CELL PHONE TOWERS



"To claim there is no adverse effect from phone towers flies in the face of a large body of evidence."
Dr. Neil Cherry, biophysicist.



Health Effects from Cell Phone Tower Radiation

by Karen J. Rogers

The safety of cell phone towers is the subject of extensive scientific debate. There is a growing body of scientific evidence that the electromagnetic radiation they emit, even at low levels, is dangerous to human health.

The cell phone industry is expanding quickly, with over 100,000 cell phone towers now up across the U.S., which is expected to increase ten-fold over the next five years. The industry has set what they say are " safe levels" of radiation exposure, but there are a growing number of doctors, physicists, and health officials who strongly disagree, and foresee a public health crisis.

Many towers have been built recently in Siskiyou Co., with dozens more planned, as telecommunications companies rush to corner markets in this fast-growing industry. These towers emit radio frequencies (RF), a form of electromagnetic radiation (EMR), for a distance of up to 2 1/2 miles. They are essentially the same frequency radiation as microwaves in a microwave oven.

Studies have shown that even at low levels of this radiation, there is evidence of damage to cell tissue and DNA, and it has been linked to brain tumors, cancer, suppressed immune function, depression, miscarriage, Alzheimer's disease, and numerous other serious illnesses. 1

Children are at the greatest risk, due to their thinner skulls, and rapid rate of growth. Also at greater risk are the elderly, the frail, and pregnant women. Doctors from the United Kingdom have issued warnings urging children under 16 not to use cell phones, to reduce their exposure to radio frequency (RF) radiation. 2

Over 100 physicians and scientists at Harvard and Boston University Schools of Public Health have called cellular towers a radiation hazard. Over 100 physicians and scientists at Harvard and Boston University Schools of Public Health have called cellular towers a radiation hazard. And, 33 delegate physicians from 7 countries have declared cell phone towers a "public health emergency".

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is in charge of setting the standards of exposure for the public, and claims that, based on scientific studies, the current levels are safe. But it is not a public health agency, and has been criticized as being "an arm of the industry".

Many who work for the FCC are either past, present or future employees of the very industries they are supposed to regulate. With an explosively emergent $40 billion dollar a year industry at stake, critics have stated "you can bet that their studies are going to show whatever they want them to show."

Our federal government also once told us that asbestos, cigarettes, thalidomide, and the blood supply were "safe", but which were later found to be harmful. With a $40 billion dollar a year industry at stake, "you can bet that their studies are going to show whatever they want them to show."
Cathy Bergman-Veniza, at Vermont Law School Environmental Law Center Conference, 1996

The current U.S. standard for radiation exposure from cell phone towers is 580-1,000 microwatts per sq. cm. (mW/cm2), among the least protective in the world. More progressive European countries have set standards 100 to 1,000 times lower than the U.S. Compare Australia at 200 microwatts, Russia, Italy, and Toronto, Canada at 10, China at 6, and Switzerland, at 4. In Salzburg, Austria the level is .1 mircowatts (pulsed), 10,000 times less than the U.S. New Zealand has proposed yet more stringent levels, at .02 microwatts, 50,000 times more protective than the U.S. standard. 3, 4

Contrary to what the communications industry tells us, there is vast scientific, epidemiological and medical evidence that confirms that exposure to the RF and microwave radiation emitted from cell towers, even at low levels, can have profound adverse effects on biological systems. 5, 6, 7, 8

There is vast scientific and medical evidence that exposure to cell tower radiation, even at low levels, can have profound adverse effects on biological systems.

Scientists and advocacy groups say that the current FCC "safe" standards are based on 1985 research, and fail to consider more recent research that found brain cancer, memory impairment, DNA breakdown, and neurological problems with RF at much lower levels.
The earlier studies considered only the "thermal", or heating effects of the radiationin other words, the level at which the radiation would heat tissue, or " cook" a person, in the same exact manner that a microwave oven works. The FCC levels may ensure our tissues are not "cooked", but they fail to address long-term chronic exposure at low levels, or what is called "non-thermal" effects.

Doctors say that RF radiation is wreaking havoc with normal biological cell functions. "RF alters tissue physiology", says Dr. George Carlo, an epidemiologist who found genetic damage in a $28 million research program, paid for by the industry. He now fights to have safety levels lowered. 9

In 1998 the Vienna Resolution, signed by 16 of the world's leading bioelectromagnetic researchers, provided a consensus statement that there is scientific agreement that biological effects from low intensity RF exposure are established. It says existing scientific knowledge is inadequate to set reliable exposure standards. No safe exposure level can be established at this time.

The world's leading electromagnetic researchers say existing scientific knowledge is inadequate to set reliable exposure standards.  The Vienna Resolution, 1998

The Salzburg Resolution, adopted in 2000 at the International Conference on Cell Tower Siting, would prohibit any cell site from emanating more than .1 mW/cm2 10,000 times more strict than the current U.S. standard. This limit takes into account the growing evidence for non-thermal RF bioeffects. 10

Cell phone towers expose the public to involuntary, chronic, cumulative Radio Frequency Radiation. Low levels of RFR have been shown to be associated with changes in cell proliferation and DNA damage. Some scientific studies show adverse health effects reported in the .01 to 100 mW/cm2 range at levels hundreds, indeed, thousands, of times lower than the U.S. standards. These harmful low levels of radiation can reach as far as a mile away from the cell tower location. Reported health problems include headache, sleep disorders, memory impairment, nosebleeds, an increase in seizures, blood brain barrier leakage problems, increased heart rates, lower sperm counts, and impaired nervous systems. 11

Long term and cumulative exposure to cell tower radiation has no precedent in history. There are no conclusive studies on the safety of such exposures, and the growing body of scientific evidence reports such bioeffects and adverse health effects are possible, if not probable.

Dr. Neil Cherry, Ph.D. biophysicist from New Zealand, reports that "there is no safe level of ER radiation." Dr. Cherry wrote a 120-page review of 188 scientific studies. He said the standards are based on thermal effects, but important non-thermal effects also take place, such as cell death and DNA breakdown. "The electromagnetic radiation causes cells to change in a way that makes them cancer forming." It can increase the risk of cancer two to five times, he said. "To claim there is no adverse effect from phone towers flies in the face of a large body of evidence."

"To claim there is no adverse effect from phone towers flies in the face of a large body of evidence." Dr. Neil Cherry, biophysicist.
Read full article

Interview with Dr. Neil Cherry

Part 1



Part 2




Subject Author Replies Views Last Message
Events Ohioan Ohioan 0 116 Aug 6, 2011 by Ohioan Ohioan