There’s one big difference between cell phones and cell towers.
But if a cell phone tower pops up next to your home, this is a different story. Cell towers emit radio frequency radiation, a form of electromagnetic field (EMF). These EMFs can’t be seen and can’t be heard but these exposures are linked to many diseases.
Cell Tower Radiation Symptoms
Cell phone tower radiation exposures are linked to many different symptoms, these include:
- Low sperm count
- Immune system deficiencies
- Concentration difficulties
- Joint problems
- Skin complaints
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Auditory system Disturbances
- Visual problems
- Gastrointestinal problems
For a comprehensive list of symptoms resulting from cell phone tower type radiation exposures see this article.
Research On Cell Phone Tower Radiation Health Risks
In a 2003 study conducted in France it was found that people living within 300 meters of cell phone antennas reported various health complaints including, “fatigue, sleep disturbances, headaches, difficulty concentrating, depression, memory loss, visual disruptions, irritability, hearing disruptions, skin problems, cardiovascular disorder and dizziness”.
A study carried out in Belo Horizonte, Brazil’s third largest city, found that over 80 percent of people who succumbed to certain types of cancer resided a third of a mile away from one of the hundreds of cell phone antennae that populate the city. The study established a link between over 7000 cancer deaths and cell phone tower radiation exposures.
A study carried out in San Francisco to investigate if the risk of cancer was associated with the distance from the Surto cell phone tower found that the cancer risk increased 10 fold for residents who lived less than 2kms from the tower. There was also found to be 2 fold increase in cancer risk for people living 6kms away from the cell tower.
In Germany, a study was conducted to assess the cancer risk for residents who lived near the Naila cell tower. The study found that after 6-10 years of exposure there was a 3 fold increase in the cancer risk for residents who lived less than 400 meters from the tower. For people who lived more than 400 meters away from the tower, there was no marked increase in cancer risk.
But before you get overly concerned about the dangers of your nearest cell phone tower, you first need to put your own house in order. There is no point going to great lengths and great expense with all sorts of elaborate shielding if inside your home you have not already minimized/eradicated the other EMF radiation sources. Use my electromagnetic radiation exposure questionnaire to identify the sources of EMFs in your home.
7 Tips On How To Protect Your Home From RF Radiation
N.B. This procedure also applies if you want to protect yourself from any external form of RF radiation, be it from a cell tower, neighbors WiFi, a smart meter, etc,.
1. Do You Need To Take Action?
The starting point is to establish whether you need to take action. Firstly you need to ascertain just how close the nearest cell phone tower is, if you are in the US you can use this website to see where the nearest cell phone tower is in your area (in the UK see the Mobile Phone Base Station Database). If the nearest cell phone tower is more than half a mile away then you should be able to sleep easy. There are no hard and fast rules on this, it depends on the power output of the cell phone tower in question and the position and nature of the antenna’s – whether they are directional or not. As a rule of thumb if the cell phone tower is within 500 m and you can see the antennas from your home, then it’s wise to investigate further.
2. Get Some Reliable EMF Readings
You MUST get some reliable readings to ascertain the dangers. If you don’t, it’s all guesswork. You can’t hope to deal with your EMF exposures on the basis of guesswork. You could call a qualified EMF consultant to come to your house and give you some readings. But buying your own EMF makes more sense in the long run. The advantage is if you buy the meter , you can use it over and over again – which you need to do because EMF exposures are changing constantly. Also economically it makes more sense. Often one consultation will cost you about the same price as buying the meter. I recommend the Cornet ED78S for this job – its perfectly suited to measuring RF radiation emitted by cell towers and easy to use.
3. Shielding Your Home
Once you’ve got some EMF readings then you can decide what to shield. Shielding your whole house is just not going to be feasible and will in any case be fairly pointless. Instead you need to focus your attention on the room where you spend most of your time and your bedroom. If you spend most of your time in your kitchen then you would be looking to shield your kitchen and shield your bedroom, unless you live in such a big house that the bedroom has negligible readings. Again what can be qualified as a high reading is very subjective and above all depends on your own sensitivity.
4. Shielding Your Bedroom
You can effectively shield your bed with a Faraday bed canopy. This is the easiest and the most effective but not necessarily the cheapest solution of shielding your bed from RF radiation. The EMF Faraday canopy is an ultra-fine metal composite mesh which works along the same principles as a mosquito net. Instead of keeping out the mosquitoes it keeps out RF radiation. This kind of shielding can offer over 99% shielding performance.
If you want the freedom of being able to have the run of your bedroom and still be protected then shielding the walls and windows will be a better solution.
5. Shielding Your Windows
Your windows are a weak spot and generally provide the least protection from EMFs. Which is why your windows are a good place to start shielding your room, readings from your EMF meter will confirm this. The good news is that windows are easy to shield using a special window film. You can buy Scotchtint in a roll, cut it to size, peel off the backing, moisten and stick it to your window. It can also save on your heating bill.
Stop cell tower radiation penetrating your bedroom through an outside wall with a high frequency EMF shielding paint. Yshield paint is the ideal choice. It’s a water-based paint, free of toxic solvents. I’ve found it easy to apply and very effective. It can be used on walls, ceilings, doors. It adheres well to cement, plaster, polystyrene and most building materials. It can be used inside as well as out but generally you’re better using it on your interior where it’ll not be exposed to the elements.
7. Cheaper EMF Shielding
Insulating aluminum foil is a cheaper solution. For internal walls, which unlike external walls don’t need to breathe, insulating aluminum foil as used in the building industry, can be used. You can stick this to the walls using wallpaper paste (careful to not use wallpaper paste with antifungals) and then just paper over the top. (some people claim cooking foil is adequate but my tests do not support this).
There are many other materials that can be used to shield against RF radiation from cell towers and smart meters and the like; generally the more dense a material is the more effectively it shields. Lead for instance is very effective (its used around x-ray machines) but its difficult to use and is classified as a possible carcinogen.
To ground or not to ground your EMF shielding? This is something that you need to test. Grounding will usually be beneficial but there are instances where electrical fields can be higher after grounding than before. A ground kit is an easy way of grounding shielding paint. For instructions on grounding click here.
Shielding your home from RF radiation boils down to building a conductive enclosure around the room or rooms you want to shield. It is much easier to achieve than shielding from magnetic field radiation but you do have to be thorough and methodical.
Be Thorough and Methodical
If you’re not thorough and methodical RF radiation can and will seep through the smallest cracks. So if you paint a wall, be sure to paint all of it. Being methodical means doing your shielding step-by-step. You take your EMF readings, you determine which direction the RF radiation is coming from, you shield that wall, you test, then you earth it and you use your EMF meter to test again to see how the readings have changed. Then you may go on to shield the next wall or the ceiling, or both.
If you ground your shielding I do advise measuring the electric field in your shielded zone before and after. Most shielding materials are conductive – you don’t want to shield from RF radiation at the price of increased electric field exposures. Measure your electric fields with an electric field meter.
As much as you can shield inside, when you’re out on your balcony or in your garden you will be fully exposed to the EMFs. Much depends on the extent of your exposure, but if your proximity is such that all your house needs shielding it may be time to start looking for alternative accommodation and/or to get active on the issue through an association.
This article was updated June 2015.