Rebecca Blake

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since Sep 14, 2020
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homeschooling kids forest garden urban books homestead
New Braunfels, TX, Zone 8b, multi-generational suburban household
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Recent posts by Rebecca Blake

I love this post! I was just entertaining this same thought the other day: a 'metal building' made with clay and straw walls.

We're a few years off from building, but I predict we'll end up doing the whole metal building, walls included, and finish it out ourselves. We're thinking of purchasing a larger 'shell' but just finishing out what we need at the time so that we can grow into the building. We're young and planning on more kids :)

Another member of the forum shared this great article with me that lists out non-toxic insulation materials you can use. Maybe you could purchase them or use them as inspiration. (I have no clue how much these cost.)
15 hours ago

David Wieland wrote:I didn't check your math

I mostly just wanted someone who has expertise in the field to verify that yes, the tower does send out the signals and therefore radiation at about 5-10 degrees descending from the top of the tower.

(I also noticed a misleading statement there:
"IARC (International agency for research on Cancer) declared radio frequency radiation (RFR) to be cancer causing in May 2011. "
IARC merely identifies hazards, that is, things that might cause cancer. Risk depends on exposure. A swimming pool is a hazard; the risk of drowning depends on other factors.)

Oh, thank you for pointing that out! That's the exact type of literature that makes me want to pull my hair out anytime I research something.

And the might is very important, a friend and I were having a discussion about the studies that show X number of people who lived Y distance from a tower came down with cancer. Who is to say there is not another factor at play such as water pollution? (I tend to believe these studies still since they have test samples such as tenants in the top floor of an apartment with a tower on top.)

She even mentioned a friend of hers whose whole family was coming down sick all at the same time. Some people may conclude it's EMF related, but it turned out their home had a serious toxic mold level- it had to be burned down it was so bad.
15 hours ago

David Wieland wrote:As has also been noted, the cell transmission antennas are directional, and if the antennas had been installed above inhabited space, there would likely be no danger at all. I live in a rural area beyond cable and get my Internet service via wireless "hub" that connects to a cellular network. The nearby tower, less than 500 meters away and just tall enough to need a blinking red light, is visible through the trees. I've put the hub in my second story office, more in the "beam", and get only 3 bars (out of 5).

When the tower was first proposed over a dozen years ago, I helped canvas the neighborhood with a petition to our council to block the application, citing primarily the Precautionary Principle. (I even read a paper on the subject during the petition period.) But the truth is that the level of radiation is so low that the tower poses no hazard -- and has the great benefit of enabling my access to! I've also learned about hormetic effects and that humans evolved in a sea of radiation. Holding a cell phone to your head for long periods every day might expose your brain to risky levels of EMF, but I'd have no concerns about your preferred property being the least bit risky, and I doubt any future purchasers would either.

This is 100% where I am at now. Though, because I come from a background of fearing cell towers I can still feel some hesitance. For example, I felt perfectly comfortable with the decision when we accepted the seller's offer yesterday and then immediately entered a state of panic once again when I came back to see many people on this thread saying not to do it and how they'd never live near a tower.

I'm a mathematician, so of course I ran some numbers on the situation with this particular land and tower. I found it a bit hard to find accurate information to work with, so if anyone is a source of authority and can tell me if these values regarding the tower's radiation are incorrect or correct please do share.

If: The cell tower's radiation extends out at a 5-10 degree angle from the top. Any distance from the base of the tower to where the radiation first hits the ground creates a 'shadow zone' of minimal radiation under the tower.
Tower A is 200 feet tall. Building site A's elevation is 120 feet lower than the base of the tower.

For building site A: Tan(90-5) = x/(200+120)
x=3658 ft
Tan(90-10) = x/(200+120)
x=1815 ft

Therefore: The tower's radiation first hits the ground along building site A's elevation between 1815-3658 feet away from the base of the tower.
So, any home built on this elevation and between 0-1815 feet from the tower will receive minimal radiation.
Building site A is less than 1815 feet away from the tower base and will receive minimal radiation.

I would like to have some more verification that the signal extends down at a 5-10 degree angle. Regardless, it seems like a very logical conclusion to me since the pieces attached to the top of the tower face parallel with the face of the earth.. not toward the earth.

If nothing else, I'm glad to have taken this journey to reinvigorate my passion against EMFs so I can take measures to keep my phone away from me as much as possible AND AWAY FROM MY CHILDREN AND UNBORN. I can't believe how many pregnant women constantly rest their phones on their wombs or how many nursing mothers are on their phone as they nurse that 1 week old.
17 hours ago
I learn so much from your projects! Thank you for sharing. I'll be keeping track of them for when we start to plant :)

Do you have a post like this that you did for your own property?
4 days ago
Thank you all for your replies, I greatly appreciate it.

Eric Hanson wrote:You are in a tough position.  The land is there in an approximate area you want.

It's actually literally right where we want it, adjacent to some friends :)
I'm planning on asking them about the tower, I know they won't think I'm TOO crazy for questioning it.

Douglas Alpenstock wrote:A thought: a cell tower could be a perfect nesting habitat, or hunting perch, for a small raptor like a Merlin or Cooper's Hawk (or your local resident feathered munchie). No surprise, any small bird with sense would leave town. I have seen how these small raptors create a nesting desert, which is why I make my displeasure known until they leave. Ambush hunters don't like some cranky resident gardener clapping two chunks of hardwood plan together (supersonic crack) messing up their schtick.

That's definitely something I never would had thought of all on my own, thank you for sharing!
4 days ago
Also a consideration, what are possible affects on nature? I found an article which states a particular example:

At one farm, where there are no cell phone towers, there are abundant signs of wildlife: e.g. migrating and resident birds, bats, small and large mammals, and insects including bees However, at the other farm with a cell-phone tower located adjacent to the berry patch, there are virtually no signs of wildlife: tracks, scat, feathers, etc. Here the berries on bush go uneaten by birds and insects while the ripened berries that have fallen to the ground are going uneaten by animals: turkey, fox, and other wildlife

Granted, we all know what a difference practicing permaculture has on all of these points brought up in this analysis. Maybe one farm simply was just better than the other and the tower had nothing to do with it.

Now I feel I need to go look at the property with fresh eyes- keeping an eye out for wildlife. From memory, I don't remember seeing many signs of wildlife such as what is listed here. But, that could be due to the hostility of the environment over all. (On a slope, low soil content)

A couple of neighbors are keeping bees and one beekeeper has livestock, so the tower obviously is not killing bees as this article seems to indicate they will. (Both those properties are farther from the tower than the one in question)
4 days ago

Eric Hanson wrote:EMF is dangerous at specific frequencies and wavelengths.  EMF from Cell towers are nowhere near those wavelengths.  That EMF will simply pass through your body like it is not even there and not interact with the matter in your body.

Even if it's just passing through your body and not 'conducting' in your body, so to speak, it is still present. My concern is that the unceasing presence at what I presume to be a greater strength (due to proximity to the tower) would take a toll on the body over time.

It is articles such as this the give me the concern:
(Can we all just have a collective eye roll over the fear mongering title, though?)

Which, I don't know... maybe it's the whole 'correlation is not causation' argument but there seem to be multiple studies done to show being close to the towers amplifies your chance of getting cancer.
But then again, what are the diets and lifestyles of these people? I'm a big believer that diet is the #1 cause of cancer. However, I don't need to put unnecessary stress on my body by living right under a tower (if it really does encourage cancer growth)

And then of course, there are plenty of sources saying there is NO concern of living close to a cell tower, but I'm naturally inclined to not trust those since the phone companies can easily fund such a thing and they have an obvious agenda.

bruce Fine wrote:thinking more about this do any of us even know what effects these signals can have on human or wildlife cells?
don't know if you ever saw pictures of people holding brightly glowing fully lit fluorescent tubes standing under high intensity power lines, these bulbs lit by the energy from power lines flowing through the air. but it is a thing and people who live under these types of power lines have been adversely effected.

Well, we're composed of mostly water so I understand how the current goes through these people! But still, yikes! I do wonder if the same thinking applies to the cell towers.

John Young wrote:Are you sure it's a cell tower, and are there any other antennas on it?  You could review the types of antennas in the directionality of them and where there pointed to know whether or not there actually any signals being sent through your property. Or if it's only cell signals get someone with phones from the carriers on the tower to see how many bars they have. Many times properties really close to the cell towers have little to no signal because the antennas are more out than down in their directionality and aren't picking up sending directly below. I have a relative with that exact problem.

Well, I did look it up on a map for identifying cell towers and antennas and it showed up so it appears to be a cell tower 100%. My husband was showing me an image explaining this exact phenomena of the signals only reaching the ground at a certain distance from the tower. 'Lucky' for us, we'd be right where the tower first hits the ground. Go figure!

If it really worries you, build a house with a layer of reflective insulation behind the siding, a downside to that easy won't be able to use your cell phone inside unless you stand in front of a window.

I personally am not worried about the waves coming off of the cell towers harming me in any way shape or form, and if I was really worried about those I would be terrified of being in a city or the suburbs with everyone's Wi-Fi routers all over the place and a larger collection of TV stations and radio stations being broadcast non discriminately in all directions.  I would much rather at that point be in the rural setting with one tower to worry about

We're already planning on having metal building homes regardless of what property we buy, and I hear they're great at jacking up cell service. :)

I also wonder if being directly under the tower would be way better than being in the suburbs because of the quantity, as you mentioned... If I remember correctly our current home has over 40 antennas to receive the cell towers' signals in a 3 mile radius where as the prospective property has about 18-25. We also discussed how currently we have 5 homes just immediately touching our suburban property, 2 of these and mine are multi-generational households (so I presume more phones and other electronics) and of course 5 smart meters, 5 wi-fi connections, etc.

Over the past few years I have learned to be a skeptic of (almost) everything, even ideas I generally agree with. It appears for this particular issue it has just put me in a spiral of confusion... This has left us discussing getting an EMF meter to compare our exposure in our current home to the prospective property but I'd much rather keep the $$$ in my pocket. Grr.
Anyone know anything of these meters and perhaps know which one would be good but won't break the bank?
4 days ago
We're looking at some land right now and the first thing my mom pointed out was the proximity of a cell tower. I kind of ignored it at first until a friend asked about the EMF exposure- a topic I'm no expert in but am familiar.

Upon further inspection, the tower is literally on the lot right behind the 4 acres we're looking at and is about .25 miles from the bottom of the property... but we'd most likely be building both on the top and in the middle making the two homes more like .12-.2 miles away from the tower.

Regarding the tower being an eyesore: the tower is on top of a hill, the property is on the descending slope of the hill after the initial steep incline so it is not in our immediate view but of course is still visible.

The map I used to look up the towers said this one was a 100-200 ft 'unregistered' tower... so I'm assuming that means it is less strong than a taller 'registered' tower. But really I don't know the significance of this.

So let me hear it:
Should we be weary of EMFs from this tower or is it just a bunch of woo-woo nonsense?
How do you think the exposure would compare to what we currently get in the suburbs?
What should we do to negate any effects?
Should we look for different land?

We're looking for land in a fairly populated area... so other properties could very well have this same issue. In fact, there are 5 acres down the road we looked at that has TWO towers just as close to it.
5 days ago

Tony Hawkins wrote:Look into a family trust, and have the property owned by that trust.

Via the trust you can specify that your kids get it, that only if both of them want to sell it they can, or no one can, or whatever you want to do. It's pretty much built exactly for things like this. All in a family trust will set you back $3K or so.

Thanks for sharing, that's good to know.
5 days ago
Slowly but surely going after the unkempt trees in our suburban lot. Happy we have a good number of them compared to many others :)

Also happy to learn that brush piles have a positive use for our garden! My spot I picked was a bit inconvenient to add brush to, but I have to keep the other inhabitants of the house and neighborhood happy so it's best kept in the back.
5 days ago