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Cell Phone Towers The Invisible Danger

Posted by Lloyd Burrell on July 11, 2010 under Cell Phone Towers | 22 Comments to Read

Cell phone towers or masts make the telecommunications world go round.  Cell phone masts are the counterpart of mobile phones, without which there would be no cellular transmissions.  The entire mobile phone system sprang up– seemingly overnight, and many of us haven’t yet had time to consider the dangerous ramifications of what putting up all those cell phone towers might mean.

It seems strange now, that just ten years ago, most of us didn’t have cell phones.  They came into popular use during the first decade of the new millennium and now, most of us can’t imagine life without them.  After discovering the convenience and sheer coolness of owning a mobile phone, one of our first concerns was how to achieve better service, better sound quality and more places where we could use our spiffy new gadgets.

Going back a few years, I heard a stand-up comedian remark during his routine that there was debate in the news about getting a man on Mars.  He said, “Forget getting a man on Mars, how about getting my cell phone to work? How ‘bout that?” We loved our new, affordable cell phones, we just wanted them to work better and to work better everywhere.

Stronger, Better, More Extensive Cellular Signal

So within a small span of time, we watched a massive telecommunications infrastructure spring into existence.  And now, the cellular transmission trend is ramping up again with 4G and promises to intensify the rate and density of radiation. One popular media campaign declares that they cover upwards of 90% of the United States and the rate is similar in other well-populated, civilized parts of the world.

We continue to demand faster, better cellular service, without consideration of the cost to human health and to our environment. Just like with carbon emissions during the 60’s, we don’t know the extent of the damage we may be causing, so we play ostrich and hope that cell phones and the towers that make them work are safe.

Cell Phone Masts: Harmless or Hazardous?

Cell phone towers have grown in number to almost 2 million cell phone masts or antennas in the United States alone. They can be found anywhere and everywhere. They can be disguised as a silo, a piece of sculpture, a cactus, a church steeple, or just a long pole sticking up next to your neighbor’s tool shed.

Even if the identity of a cell mast is concealed by an elaborate work of artifice designed to make it look innocent, it still poses a dangerous threat.  How much of a threat and how extensive a threat, seems to be the subject of much debate.  Cell phone companies, of course, would like to slant the argument towards the side of safety and providing a service to the public, while those against rampant telecommunications takeover of the airways, like myself, would like to point out some of the alarming data that supports their dangers.

Cell Phone Masts: Lethal Radiation Emitters

There have been countless studies and cases that have presented evidence that cell phones and their towers are the cause of serious illnesses.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology submitted a report in early June that decry’s the cell-phone naysayer’s complaints, citing hundreds of studies that claim they are safe.  Critics of the report point out that the IET’s study was paid for by the cell-phone industry and is therefore not unbiased, i.e.: it is not a valid study.

Questioning the worth the IET’s slanted research, an eminent scientist in the field of low-level radiation (like the kind produced by cell masts) and its effects, Dr. Goldsworthy says: “When you apply an alternating electrical current across cell membranes they vibrate and can literally be broken up by a strong field such as that emitted from mobile phones. This can release enzymes normally locked up within each cell that can damage its DNA. There are many studies showing double strand DNA breaks from radiation emitted from mobile phone signals.”

This means that radiation from cell towers can damage your DNA, producing all manner of illnesses, you and your family, even your animals can be affected. And this remark comes from just one of multitudes of scientists, researchers and physicians who have gone on record to state their opinions, based on research findings and case studies, that cell phones and cell phone towers are not safe.  Believe me cell towers are lethal radiation emitters.

Public Outcry Silenced by Blind and Greedy Legislation

Residents trying to prevent installation of a tower in their neighborhood are opening up a Pandora’s Box of political issues. The first issue concerns the safety of radiation from the towers.  The second issue is murkier, but just as hot a topic of concern:  How much political control do citizens have over their surrounding environment?

History Repeats Itself

Under pressures from a multi-million dollar campaign, the 104th Congress and the Clinton Administration passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996. US law removed the rights of the public to oppose installation of cell phone transmission towers on the grounds of health and environmental concerns.

Plainly put: current legislation effectively silences the voices of those that would be impacted the most by proximity to radio frequency emissions from cell phone towers. This law makes it impossible for local governments to prevent installation of a cell tower, even if the local citizenry band together in protest.

The mainstream scientific community’s official opinion is that electromagnetic frequencies from the towers are too weak to pose a real threat to human health.

But, as in the case studies cited in the Berkeley Daily Planet, although the research was flawed, the subjects living near a cell phone mast still showed a significantly higher rate of cancer than did subjects who did not live near a tower. This and other, reliable research, casts sufficiently serious doubt about mobile phone tower safety to make them undesirable as neighborhood facilities.

Perhaps history is repeating itself: The dangers of cigarette smoking were covered up by Big Tobacco companies and years later, links to cancer were confirmed. I think it is suspect that Official Health Organizations refuse to confirm the health hazards of cell transmission towers, mobile phones themselves and the combined effects of living near a tower and using a mobile device.

It’s obvious to me that it would be better to be safe than sorry when it comes to having a cell phone tower within meters of your home.

Legislation that has codicils protecting corporate, bottom-line profits, but leaves out the safety of citizens is fit for only one thing: the rubbish bin. Democracy isn’t genuine if it robs its people of their right to have a voice in public policy. If a cell phone tower was announced for installation down the road from your house, wouldn’t you want to say: “No thanks?”

Deadly, Whether You Use a Cell Phone or Not

There are now said to be 4 billion cell phones worldwide, this is a figure which is often cited, but what we don’t talk about is the number of cell phone towers or transmitters.

I cannot give any approximation of the number of cell phone towers worldwide what I do know is that as cell phones are being used more and more as communications become cheaper and cheaper and as the phone companies offer more and more free time deals the existing cell phone masts cannot cope with the demand.

Which poses the biggest threat to our health cell phone masts or cell phones?

The answer is simple they are both dangerous but they impact our health in different ways. The difference between the two is one of choice. To own and use a cell phone is a personal choice, but living or working near a cell phone transmitter makes your choice much more complicated.

In the media there is a great deal of discussion about the health risks of cell phones and cancer but we hear less about cell phone transmitters and cancer. So why is this? One of the reasons is that it is very difficult to do epidemiological studies of populations exposed to cell phone transmitters, as it is unlikely that this is the only exposure to radio frequency radiation that they will have. The regulatory bodies and phone companies claim that the exposure from masts are so low in comparison to a cell phones, that the radiofrequency radiation could not possibly be harmful.

Despite this there have been numerous cases (France, in particular) where cell phone towers have been taken down following a legal ruling that they could be dangerous. These legal rulings, based on the principle of precaution, are becoming more and more frequent. There are a number of cases where transmitters have been taken down because of their proximity to schools.

Studies conducted by Navarro (2003), Oberfield (2004) and Hutter (2006) have shown a consistent pattern of ill effects reported by people living near masts, when compared with those living further away. Specifically, studies show that it’s essentially within 400 m of the cell phone tower that adverse health effects take place. An epidemiological study published by Doctor Gerd Oberfield in 2008, found statistically significant increases in the risk of developing cancer (especially breast and brain cancer) for people living near a mobile phone base station, with the most exposed showing the largest increase in risk.

Numerous studies have detailed the effects of microwave syndrome from cell phone transmitters. Notable studies include: the Preece study of 2007, which studied the health response of two communities exposed to military antennae in Cyprus and the 2004 Wolf study which identified an increased incidence of cancer near a cell-phone can-transmitter station.

Indeed there are dozens of studies on the subject of cancer-causing cell phone masts which all point to the same conclusion and yet we continue to see more and more cell phone transmitters being erected. Why? One of the chief reasons is because we are so openly misled.

In 2007 the UK Secretary of State for health in presenting to the House of Commons the research that her department had commissioned into the potential effects on health of mobile phone masts stated “exposure levels from living near to mobile phone base stations are extremely low, and the overall evidence indicates that they are unlikely to pose a risk to health”.

Why are we being misled? Money. It is estimated that in the UK mobile phone related revenue now exceeds more than £20 billion a year. Indeed, often the UK government has been behind the installation of these masts. All UK operators were required by the end of 2007 to provide 3G service where at least 80% of the population in an area resides.

Protest and Protect: What to Do if You Live Near a Cell Phone Tower

Cell phone radiation is constantly bombarding us from all directions.  The greater the population density, the more exposed we are to cell phone radiation from cell towers, other people’s phone calls, Wi-Fi and etc. Since we are not able to completely insulate ourselves from cell phone tower radiation, short of moving to a very isolated area and living as a hermit, there are measures we can take:

  • Choose not to live near a mobile phone mast. You can find out where they are by visiting: in the US and in the UK.
  • Stop using mobile devices or greatly limit your use.
  • Make sure your health and especially your immune system is in good shape.  Eat organic foods and insure that your water is clean and of the highest quality.  Get regular exercise and use non-toxic cleaners and products in your home and on your body.
  • Use wired technology, wherever possible.
  • Restrict your children’s use of mobile devices, as they are the most vulnerable to radiation’s effects.
  • Start a concerted campaign to get your local government to utilize fiber-optics or newer non-radiation technologies as the mode of communication.  Because the fiber optics system is underground, there are limited emissions and what little there are can be easily neutralized.
  • Raise an outcry against the installation of cell towers near or on school property.
  • It is now quite easy to apply EMF shielding. Look into technologies that will help you insulate your home, your workspace and your automobile against the damaging effects of cell tower radiation.

Cell Phone Towers Can Kill You

“In conclusion, the results of this study showed that there was a significantly greater incidence of cancers of all kinds within the vicinity of a cell-phone transmitter station.”

This statement is lifted from a very detailed study entitled: Cancer near a cell-phone transmitter station and conducted by Drs. R. and D. Wolf of Pediatrics and Dermatology centers in Israel. The study examined a town that lived within a 350 meter radius of a cell tower and was studied over time, and measuring the numbers of cancers reported.  The findings were then compared to the cancer rate of the whole country.  The researchers made an exerted effort to form unbiased conclusions. As stated in their own words above, they found “a significantly greater incidence” of lung carcinoma, breast carcinoma, Hodgkin’s disease, ovary carcinoma and on and on within the population of the town.  This means there is good reason to believe that cell towers are hazardous to human health.

Research is being done, good research, not privately and covertly funded by the telecommunications industry whose only goal is monetary profit. After more time elapses, there will be more studies and more cancers and more deaths. But can we afford to wait?  The above is just one example of a scientific study that claims that living near a cell phone tower can kill you.  There is already a gathering body of evidence that supports the fact that cell phones and their transmission towers are deadly.

The Choice is Yours

There are alternatives to cell towers. Fiber optic broadband technology is a viable and healthier alternative.  We can still make technological progress without compromising our health and the health of vital elements of our environment; humanity, plants, animals, pollinating insects like the honeybee and the fabric of life itself are at stake.

Attorney Specializing Cell Phone Tower Cases

Campanelli & Associates is a law firm specialized in representing individuals, civic associations and local governments who wish to fight against the irresponsible placement of cell towers. Click here to visit their website.

Unless you raise your voice and follow with action, electromagnetic radiation from cell phone towers that constantly fill the airways in greater and greater densities may sooner, rather than later, serve to extinguish life on our beautiful planet…our only home.

  • James Russell said,

    Hi There

    I hope you are well?!

    My name is James Russell and i am a film maker in the UK. i have spent the last 2 years making a documentary which examins how our world has changed dramatically due to man made wireless frequencies. a full synopsis is at the bottom of the email if you would care to read it. the film is receiving an incredible reaction as it reveals for the first time the mechanism by which mobile phones cause cancer.

    The film is due for release in the summer of this year. but a trailer is available on our YOU TUBE channel at

    our facebook page has lots more information too

    I was hoping you might be interested to feature this on your web site? I believe there is a swerious message in this film that desperatly needs to be shared.

    Kindest regards

    James Russell

  • Lloyd said,

    Glad to be able to promote a video on this worthy cause:

  • Lloyd said,

    Hi Eva
    Not 350 miles but 350 meters, apologies. I have now corrected this and corrected the link to the study.

  • Jason said,

    Hi Lloyd,

    Thank you so much for all your helpful information. I live approximately 250 feet (75 meters) from a 50 meter tall cell phone tower with many antennas. I am currently researching meters to test my family’s exposure. What is the lowest range I would need? I have read your reviews and see that the Acoustimeters and Cornets all have different ranges. I searched your site for what may be considered okay levels, but was unable to locate that information. I am also a bit worried about being able to decipher the technical aspects of the readings and all the different terminology. Bottom line is I am looking for a very good meter to test the tower and determine if I should try to move my family. Thanks very much and I apologize if this information is located somewhere on your site. Jason

  • Lloyd said,

    Hi Jason
    It all depends on what level and kind of data you want and also your budget. If your budget can stand it its difficult to beat the Acoustimeter, it really ticks all the boxes…..if you’re on a tighter budget then I would go with either the Cornet ED78S or the Acousticom 2. The Cornet gives lots of detail, the Acousticom 2 is simpler to use – check my reviews.

  • Katie said,

    Hi Lloyd,
    One other quick question. What determines an accurate calibration standard for the Acoustimeter? Sort of like our weights and measures coming in to check a scale for accuracy. Thanks, Katie

  • Katie said,

    Hi Lloyd,
    I wrote an earlier comment on your cell tower section. I’m not sure if it went through so I’m resending it again. Thank you for your work. I live in the USA in the state of Maine. Recently our town accepted and seems to be on the track to permit a 230’ cell tower with collocation capabilities for 4 carriers in addition to US CELL. We have legally appealed, and the town has turned its back on us. It’s a very sad because there’s a gravel pit 2 miles from here that had also signed a lease with US CELL a year ago. We are unfortunately located on a higher elevation with an absentee landowner who signed the lease this spring.

    When the tower is built it will be 700 feet from 2 neighboring households and 1500 feet from an additional 3 households. Our town is in rural setting with a population of 400 people. On our road we have 14 adults and 9 children. The tower will be one mile over- looking our elementary school. Our neighborhood is feeling an urgency to get a baseline RF/EMF reading before the tower is built. I read your recommendations to one of your inquiries about Acoustimeters and I am interested in documenting our neighborhood’s RF/EMF changes. I appreciated Jason’s question regarding how to decipher the data.

    How often should we take readings and from where? What is the most effective way to record the results for future analysis? Also is there a calibration standard for Acoustimeters? Is one brand better than another? How can we be sure of accuracy? What’s the furthest distance for taking a reading? Could we take readings from the school 1 mile away? (sorry for so many questions all at once)

    This tower could be built within the month so there is urgency on my part to start the process. Thank you again for your assistance. You remind me of the story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” When so many are turning a blind eye for convenience, thank you for speaking truths.


  • Lloyd Burrell said,

    Hi Katie
    Record your readings in a journal, over a period of time(every day or every 3rd or 4th day) at several times during the day (e.g. 9am, 12 midday and 7pm) to clearly establish the ambient RF levels prior to installation. Make this as scientific as possible, do it in the presence of another person…get an independent 3rd party to witness. Take your readings in the direction where the future cell tower is planned to be located….take readings from the location of 2 households which are at 700 feet….take readings from the school also (if you can get towns parents behind you you’ll have more chance of winning). Your Acoustimeter shouldn’t need calibrating….there’s no reason to assume that your meter is inaccurate.
    Don’t assume that implantation of the cell tower is a foregone conclusion…one of my readers just wrote to me to tell me how he stopped the cell phone company erecting a tower in his neighborhood, see …..organize a public meeting now, lay out the dangers for people to see….get the media involved.
    (Sorry for the slow reply – I have a backlog of questions I answer as quickly as I can.)

  • Katie said,

    Hi Lloyd, Thank you for your recommendations around monitoring. We now have an Acoustimeter and have begun documenting our neighborhood. I do have a question regarding the milliwatts/sqaure meter average and V/m. We have an area with a lot of flux due to WIFI antennas near on neighbor’s home. What we’ve been doing is watching the flux range and taking an average. Is that correct or should we be documenting the higher and lower ranges as well? They are all over the map. It’s just one location that behaves this way. Thanks, Katie

  • Lloyd Burrell said,

    Record the highest reading and state in your report that you have recorded the highest reading, it’s more likely that your meter will measure low than high (no meter picks up 100% of exposures).

  • Jason said,

    Hi Lloyd, I don’t know if you can put me in touch with Katie. I have fought two cell phone tower additions in my town in upstate NY and have a couple of suggestions for her. Unfortunately it is hard to stop the towers because of the FCC laws, but there are things towns can do with their local law and codes to make the installation costly and therefore less likely.

  • Lloyd Burrell said,

    I don’t publish personal email addresses on the website but you can communicate this information through the forum. Thanks.

  • katie said,

    Hi Jason and Lloyd, Jason, can you shed anymore light on your town’s story? I can search around for articles pertaining to the situation. Or is their a local newspaper article that would describe your circumstances. Thanks so much. Katie

  • Christina said,

    Please join us in supporting the petition on – asking Big Cell to protect all workers from the dangers of Cell Antennas…

  • april besch said,

    Hi Lloyd,

    I work in a building with a small cell tower on top and there is also a cell tower in very close proximity (length of a football field) away from us that looks very much like a large flag pole. I only recently realized it must be a cell tower. Would the stetzerizers help in this situation? All of my readings with the Trifield meter are safe except one wall in the suite and of course, all of the computers are emitting a higher amount than what they are at home. My computer at work is hard wired but there is a router for service.
    Please help!

    Thank you,

  • Lloyd Burrell said,

    Hi April,
    The Trifield is a good all round meter but its lacks the necessary sensitivity on the RF setting to give reliable readings for what you are trying to achieve….depending on your budget the Cornet ED85EX or Acoustimeter are a better choice – see my reviews for more information.
    Regarding stetzerisers…..its possible/likely that there is dirty electricity in your wiring (cell towers create this)….a next step is to take readings with a GS meter.

  • april said,

    Okay Lloyd so it DOES make sense then that the towers are causing dirty electricity in the office, correct? The reason I ask is that although you say the Trifield isn’t all that sensitive for RF, my home computer registers far lower (safe) than my work computer. So that just seems to make sense to me that the tower is causing the dirty electricity. If that’s the case, wouldn’t the stetzerisers remedy the situation? Thanks, April

  • carol said,

    Hi Lloyd,
    I live about a football field away from a small cell tower, and the guy who comes to check it said that there is a sort of bubble or pocket right under the tower that doesn’t have radiation, and i’m hoping it “shoots” right over my house. He also said that the meters they are given to wear (T-mobile) on their chests don’t register very high at all right under this tower. Much much more by a microwave, or even an old outlet in a house. What do you think? Am I “in the bubble?”

  • Allie said,

    Greetings Lloyd,

    Thank you so much for your immeasurably helpful website!!
    Our neighborhood is adjacent to a string of power towers and is roughly 270 meters from a tall cell phone tower with at least 4 levels of densely packed antenna — the most I’ve seen on any tower. There are at least 5 other towers within 2 miles of us.

    Last week I noticed workers up in the tower, installing more antenna. Incidentally my neighbor just came down with another bout of kidney stones. My husband had them last fall. I found these article citations linking microwave radiation to kidney stones/heart disease:

    Of course most of our neighbors have 24/7 wifi routers. I’ve convinced my husband to allow me to switch ours off at night…he’s not as concerned about adverse health effects from microwave radiation as I am.

    My question: How could I go about making a complaint against the cell phone companies who continue to add antenna to the tower near our neighborhood. I have no funds to hire a lawyer. I can’t imagine much luck trying to get petition signatures. I’m in Portland Oregon suburbs and most everyone I know is adamant that all wireless devices don’t emit any harmful radiation.

    My health issue is a swelling in my upper neck area. I have no lumps, just a general odd swelling there for the past few years. After asking my husband to deactivate a 2nd wifi router we had (given to us by our power company), and switching the router off at night, the swelling has gone down substantially. Have you heard of this symptom? I see it as my body’s warning signal.

    Many thanks!!! Please keep doing the awesome things you are doing!


  • Lloyd Burrell said,

    There is a kind of apathy the world over about cell tower radiation……its not just in Portland Oregon. I know that Andrew Geller, a DJ on one of your local radio stations (, is very well informed on this issue, I believe his girlfriend is ES…..I’m sure he would have some ideas on what can be done locally. Also contact Andrew Campanelli who specializes in cell tower disputes

  • carol said,

    Hi again Lloyd,
    Was my question about hoping there is a bubble of non-radiation directly around a cell tower too hopeful (or stupid? :-) Thanks, Carol

  • Jess L said,


    I am interested in finding out what can be done relative to local law and codes. There is a tower going up 600 feet from me-

    Also how can I find out what levels are dangerous and what levels are considered safe?


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