Yeah, you can just ask our source, "Roland," about what it's like to get too close to the signal intended to blast your dick pics to the horizon. The result is called an RF burn. "Basically, you get them by working for a few hours in front of an antenna that's powered up," says Roland. "It's exactly like a sunburn."
"Oops, missed a spot with the lotion."
Only instead of the sun, it's a giant man-made beam blasting enough radio frequency radiation to cook your goddamned flesh a little and "potentially [cause] cataracts and temporary sterility and other health issues," according to the FCC. Yes, sterility -- the first body parts to feel the burn are the eyes and the testes. You can decide for yourself which is worse. Workers are supposed to shut down individual sectors to avoid exposing themselves to the live antennas, but some workers (like Roland) have to turn the antenna on for tests. And the government sets limits on the permissible level of radiation at cell tower work sites, but some towers reach seven times that limit. As we'll find out in a moment, these guys aren't always sticklers for safety regulations.
Of course, the tower is also full of wires carrying scary amounts of juice. "If you touch the end of a live cable, it will burn a hole in your finger," Roland says. "Or your arm, if you brush up against it, [but] it's rare this happens, because we are scared of that shit. No one really wants to die for your cellphone signal."