Cell Towers and Cell Antennae

Cell Towers and Cell Antennae mounted on buildings have radio frequency emissions. The closer you are to the antennae, the more radiofrequency radiation you are exposed to. Cell tower radiation exposure is different than cell phone exposure in that a cell phone to the head focuses an extremely high amount of radiation to a specific brain region. Cell tower emissions are at lower levels than cell phones. However, with cell tower exposure, the exposure is non- stop day and night and full body exposure.

People living or working in close vicinity to a cell tower will get the highest exposures. People sleeping in homes with windows facing antennas will have more nighttime exposure. A phone can be turned off but a cell tower cannot be. Many governments and local juristictions have halted the placement of cell towers and cell antennae near schools and residences because of the higher density of radiation in the close vicinity to cell antennas.

Isa cell tower proposed at your child’s school? Go to this page with details and resources. 

Read a PDF compilation of Doctors letters on cell towers near schools.

Please learn about more worker safety issues at EHT’s webpage on cell tower industry health and safety issues.

Dr. Litovitz to the US Congressional in 2001 on EMF
Cell Tower Microwave Radiation Presentation by Magda Havas
Harmful Levels of RF That Exceed FCC levels Found on Cell Tower Sites
Dr. Martin Pall & Dr. Paul Dart, M.D. Oregon House of Rep. Health Committee
Blake Levitt 2007 U.S. Congressional Staff Briefing
Full Signal – The Hidden Cost of Cell Phones

In addition to radiation concerns, cell towers also present a myriad of additional safety issues such as inadequate regulations for workers, fire risk and the placement of hazardous materials (diesel fuel and lead acid batteries) in the cell tower compound. Safety issues related prompted the the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to write the FCC in 2013 that “ensuring compliance with existing FCC RF human exposure limits by the FCC licensee is not effective and cannot/is not being enforced.” Concerned about the health of their workers the IBEW states “When there is a hazard, the hazard creator has a duty to warn others against the hazard.

The body of research on humans is complicated by the inability to fully assess exposure because of all the variables related to exposure assessment. Please note that decades ago the lead industry argued that leaded gasoline in cars did not pose a risk to humans because it was “so low” and what they called an “environmental exposure”. However, history has shown these “low levels” added up and that leaded gas was a huge policy misstep. Current research shows that by far “the largest contributor to global environmental lead contamination has been the use of lead in petrol”. In a similar fashion, the wireless industry argues that cell tower emissions are “low” and “environmental” exposures.

Juli Chawla, former Miss India and Bollywood Actress became a voice for wireless safety after she found she was living across from cell base stations. In 2015 she received the Indira Gandhi Memorial Award for social awareness about the health hazards caused due to cell towers and cell antennae radiation. Watch her excellent speech in the video here.
Click Here For a List of Scientific Publications on Cell Tower Radiation
What health and safety issues do cell towers pose?
What is the 1996 Telecommunications Act and how does it affect cell tower placement in the USA?
Please read this briefing about the 1996 Telecom Act and other Regulations Affecting Cell Tower Sitings
I keep reading that FCC’s limits for RF radiation are “thermal” limits. What does this mean?
I have been told that the RF radiation levels from a proposed cell tower (or from our school’s Wi-Fi system) is well below FCC’s maximum permissible exposure levels (i.e. FCC compliant) and therefore I should not be concerned. Is there a health risk even at FCC compliant levels?
Are the RF limits in all countries thermal like the US? If not, why not?
How do I find out about how many cell towers or cell antennae are near my home?

Cell Tower Radiation Awareness ProgramThe Center for Construction Research and Training Radiofrequency Cell Tower Radiation Awareness Program for the Construction Industry



EPA letter that clarifies that existing RF standards do not protect us from long term low level exposure

Department of Interior Letter on Cell Towers and how FCC limits are out of date.

US Department of Labor letter on the “alarming increase in cell tower worker deaths” dated  2014

Letter from LA firefighters to chair of the public safety committee September 20, 2014

LA Firefighter Union Asks that they “cease and desist” from constructing towers.

Letter from Connecticut Atty. Gen. and Lieut. Gov. on cell towers

Letter from Connecticut Governor on how cell towers are ugly

Congressman James Himes Letter against cell towers Jan 28, 2010

Rebuttal to T-Mobile Appeal Conditional Use Permit No. PL2014-518 June 2, 2015 Prepared by Residents of Diamond Bar, CA

For Diamond Bar City Council, Diamond Bar, CA

Read the resolution from the city council rejecting the T-Mobile tower in Maple Hill Park. 


One in ten cell phone antenna sites violate FCC rules designed to protect workers from excessive radio frequency radiation. Read Lawmakers push FCC to Limit RF radiation exposure from cellular antennas

Senator Blumenthal, Representative Eshoo Urge FCC to Enforce Exposure Limits for Those Who Work Near Wireless Towers

2013: Supreme Court of India upheld the High Court of the State of Rajasthan decision to remove all cell towers from the vicinity of schools, hospitals and playgrounds because of radiation “hazardous to life.”

India: Zilla Parishad orders removal of all cellphone towers near schools citing exposure to “harmful radiation”. 


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