MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: Can living close to several TV, Radio, Cell Towers be detrimental?

Date: Sun May 27 21:15:48 2007
Posted By: Dr. Nagesh N Bhat, Scientific Officer
Area of science: Medicine
ID: 1174421390.Me

Health effects of non-ionizing radiations such as microwaves are usually due to thermal effects. Nevertheless, the arguments are continuing in the scientific community that microwaves can induce certain kinds of effects by interfering with biological systems. There are some studies that indicate that microwaves can induce micronucleus and strand break type of aberrations in human chromosomes. These studies do not conclude anything about the possible health effects. Many epidemiological survey of individuals continuously getting such exposures are also not indicating any health threat. However, such threats are not ruled out since our present knowledge on such effects are not conclusive.

Most of the electronic gadgets, which we use in our day-to-day life, emit microwaves. Some gadgets, such as microwave ovens and cell phones, can be of some concern if proper design and safety are not ensured. Apart from consumer electronics, public installations such as radio stations and communication towers can emit microwaves in very large intensities.

Although the biological significance is inconclusive, these installations are in constant social controversies. Installations that emit very high intensity microwaves are usually installed away from public occupation. As one moves away from these installations, the intensity of microwave decreases drastically. In your case, since you are living at the base of the hill, there may not be a potential threat. Some installations such as cell phone towers, which are installed in public places, emit much lower microwave powers and are usually regulated for their power output.

A word of caution: When our knowledge is inconclusive, use maximum possible protection.

I found the following link offering more details about the effects of microwaves.

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