Welcome to PriusChat

We'd love to have you join our community and participate in the conversation! Sign up for FREE today.

Sign Up

Does having cell phone towers near schools, parks, and your home concern you?

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by burritos, Mar 15, 2012.

Social Buttons

  1. burritos

    burritos Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,947
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    California
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2006 Prius
    Our community is having a park built a 500 feet away from where I live. It also kitty corners the local elementary school. One of the cell phone companies is requesting to install a tower just beyond 500 feet radius of the school. Some of the local residents have voiced concern that this tower might attract even more cell phone companies to install their equipment. So these neighbors are worried about the unknown potential biological affect that high intensity radio frequency might have on growing children. I'm not concerned. Should I be?
  2. MJFrog

    MJFrog Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    771
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2011 Nissan LEAF
    Model:
    N/A


    Not in the slightest.
  3. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Messages:
    18,046
    Likes Received:
    2,953
    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2006 Prius
    No. Why should it?

    Tom
  4. Flying White Dutchman

    Flying White Dutchman Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    4,367
    Likes Received:
    299
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2014 Prius c
    Model:
    N/A
    A lot
    because i personnaly think that radio radiation is part of headaches
    and makes people more iritated.
  5. rcf@eventide.com

    rcf@eventide.com Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    77
    Location:
    Sedona
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    If you really want to worry, consider that there's a giant, FULLY EXPOSED nuclear reactor only 93 million miles away, that everyone agrees affects our climate. Worse, this reactor is guaranteed to destroy the earth some time in the future, which in turn will have an enormous effect on "growing children."

    The energy a person absorbs from this reactor can be a good fraction of a kilowatt, causing noticeable heating and burning. The energy absorption from a cell tower 500 feet away is milliwatts at most, typically microwatts. Worrying about it will probably cause more bodily damage than experiencing it.

    (Seriously: There is no conclusive scientific proof of the total lack of danger of cell towers, or the logically more likely danger of holding a cellphone next to your brain. A low percentage of studies have seemed to indicate the possibilty that, especially in the latter case, there might occasionally be a small effect in very few people. If you count the chain of "maybe"s in that last sentence, you'll see why I'm not worried!)
    4 people like this.
  6. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster HID Guru

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Messages:
    4,068
    Likes Received:
    1,207
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    Three


    You have a question that is very different than your situation.

    The situation is that an extremely low intensity RF signal will be broadcast nearby, but you are worried about high intensity RF signal.

    A cell phone is not high intensity. No harm will come from it. The worst possible scenario is that the tower is ugly and it lowers property values.
  7. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Nadir of Wrongness

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Messages:
    7,953
    Likes Received:
    2,421
    Location:
    Greenwood MS USA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    These are people who do not use electricity, right?

    [​IMG]

    If they do use electricity, it is like smoking, but worrying about loud noises.
  8. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) Aspiring Hypocommuter.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Messages:
    2,886
    Likes Received:
    1,341
    Location:
    Redneck Riviera (Gulf South)
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    OK...first the disclosure. I work for "Big Phone", but I'm not in the cellular end of the biz. I'm a layer-1/2 guy in the Central Office, and I'll still have a gig no matter who's logo is on the company letterhead.

    So having said all of that...you should be concerned about a cell tower that's 500 feet away from a school ONLY if the tower is over 500 feet in height, or you're afraid that their fragile little artistic sensitivities will be disrupted by a big old metal tower cluttering up the landscape.
    If you're not worried about the RFI...keep it up.
    That big old metal tower looks quite imposing, but it really does not blast out that much energy...usually not much more than 100 watts, depending on design.
    That's right. ONE HUNDRED.
    Usually...if you're standing at the base of a cell phone tower and you have a cell phone in your pocket, you're getting more radiation from the phone in your pocket (which also has a transmitter built into it) than you are from the tower.

    Those concerned parents expose their little crumb crunchers to more RFI danger in their own homes and cars that they will ever encounter from the Cellular Base Station...and we won't get into distracted driving resulting from the handsets!

    Really......if you're worried about blood-brain barrier issues, or thermal damage, or increased cancer issues, FIRST you should loose the handset. Then you can start tearing down cell towers.

    Good Luck!
  9. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    2,458
    Likes Received:
    658
    Location:
    Trumbull, CT
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Not worried at all and I used to design radio communication equipment.

    JeffD
  10. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,560
    Likes Received:
    186
    Location:
    suburbia
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    you get more exposure from heating TV dinner in microwave
  11. burritos

    burritos Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,947
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    California
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2006 Prius


    I'm not saying I'm concerned.

    My neighbor sent me scientific papers(including journal of pediatrics) linking radio waves with a whole host of possible medical conditions. I've skimmed a few, but linking and causing are 2 entirely bowls of fruit. He's kind of annoyed that the community has no say so long as the telecom companies has abided by FCC regulations that were set in 1996. His beef is that technology has sky rocketed and now we have 3g,4g, and probably 5g waves(whatever that means) where the health implications might outdate the 1966 regulations. I'm not convinced, and we probably get more energetic waves from our prius battery than a cell phone tower could ever give. Nevertheless, he wants to start a petition, and just to be neighborly, I figure I'd sign it(hell, I don't use a cell phone so it'll probably inconvenience him more than me).
  12. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) Aspiring Hypocommuter.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Messages:
    2,886
    Likes Received:
    1,341
    Location:
    Redneck Riviera (Gulf South)
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    ^
    Generally speaking...3G and 4G represent third and fourth generation data rates, but 4G systems do operate (trnasmit) in higher frequency bands. IIRC.....3G lives around 1.8-2.5 GHz, and 4G systems transmit in the 2.5 to 8Ghz spectrum. I’m more of a fiber and wire guy, so all of this is really not my patch.
    Occasionally, you'll hear where the FCC is auctioning off spectrum to Big Bell to allow them to operate in certain frequency bands for zillions of bucks.
    Do you have a cordless phone in your home? Some of the newer ones brag that they operate in the XX-GHz range, which is allegedly "quieter" than the older models that operated at lower frequencies....but we're talking about wireless emitters, in your home (or maybe in theirs too) that crank out RF energy in the bands that your friends and neighbors are worried about. While we're in the home....let's look around a little. Do you (or they) have a wireless router??
    Wi-Fi operates at 2.4 something GHz, and it's also spraying out RF energy into your home (if you have one.....a Wi-Fi, that is---not a home.) The Wi-Fi cranks out something like 100mW...or something like 1/1000ths of the energy that's being generated by that big ugly tower....HOWEVER (comma!) the energy that's present in your house from things like the Wi-Fi router (and connected devices---those transmit too!) and cordless phones, and other RF emitter are orders of magnitude higher than the signal that's present from a cell tower---even if it's in your back yard!

    Your neighbor is ignorant. This isn't to say that he/she is an idiot, since they may not have thought all this through, and those cell towers are ugly, and those phone companies are rich. In the PRC.....those last two are reasons enough to tie up a Fortune-50 company's legal branch with paperwork I guess.
    But really........If you want to worry about how cell phones are endangering our lives, I think that I would begin my search in the cockpit of an automobile, rather than at the base of a cell tower.


    Reader's Digest Version:You have better things to worry about than RFI from a cell tower....really!
    ....Just sayin! :D
  13. burritos

    burritos Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,947
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    California
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2006 Prius


    Right, cause if I remember correctly from college physics, the energy of signal diminishes by the cube of the distance.

    Question about wireless cell phones, do the phones constantly emit that frequency or only when you use it? The wifi modems constant emit whether you use it or not, correct?
  14. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Messages:
    18,046
    Likes Received:
    2,953
    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2006 Prius


    True for a point source, but not for other geometries.



    The phones occasionally talk to the base, but it's not continuous. The same is true for WiFi Access Points; they beacon periodically, and transmit any data received on the wired connection. The difference is that there is almost always some traffic on a data network, even if it is just housekeeping traffic.

    Tom
  15. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) Aspiring Hypocommuter.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Messages:
    2,886
    Likes Received:
    1,341
    Location:
    Redneck Riviera (Gulf South)
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    IIRC.....and remember, this isn't my forte, the cordless phone handset is just a receiver until you mash the talk button.
    I could be wrong about that one, but if it transmits a "here I am" signal while it's latched to your belt, I'm thinking it'll be a short, infrequent burst.

    The Wi-Fi transceivers in your connected devices, and the router itself are always transmitting. Well....OK...they're transmitting and receiving, since they have to stop talking (very briefly) to listen and vice verse...but practically speaking they're always transmitting.
    Some computers and all cell phones have an "Airplane Mode", which makes them "Radio Silent".

    Like I said.....I wouldn't worry about it much, but that's me. I used to live on nuclear submarines, so RFI really doesn't scare me much.
    YMMV.

    Edit. Tom's answer is better than mine (suprise-suprise!) :D
  16. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    2,458
    Likes Received:
    658
    Location:
    Trumbull, CT
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A


    Only in the near field (a few wavelengths away - that's a few inches at 2.4 gigahertz). In the far field EM waves drop with the square of distance. The EM field from a cell tower is negligible compared to that of your cell phone inches from your head.

    JeffD
  17. burritos

    burritos Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,947
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    California
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2006 Prius


    If I use 5 minutes of cell phone per month(max), will that give the more cumulative RF exposure than the tower?
  18. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    14,399
    Likes Received:
    1,496
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    There is no scientific evidence that non-ionizing radiation has any biological effect other than heating. Thus, radar technicians in the early days got glaucoma from sticking their heads in transmitter dishes and getting enough exposure to actually heat their eyeballs. But power lines and cell towers have really only two risks: 1. If they fall down and you're in the way and get hit. 2. They're ugly.

    As someone said above, you probably don't want a cell tower (or any other kind of tower) close enough that if it falls over it might hit you or someone you care about. I'd want to be double its height from its base, since if it falls, it could send other stuff flying. So I'd want a 500 foot tower to be at least 1,000 feet from my house or a school.
  19. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    2,283
    Likes Received:
    442
    Location:
    Maine
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II


    Place a cellphone next to a speaker and you'll hear the occasional bit of bleeping. Assuming it's turned on, of course.

    I'm not worried about cellphone towers. In fact, I think they should be sited on the north side of nice little 2-bedroom houses with double garages.

    Or in school yards: then the kids will get good reception on their cellphones and it can double as a climbing frame.
  20. mojo

    mojo Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    Messages:
    4,127
    Likes Received:
    352
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2006 Prius
Similar Threads: Does having
Forum Title Date
Gen II Prius Main Forum What exactly does having a VIN mean? Feb 8, 2006
Prius v Main Forum Does AC turn on automatically in split windshield /floor mode? Yesterday at 12:19 PM
Generation 1 Prius Discussion on gen 1 prius what does the car symbol with xclamation pt mean Yesterday at 6:58 AM
Gen III 2010+ Prius Main Forum Advertised Trim Package does not match VIN decoder Sunday at 12:58 PM
Gen II Prius Technical Discussion Q: Why does decreasing load matter during discharge? Oct 25, 2014