Experts Say: More Cell Towers Would Lower RF Emissions from Cell Phones


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Whenever the subject of building a new cell phone tower is brought up in any community, the reaction is almost always the same “Not in my backyard!” Now the reasons for those knee jerk reactions typically vary between concerns for how the tower will look and concerns about RF emissions from the tower. Now the aesthetic concerns are somewhat valid, especially for larger towers that can’t really be concealed. However, concerns about RF emissions are usually based on misinformation. Richard Strickland of RF Safety Solutions LLC, a consulting firm that provides training to wireless tower and antenna repair personnel explained, “Wireless antennas have extremely little energy directed downward, doing so would simply be a waste of energy. If you hold a wireless phone near your head, as opposed to texting or using a headset or other hands-free device, you will absorb an absolute minimum of 100 times more RF energy than the maximum you could absorb from any tower-mounted wireless or DAS, assuming you are on the ground.”

Not only that, but a cell phone emits a stronger signal when there is poor reception (which is why your battery drains faster), but people also tend to press the phone harder against their head to try and hear their conversation more clearly. In fact, “A person holding a phone tight to his or her head with a poor connection will absorb at least 100 times more RF energy than when the phone is held about an inch away and the signal is strong. Under these worst-case conditions, the amount of RF energy absorbed will be a minimum of 25,000 times higher than you could possibly absorb from a DAS antenna on a light pole or telephone pole.” This will be a point to bring up the next time there are opponents to a new cell tower popping up in your community.

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