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I’m sure almost everyone would try to avoid living near a cell phone tower, although there are a variety of reasons for this. I know someone who recently moved into a house near a cell phone tower, so I decided to research the disadvantages and side effects.
Although opinions vary, living in a house near a cell phone tower can come with a range of side effects, from headaches to cancer. Aside from them not being very nice to look at, constant exposure to cell phone towers can increase your risk of certain health complications.
The biggest issue with things like cell phone tower radiation is that some people are more sensitive to it than others. What’s more, there are differing opinions in the medical world about whether this is something we should even worry about.
In this article, I go into more detail about the disadvantages and side effects of living near a cell phone tower.
Why is it dangerous to live near a cell phone tower?
Cell phone towers provide us with service, which is obviously helpful, but this doesn’t mean you should live next door to a tower. Along with the radio frequency waves that we need for cell phone service, the towers also give off electromagnetic radiation.
However, these two things aren’t separate. Radio frequencies are on the electromagnetic spectrum, which also includes visible light, but for the purposes of this article, EMF radiation refers to “unwanted” and potentially harmful frequencies, including heat and some radio waves.
Essentially, this radiation can cause changes to our cellular structure and DNA. Different organizations have different standards for what’s considered safe exposure to EMF radiation, but most advise to avoid strong sources of it, such as cell phone towers.
The biggest issue with discussing the disadvantages of living near a cell phone tower is that there have been surprisingly few scientific studies into the long-term health complications.
What’s more, even if we were to try and find out what happens when you’re constantly exposed to cell phone towers, we’re held back by the fact that the technology changes so fast. Different cell phone towers (such as 4G and 5G) work differently, meaning one theory might not necessarily work for every tower.
Either way, we know that cell phone towers emit EMF radiation, both useful frequencies (the ones that provide us with service), and unwanted ones, such as energy lost through heat. Being constantly exposed to this radiation is the biggest risk of living near a cell phone tower, so just avoid it altogether if you can.
The side effects of living near a cell phone tower
Exposure to EMF radiation, particularly in the long term, can have a range of side effects on a person’s health. However, some people are more sensitive to this than others, and if you’re one of these people, then the worst thing you could do is live near a cell phone tower.
What’s more, many of the symptoms of EMF exposure can be passed off as more general feelings, leading people to not investigate it further. Living near a cell phone tower will greatly increase the likelihood of these symptoms.
Below is a list of commonly observed side effects and symptoms of EMF exposure:
- Memory loss or difficulty recalling recent events and information
- Depression or anxiety
- Tiredness, lethargy, and fatigue
- Nausea or appetite loss
- Itchy or burning skin
- Sleep problems, including insomnia and difficulty waking up
- Headache or migraine
- Restlessness, both mental and physical
As you can see, the symptoms of EMF exposure are reasonably vague, and often look like side effects of other issues, such as overworking or general illness. However, if you live in a house near a cell phone tower and believe you’re experiencing some of these symptoms, it’ll be worth investigating further.
That said, there’s little point going to a doctor because current medical research is somewhat lacking on the side effects of EMF exposure. Instead, I’d recommend working it out through a process of elimination. By this I mean trying to block out (almost) all sources of EMF radiation and seeing if this makes you feel better.
Of course, the biggest side effect of living near a cell phone tower is the increased risk of cancer. The World Health Organization has actually done quite a bit of research into EMF radiation and cancer, and in one of their most recent studies, they found a link between EMF exposure and cancer.
Similarly, a smaller and more recent study by a Swiss research body found a link between EMF exposure and an increased risk of leukemia, which will be a much bigger concern when living near a cell phone tower. A German study also found that living within 400 meters of a cell phone tower more than tripled rates of cancer.
However, it’s worth taking these studies with a bit of caution, simply because they’re only one side of the argument. While it’ll be helpful for there to be more research on both sides of the argument, at the very minimum these studies show that there’s fair reason to be cautious about living near a cell phone tower.
Another option for looking at the side effects of living near a cell phone tower is to speak to some people that do so. I know someone that constantly complained of a foggy head after a week or so of living in their new property. And what was only a few yards down the road? A cell phone tower.
The best advice I can give if you’re looking into the side effects of living near a cell phone tower is to try and avoid it. Even if there aren’t conclusive answers on the long-term health impacts, there’s definitely enough emerging evidence for you to avoid it if possible.
The disadvantages of living near a cell phone tower
Aside from the most obvious advantage of living near a cell phone tower (better signal), I can’t really think of any other reasons why you’d want to do so. However, I can think of a few disadvantages to living near one.
I’m usually one to promote a fair and balanced argument, but in this case I feel I’ve listed the only benefit. On the other hand, here are the major disadvantages of living near a cell phone tower.
1. They’re not nice to look at
Cell phone towers work best when they’re tall. This, of course, means they’re much more likely to be polluting your eye line, as they’re specifically designed to rise over houses. Having a cell phone tower near your property really isn’t ideal if you want to enjoy your views.
Not only are they tall, but cell phone towers are purely functional, meaning no effort is put in to making them look nice. So whether you’ve got a massive white metal tower covered in dishes, or one of the weirder lamppost-looking ones, they’re ugly either way.
One small consolation of this is that some companies do try to cover them up, but this is usually in rural areas where they’d be even more obvious. However, I sometimes find this even more annoying because they don’t do a good job of hiding them anyway.
2. Health complications
I know I’ve already discussed this in detail, but the health risks of living near a cell phone tower are surely one of the biggest disadvantages? Without going over the same information again, it’s worth stating that the health impacts of living near a cell phone tower are wide-ranging and difficult to diagnose, making this something you should avoid having to deal with.
3. The house will be harder to sell
This might not be a disadvantage for everyone, so if you’re only renting near a cell phone tower then at least you know you can leave relatively easily. However, if you’re a homeowner you might not be as lucky.
Cell phone towers, along with things like power pylons, are a major cause of loss of interest in a property. A friend of mine works in real estate and, when asked about this, confirmed that a large number of people give up on a property if it’s near a cell phone tower.
Why is this? I imagine for a number of reasons, most of which have been listed here. Even if potential buyers aren’t aware of the health impacts, they probably still won’t want a massive cell phone tower just down the street.
4. Maintenance workers
Another factor you might not have considered is the fact that cell phone towers require plenty of maintenance. This could either be in the form of repairing or upgrading, but you can expect there to be regular work carried out on your local cell phone tower.
While this isn’t directly related to the health impacts of EMF exposure, it is annoying. Maintenance workers generally won’t bother to be quiet, and will usually take several hours to do their work. This might not be the worst thing in the world, but it’s definitely another disadvantage of living near a cell phone tower.
Solutions if you live near a cell phone tower
There might be a number of reasons why you can’t avoid living near a cell phone tower. After all, service providers are often happy to pay large amounts of money for someone to have a cell phone tower in their back yard, and they’re always looking for ways to increase coverage.
If you do happen to live near a cell phone tower, these solutions can make a difference.
EMF blocking paint
EMF blocking paint (check price on Amazon) works by basically creating a radiation-proof shield around whatever it’s painted on. While you could use it to paint your entire house, this will be expensive.
Instead, paint the rooms closest to the cell phone tower, or those in which you spend most of your time (bedroom, for example). This will at least reduce your overall exposure to EMF radiation from the cell phone tower.
Use EMF shields in key places
The most cost-effective solution is similar to the one above, and simply focuses on shielding the key areas in your home. For example, this could mean installing EMF blocking canopies around your beds, or lining your walls with conductive materials.
Read my guide on EMF blocking canopies.
In short, the only way to completely block cell phone tower radiation is to build a Faraday cage around it. This is basically a large metal cage, and while it’s entirely possible to do this, it’s not the most practical thing in the world.
This is why I’d suggest focusing on the key rooms in your home, such as those you spend the most time in, or those closest to the cell phone tower. Similarly, blocking radiation on the side closest to the cell phone tower should have an overall reduction in EMF radiation in the rest of the house.
Rearrange your home
Another option, one that doesn’t involve any DIY projects, is to simply rearrange your home so that the rooms closest to the cell phone tower are ones you’ll use the least.
However, this might not be practical for a number of reasons, but will help reduce your exposure, albeit by a small amount. Even if you moved your rooms around, then installed something minor like EMF blocking curtains, you’re going to be doing something about your overall exposure to the cell phone tower’s radiation.
Some final thoughts
Living in a house near a cell phone tower comes with a range of disadvantages and side effects. The biggest cause for concern is obviously the health impacts, and these only increase the more you’re exposed to EMF radiation.
The best thing I can recommend is to just try and not live near a cell phone tower, but if that’s not an option, then do everything possible to block out harmful radiation from your home. After all, we still don’t know its true impact.
Thanks for reading! Check out my top recommended products for EMF protection before you go.