Are mobile towers in residential areas harmful?

Are mobile towers in residential areas harmful?

Are mobile towers in residential areas harmful?

While people are rather happy with better network accessibility brought by increase in the number of mobile phone towers in their areas, the National Rights Commission (NHRC) is concerned about the harmful effects of radiation emitted from these towers in residential areas. Notices have been issued to the union ministry of communications and information technology and health ministry.

Development in the telecommunication sector has never been so hiked up as now. New and better services are being introduced with newer networks that require more towers. Development should not come in the way of healthcare and government needs to ensure that strategies are adapted to take care of these aspects.

The harmful effect of having mobile towers in residential areas is highly debated. Some of the theories believe that there is no harm in having mobile towers in residential areas while the others cite the list of harms that could come from them.


1. Electromagnetic radiations: If you go for expert advice, they would tell you that living within 50m of a mobile tower is like being stuck in a microwave oven for the entire day. The electromagnetic radiations are cancerous elements that are straightforward lethal for health. Take a look at all those cell phone towers on the terrace of residential buildings and you can imagine how close a call people are taking with these perilous elements. The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reported that mobile tower radiations are carcinogenic to humans and can cause brain cancer. It has the same effects as being surrounded by DDT, chloroform, lead and petrol exhaust.

2. Unauthorized constructions: Out of all the mobile phone towers in metropolitan cities, a shocking 45% of them are illegal. They did not follow the norms that are set for the purpose and ignorantly put the lives of people at risk of cancer and other disastrous ailments. The buildings on which the tower is to be set must be authorized by the concerned government body but since most of them are illegal, hence unauthorized too.

3. Other issues: While cancer is the biggest threat to people living in the vicinity of a mobile phone tower, there are other health issues too. People in the area experience sleep disorders, fatigue, headache, memory loss, depression, hearing problems, joint pains, skin diseases, and even cardiovascular problems. Mobile phones emit radiation too but they are smaller in intensity while mobile towers generate higher intensity of radiation 24 hours. We can only imagine the kind of long term toll this can take on the health of people.

4. Birds on the go: The most notable effect of mobile tower radiation has been seen on birds. The numbers of local birds like sparrows have started to dwindle from the residential areas where mobile towers have been installed. The mobile towers are known to emit microwaves that are found to damage bird eggs and embryos as they cause thinning of the skulls of chicks as well as eggshells. Microwaves also interfere with the navigation sensors of the birds which they use to find their way back to nest. Imagine a mother bird on the spree for food trying to return to the kin but never being able to find the way back. It is dismal indeed.

5. On children and unborn: Children have thinner skulls and are hence known to be more affected by radiation from mobile phone towers. The same applies for pregnant woman carrying an underdeveloped child. The penetration of radiation is easier on them and the effect could be really disastrous if not kept under check. Children these days are known to have less concentration power – one of the effects of having cellular towers in residential areas, near schools and hospitals.


1. Norms are effective: The norms set by the Indian government are far more stringent as compared to the limits set in advanced countries. There is very negligible amount of harmful radiation created amid our mobile phone towers which do not have a greater coverage area. The frequency is very low, making the norms far more effective than to leave us worrying about cancer and other health issues that are only known to happen under very high radiation exposure.

2. Authorization: After compliant from the residential, many illegal mobile towers were sealed in the year 2013. Now the company needs to get various types of clearances from various departments that strictly check the environment and the tower capacity before giving it a go. The whole problem of illegal and unauthorized setup of mobile towers on rooftops started when people started selling off their space to mobile companies that promised them good pay and round the day electricity advantage. People also need to be more aware and precautionary if they want the government to take care of the health needs of the citizens.

3. Heavy fine imposed on trespassers: Heavy fines and punishments are now imposed on illegal construction of mobile towers which has effectively lessened the whole fiasco about harmful radiation in residential areas. On top of that it is to be noted that people are more worried about getting the best signal strength on their mobile devices. There is no compromising on data speed or call drop due to bad network. People rarely have objections if a mobile tower is erected in their area.

4. For selling radiation proof products: The whole rumor about mobile tower radiation in India was started by a foreign company that sells radiation proofing products like window and ventilation shields. There are even curtains and wallpapers being sold that are labeled as radiation proof. The whole stigma comes from this backdrop which could one fine day start selling clothes and helmets that are meant to ward off radiation.

Mobile phone towers in residential areas are harmful if they do not comply with the norms and the emission if higher than permissible limits. However, it is still worth noting that cellular phones are bad for pregnant women and children which make it clear that mobile towers are also no good. Only when these things are kept within a certain limits, they are useful and necessary. For instance, it is true that radiation mingles with sleep. You are advised to stay technology free while sleeping. Do we really follow this rule? It is about time we start taking them seriously.
Post your comment


  • RE: Are mobile towers in residential areas harmful? -Judish (08/29/21)
  • Never.These are non ionising radiations.If they are dangerous then sunlight is aalso dangerous(led bulbs,tube lights etc).Birds are disappearing due to land and tree unavailibilty ,also poisoned crops and plants.Dont blame these less power signals for cancer ,we can blame the food we are having and the pollution we are creating.EMF radiation are present even before human race ie billions of years ago.Light is having higher frequecy than these mobile tower frequencies.If required you can check the electro magnetic spectrum.
  • RE: Are mobile towers in residential areas harmful? -Alissa (07/31/21)
  • Yes phone towers in residential areas are towers that cause cancer and death. Can phone towers be stopped being built in residential areas. I am currently in a situation opposing phone towers being built. This is just prowl who want to make money and don’t care about people’s health, STOP BUILDING PHONE TOWERS IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS
  • RE: Are mobile towers in residential areas harmful? -Zeeshan Ali (04/05/19)
  • Plzz helps us
  • Are mobile towers in residential areas harmful? -Neeraj Shukla (03/28/19)
  • There's a mobile tower on the terrace of our building and it's very irritating by sound. Where can I make a complain against this. As the other people of building also wants to complain about the same.
  • RE: Are mobile towers in residential areas harmful? -Mobile towers (04/23/18)
  • Amid huge requirement for mobile accessibility, the rise in mobile towers is inevitable. Uninterrupted network signal is only possible when there are sufficient towers in that area. Mobile companies are leaving no stone unturned to be the best in service and erecting maximum number of towers possible. These towers are said to have many drawbacks, a big threat to our environment. Despite being harmful, can we stop putting towers? The answer is big No. We can't live without network being in digital work. What we have in our hand is to stress for advancement in technologies, so that we can minimize the harmful effect.
  • Are mobile towers in residential areas harmful? -vishal (07/26/17)
  • Then how to stop them from installation ...Plz guide because I am facing same problem ..... Reply as soon as possible
  • RE: Are mobile towers in residential areas harmful? -RAJU BORA (03/29/17)
  • What is the distance that we should maintain between our residence and the mobile towers while authorizing them in our area ???? I am having a plan to let the company starts operating a mobile tower for Reliance jio in my premises so do let me know ASAP .
  • RE: Are mobile towers in residential areas harmful? -Shruti Shrabya (06/13/16)
  • Are mobile towers in residential areas harmful?

    India’s development in the field of Science and Technology was started since, British times. In new era, telecom has become vitality for the growth of Information Technology. Cell phones and wireless are the populous communication modes across the cities. But, there is some negativity for installing mobile towers in residential areas.


    Mobile towers are crowding the city skyline’s makes the air toxic for us. In normal populated areas, pregnant ladies and infants are at higher risk.
    The radiations are also responsible for vanishing the sparrows, butterflies and insects.

    Electromagnetic rays affect more in the brain of young child which makes the skull thin and poses lack of concentration, memory loss and disturbance in digestion.
    Where radiation levels are high, people are prone to more health problems.

    These towers act as a deadly weapon for all living beings.


    Radiations of mobile towers are inconsequential with less area covered.

    Its frequency is minute which stops us caring about cancerous problems.

    It is important to take precautions and install only authorized mobile towers, if, only owner of the area or building allows for the same.

    Mobile phone towers are harmful for pregnant ladies and youngsters.

    Yet, these things must be kept in certain limits; it will be useful for residents.