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In many states, property owners are now required to put up signs up in visible areas to make people aware that a cell tower is nearby. These signs include bright coloring and big, bold lettering with the words Caution, Danger or Notice on them. Obviously, this can cause some negative consequences for the property owner.

Are cell towers hazardous to health?

The largest concern for cell tower impact to one’s health is related to cancer.  Cell towers do emit radiofrequency waves, which at very high levels can heat up body tissues. However, according to the American Cancer Society, these levels are significantly lower than the limits set for safe exposure.  The fact is that while these towers are increasing one’s exposure to radio waves, there is not enough evidence to conclusively determine the overall impacts to health.

Why the need for hazardous/radiation signs?

Though most researchers and regulation authorities do not believe that major health risks are associated with cell towers, many cell tower companies must place the “hazardous/radiation” sign somewhere on the property for public awareness.  This allows neighbors and other property owners to determine if they would like a government agency or firm to measure the radioactive frequency waves in that area.

How these signs impact your property value

Obviously, any “hazardous/radiation” sign displayed on property is going to raise some eyebrows from neighbors, at the very least. For agricultural or rural property owners, the impact may not be as significant. However, for commercial property owners this could potentially scare away tenants, patrons, or even buyers who don’t wish to be near these towers.  This may even drag down the overall property value. Even though the concern is low among researchers and regulatory authorities, people may still prefer to steer clear of cell phone towers altogether.  This impacts multi-tenant commercial space & multi-family dwellings (like apartments) most.

Until science proves that cell towers indisputably do not impact health, people will continue to be leery.  That means property owners who wish to engage in negotiations with cell tower companies should be fully informed about the consequences to property value.