The health impacts of cell towers

How are cell towers similar to DDT, an insecticide infamous for its environmental impacts? It’s a good question. On Dec. 8, about 90 local residents asked this question and many more at an event to explore the health and environmental impacts of wireless technology. As new cell towers are being proposed in the area, interest was high, with standing-room only in the Point Reyes Community Presbyterian Church.

The event was sponsored by the West Marin Alliance for Human and Environmental Health, the Point Reyes Coalition for SafeTech and the Ecological Options Network. I spoke alongside Dr. Madga Havas from Canada and Ellie Marks of the California Brain Tumor Association.

I am a physician who has studied and developed policies for environmental toxins for over 25 years. When I learned of a proposal to place a cell tower on my daughter’s school 10 years ago, I dove into the research. What I learned is that wireless technology and infrastructure is a broad environmental and human toxin. We use and are increasingly surrounded by these devices: cell phones, laptops, “smart” watches, “smart” meters and internet routers. Unfortunately, we are told these devices are safe, that we do not really know if there is harm or that the research is inconclusive. Myself and over 250 expert scientists who have looked at this issue conclude the opposite.

To start with, the standard set by the Federal Communications Commission is based only on a single impact: heating of the tissues. This is like a cooking standard, and it ignores other biological effects. Nature and human biology are much more complex than technology. Humans evolved over millions of years in an environment with extremely low electromagnetic radiation. Our bodies use very tiny electrical signals that communicate within a labyrinth of molecules which are critical to the proper development of a fetus and to the healthy functioning of an adult.

In medical school, I learned about only a fraction of the thousands of dizzying interactions within and between cells that regulate reproduction, energy metabolism, the immune system, the gut, the brain and the nervous system. I learned that biology is both intricate and fragile, like a symphonic orchestra in which every instrument must be played perfectly. In studying toxic exposures, I learned that there can be different mechanisms at work that cause harm to our cells and biology.

One of these mechanisms is oxidation, which, like rust, causes aging and the breakdown of DNA, proteins, lipids and other critical molecules. The insecticide DDT causes oxidation, and antioxidants we consume counter this effect. The effect of oxidation on cells has been well studied; scientific literature connects oxidative cellular harm to inflammation and human disease. This mechanism does not involve heat injury.

When non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation is emitted from wireless devices, it passes through us and is variably absorbed in our bodies. The radiation is absorbed by water and blocked by metal. Of 100 peer-reviewed articles on radio frequency radiation and oxidation, 93 studies found a positive result, or resulting damage to DNA, lipids and proteins. This is not a thermal effect; it is a biological effect.

Dozens of studies have linked wireless radiation to sperm, ovarian and embryo harm, and to miscarriage. Neurologic injury is also a worry because studies show damage to nerve cells, the alteration of neurotransmitter levels, the opening of the blood-brain barrier (with large epidemiologic studies indicating memory impairment), behavioral changes and an increase in brain cancer.

Addiction to and the overuse of wireless devices is especially problematic for children. Six studies have demonstrated brain shrinkage—in white and grey matter—in those addicted to electronic devices. A new article in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics showed evidence of microstructural brain changes and brain shrinkage in children age 3 to 5 years who use an electronic device more than one hour a day.

Studies on cell towers show an increase in cancer in those living within 1,500 feet of towers; other studies show an alteration in stress hormones and blood abnormalities. A significant percentage of people also report non-specific or vague health symptoms, including headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea and insomnia when living close to cell towers. Electro-sensitivity is a real disease and more people—from 3 to 18 percent—are reporting vague symptoms when they use wireless devices.

Wireless radiation can also affect the health, behavior and migration of animals. Bees appear particularly sensitive, and plants and trees are also adversely affected. Precaution on all fronts is needed with the placement of cell towers, as the radiation they emit is constant. Once a large cell tower is in place, 5G small cells will follow. Cell towers become a permanent Trojan horse.


Cindy Russell, a plastic surgeon practicing in Mountain View, is the executive director of Physicians for Safe Technology. For more information, visit


via The health impacts of cell towers

9 thoughts on “The health impacts of cell towers


    Environmental Health Perspectives 103 (suppl 6), 177-184, 1995
    An estimated 8000 children 0 to 14 years of age are diagnosed annually with cancer in the United States. Leukemia and brain tumors are the most common childhood malignancies, accounting for 30 and 20% of newly diagnosed cases, respectively. From 1975 to 1978 to 1987 to 1990, cancer among white children increased slightly from 12.8 to 14.1/100,000. Increases are suggested for leukemia, gliomas, and, to a much lesser extent, Wilms’ tumor. There are a few well-established environmental causes of childhood cancer such as radiation ….


    5G might go beyond additive effects to synergistic effects with radionuclides. They do not care. I wonder how much more depleted uranium they will blast into the environment, with more shooting started in Iran. Fallujah is one of the worst birth defect clusters in the world. Serbia, is now noting large increases in cancers, related to depleted Uranium Weapons. Cheney and the neocons have been chomping at the bits, to use Tactical Nuclear weapons on Iran for years.


  2. ‘They’ don’t care. They are of the ‘population control’ bent of mind. Only a return to Christian values as opposed to Socialism (the doormat to Communism which features the ideology of atheism) can the world be saved. With 911 in mind as an example, I say what kind of twisted minds can plan the slaughter of 3,000 innocent people … mothers, fathers, family members … without a shred of guilt ? It’s those ”kinds of minds’ which are pretty much in control now in the shadows of government.


  3. Thanks for your comment, Mary Anne. I share your concern about the twisted minds who control the shadow government. I’m not sure how we can return them to Christian values. Do you mean forcibly?


  4. I don’t think Suart, is so Christian. That is OK. I respect all spriritual values, that are not patholigically warped and intent on doing harm. Christians too.
    The sociopathic politians like Trump, have absolutely no concern for life.
    The people who Put them in power, are not religious. Have no spiritual values or humanity.
    People like Bolton, the Mercers , Art Robinson are extremist money worshipers who think the world can withstand nuclear pollution, nuclear weapons exchanges and the killing of everything. They are delusional and dangerous.
    No conspiracy, raw sociopathy, delusion, criminal corruption, and psychopathy.
    The demented old charlatans in Washington DC, need to be run out. Good examples, of why there should be term limits and age limits in a functioning democracy. The USA is not a functioning democracy.


    • Quote: “The USA is not a functioning democracy.” Well Gloria, you can say that, again… and again. Unfortunately what Americans do not realize, and even a great part of the western world to its ignorant shame, is that the USA never was a “democracy,” never mind a functioning one. However, I am open to a serious challenge on that statement: somebody give me a historical example of the USA having functioned as a real democracy, let’s say, for one consecutive 50 year span of its existence. Just one solid piece of historical evidence. Keep in mind I’m using the definition of American democracy as stated in Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” – assuming by simple logic that he meant ALL the people, not just WASP’s (white anglo saxon protestants) and its moneyed elitist fraternity.


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