Statement to the Zoning Board re: Health Effects of Cell Phone Transmitters

by Daniel Tumpson,
January 21, 2003

At a recent hearing regarding variances for erecting cell phone transmitters, I did the following calculations of the energy flux of radio/microwave emissions from a cell phone transmitter with output of 100 watts:

Energy Flux from Cell Phone Antenna as a function of distance

flux == P / A = 100*P / pi*r**2*sin(a) in unit of microwatt/cm**2,
where P is in watts, r is in meters, and a is in degrees.

with P = 100w, a = 45 degrees: flux = 4500/r**2   microwatt/cm**2;

with P = 100w, a = 60 degrees: flux = 3675/r**2   microwatt/cm**2;

distance r (meters) flux(45 deg) flux(60 deg) (microwatt/cm**2)
------------------- -------------------------------------------------
1   =   3.3 ft              4500      3675
10  =  33   ft                45        36.75
20  =  66   ft                11.25      9.19
25  =  82   ft                 7.2       5.88
100 = 328   ft                 0.45      0.3675

I have since combined my calculations (which are set apart by and contained within [DBT:  ]) with a discussion of health effects of such radiation by Peter Hudiburg of Microwave Health Alert!, which may be accessed at

"Although these rooftop [transmitter] sites may meet present FCC radiation standards, based on ludicrously permissive FCC safety limits of 1,000 microwatts per square centimeter for microwave, those standards should be tightened as they have been recently in Switzerland and Italy.

Here are only some of the many studies on long term exposure to radio frequency and microwave (RF/MW) that indicate just how laughably inadequate the American standard is.

An 18-year study by Dr. Bruce Hocking in Sydney, Australia found that children living close to broadcast towers for four TV stations and an FM radio station suffered twice as many deaths from leukemia as children residing farther away. The radiation levels were no more than 8 microwatts per square centimeter, 125 times lower than the FCC "safety" standards.

[DBT: Such levels (8 microwatt/ occur at a distance of 78 ft (45 deg) / 70 ft (60 deg) from a 100 watt antenna]

Adult leukemias were nine times higher than expected within the first half kilometer of a BBC TV and FM transmitter in Sutton Coldfield near Birmingham, England. Dr. Helen Dolk and associates observed that the leukemia incidence was almost double expected levels within two kilometers. The maximum radiation level measured was only 5.7 microwatts per square centimeter.

[DBT: Such levels (5.7 microwatt/ occur at a distance of 92 ft (45 deg) / 83 ft (60 deg). from a 100 watt antenna]

Children exposed to radio frequency in Skrunda, Latvia performed poorly on tests measuring memory, attention, motor
function and reaction time. The tests, administered by Kolodynski and Kolodynska to children living in the vicinity of a radar station, revealed poorer performances when compared to children in a nearby region exposed to far less radiation but more air pollution. In Skrunda the mean radiation strength was only 0.3205 of a microwatt per square centimeter.

[DBT: Such levels (.3205 microwatt/ occur at a distance of 389 ft (45 deg) / 351 ft (60 deg) fr. 100 watt antenna]

The Swiss government studied people with health problems living in the vicinity of a short wave transmitter. Those living closer than 1.5 kilometers had more sleep disorders, headaches, fatigue, irritability and back and limb pain than those who lived over 4 kilometers away. The exposed children achieved fewer promotions from primary to secondary schools. Symptoms were reduced one to two days after a transmitter shutdown. The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment concluded that the severe sleep disorders correlated with proximity to the transmitter.

Based on the large number of studies worldwide indicating serious damage from long-term exposure to low level radio and microwave Dr. Neil Cherry of Lincoln University in Canterbury, New Zealand recommended a stricter exposure standard of 0.1 of a microwatt per square centimeter "if cancer risk is to be reduced." He recommended an even lower level of 0.01 of a microwatt per square centimeter "if miscarriage risk, sleep disruption, children's performance impairment and chronic fatigue symptoms are to be reduced."

Cherry concluded that transmitters should be kept away from schools and residences "by such a distance that the intensity of the microwaves, when averaged over a year, does not exceed 0.1 of a microwatt per square centimeter." More recently he has tightened his recommendations to a "mean chronic public exposure" of 0.01 of a microwatt per square centimeter with an outside limit not to exceed 0.1 of a microwatt per square centimeter.

[DBT: Such levels (.1 microwatt/ occur at a distance of 696 ft (45 deg) / 629 ft (60 deg) fr. 100 watt antenna,
  or about 1/8 mile]
[DBT: Such levels (.01 microwatt/ occur at a distance of 2201 ft (45 deg) / 1989 ft (60 deg) fr. 100 watt antenna,
or about 2/5 mile]

After reviewing the Swiss health problems, Dr. Josef Mayr announced that current international radio and microwave exposure standards should be lowered to 0.002 of a microwatt per square centimeter.
[DBT: Such levels (.002 microwatt/ occur at a distance of 4920 ft (45 deg) / 4446 ft (60 deg) fr. 100 watt antenna, or about 7/8 mile]
That proposed safety standard is 500,000 times more stringent than our FCC's "safety" limits.

Cell phone transmitters do not belong in residential neighborhoods where people spend two-thirds of their lives. There are so many research studies showing physiological damage at radiation levels far below present FCC standards. If a rash of learning disabilities or leukemias eventually show up in our neighborhood and people realize that the rooftop transmitters are radiating the cause of their diseases there will be multiple lawsuits against landlords and cell phone companies.

For recent scientific reviews on hundreds of relevant studies I refer you to two papers by Dr. Neil Cherry, "Evidence That Electromagnetic Radiation is Genotoxic" and "Probable Health Effects Associated With Cell Phone Towers" at: Dr. George Carlo, formerly research director for the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, recently published "Wireless Phones and Brain Cancer: Current State of the Science" at: "

(reference: Microwave Health Alert!:,  c/o Peter Hudiburg, 8645 20th Ave, Apt. 4C, Brooklyn, NY 11214, 718 449-6941, 607 334-2986,

My calculation refers to only one 100 watt transmitter site.  Such a transmitter should be placed at least one half mile away from populated areas.  Multiple sites have additive effects, and Hoboken already has several of cell transmitter towers in operation.  Since there is already adequate cell phone service most of the time, and since there is mounting evidence that radiation levels below those to which we are already being subjected cause negative health effects, it is imperative that this Zoning Board not grant permicrowavehealthalert.commission for any more cell phone or other microwave/radio transmitter sites in Hoboken and should specifically request that the Zoning Ordinance be specifically amended to excluded them from Hoboken.