EMF Help Blog™ #5 – How far away from a cell phone tower is considered ‘safe’?


How far away from a cell phone tower is considered ‘safe’?


Of course, the farther away from radiation-emitting towers and antennas the better, as our bodies are not adapted to this kind of biological disruption and exhibit signs of distress at the cellular level. Scientists who have read the decades of literature on this topic believe there may be no ‘safe’ exposure level, particularly when it comes to chronic exposures.

I recommend each of you watch the video presentations from the Commonwealth Club of California, the nation’s leading public affairs forum.  This footage will give you an excellent, and truly unparalleled education on this important topic.  The hald-day program, “Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields”, is available in small 10-20 minute video segments for convenient viewing.

All of the experts at the event, the largest yet in the United States on this topic, agreed governments need to institute ‘biologically based’ human exposure guidelines, not the exposure guidelines we have today that are concerned only with physics with no relationship to biological effects. The experts cited effects on fertility, neonatal and human heart irregularities, cognitive function, impacts on DNA, among many other concerns. They expressed grave concern about the long-term effects of chronic, whole body radiation and, importantly, effects on children who are more vulnerable.

BRAG Report Guidelines for Distance from Cell Towers

The BRAG Antenna Ranking of Schools Report calls for at least a 1,500 foot setback of any antenna from a school. This is about ¼ mile, or roughly 5 city blocks. To be categorized with the best BRAG grade of Green, a school would have to have no antennas within 0.25 miles and have less than 6 antennas within 0.6 miles.

To be classified as “Black, the worst BRAG Grade, schools would have two of the three possibilities: the closest antenna within 0.06 miles (~100 yards); more than 12 antennas within 0.25 miles and/or more than 75 antennas within 0.6 miles.

Dr. Magda Havas states, “If we want children to do their best academically, emotionally, physically and socially, schools should be microwave-free—free from ambient radiation from neighborhood antennas, as well as free from wireless internet.” She adds, “Not only have symptoms of electrohypersensitivity been demonstrated at exposures that are a fraction (0.04%) of U.S. exposure guidelines, but the guidelines themselves, which are based on an assumed 30-minute exposure, do not take into consideration the effects of realistic exposure durations, such as chronic exposures experienced in school, office or residential settings.”


Another factor little understood, that guidelines do not take into consideration but on which there is mounting scientific evidence, is the importance of ‘reflections’, which sometimes increase our RF exposures to levels well over current FCC safety guidelines. FCC guidelines are presently only concerned with heating effects of radiation, overlooking the non-thermal effects on biology from frequencies, modulation of the signals, etc., as well as the effects from reflections.

The risks from ‘reflections’ is an important consideration to understand, as reflections are common near cell phone antennas, impacting homes, schools and work environments.

For example, one bau biologist found that his home, while not in the direct line of radiation exposure from a nearby neighborhood cell tower, nonetheless was being highly impacted by it because the radiation was bouncing off a nearby metal garage door on an angle toward his house. An important new paper by Vermeeren et al, 2010 describes a study at the Swiss ITIS wireless emissions testing laboratory documenting the importance of considering the “reflective environment”.

Magda Havas, PhD says research in Zory’s Archives also shows “people themselves can also reflect microwave radiation, and two people standing near each other may have up to 3 times higher exposure (or lower exposure due to shielding) depending on the geometry of the radiation and the location of the people.”  While some radiation is absorbed into the body because we are conductive, our bodies will also reflect radiation.

Metal In or On the Body

Another important consideration with reflections has to do with people who have metal implants, dental braces or who spend a lot of time in metal wheelchairs. There are heartbreaking cases of people who literally cannot function, or who have seizures or mental disorders linked to these appliances, and especially in the case of internal implants, which are difficult to reverse.

I have counseled and helped remediate the homes of people with metal rods in their bodies, and also discovered certain perfectly healthy children had seizures after getting metal braces put in their mouth.  It is clear people with metal on or in their bodies (even metal dental fillings) are having a very hard time in the wireless age. Doctors and dentists need to be informed of this and non-metal implants, braces and fillings used instead.

I recommend everyone order a copy of a Primer on Electrosensitivity by the U.K. charity Electrosensitivity-U.K. and share this excellent compilation of the research and clinical understanding with their doctors and other health related personnel.

Beyond the ‘electrosensitivity’ symptoms near cell antennas, German doctors have found that the proportion of newly developing cancer cases is significantly higher among people who live within 400 meters of a cell phone transmitter. The relative risk of getting cancer in the study increased by 200% after 5 years operation of the transmitter. (H. Eger at al, “The Influence of Being Physically Near to a Cell Phone.)

In Israel, Wolf et al (2004) found that within 350 meters of cell phone antennas there was a 300% increased incidence of cancer among men and women and a 900% cancer increase among women alone.

Questions? Schools may e-mail Campaign for Radiation Free Schools at: [email protected].


This blog brings the wisdom of world-class experts in electromagnetic fields to your school. In the next Blog, we will interview a second expert in EMF mitigation and learn how exactly he goes about assessing an environment for electromagnetic fields. Don’t miss it! It is in the field where the most important learning takes place.

Advisors to the EMF-Help Blog™ include David Carpenter, MD, Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment, University of Albany, USA; Magda Havas, PhD, Trent University, Canada; Alasdair Philips, Powerwatch, U.K.; Vicki Warren, BSEE, CIE, CERSA, BBEC, Past Executive Director, Institute for Bau Biology & Ecology, USA; Karl Maret, MD, M.Eng., President, Dove Health Alliance, USA; and science writer, B. Blake Levitt, author of “Electromagnetic Fields:  A Consumers Guide to the Issues and How to Protect Ourselves”, USA.

Copyright Wide Angle Health, LLC © 2011.

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