sprint from activating a PCS network pending "a full review and determination of its safety by the scientific community."

"It is just stupid to disperse microwaves upon the population from a public-health perspective," says Susan Clarke, an anti-EMF activist from Concord who organized the petition drive. "How much do we value healthy brain functioning in our society? How much do we value freedom from cancer?"

Amy Bishop, a molecular biologist and biochemist at the Harvard School of Public Health, was among those who urged that Newton officials reject the new tower in Newton Upper Falls, charging in a letter to the city's health commissioner, David Naparstek, that even the unusually low emission levels that American Tower and the city had negotiated were "20x the level at which adverse health effects are seen," and warning of the possibility of "elevated frequencies of brain tumors, childhood leukemia, breast cancer and other cancers, heart attacks and the myriad other reported adverse health effects."

Bishop, who recently moved from Upper Falls to Ipswich (though not, she says, because of the transmission towers), received a response from Naparstek that might best be described as polite but dismissive. "I know David Naparstek is probably a very nice guy, but I think he just got a different interpretation," she says. Responds Naparstek: "The problem is that fears are far ahead of science. A preponderance of the studies that have been done so far have not come up with any kind of association between the towers and health effects."

Theory and reality collide at Brenda Loew's home, just down the hill from Mark and Susan Sangiolo. Loew -- the publisher of EIDOS, an independent magazine on free speech and sexuality, and a member of the Loew movie-theater family -- moved to Upper Falls about five years ago. In less than a year, she was suffering from "strange, strange headaches" -- not migraines, which she'd had periodically for years, but "constant pressure and a dull ache in my temples and all over my head." Like the Sangiolos, she began educating herself about EMFs after American Tower proposed a new tower last fall. She now has little doubt that the existing tower is responsible for her pain, and she's signed on to the lawsuit seeking to block the new tower.

Or take Jerry Davis, a retired musician suffering from a little-understood, sometimes-mocked illness known as electrical hypersensitivity. Four years ago, after playing more than 10,000 weddings and bar mitzvahs, Davis began to suffer from symptoms such as chronic fatigue and rashes, especially when he'd play an electric instrument or use a microphone. He figures his condition was caused by his profession and aggravated by living near a transmission tower in Newton Highlands. Today he lives in a low-EMF neighborhood in Newton Centre and tries as best as he can to stay away from televisions, radios, and fluorescent lights. "It will be okay as long as I'm practicing avoidance," says Davis, who keeps his hand in musically by playing the piano -- acoustic, of course -- at nursing homes.

Are Brenda Loew and Jerry Davis suffering from real, tangible illnesses? Or are they merely flamboyant hypochondriacs? Most of what we know about traditional Western medicine and science would suggest the latter. But theories about human beings as electromagnetic organisms, long supported by Eastern practices such as acupuncture (thought to work by changing the body's electrical flows), tend to support the validity of their complaints.

Not one person interviewed for this article who supports the new tower came across as anything less than caring, responsible, and genuinely concerned about the opponents' worries, though a few voiced exasperation over their refusal to listen to what the proponents regard as the scientific facts. Brian Yates, an alderman from Upper Falls who also chairs the quasi-public Upper Falls Community Development Corporation (which negotiated the mitigation package with American Tower), says he's convinced that, at the very least, the new tower will be safer than the old one.

"We think that we got the best deal out of this. We put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into making this as solid as it could be," says Yates. Steven Moskowitz, vice-president and general manager for American Tower's northeast region, adds, "We're a Boston-based company. We want to ingratiate ourselves as best we can within the communities, and help the communities find better ways to handle the onslaught from the wireless companies. There's nothing at this point that shows that it's harmful. What we're proposing is dramatically within the basic standards of the state of Massachusetts." Jason Rosenberg, a Newton lawyer who represented American Tower in negotiations, says of the hard-core opposition: "If you're not having a dialogue but you're arguing religion, as I call it, then the other person just can't be believed."

Rosenberg's frustration is understandable, but one person's religion is another person's science. The fact is that a body of disturbing, if inconclusive, evidence suggests not only that the new tower should not be built, but that much of the country's electrical and telecommunications systems are dangerous in ways we're only beginning to understand.

For the time being, the new tower is on hold. Moskowitz says he hopes it will be ready to go online by late spring or early summer of 2000. Edward Collins, the plaintiffs' lawyer, says he's confident that the new tower will never be built, calling it "a straight-out zoning case" and arguing that the aldermen clearly exceeded their authority by approving the expansion of a preexisting, nonconforming use in a residential area.

But the outcome, whatever it is, will hardly resolve the situation nationally -- or even, for that matter, in Newton. The work of Henry Lai, Bruce Hocking, and others implies that we may need to do nothing less than derail the wireless revolution and start over again. John Goldsmith, an epidemiologist at Ben Gurion University, has called for television transmitters to be located at least five kilometers -- a little more than three miles -- from residential areas. But what about cell-phone and PCS antennas, which are less powerful but more common than TV transmitters, bathing us in EMFs everywhere we go?

Blake Levitt, the Connecticut science writer, believes we may not need to change our lifestyles as much as her radical views imply. No technophobe, she has taken some simple, common sense steps in her own life: she uses her portable cordless phone (like a cell phone, but less powerful) only when she's outside, and she's gotten rid of her computer's video-display terminal, a rich source of EMFs, replacing it with a liquid-crystal display.

As for the country's telecommunications infrastructure, Levitt believes we may need to stage a tactical retreat. She would replace cellular and PCS technology with a satellite system, on the theory that ground-level EMFs from satellites hundreds of miles away would be virtually harmless. Wireless phones themselves would probably remain hazardous enough to use only in emergencies. And as much as possible, she would switch data transmission to fiber optics, which are relatively free of EMFs. For the time being, though, she's helping communities -- Great Barrington is one example -- draft model zoning ordinances to keep antennas away from neighborhoods and schools.

Undoing the wireless revolution may prove difficult, if not impossible. We love our electronic toys. What could be more convenient than a cell phone when you're stuck in traffic, running late for a meeting? What about those way-cool things in the pipeline, such as computerized maps in your car and interactive ads in your portable electronic newspaper, allowing you to reserve a table at your favorite restaurant via wireless modem? We don't want to walk away from such conveniences, and it's easy to be cynical about the scientific scare of the week -- the widely publicized reports that this or that is bad for you, which invariably fade away in a few days' time, seemingly without consequence.

The thing is, we're going to find out about this one way or the other in the not-too-distant future. With 60 million wireless-phone users out there, it won't be too many years before we learn definitively whether a disproportionate number of them get brain tumors, Alzheimer's disease, or just plain confused.

If nothing happens, then we can probably assume the antennas are safe as well.

But if millions get sick, we're all going to wonder why we were subjected to such a grotesque, irresponsible experiment.

Fighting back

It took two teacher-farmers from Vermont to get Washington's attention. In May 1997, Janet Newton was checking on the sugar maple trees on her farm, in Cabot, Vermont. Several trees had nails in them. Survey markers were scattered about. Upon further investigation, Newton learned that her neighbor had agreed to let a cell-phone company install an antenna on his property.

Newton and her husband, Dale Newton, mobilized their neighbors and were able to get the application dismissed. They helped local officials draft a bylaw regulating cell-phone antennas. More significant, they formed the EMR Network (EMFs are sometimes referred to as electromagnetic radiation, or EMR), a fledgling national organization to educate people about the potential danger of EMFs and to help communities fight back. The network's Web site, http://www.emrnetwork.org, is a good introduction to the issue, and it includes links to a number of other organizations as well.

The Newtons' activism certainly mobilized the Vermont congressional delegation. The senators -- Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, and Jim Jeffords, a Republican -- are sponsoring legislation to repeal a provision of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that prohibits local officials from banning cell and PCS antennas on environmental grounds. The bill would also encourage the development of alternative wireless communications, such as satellite transmission and a new technology called "PCS over cable," which makes use of existing cable-television lines. Vermont's House member, Representative Bernie Sanders, an independent socialist, is sponsoring a bill similar to the Jeffords-Leahy legislation. (Representative Charles Bass, a New Hampshire Republican, is sponsoring a separate bill that would not repeal the 1996 provision, but would nevertheless strengthen the hand of local officials.)

Unfortunately, any such legislative solution may come too late. According to the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), a trade group representing the $29.6 billion industry, approximately half of the 100,000 antennas that will be needed for a national wireless network are already in place. And the vast majority of the remaining half are likely to be installed in places where there are already antennas -- on transmission towers, as in Newton Upper Falls, or in church steeples, on signs, or on the sides of buildings. Within the industry, this phenomenon is known as "co-location."

"While there are still more antennas to go up, we may have reached something of a peak in terms of the number of towers that are being built. There is a lot more sharing going on," says Tim Ayers, a spokesman for CTIA, who estimates that some 80 percent of new antennas are installed on existing structures. He also defends the 1996 provision diluting the power of local zoning officials by saying that a national wireless network could not have been built if each of the country's 30,000 separate zoning authorities had been given free rein.

Responds Ed Barron, an aide to Senator Leahy: "Local governments and states should have, as our bill provides, the ability to exercise normal police power, which covers health and safety issues."

For Janet Newton, the debate over cell-phone antennas cost her the friendship of her next-door neighbors, but it has opened her eyes to the growing body of scientific evidence suggesting that EMFs are harmful. She's also in contact with dozens of grassroots organizations across the country. "We're just beginning to get a handle on how many are out there," she says.

Dan Kennedy can be reached at dkennedy@phx.com.

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