Cell Phone Base Stations and your Health

By: Gloria Moore

As cell phones grow in popularity, cell phone service companies are working to keep up with the service demands by building hundreds upon hundreds of cell phone base stations. These stations, also known as cell phone base transceiver stations or telecommunications structures, are low-power, multi-channel two-way radio towers that are essential to maintaining the cellular network.

These cell phone base stations have large antennas for the receipt and transmission of cell phone signals and to connect cellular phone users to the rest of the network as well as to the fixed-line phone system. These antennas are either mounted on top of the transmission towers of the base stations or they are mounted on the roofs of the base station. They must reach a certain height in order to ensure that they create an ideal width of coverage.

Base stations and cell phones are essentially two-way radios and therefore produce a certain degree of RF radiation in order to communicate with each other. Therefore, people living and working near these cell phone base stations will experience a level of RF radiation exposure. However, as cell phone base stations are only low-power transmitters (for short-range use) and as the radiation occurs at the level of the antenna - very high up - the exposure levels to the RF radiation are quite low.

However, if you live near a base station, work near a cell phone base station, or if your children have one near their school play ground, you may still be concerned that there may be health risks involved in being near the base stations so regularly. Fortunately, the consensus among the international scientific community seems to be that the level of exposure to the radiation from the antenna is far too low to be able to result in any kind of health risks, as long as people don't actually come in direct contact with the antenna itself.

As the antennas are on the very top of the cell phone towers, and not along the length of the towers, this means that keeping your distance only comes naturally. You'd have to climb the full height of the tower in order to come in contact with the antenna.

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