Radiofrequency radiation from nearby mobile phone base stations ‑ a case comparison of one low and one high exposure apartment

Koppel, T., Ahonen, M., Carlberg, M., Hedendahl, L.K., & Hardell, L. (2019). Radiofrequency radiation from nearby mobile phone base stations‑a case comparison of one low and one high exposure apartment. Oncology Letters, 18, 5383-5391.

  • Copyright: © Koppel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.


Radiofrequency (RF) radiation in the frequency range of 30‑300 GHz has, since 2011, been classified as a ‘possible’ human carcinogen by Group 2B, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) at WHO. This was based on a number of human epidemiology studies on increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma. Based on further human epidemiology studies and animal studies, the evidence on RF radiation carcinogenesis has increased since 2011. In previous measurement studies, it has been indicated that high environmental RF radiation levels are present in certain areas of Stockholm Sweden, including in one apartment. Field spatial distribution measurements were performed in the previously measured apartment in Stockholm, which exhibited high RF radiation from nearby base stations. Based on the RF broadband analyzer spot measurements, the maximum indoor E‑field topped at 3 V m‑1 in the bedroom at the 7th floor. The maximum outdoor exposure level of 6 V m‑1 was encountered at the 8th floor balcony, located at the same elevation and only 6.16 m away from the base station antennas. For comparison, a measurement was made in a low exposure apartment in Stockholm. Here, the maximum indoor field 0.52 V m‑1 was measured at the corner window, with direct line of sight to the neighboring house with mobile phone base station antennas. The maximum outdoor field of 0.75 V m‑1 was measured at the balcony facing the same next‑door building with mobile phone base station antennas. The minimum field of 0.10 V m‑1 was registered on the apartment area closest to the center of the building, demonstrating the shielding effects of the indoor walls. Good mobile phone reception was achieved in both apartments. Therefore, installation of base stations to risky places cannot be justified using the good reception requirement argument.

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Note added by EMFSA:

Mikko Ahonen  “We compared 2 apartments and show that cell phone reception is good even in the apartment with low RF radiation levels.  Our results are relevant also to schools. Government officials & telcos often claim that a school needs to be a base station for good reception for mobile devices. We show that this is NOT true. Wrong installations cause health risks to children.” 

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