Having to sleep in a Faraday cage, Minnesota couple threatens ATC, T-Mobile and AT&T with a lawsuit

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

 A Minesota woman claims that LTE was n't a problem

A Minnesota woman claims that LTE wasn’t a problem for her health for about 11 years, but after T-Mobile and AT&T upgraded to 5G on a tower over 1,300 feet away from her home, it resulted in her getting 51 strokes. On her behalf, the Children’s Health Defence is threatening the carriers with a lawsuit if they and American Tower can’t meet their demands. A leading RF expert, Lawrence Behr, disagrees with their assertions, especially a consultant’s report.

In 2008, Marcia and Jason Haller moved into their newly constructed home with an oversized free-standing garage in a peaceful setting in a rural area just north of Duluth, Minnesota. Within months, Minnesota Tower, Inc. erected a 295-foot guyed tower on leased land approximately 1,300 feet from Haller’s home, which was approved for construction by the FCC in 2007.

Marcia and Jason Haller sleep in a tiny room just large enough for a mattress with no power and no windows — just a foil-faced black box that they are convinced is blocking harmful EMR. Sleeping out in their garage isn't convenient, though. "There's no bathroom in the garage," Marcia said. "So if I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I have to leave the garage, go outside, come in the house." She also now wears a metal-lined baseball cap in her home to mitigate her symptoms, she said in an interview with Suzanne Burdick, PH.D. in The Defender.

Marcia and Jason Haller sleep in a tiny room just large enough for their two small beds with no power and no windows — just a foil-faced black box that they are convinced is blocking harmful EMR. Sleeping out in their garage isn’t convenient, though. “There’s no bathroom in the garage,” Marcia said. “So if I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I have to leave the garage, go outside, come in the house.” She also now wears a metal-lined baseball cap in her home to mitigate her symptoms, she said in an interview with Suzanne Burdick, PH.D. in The Defender.

Although trees surround the structure from most viewpoints, it was a welcomed addition to homeowners who did not have reliable mobile service since there wasn’t a cell tower within 10 miles or more of Haller’s home. 

SpectraSite acquired the cell tower, and the company was then merged with American Tower Corp., which leases space to its tenants, T-Mobile and AT&T.

However, now the Hallers want the tower removed since they allege it is causing severe health issues for Marcia following a recent 5G upgrade.

She says she has suffered from 51 strokes, vision and hearing loss, chronic fatigue, and cognitive impairment due to radiofrequency (RF) radiation exposure.

Marcia, supported by Children’s Health Defense’s (CHD) Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) & Wireless program, plans to sue the companies under the Americans with Disability Act, demanding reasonable accommodation to mitigate the impact of RF radiation. 

This legal move is part of CHD’s strategy to challenge the “RF radiation is safe” narrative and push for stronger federal regulation.

Following the October 2019 5G upgrade, Marcia said immediately after that, she began experiencing severe symptoms, leading to multiple hospital visits and diagnoses that included vertigo and multiple brain lesions.

Assisted by internet research, Jason was convinced it could have come from the major construction project on the tower site using a crane that he said took ten days to install what he believed was 5G on the tower.

However, it would be rare to find that one contractor was providing upgrades for AT&T and T-Mobile at the same time. At best, it might have been a retrofitting project allowing the structure designed and built in 2008 to accept additional loading.

Also, according to the Duluth News Tribune, AT&T didn’t debut 5G in the market until six months later, in April 2020. At this time, both carriers provide 5G.

Lawrence Behr, CEO of LBA Group, employing electromagnetic experts for the past 60 years, questioned some of CHD’s statements.

“The FCC standard for general population exposure at cellular frequencies rarely exceeds a few dozen feet from a cellular base antenna. I have never encountered a situation where the cellular RF exposure limit is reached even as much as 500 feet from the antenna,” Behr said.

He noted that the FCC standards do not make special provisions for any emissions — including 5G — other than average power, as the only recognized health effect under FCC and OSHA guidelines is body heating.

“These guidelines were set for a safety factor of 10 times. It might be noted that typical electromagnetic radiation from the sun on the human body is many times the maximum permissible exposure under the safety guidelines for cellular RF,” Behr said.

Despite treatment attempts at the Mayo Clinic for a suspected autoimmune disease, Marcia’s condition worsened when she was near the tower, she said.

To combat the radiation effects, Marcia and Jason moved away from the tower and saw improvements in Marcia’s health, but they claim symptoms returned upon moving back.

They constructed a Faraday cage room in their garage, called the “cave,” where they share the unadorned bedroom to shield Marcia from RF radiation. It has been their black box for over two years.

Marcia aims to raise awareness about the health impacts of RF radiation through her lawsuit, hoping to prove that RF radiation can cause physical harm and advocate for the relocation of the problematic cell tower.

Marcia alleges that the carriers must provide her with a “reasonable accommodation” and/or “modify their policies, practices, or procedures” to comply with federal disability law.

Hers is the second in CHD’s strategic line of cases trying out new legal avenues for individuals suffering from RF radiation exposure.

“Mrs. Haller lives with constant uncertainty that she is risking yet another stroke as she goes about the necessities of daily life outside the protection of the Faraday cage in the garage,” Marcia’s attorney said in her January 18, 2024 correspondence to American Tower and the carriers, requesting that they reply to her requests by February 1. 

To date, the CHD has not filed an official complaint.

EMF testing report relies upon questionable guidelines and guidance


A READING INSIDE THE FARADAY ‘CAVE’ HAD THE $186 TriField meter showing 0.0, whereas the $1,100 Gigahertz Solutions meter recorded 4.2 uW. DiCristina said he believes a return trip with a high-frequency meter capable of measuring the 24-40GHz band should be made. He said he would have to purchase one when they become available.

A 57-page EMF assessment report for the Haller residence that CHD has provided was performed by Frank DiCristina, a building biologist and dowsing practitioner who, in addition to specializing in EMF detection and mitigation, also performs crystal therapy, which involves wearing precious and semi-precious stones to improve physical and emotional health.

Behr said the report’s findings are primarily subjective, using incomplete data and invalid interpretations.

Behr said he found remarkable in the report that all “average” and “peak” readings were well within FCC MPE for all cell frequencies. 

“He expresses the readings in mW/m, while the FCC standards are in mW/cm. To make these values comparable, his readings must be divided by 10,000. Thus, his typical readings are hundreds to thousands of times less than FCC general public MPEs, whether you consider his peak or average values,” Behr said.

Behr explained that DiCristina’s readings were also hardly credible as the peak readings are about 4 to 30 times the average. 

“In fact, at one point, he notes that he concentrated on peak readings due to the average levels shown. At this point, he consistently saw slight hazard on average, but extreme on peak,” Behr noted.

“Peak readings are not used for MPE computations, just average power. In turn, this should be derived over the average volume of a person and is further the average over 30 minutes. None of this is reflected in the articles,” Behr, who is a well-respected subject matter expert, explained.

Notably, the reported Building Biology Institute (BBI) “extreme limit” has no basis in the FCC or OSHA MPE standards, and the certified building biologist and certified EMR specialist are apparent creations of the BBI and have no known legal or professional standing in the US, said Behr, who was a director and officer of iNARTE, a certifying organization for engineers and technicians in the fields of telecommunications, electromagnetic compatibility/interference and several other fields.

The EMRS certification is provided after passing an online course and a payment of $6,365. You will then be listed on the BBI’s find an expert search page. Another EMRS-certified individual was criticized in 2019 for issuing similarly flawed RF test results exposed by Wireless Estimator.

The Hallers reject the report’s suggestion to move

In his report, DiCristina acknowledged that he had informed Marcia Haller that he would measure the electromagnetic spectrum, identify the potential causes, and suggest solutions.

One solution he provided was to retrofit the home to repel RF by installing metal siding, shielding the walls, and installing a metal roof.

However, that would cost between $30,000 to $60,000, and DiCristina informed them, “Due to legal reasons, I prefer not to recommend a client to move, but in this case, that is, in my opinion, the best solution.”

The Hallers informed him that would not be a consideration since no matter where they moved to, they would still be concerned about the possibility of constructing new cell towers near their home.

When DiCristina performed the tests last year, he identified some networks in the immediate area, and he had turned off his cell phone and said, “I had Marcia Haller turn off or put her phone into airplane mode as well.”

Since Marcia suspects she suffers from EMF sensitivity, DiCristina might consider recommending, in addition to a Faraday cage, metal shielding and other measures to limit her exposure to EMF, to use a wired connection, or to keep her cell phone turned off at all times and only use it in an emergency.