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 Towers: 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 Tower: The Invisible Dangers
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.
Update October 2019: Millions more cell towers are expected to be deployed as 5G is rolled out.
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: http://antennasearch.com in the US and http://www.sitefinder.ofcom.org.uk/ 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 The Invisible Danger
“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 considerble body of evidence that supports the fact that cell phone towers are an invisible danger.
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.
You might also want to read my article on how to protect your home from cell tower radiation.