Cell Phone Towers: How Far is Safe?

Cell Phone Towers: How far is safe? Over five to ten years what happens to people within 400 meters, (1300 feet) of a cell tower? What cancers showed up in how many people, etc.

By Taraka Serrano

If you or people you know within a quarter mile (1/4 of a mile equals 1300 feet) of a cell phone tower, this may be of

concern. Two studies, one in Germany and the other in Israel, reveal that living in proximity of a cell phone tower or antenna could put your health at significant risk.

German study: three times increased cancer risk

Several doctors living in Southern Germany, city of Naila conducted a study to assess the risk of mobile phone radiation. Their research examined whether population living close to transmitter antennas installed in 1993 and 1997 in Naila had increased risk of cancer.

Data was gathered from nearly 1000 patients who had been residing at the same address during the entire observation period of 10 years. The social differences are small, with no ethnic diversity. There is no heavy industry, and in the inner area there are neither high voltage cable nor electric trains. The average age of the residents are similar in both the inner and outer areas.

What they found is quite telling: the proportion of newly developed cancer cases was three times higher among those who had lived during the past ten years at a distance of up to 400m (about 1300 feet) from the cellular transmitter site, compared to those living farther away. They also revealed that the patients fell ill on average 8 years earlier.

Cell Phone Tower: How far is safe from ?  1300 feet is approximately four blocks away or approximately 400 meters. Because of the studies quoted above I would guess that 800 meters or 2600 feet, 8 blocks away, would be a safer distance.

Computer simulation and measurements used in the study both show that radiation in the inner area (within 400m) is 100 times higher compared to the outer area, mainly due to additional emissions coming from the secondary lobes of the transmitter.

Looking at only the first 5 years, there was no significant increased risk of getting cancer in the inner area. However, for the period 1999 to 2004, the odds ratio for getting cancer was 3.38 in the inner area compared to outer area. Breast cancer topped the list, with an average age of 50.8 years compared with 69.9 years in the outer area, but cancers of the prostate, pancreas, bowel, skin melanoma, lung and blood cancer were all increased.

Israel study: fourfold cancer risk

Another study, this one from Israel’s Tel Aviv University, examined 622 people living near a cell-phone transmitter station for 3-7 years who were patients in one clinic in Netanya and compared them against 1,222 control patients from a nearby clinic. Participants were very closely matched in environment, workplace and occupational characteristics. The people in the first group live within a half circle of 350m (1148 feet) radius from the transmitter, which came into service in July 1996.

The results were startling. Out of the 622 exposed patients, 8 cases of different kinds of cancer were diagnosed in a period of just one year (July 1997 to June 1998): 3 cases of breast cancer, one of ovarian cancer, lung cancer, Hodgkin’s disease (cancer of the lymphatic system), osteoid osteoma (bone tumour) and kidney cancer. This compares with 2 per 1 222 in the matched controls of the nearby clinic. The relative risk of cancer was 4.15 for those living near the cell-phone transmitter compared with the entire population of Israel.

Women were more susceptible. As seven out of eight cancer cases were women, the relative cancer rates for females were 10.5 for those living near the transmitter station and 0.6 for the controls relative for the whole town of Netanya. One year after the close of the study, 8 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the microwave exposed area and two in the control area.

Locate the Cell Phone Towers and Antennas Near You

Do you know how many cell phone transmitters are in your neighborhood? You’d be surprised. Visit antennasearch.com to find out where the towers and antennas are in your area and how close they are to your home or place of work. The site will also pinpoint future tower locations, additional helpful information for those considering buying a home.

Disguised Cell Tower

The above is my personal photo of a cell tower they tried to disguise as a tree.  This photo was not part of the original author’s article. 

For clarity, towers are tall structures where antennas are installed. A typical tower may easily hold over 10 antennas for various companies. Antennas, on the other hand, are the actual emitters of signals for various radio services including cellular, paging and others. Antennas are placed on high towers or can be installed by themselves (stand alone) on top of buildings and other structures.

Using where I live as an example, I’ve located 3 cell phone towers and 22 antennas within a quarter mile from our home, with the closest one at 845 feet.. And this is in a relatively quiet residential neighborhood by the ocean in the small city of Hilo in Hawaii. As you may guess, I did my research only well after we’ve moved in. Fortunately, we’re here on just a lease and we’ll be a bit wiser next time we look for a new home.

(This photo is from my cell phone while driving. I wanted to show you a cell tower poorly disguised as a tree. Its a pretty pathetic imitation of a tree. Mina insert.)

What to Do If You Live Near a Cell Phone Transmitter

Short of relocating, there are some things you can do to fight the effects of electromagnetic radiation (EMR). The Safe Wireless Initiative of the Science and Public Policy Institute in Washington, DC, outlines three levels of intervention in accordance with the public health paradigm that everyone can apply. Here are our suggestions based on these guidelines:

The primary means of intervention is through avoidance or minimizing exposure. This simply means to avoid contact with EMR as much as possible. In case of a cell phone tower close to your home, this could mean using specially formulated RF shield paint, shielding fabric, shielding glass or film for windows, etc. Although they may sound extreme, these measures are a life-saver for someone who suffers from electrosensitivity, a condition in which a person experiences physical symptoms aggravated by electromagnetic fields. (Sweden is the only country so far that recognizes electrosensitivity as a real medical condition, and their government pays for measures to reduce exposure in their homes and workplaces).

The secondary means of intervention is to minimize the effects of exposure. This includes the use of * bioenergetic devices that help reduce the effects of EMR, such as pendants, chips or other devices designed to strengthen the biofield of the individual. A biofield is the matrix of weak electromagnetic signals that the body’s cells use to communicate with each other. EMR disrupts these signals, causing the cells to eventually shut down and result in build up of toxins and waste products within the cells, including free radicals known to result in cellular dysfunction and interference with DNA repair. A scientifically validated bioenergetic device restores intercellular communications and normal cellular function by strengthening the biofield against the effects of EMR.

The third means of intervention is to help reverse damage caused by exposure.This includes nutritional support such as anti-oxidant supplementation, particularly helpful in countering the effects of free radicals. Supplementing with anti-oxidants SOD, catalase, glutathione, and Coq10 are especially recommended. Microwave radiation has been shown to decrease levels of these anti-oxidants that the body normally produces to protect itself. These levels are sensitive indicators in stress, aging, infections and various other disease states.

Additional information:

  1. The Influence of Being Physically Near to a Cell Phone Transmission Mast on the Incidence of Cancer (PDF) (German study)
    2. Increased Incidence of Cancer Near a Cell-Phone Transmitter Station (PDF) (Israel study)
    3. Environmental Epidemiological Study of Cancer Incidence in the Municipalities of Hausmannstätten & Vasoldsberg (Austria) (PDF)

(Note: This article is shared for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you believe that you have a health problem, see your doctor or health professional immediately.)

© 2007 Taraka Serrano

Copyright © 2018 Deb Witter