CONEJOS COUNTY — Dangers of cell phone towers were brought to the attention of the Conejos Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) at their regular meeting April 6, but no decisions were made regarding a proposed moratorium.
Marianna King told the commissioners that cell towers could cause problems near schools, as well as health hazards, threats to wildlife and a reduction of nearby property values. The threat extends for one-half mile around each tower, King noted.
She asked the BOCC to refuse future building permit applications for towers and said communications companies often offer to combine a small amount of space with the ugly towers, but that isn’t enough.
“I don’t see the reason for any more cell towers,” King told the commissioners. “We have plenty.”
She said an upcoming health fair with blood draws places the county in a position to obtain accurate health results.
Commissioner John Sandoval said, “Personally speaking, I know our sheriff’s department and police departments have to use cell service and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and others have that information, I respect the intent of cell towers.”
King said large, for-profit companies are not as successful as small cell tower companies and acknowledged the need for cell towers.
She noted that, once a tower is no longer in use, the burden often falls upon the county to dismantle it.
King said she doesn’t have a cell phone, but does have Internet and a phone due to the fact that she is in business for herself. “A cell and towers are a double dose of radiation and kids are more at risk than older people.”
Mobile phones use the microwave area of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum to operate.
Current studies have established that prolonged-term hefty usage of a cell phone is carcinogenic. The effect of its radiation on the health of people has recently become a subject of analysis mainly due to huge increases in the usage of mobile phones around the globe.
Accepting a book on the dangers, County Administrator Tressesa Martinez will research the issue.