Base stations and cell towers
The standard advice from Cancer Research UK is that proximity to cell masts does not increase cancer risk. The British Medical Journal claims there is no association, based on a study of children whose mothers lived by base stations during pregnancy, and this is widely-cited by the press and government bodies.
Yet an article in the British Medical Journal gives a long list of eminent scientists saying EMFs from masts do present a health risk and states:
Dr Grahame Blackwell, Independent UK physicist and consultant has summarised six studies of masts and effects:
“These above six studies are the only studies known of that specifically consider the effects of masts on people. All six of these studies show clear and significant ill-health effects. There are no known studies relating to health effects of masts that do not show such ill-health effects.
Professor Santini et al. Pathol Biol (Paris)
“… it is advisable that mobile phone base stations not be sited closer than 300 meters to populations.” Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)
Study for the Netherlands Ministries of Economic Affairs, Housing,Spatial Planning and the Environment,and Health, Welfare and Sport found significant effects on wellbeing, according to a number of internationally-recognised criteria (including headaches, muscle fatigue/pain, dizziness etc) from 3G mast emissions well below accepted ‘safety’ levels (less than 1/25,000th of ICNIRP guidelines).
The article also states that conflicts of interest cloud results when looking at RF radiation generally and that this may also apply to studies of proximity to masts.
One study shows adverse effects, particularly within 80 metres:
The RF power density of the exposed individuals was significantly higher (p < 0.0001) when compared to the control group. The HPBLs were cultured and the DNA damage was assessed by cytokinesis blocked micronucleus (MN) assay in the binucleate lymphocytes. The analyses of data from the exposed group (n = 40), residing within a perimeter of 80 m of mobile base stations, showed significantly (p < 0.0001) higher frequency of micronuclei when compared to the control group, residing 300 m away from the mobile base station/s. The analysis of various antioxidants in the plasma of exposed individuals revealed a significant attrition in glutathione (GSH) concentration (p < 0.01), activities of catalase (CAT) (p < 0.001) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) (p < 0.001) and rise in lipid peroxidation (LOO) when compared to controls. Multiple linear regression analyses revealed a significant association among reduced GSH concentration (p <0.05), CAT (p < 0.001) and SOD (p < 0.001) activities and elevated MN frequency (p < 0.001) and LOO (p < 0.001) with increasing RF power density.
Document produced by Dr Grahame Blackwell 21 Feb 2005
1. Study of the health of people living in the vicinity of mobile phone
Santini et al.
Pathol Biol (Paris) [Pathologie Biologie (Paris)] 2002; 50: 369 – 73
Found significant health effects on people living within 300 metres of mobile
phone base stations.
Conclusions include the recommendation:
“… it is advisable that mobile phone base stations not be sited closer
than 300meters to populations”
2. Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)
Study for the Netherlands Ministries of Economic Affairs, Housing, Spatial
Planning and the Environment,and Health, Welfare and Sport
“Effects of Global Communications System Radio-Frequency Fields On Well
Being and Cognitive Function of Human Subjects With and Without Subjective Complaints”
Found significant effects on wellbeing, according to a number of internationally-recognised
criteria (including headaches, muscle fatigue/pain, dizziness etc) from 3G mast
emissions well below accepted ‘safety’ levels (less than 1/25,000th
of ICNIRP guidelines). Those who had previously been noted as ‘electrosensitive’
under a scheme in that country were shown to have more pronounced ill-effects,
though others were also shown to experience significant effects.
3. THE MICROWAVE SYNDROME – FURTHER ASPECTS OF A SPANISH STUDY
Oberfeld Gerd1, Navarro A. Enrique3, Portoles Manue12, Maestu Ceferino4,
- Public Health Department Salzburg, Austria
- University Hospital La Fe. Valencia, Spain
- Department of Applied Physics, University Valencia, Spain
- Foundation European Bioelectromagnetism (FEB) Madrid, Spain
Presented at an International Conference in Kos (Greece), 2004
This study found significant ill-health effects in those living in the vicinity
of two GSM mobile phone base stations. They observed that:
“The strongest five associations found are depressive tendency, fatigue,
sleeping disorder, difficulty in concentration and cardiovascular problems.”
As their conclusion the research team wrote: “Based on the data of this
study the advice would be to strive for levels not higher than 0.02 V/m for
the sum total, which is equal to a power density of 0.0001 µW/cni2 or
1 µW/m2, which is the indoor exposure value for GSM base stations proposed
on empirical evidence by the Public Health Office of the Government of Salzburg
4. INCREASED INCIDENCE OF CANCER NEAR A CELL-PHONE TRANSMITTER STATION.
Ronni Wolf MD1, Danny Wolf MD2
- The Dermatology Unit, Kaplan Medical Center, Rechovot, and
the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, ISRAEL.
- The Pediatric Outpatient Clinic, Hasharon Region, Kupat Holim, ISRAEL.
Published in: International Journal of Cancer Prevention Volume 1, No. 2, April
This study, based on medical records of people living within 350 metres of a
long-established phone mast, showed a fourfold increased incidence of cancer
generally compared with the general population of Israel, and a tenfold increase
specifically among women, compared with the surrounding locality further from
5. Naila Study, Germany (November 2004)
Report by researchers (five medical doctors)
Following the call by Wolfram König, President of the Bundesamt für
Strahlenschutz (Federal Agency for radiation protection), to all doctors of
medicine to collaborate actively in the assessment of the risk posed by cellular
radiation, the aim of our study was to examine whether people living close to
cellular transmitter antennas were exposed to a heightened risk of taking ill
with malignant tumors. The basis of the data used for the survey were PC fi1es
of the case histories of patients between the years 1994 and 2004. While adhering
to data protection, the personal data of almost 1.000 patients were evaluated
for this study, which was completed without any external financial support.
It is intended to continue the project in the form of a register.
The result of the study shows that the proportion of newly developing cancer
cases was significantly higher among those patients who had lived during the
past ten years at a distance of up to 400 metres from the cellular transmitter
site, which bas been in operation since 1993, compared to those patients living
further away, and that the patients fell ill on average 8 years earlier. In
the years 1999-2004, i.e. after five years’ operation of the transmitting
installation, the relative risk of getting cancer had trebled for the residents
of the area in the proximity of the installation compared to the inhabitants
of Naila outside the area.
NOTE: These are the only studies known of that specifically consider the effects
of masts on people. All five of these studies show clear and significant ill-health
effects. There are no known studies relating to health effects of masts that
do not show such ill-health effects.
In this respect, any statement by industry or official sources that claims (or
(a) There is no evidence of ill-health effects from masts;
(b) The overwhelming evidence is that masts do not cause ill-health effects;
is completely and blatantly untrue.
Dr Grahame Blackwell
In 2008 a cancer cluster was reported in the area around a tower in Dudley found to have the highest levels of radiation in the UK (yet still within safety guidelines).
In 2014 government inspectors are reported to have turned down the erection of a mast due to potential health issues. https://www.emfacts.com/2014/08/uk-mobile-phone-company-banned-from-erecting-a-mast-because-of-health-fears/.
A ten-year study from Brazil entitled ‘Mortality by neoplasia and cellular telephone base stations’ found elevated cancer mortality amongst those living less than 500m from base stations. After this study almost half of the city antennas were removed and cell phone companies were sued.
[Dode AC et al (2011). Mortality by neoplasia and cellular telephone base stations in the Belo Horizonte municipality, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Sci Total Environ. 409(19):3649-65]
It would seem crucial to investigate further any bias in BMJ studies and to note also that with 5G masts added to existing stations that radiation levels will be greater.