Some Concord residents are concerned over health risks associated with cell towers. In fact, a Verizon tower proposed for the Umbrella Community Arts Center was vetoed by the Concord Select Board after community pushback, reported Wicked Local.
Now, John Moulder, professor emeritus of radiation oncology at Medical College of Wisconsin, said those fears about cell tower and cell base station effects on health may be misguided. “The cell phone radiation is already in their community,” Moulder said. “Moving the tower closer doesn’t really change that.”
The issue isn’t really with the towers, rather with the number of cell phones being used. “The oddball thing is that if you’re going to use a phone you’ll actually see less radiation if the tower is closer because your phone won’t need to emit as strong a signal to reach it,” Moulder said.
So what about health concerns related to radiofrequency? Moulder said there is evidence of some health effects from very high levels of RF radiation, but only at levels much higher than what humans on the ground would experience from a cellular base station, reported Wicked Local.
“[I]f you hunt around in the literature you can find some cases of cancer, but those results, by in large, can’t be replicated,” Moulder said.
Moulder noted that the most commonly cited of these studies, was one conducted by the National Institute of Health, in which rats and mice were exposed to high levels of radiofrequency radiation; some male rats developed heart tumors while no effect was found on females.
However, Moulder noted issues with the conclusion that RF radiation caused cancer. The primary one being that it only occurred in such a small specific subset of the sample. Also, Moulder said that the heart tumors formed in the rats were incredibly rare in humans and that, just based on our size, the RF radiation can not reach human hearts like it can reach rat hearts.
Moulder also said that the rats exposed to RF radiation actually lived longer than the rats who were not. “So if your measure of health is just lifespan, it actually improved it,” Moulder said. “That could have just been a statistical fluke though.”
In the end, Moulder said that looking at cancer rates over the past couple of decades should be comforting to people worried about potential health risks, reported Wicked Local.
August 27, 2018