A newly published study found people who lived near telecommunications base station antennas (such as cell towers and telecommunications network antennas) with higher exposure to radio-frequency (RF) radiation from the antennas had significantly higher chromosomal aberrations s (non-repairable, permanent indicators of genotoxic effects) in their blood. 

The peer reviewed study entitled “Evaluation of oxidative stress and genetic instability among residents near mobile phone base stations in Germany” was published in the journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety by renowned European experts of the Cancer Research Institute, Biomedical Research Centre, Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, Germany, and the Cancer Research Centre, Medical University of Vienna.  

Participants’ blood cells were tested for numerous biological endpoints. Although the researchers did not find statistically significant DNA damages, oxidative stress nor changes to specific gene parameters, the scientist did document significantly increased cytogenetic damage, i.e. chromosomal aberrations in the residents with higher exposure to RF. The damage decreased with the distance from the transmitting base station cell antennas and positively correlated with LTE and GSM signals. 

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The study aimed to investigate whether or not long term exposure to the environmental RF emissions  from close proximity base stations (i.e. cell towers and wireless network antennas) could lead to cancer risk.  The researchers tested human blood samples of 24 volunteers in two neighboring housing communities in a rural region of Germany with residents exposed to either relatively low (control-group) or relatively high (exposed-group) RF emitted from nearby base stations. The groups age, sex, lifestyle and occupational risk factors were similar and their homes were surveyed for common types of EMF. 

The researcher concluded that: 

“Summing up, the highly significant differences between the controls and exposed group (Table 4) along with correlation between specific RF-EMF signals (GSM, LTE) and the various CAs (Table 3) after chronic (years long) exposure point to the MPBS signals (GSM, LTE) as cause of the observed genetic instability. Thus, our findings on chromosomal aberrations may provide a biologically plausible mechanism for the data on significantly increased risk of cancer among persons exposed to MPBS signals (Li et al., 2012; Eger et al., 2004; Wolf and Wolf, 2004; Rodrigues et al., 2021).”

Germany, like the US, has human exposure limits for cell tower RF radiation that are designed to protect against short term radiation exposure only. Many other countries have limits 10 to 100 times more restrictive than the USA for cell tower emissions. 

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The study is open access and a PDF can be downloaded here. 

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Study Citation 

Gulati S, Mosgoeller W, Moldan D, Kosik P, Durdik M, Jakl L, Skorvaga M, Markova E, Kochanova D, Vigasova K, Belyaev I. Evaluation of oxidative stress and genetic instability among residents near mobile phone base stations in Germany. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2024 July 1;279:116486. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2024.116486. Epub 2024 May 30. PMID: 38820877.


https://ehtrust.org/study-cell-tower-radiation-exposure-linked-to-higher-chromosomal-aberrations-in-blood/ Source: Environmental Health Trust