Tree damage caused by mobile phone base stations An observation guide By Helmut Breunig


Tree damage caused by mobile phone base stations An observation guide

By Helmut Brewing March 2017

Photos and RF measurements by Cornelia Waldmann-Selsam Additional photos by Alfonso Balmori, Helmut Breunig, Örjan Hallberg, Volker Schorpp and Monika Schuberth-Brehm

This documentation can be found online at We have posted the peer-reviewed research that shows that cell  tower mobile phone base station radiation damages trees below this document.

Note the published article by Waldmann-Selsam, C., et al. “Radiofrequency radiation injures trees around mobile phone base stations.” Science of the Total Environment, vol. 572, 2016, pp. 554-69.



This private manuscript was written by Diplom-Forstwirt Helmut Breunig (Diplom degree in forestry).

You can download the Observation Guide at: Competence Initiative for the Protection of Humanity, the Environment and Democracy

If citing this work, please provide the author’s name and the Internet link of the document. If you would like to contact the author regarding the contents of the Observation Guide, please send an e-mail to Feedback and suggestions are always welcome.

Halgamuge, M.N. “Weak radiofrequency radiation exposure from mobile phone radiation on plants.” Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, vol. 36, no. 2, 2017, pp. 213-235.

  • “Our analysis demonstrates that the data from a substantial amount of the studies on RF-EMFs from mobile phones show physiological and/or morphological effects (89.9%, p < 0.001). Additionally, our analysis of the results from these reported studies demonstrates that the maize, roselle, pea, fenugreek, duckweeds, tomato, onions and mungbean plants seem to be very sensitive to RF-EMFs. Our findings also suggest that plants seem to be more responsive to certain frequencies…”

Waldmann-Selsam, C., et al. “Radiofrequency radiation injures trees around mobile phone base stations.” Science of the Total Environment, vol. 572, 2016, pp. 554-69.

Gustavino, B., et al. “Exposure to 915 MHz radiation induces micronuclei in Vicia faba root tips.” Mutagenesis, vol. 31, no. 2, 2016, pp. 187-92.

  • The increasing use of mobile phones and wireless networks raised a great debate about the real carcinogenic potential of radiofrequency-electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure associated with these devices. Conflicting results are reported by the great majority of in vivo and in vitro studies on the capability of RF-EMF exposure to induce DNA damage and mutations in mammalian systems. Aimed at understanding whether less ambiguous responses to RF-EMF exposure might be evidenced in plant systems with respect to mammalian ones, in the present work the mutagenic effect of RF-EMF has been studied through the micronucleus (MN) test in secondary roots of Vicia faba seedlings exposed to mobile phone transmission in controlled conditions, inside a transverse electro magnetic (TEM) cell.
  • Exposure of roots was carried out for 72h using a continuous wave (CW) of 915 MHz radiation at three values of equivalent plane wave power densities (23, 35 and 46W/m2). The specific absorption rate (SAR) was measured with a calorimetric method and the corresponding values were found to fall in the range of 0.4-1.5W/kg.
  • Results of three independent experiments show the induction of a significant increase of MN frequency after exposure, ranging from a 2.3-fold increase above the sham value, at the lowest SAR level, up to a 7-fold increase at the highest SAR. These findings are in agreement with the limited number of data on cytogenetic effects detected in other plant systems exposed to mobile phone RF-EMF frequencies and clearly show the capability of radiofrequency exposure to induce DNA damage in this eukaryotic cell system.
  • It is worth noticing that this range of SAR values is well below the international limits for localised exposure (head, trunk), according to the ICNIRP guidelines (35) and IEEE std C95.1 (38), which are 10 (8.0) W/kg for occupational exposure and 2.0 (1.6) W/kg for general public exposure respectively.

Halgamuge, Malka N., See Kye Yak and Jacob L. Eberhardt. “Reduced growth of soybean seedlings after exposure to weak microwave radiation from GSM 900 mobile phone and base station.” Bioelectromagnetics, vol. 36, no. 2, 2015, pp. 87-95.

  • The aim of this work was to study possible effects of environmental radiation pollution on plants. The association between cellular telephone (short duration, higher amplitude) and base station (long duration, very low amplitude) radiation exposure and the growth rate of soybean (Glycine max) seedlings was investigated.
  • The exposure to higher amplitude (41 V m−1) GSM radiation resulted in diminished outgrowth of the epicotyl. The exposure to lower amplitude (5.7 V m−1) GSM radiation did not influence outgrowth of epicotyl, hypocotyls, or roots. The exposure to higher amplitude CW radiation resulted in reduced outgrowth of the roots whereas lower CW exposure resulted in a reduced outgrowth of the hypocotyl. Soybean seedlings were also exposed for 5 days to an extremely low level of radiation (GSM 900 MHz, 0.56 V m−1) and outgrowth was studied 2 days later. Growth of epicotyl and hypocotyl was found to be reduced, whereas the outgrowth of roots was stimulated.
  • Our findings indicate that the observed effects were significantly dependent on field strength as well as amplitude modulation of the applied field.

Senavirathna, M.D., et al. “Nanometer-scale elongation rate fluctuations in the Myriophyllum aquaticum (Parrot feather) stem were altered by radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation.” Plant Signal Behav, vol. 9, no. 3, 2014.

  • Statistically significant changes to this plant from a non thermal effect.

Soran, M.L., et al. “Influence of microwave frequency electromagnetic radiation on terpene emission and content in aromatic plants.” Journal of Plant Physiology, vol. 171, no. 15, 2014, pp. 1436-43.

  • Microwave irradiation resulted in thinner cell walls, smaller chloroplasts and mitochondria, and enhanced emissions of volatile compounds, in particular, monoterpenes and green leaf volatiles (GLV). These data collectively demonstrate that human-generated microwave pollution can potentially constitute a stress to the plants.
  • The above is only a small sampling of the research showing biological effects at non thermal levels on living organisms.

Haggerty, Katie. “Adverse Influence of Radio Frequency Background on Trembling Aspen Seedlings.” International Journal of Forestry Research, vol 2010, no. 836278, 2010.

  • “This study suggests that the RF background may have strong adverse effects on growth rate and fall anthocyanin production in aspen, and may be an underlying factor in aspen decline.”

Read more at our webpage on peer reviewed science on the  environment

Sign Up to Stay Informed

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and science from Environmental Health Trust. We email our subscribers with a newsletter just once a month and never share your email with anyone.