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Cell Tower Radiation Effects

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Conference Paper - 'Biological effects of Cell Tower Radiation' - Neha Kumar,Prof Girish Kumar,International Symposium on Microwave and Optical Tehcnology (ISMOT 2009). …

Conference Paper - 'Biological effects of Cell Tower Radiation' - Neha Kumar,Prof Girish Kumar,International Symposium on Microwave and Optical Tehcnology (ISMOT 2009).


Cell Tower radiation has become of extreme concern as we are exposed to them 24x7, and one cannot do much if the tower antenna is mounted right on top of your home/school/office building etc. Radiation level measurements were carried out at various locations and the levels were found to be far above the recommended values.

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  • My father died from ALS last year because a cell tower is right outside our house in Trinidad & Tobago. I would love to get help to remove this tower by doing a case study on it. My children are not safe. amir_m39@hotmail.com
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  • Eye opener ....
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  • thank you my dear ...
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  • please share this research at policy makers level so unsuspecting citizens are not scarificed at the alter of mobile operators' greed
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  • 1. ISMOT /09/C/318 Biological Effects of Cell Tower Radiation on Human Body Neha Kumar1 and Prof. Girish Kumar2* Electrical Engineering Department, IIT Bombay Powai, Mumbai – 400 076, India Tel: 022-2576-7436; Fax: 022-2572-3707; E-mail: gkumar@ee.iitb.ac.in Abstract- Continuous exposure to microwave proper communication. A building situated at radiations from Cell phone towers, TV and FM 10’s of meter from the tower will receive 10,000 towers cause serious health problems over the times stronger signal than required for mobile years. Microwave radiation effects are classified communication. In cities like Mumbai, Delhi, as - thermal and non-thermal. The current Bangalore etc, millions of people reside within exposure safety standards are mainly based on the thermal effects, which are inadequate. these high radiation zones. Measurements have been carried out at various places near the cell towers and it has been found Not all standards and guidelines throughout the that the radiation levels are very high. This paper world have recommended the same limits for reviews various epidemiological and experimental exposure. For example, some published studies, which show significant biological effects exposure limits in Russia and some eastern far below the current standards. Also, the details European countries have been generally more of Radiation Shield are given, which consists of restrictive than existing or proposed orthogonally polarized multiple broad band recommendations for exposure developed in monopole antennas to absorb the undesired North America and other parts of Europe. radiation. Index Terms- Biological Effects, Broadband Antennas, Cell Tower Radiation, Microwave II. MEASURED RADIATED POWER Radiation, Radiation Shield Radiation level measurements near several cell sites were carried out using broadband I. INTRODUCTION monopole antenna of gain = 2 dB and spectrum analyzer. The measurements were done at With increase in cell phone communication, different locations in front of the transmitting number of cell towers getting installed is towers at a distance varying from 50m to 150m, increasing every day. In India, currently there at different heights, inside and outside the are nearly 3.75 lakh cell phone towers, and to buildings, and at various angles from the tower meet the communication demand, the number (within and off the main beam lobe). For a cell will increase to 4.25 lakh towers by 2010. The site consisting of transmitting towers of CDMA, cell tower transmits in the frequency range of GSM900 and GSM1800, signal strengths were 869 - 894 MHz (CDMA), 935 - 960 MHz measured for each frequency bands. At a (GSM900) and 1805 – 1880 MHz (GSM1800). distance of 50m, the measured power varied Also, 3G has been deployed in a few cities, between -20 to -30 dBm inside the rooms but whose tower transmits in the frequency range of near the window. At a distance of 100 to 150 m 2110 – 2170 MHz. Majority of these towers are and at different angles, the measured power mounted near the residential and office buildings varied between -30 to -50 dBm in the frequency to provide good mobile phone coverage to the band of 800, 900 and 1800 MHz. These users. A mobile phone tower and its transmitting measurements agree with the theoretical power are designed such a way that it covers a calculations. distance of at least a few kilometers, implying that a mobile phone at that distance should be Power Received Pr by an antenna at a distance R able to transmit and receive enough signal for is given by:
  • 2. ISMOT 2009, Dec. 16-19, New Delhi, India 1366 for long-term exposure, reporting that the power 2 densities should not exceed 100 µW/m2 [1]. P × Gt × Area ⎛ λ ⎞ Pr = t = Pt × Gt × Gr × ⎜ ⎟ 4πR ⎝ 4πR ⎠ 2 At many places, cell phone towers are mounted For a transmitter power of Pt = 20 W, on the roof top of the residential /commercial transmitting antenna gain of Gt = 10 dB, buildings. Even though antenna radiates less receiving monopole antenna of gain Gt = 2 dB, power vertically down but the distance between the received power at R = 50 m is: the antenna and top floor is usually a few meters, so the radiation level in the top two At 887 MHz, Pr = -10.2 dBm. floors remain very high. At 945 MHz, Pr = -10.8 dBm. At 1872 MHz, Pr = -16.7 dBm III. BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS The concrete wall provides some attenuation and also these buildings were not directly in the When a human body is exposed to the direction of maximum radiation of transmitting electromagnetic radiation, it absorbs radiation, antenna, and hence measured power is less than because human body contains 70% of liquid. It theoretically calculated power. is similar to that of cooking in the microwave oven. The human height is much greater than the A mobile phone requires -80 to -100 dBm input wavelength of the cell tower transmitting power for its proper operation. In comparison frequencies, so there will be multiple resonances with -80 dBm level, the measured power level at in the body, which creates localized heating R = 50m is at least 50 to 60 dB higher, which inside the body. This results in boils, drying up translates to 100,000 to 1000,000 times stronger the fluids around eyes, brain, joints, heart, signal than a mobile phone requires. This is not abdomen, etc surprising, as one cell tower typically covers a radius of a few kilometers, so at 50 m distance, The current international standards (based on signal will be very strong as transmitted power ICNIRP recommendations) are purely based on varies as 1/R2. the thermal effects of radiation where as various epidemiological and experimental studies have The power density at R = 50m is equal to 6.366 shown to have significant biological effects far mW/m2 = 6366 µW/m2. According to the Soviet below these standards. Non-thermal effects of Union standard, the safe radiation limit is Radio frequency radiation accumulate over time 0.1W/m2 = 0.01mW/cm2 = 100,000µW/m2 for 2 and the risks are more pronounced after 8 to 10 hours of exposure per day. This limit was years of exposure [2]. The effects are not established several decades back in Soviet observed in the initial years of exposure as the Union, which has cold weather. For tropical body has certain defense mechanisms and the countries, such as, India, which is hot and pressure is on the stress proteins of the body, humid, the acceptable maximum radiated power namely the heat shock proteins [3]. This means density should be much lower. Also, the above that the body recognizes these electromagnetic limit is for a maximum exposure of 2 hours/day, radiations as a potential harm. An additional whereas some of the people (especially older concern is that if the stress goes on too long, people, house wives, small children) living near there is a reduced response, and the cells are less the towers are exposed to this radiation 24 hours protected against the damage. This is why a day. In a more recent study in Germany, a prolonged or chronic exposures may be quite threshold of 1,000 µW/m2 was pointed out for harmful, even at very low intensities. non-thermal biological effects, and a further safety factor of 10 was recommended for pulsed Radiation from cell phone towers has been radiation sources as cellular phone base stations associated with greater increase in brain tumor [2]. This is due to the damage in the blood brain barrier and the cells in the brain which are
  • 3. 1367 Biological Effects of Cell Tower Radiation on Human Body concerned with learning, memory and pain, depression, and sleep disturbance [13]. movement. Studies by Carl Blackman have More severe reactions include seizures, shown that weak electromagnetic fields release paralysis, psychosis and stroke. All point to the calcium ions from cell membranes [4]. Leakage fact that the current exposure standards for of calcium ions into the cytosol acts as a microwaves are not safe for long-term exposure. metabolic stimulant, which accelerates growth and healing, but it also promotes the growth of A study in Australia found that children living tumors. Loss of calcium ions causes leaks in the near TV and FM broadcast towers had more membranes of lysosomes releasing DNAase that than twice the rate of leukemia as children living causes DNA damage. Another possibility of more than seven miles away from these towers DNA damage is via increased free radical [14]. In another study, TV signal exposed formation inside cells [5, 6], which further workers were observed to have increased causes cellular damage in the mitochondria. Immunoglobulin G and A and decreased Irreversible infertility has been reported in mice lymphocytes and T8 cells, resulting in a [7] and continuous exposure has been associated decrease in immune response [15]. with reduction in sperm viability and mobility by around 25 percent in men [8]. Children are In a German study, it was found that proportion more vulnerable to radio frequency radiation of newly developed cancer cases was three times emissions as their skulls are thinner, their higher among those who had lived during the nervous system still developing and myelin past ten years at a distance of up to 400m from sheath is yet not developed. A pregnant woman the cellular transmitter site, compared to those and the fetus both are vulnerable because of the living further away. Also, patients fell ill on fact that these RF radiations continuously react average 8 years earlier. It is recommended that with the developing embryo and increasing cells. the safe limit of radiations for human beings is Microwave radiation damages the placental up to 50 µW/m2 and the upper limit is 100 barrier, implying that pregnant woman should µW/m2. not use cell phone [9]. The RF Exposure can adversely affect the heart pace maker, implantable cardiovascular defibrillators and IV. RADIATION SHIELD impulse generators [10]. These radiations may stop Pace Maker from delivering pulses in a Since antennas are used for transmitting and regular way or may generate some kind of receiving signals. A “Radiation Shield” external controlling pulse putting the patient to consisting of multiple orthogonally polarized death. Studies of people who are exposed in broadband monopole antennas, has been their work (occupational exposure), have shown developed. The antennas are broadband planar to have elevated levels of health risks. Another circular monopole antennas and are designed to study reveals that workers who are in the highest cover the frequency range from 800 to 4000 10% category for EMF exposure are twice as MHz. The antennas are terminated in matched likely to die of prostate cancer as those exposed load to absorb the harmful radiation to produce a at lower levels [11]. Exposure to safe radiation free environment. The details of electromagnetic fields has shown to be in these antennas and other measurements will be connection with Alzheimer’s disease, motor presented at the symposium. neuron disease and Parkinson’s disease [12]. All these diseases are involved with the death of specific neurons and are classified as V. CONCLUSIONS neurodegenerative diseases. Inhabitants living near mobile phone base stations are also at risk In addition to the continuous radiation from cell for developing neuropsychiatric problems as towers, there is radiation from cell phones, headache, memory loss, nausea, dizziness, wireless phones, computers, laptops, TV towers, tremors, muscle spasms, numbness, tingling, FM towers, microwave ovens, etc. We are altered reflexes, muscle and joint paint, leg/foot
  • 4. ISMOT 2009, Dec. 16-19, New Delhi, India 1368 exposed to all these radiations, which are absorbs 10% to 50% of radiation depending additive in nature. Stricter radiation norms must upon its placement and direction of source of be enforced by the policy makers across the radiation. Multiple units can absorb radiation up to 80% to 90%. Mobile companies should not be globe. in the denial mode, and accept that radiation This does not mean that we have to stop living causes serious health problems, only then people near these towers. We all know that automobiles all over the world will carry out research to create air pollution – have we stopped using come out with solutions. them? Instead solutions were found such as unleaded petrol, CNG driven vehicle, hybrid vehicles, etc. Similarly, the solution to avoid excess radiation is to use radiation shield, which REFERENCES [1] Haumann Thomas, et al, “ HF-Radiation levels [8] Agarwal A et al, “Relationship between cell of GSM cellular phone towers in residential phone use and human fertility: an observational areas”,http://nocelltower.com/German%20RF%2 study”, Oasis, The Online Abstract Submission 0Research%20Article.pdf System, 2006 [2] Hardell Lennart et al, “Epidemiological evidence [9] Allan H. Frey, Evolution and Results of for an association between use of wireless phones Biological Research with Low-Intensity and tumor diseases”, Pathophysiology, PATPHY- Nonionizing Radiation, Modern Bioelectricity, 595, 2009 785–837, 1988 [3] Leszczynski D et al, “Non-thermal activation of [10] Altamura G et al, “Influence of digital and the hsp27/p38MAPK stress pathway by mobile analogue cellular telephones on implanted phone radiation in human endothelial cells: pacemakers”, European Heart Journal, 18(10), molecular mechanism for cancer- and blood- 1632-4161, 1997 brain barrier-related effects”, Differentiation, [11] Charles L E et al, “Electromagnetic fields, 70(2-3), 120-9, 2002 polychlorinated biphenyls and prostate cancer [4] Blackman CF et al , “Effects of ELF fields on mortality in electric utility Workers”, American calcium-ion efflux from brain tissue in vitro”, Journal of Epidemiology 157, 683-691, 2003 Radiation Research, 92, 510-520, 1982 [12] World Health Organization, ELF Health Criteria [5] Lai, H, Singh, NP, “Melatonin and a spin-trap Monograph. Neurodegenerative Disorders, p187, compound block radiofrequency electromagnetic 2007 radiation-induced DNA strand breaks in rat brain [13] Abdel-Rassoul G, et al, “Neurobehavioral effects cells”, Bioelectromagnetics, 18, 446-454, 1997a among inhabitants around mobile phone base [6] Simkó M, “Cell type specific redox status is stations”, Neurotoxicology, 28(2), 434-40, 2006 responsible for diverse electromagnetic field [14] Hocking, B., et al, “Cancer incidence and effects”, Current Medicinal Chemistry, 14, 1141- mortality and proximity to TV towers, Medical 1152, 2007. Journal of Australia”, 165, 601-605, 1996 [7] Magras IN, Xenos TD, “RF radiation-induced [15] Moszczynski, P, et al, “The effect of various changes in the prenatal development of mice”, occupational exposures to microwave radiation Bioelectromagnetics, 18, 455-461, 1997 on the concentrations of immunoglobulins and T lymphocyte subsets”, Wiad Lek, 52, 30-34, 1999

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