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Health Risks of Mobile Towers

Many landowners who have been approached by wireless carriers to lease ground space for a mobile tower wonder what health risks might accompany the mobile tower.

To be candid, we are not scientists, nor do we have any special insight. SiteXcell is privy to research on both sides of the issue, including studies propagated (Pun intended) by the industry to support the placement of towers everywhere and studies put forward by the opponents to these same towers. And even in being privy to this information, we are not sure what the long term impact of mobile towers will be on human health.

One thing that is sure is that the Telecommuncations Act 1997 has pre-empted local councils from evaluating health issues when reviewing applications for mobile towers. The Telecommunications Act 1997 creates a non-rebuttable presumption that towers and antennas that operate within the prescribed limits of radiation are safe. They did this because it was easy to foresee that local councils and residents would use health as a reason for denying tower applications on the basis of uninformed beliefs.

So far, litigation over the issue of radiation from mobile towers and mobile phones has proven unsuccessful. The courts have not found credible scientific evidence to support the claims of the plaintiffs, so far. Whether or not they will is beyond our ability to prognosticate.

Our opinion, and this is strictly our opinion, is that if any danger exists, the person with the mobile phone held up to his ear for 4 hours a day is more likely to be in danger than the person living 100 metres from a 30 metre tower. Most carriers use sectorized antennas, or directional panels. These antennas are directed outward not downward. ARPANSA in fact prescribes safe distances from antennas for all individuals. Tower sites are monitored for compliance with these levels of output. Commonly, the areas deemed unsafe are within a metre or two of the antenna, not 10's or 100's of metres from them.

If you are concerned about health issues and wish to know more, do a google search on "mobile tower health" and you will easily find many articles, as well as the ACMA, ARPANSA and MCF web sites.

Additionally, if you have been approached by a wireless carrier to place a mobile tower on your property or an antenna on your rooftop and wonder what questions you need to be asking, please contact us.