When buying a house, many people worry about whether living near cell phone towers can have any negative health impacts. Even when you don’t live, work or school near a cell tower, you can be exposed to a lot of radiation inside your home. Can living or working near cell phone towers cause headaches? Read this article to understand more about the radiation effects of cell phone towers.
Though the radio frequency (RF) emitted by cell phone towers is low compared to other types of radiation, it can be harmful to human health. The closer you are to the tower, the more harmful it is. RF radiation from cell phone towers interfere with the natural systems of your body potentially causing health issues. As a result, you may have constant headaches and other health issues like memory loss, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and birth defects among others.
If microwave antennas and other telecommunication equipment are installed in a cell tower, they flood the surrounding area with high-frequency radio waves (microwaves). These radio waves support the use of Bluetooth supported devices, cell phones, Wifi, Wireless LAN, and the use of WiMax, etc.
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Effects of Microwave Signals and Electromagnetic Radiation Generated by Cell Phone Towers
A cell phone tower has antennas and electronic communications equipment that is laid either on a radio mast, a tower or another raised area. The towers emit non-ionizing radio frequencies which are classified as “potential carcinogen” by the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to Soviet research as early as the 1950s, people living near cell phone towers experienced microwave sickness syndrome. These symptoms included headache, dizziness, sleep disorders, and memory loss.
Cell phone towers and cell phones emit different frequencies of radio-frequency radiation. The frequency emitted ranges from 10 KHz to 300 GHz.
The microwaves in a cell tower can travel as far as 2 miles in a hilly area and around 45 miles in areas where there is little obstruction. You can also install a radio mast, which is a smaller version of a cell phone tower. These radio masts can be installed on building rooftops or on billboards, thus increasing the amount of radiation in the environment around you.
Cell phone tower microwaves have a higher frequency than radio waves, hence they have a bigger impact on living organisms. Therefore, a more powerful cell phone microwave tower will have a more significant effect on the individuals and animals around it.
Mobile towers installed on top of a building generate a high amount of microwaves (at a frequency of about 1900 MHz). This makes them more dangerous to individuals living within a square kilometer.
American research as early as the 1970s indicated that electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from cell towers was being generated from the high-frequency radio waves or microwaves. The microwave radiation-induced high risks to human life.
How Radiation from the Cell Towers Induce Headache
Cell phone towers emit microwave radiation within an electromagnetic field spectrum. The intensity of waves from the antennas decreases as they move farther away from the tower. Thus the impact on humans is related to the distance between an individual and the base tower.
The radiation of electromagnetic fields affects those living or working near cell towers, with many people complaining of chronic headaches.
Smartphones themselves also emit electromagnetic fields. A lot of individuals complain of headaches after using cell phones, especially those using 4G LTE technology. Using your cell phone continuously for more than 30 minutes a day for over a year creates damage to your brain and may even lead to a brain tumor.
Therefore, it is important to note that not only cell phone towers contribute to headaches, but that your mobile devices do as well.
The microwaves from cell towers affect brain level and activities. The electromagnetic field (often referred to as radiation) from the tower invokes a cell inflammatory reaction. Inflammation induced by radio-frequency radiation (RFR) from cell towers or cell phones affects people to different degrees. Many affected people report headaches. The severity of the headache depends on the exposure rate and the sensitivity of the individual.
Radiation from the next generation cell phone towers has been reported to not only cause headaches, but also nausea in individuals, especially those near the base station.
In addition to headaches and nausea, it is reported that when your body tissue absorbs microwave signals or radiation, especially for prolonged periods of time, it can have a variety of negative impacts. These include:
- Disrupt your brain activities
- Affect your brain tissue or sometimes your head
- Damage your own DNA
- Change your cells membrane polarity by reversing them
- Change your brain chemistry
- Block blood from flowing some parts of the brain
Disruption of brain activities
A report by Sleep Research Journal (Huber et al., 2002) indicates that exposure to electromagnetic fields has adverse effects which can lead to changes in brain activities. The use of cell phones specifically increases blood circulation on one side of the brain.
Though exposure to the electromagnetic fields may not affect brain waves immediately, after prolonged and cumulative exposure, they disrupt your brain activities.
The negative effects can manifest in being distracted, irritable, moody, nauseous and prone to headaches.
Blockage of blood flow in the brain
A study done by the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Lund in Sweden shows that radiation from cell towers damages the neurons in the brain (Salford, et al., 1994). Exposure to certain types of electromagnetic fields is linked to impacts on albumin, and damage to neurons and the blood barrier of the brain.
Microwaves emitted by antennas in base towers affect the dopamine-opiate system in the brain. Blockage of blood circulation to all parts of the brain causes headaches in humans. This is one of the reasons why the increased use of cell phones contributes to an increased frequency of headaches.
Increased risk of brain tumors and cancer
Cell phones need radio waves in order to connect with a telecommunication channel. The phone antennas emit electromagnetic waves that increase as the distance from the antenna increases.
A study carried out by Dr. Lennart Hardell indicated electromagnetic fields from cell phones and cell towers caused increased brain tumors (Hardell, 2016). Research indicates that radio waves from cell phones increases the rate at which cancerous cells grow, and may increase the growth of cancerous cells in your brain.
Therefore, if you live near cell phone towers, you may want to measure the amount of radiation and electromagnetic fields you are exposed to.
A new study on brain cancer by the Journal of American Medical Association indicates that the majority of the energy emitted by a cell phone during a call is directly absorbed by the head and hand.
During calls and data transfers, cell phones emit high-frequency radio waves. This ultra-high-frequency radiation is linked to brain cancer.
The studies also show that microwave signals can penetrate through body tissue, glass and plastic material.
How to Reduce the Risk of Exposure
Though the government does not provide clear information on the effects of cell phone towers and the use of cell phones, it is the responsibility of every individual to take protective measures. This helps reduce your risk of exposure. Some of these measures include:
1. Using distance and shielding to protect yourself
Always ensure you are far away from the radiation source. Putting some distance between you and the emitting device is one of the most immediate and effective ways to reduce the risk of exposure.
You can also reduce the time spent being exposed to radiation. For example, if you’re at the risk of radiation from cellular phones, you can minimize your conversation time and text more. When you text, the EMF waves are reduced compared to when making calls, and the radiation is not immediately adjacent to your head
2. Get an EMF shielding device
Install an EMF shielding device to reduce the electromagnetic field and radiation that cause health issues to humans.
3. Keep the phone away from the body
Always keep your cell phone away from you. Avoid putting it in your pants or shirt pocket to avoid any radiation effects.
4. Avoid using phones on low battery
When the battery is low, the phone radiation increases. The same case applies when signals are low. Therefore, you shouldn’t use the phone when the battery is low or has a low signal.
5. Turn off Wi-Fi and data when not needed
When your Wi-Fi and mobile data is on, it captures a lot of EMF rays from the surrounding cell phone towers and satellites. Turning them off will reduce the risk of exposure of radiation from phone towers.
6. Avoid the use of the phone in charging mode
The amount of radiation produced when the phone is charging is 10 times higher than normal.
7. Turn on speakers
When making calls, turn on speakers or use earphones to reduce radiation exposure. You should also remove the earphones after your conversation is over. If you don’t have earphones and don’t want to use the hands-free speakers, keep the phone 1 to 2 cm away from your ears.
Learn more about how to reduce radiation exposure here.
Many people complain about having headaches caused by the microwaves emitted by cell phones and cell towers. Electromagnetic fields and radio waves have various effects on individuals. The severity of the impacts depends on the amount of exposure and the sensitivity of the individual.
Cellular phones are reported to cause chronic headaches in some humans. Exposure from low-level microwaves result in an opening of the blood barrier. As a result, it separates the bloodstream from cerebral spinal fluid, and the brain. The opening of the blood barrier is associated with painful headaches.
The dopamine-opiate system of the body is also affected by electromagnetic fields. This disruption of the system is also associated with headaches.
In addition to headaches, some studies indicate that other negative effects are associated with exposure to microwaves. These effects include the development and growth of brain tumors.
It’s everyone’s responsibility to shield themselves from the dangers of microwaves and electromagnetic fields radiating from cell towers and cell phones. You can do this by limiting your exposure in various ways, including distancing yourself from the source, turning off Wifi when not in use, and avoiding the use of your phone when it is low on power or charging.