Research suggests cell-tower radiation harms wildlife

PROMO Technology - Cell phone tower - iStock - Emanuele D'Amico
Published Saturday, February 12, 2022
by Suzanne Potter

(California News Service) A growing body of scientific studies showed electromagnetic fields from the extremely low frequencies common to power lines and radio-frequency radiation, the kind from cell towers and mobile devices, may be harmful to wildlife as well as humans.

A three-part review (Part 1Part 2 and Part 3) of the literature recommended the federal government regulate electromagnetic radiation as pollution.

B. Blake Levitt, medical and science journalist, author of two books on electromagnetic fields and the study's co-author, said RF radiation, even at low levels, caused harm in every animal model studied, especially bees and birds.

"They depend on the earth's natural magnetic fields for orientation, migration, food-finding abilities, mating, nest and den building, territorial maintenance, and defense," Levitt outlined.

The telecom industry said its products and towers are safe and comply with all federal regulations for human exposure. The study authors want government regulators to create exposure standards for wildlife and plants, to designate the air as critical habitat, and then regulate electromagnetic radiation as an energetic pollutant.

Dr. Albert Manville, adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, retired biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a co-author of the study, said industry profits should not override environmental concerns.

"Yet the industry has proceeded, going ahead," Manville pointed out. "Now we have 5G rolling out in massive quantities, without due diligence to determine are these sources of radiation safe not only for humans but for wildlife. And the answer is, no, they are not."

Dr. Joel Moskowitz, director of the Center for Family and Community Health in the School of Public Health at the University of California-Berkeley, said the problem is only going to grow.

"The industry is putting up something like 800,000 small cell sites around the country, roughly doubling or tripling the current number of cell towers," Moskowitz explained. "Our ambient levels of exposure are going to increase dramatically within the next few years." may earn an affiliate commission if you purchase products or services through links in an article. Prices, when displayed, are accurate at the time of publication but may change over time. Commissions do not influence editorial independence.

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