How to FIGHT 5G “small cell” towers


How to oppose 5G “small cell” towers

The telecom industry has switched from primarily installing large, macro cell towers to deploying “small cell” towers (5G)The following information is focused on the “small cell”, but the “how to oppose” can apply to larger towers too. 




Fight-5g-small-cells-ctyThe Federal Communications Commission and the federal government have been promoting and supporting rapid expansion of 5G.  Some states have already passed laws forcing them onto communities.  However people are pushing back and defeating installations. In Hillsborough California 16 cell towers were denied.  Danville CA denied Verizon based on the placement was not the least intrusive means. (see video excerpt below). In California SB649, which would have restricted cities ability to regulate 5G, was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown.

The industry vision for 5G is to enable the Internet of Things, Smart Communities, driverless cars (and more), where roads and appliances (even baby diapers!) are embedded with wireless radiation transmitters that connect to cell phones, smart meters and the internet.  The industry wants wireless everywhere with “small cell” towers every couple hundred feet apart!  That means cell towers in our neighborhoods, near schools and parks, where we live, work and play.

There’s already too much harmful wireless radiation in our environment. People are already getting sick  from wi-fi, cell towers, smart meters and cell phones. Peer reviewed published science shows harmful effects of cell tower radiation include:fatigue, headaches, sleep problems, anxiety, ringing in the ears, heart problems, learning and memory disorders, increased cancer risk, and more. Studies found wireless radiation harms trees, birds, bees and insects. (See links to studies in this letter.)

5G would use a combination of microwaves and millimeter waves, which are scientifically shown to harm people and nature. For a quick overview of the problem see this video of a press conferencewith U.S. senator Blumenthal, who demands proof of safety from the FCC, and listen to comments by Blake Levitt. For more information on 5G see What is 5G?

We need a moratorium on 5G, and we need to reduce wireless radiation throughout our communities.

Artwork by Shelley Masters

We strongly urge people to oppose 5G! The following information has been compiled to help you stop 5G to protect your neighborhood, community, people, pets, and environment.

  1. Keep a watch on your [city or county] planning or permit department for applications for “small cell” towers.  You’ll need to call the city or county to find out who handles the telecommunications applications. Note they might deny the “small cell” is 5G.
  2. Educate and engage the community about EMF/wireless health risks. Here is a brochure about EMFs you can use to start a conversation.  Mobilizing other people to get involved to take action is important. Even a few people can make a big difference. It is important to educate decision makers on the science of harm, because this will motivate them to find ways to deny the application.  People can also argue aesthetics, location, loss of property value and no significant coverage gap.
  3. If you live in California:  This legal letter from Best Best and Krieger, outlines what a California community can do to legally deny “small cell” towers in the public rights of way. * April 24 2018 Letter to EMF Safety Network re small cells. UpdateFCC WT Docket 17-79 went into effect on 1/13/2019. This info is not included in the above letter. The order adopts: new deadlines [shot clocks] for actions on small cell applications; limits on fees and rents that can be charged for small cells; new standards governing when a locality can say “no”; new standards for permissible aesthetic, under grounding, and spacing requirements.See:
  4. Speak at public comments at city meetings.  Speak to those issues with the strongest science, boil it down to basic terms and concepts, and document the claims you make. For example: Peer-reviewed published science shows harmful effects of cell tower radiation include: fatigue, headaches, sleep problems, anxiety, ringing in the ears, heart problems, learning and memory disorders, increased cancer risk, and more.  Children, the ill and the elderly are more vulnerable.
  5. Santa Rosa on Link Lane, this one is partly dismantled due to resident protests and the city halting the installation.
    Santa Rosa on Sebastopol Road. STATE-BY-STATE 5G SMALL CELL STATE LAWS“Small cell” tower is a junkyard on a pole!In reality these often do not look like the representational drawings the industry presents. Click on the photos to the left for a closer look.Share important news: Democracy Now reported on an investigation by The Nation “How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe.” and “How Big Wireless War-Gamed the Science on Risks, While Making Customers Addicted to Their Phones”

    When there is an application pending:  Send a letter by mail and email to the decision makers and go to the public meetings to speak out and oppose. Gather others to go to the meeting to also speak out.Please note: decision makers are often volunteers and they need to be educated about complex EMF science and laws. While some people feel aggressive tactics is the only way to get them to understand, practicing courtesy is also effective. You may want to ask the city to hire an independent RF specialist to prove there is a coverage gap. Here is an independent RF firm:

  6. Create a flyer to circulate to let people know what’s happening and where to complain. See this sample flyer to adapt and create your own.
  7. Donate!  Your donation will help support and expand this important work.  To donate via Paypal (or credit card) click on the yellow button below.  For more information on how to donate by check or for non-profit donations click here.
    donateC logo

9. Sign up with EMF Safety Network to stay informed. click here

Further suggestions: 

    • Make posters of Shelley Masters 5G Artwork (see image above) and ask shop owners to put them up. To obtain a higher resolution file for reproduction contact emfsafe at
    • Make use of social media, online community bulletin boards to warn others about where the towers are planned and where to complain.
    • Circulate a petition.
    • Send letters to the editor of your local newspapers.
    • Table at a farmers market, or simply go to a farmers market and hand out flyers.
    • Take Action to Oppose 5G and Federal Wireless Expansion: click here

Thank you for your support and let us know the outcome of your action!