Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wi-Fi: The Mini Cell Phone Tower

Is Wi-Fi safer than cell phone use?
"No. Unlike cell-phones, Wi-Fi base stations employ a beacon signal, which is continuously emitting a pulse-modulated microwave signal at full strength in a radius of about 300 feet. This beacon signal is comparable to exposure from a cell tower... Bombarding children, teachers and staff to this constant unknown risk exposure for 5 days a week, 6 hours a day, for years on end is irresponsible when the simple solution of a completely safe wired connection exists." (Citizens For Safe Technology – Victoria)

"...signal strength from a mobile phone base station where it reaches the ground (approximately 70 to 100 metres from the base station) is typically between 0.5 and 1.5 V/m, exactly the same as we measured in a WiFi classroom in a school in Norwich, and the same as found in the above calculations, and seems therefore to be very relevant. A quick survey of the literature looking very specifically into mobile phone base station epidemiology finds some statistically significant health effects[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]... There is, in fact, very little research looking at base stations that has failed to find an effect. Also interesting is that many of the effects in the papers above (non-cancer effects) are those being reported in the anecdotal evidence from Wi-Fi exposure.

In essence then, there is sufficient evidence to warrant some degree of precaution regarding WiFi until research has been done very specifically into its effects. With dLAN systems and ordinary CAT5/6 wired networks offering better stability, bandwidth and security, there is simply no need for most homes, organisations and schools to switch to wireless networks, apart from the savings of the slight inconvenience in cables."

Submitted To Secretary, DOT (Dept of Telecommunication), Delhi, India
Prepared by Prof. Girish Kumar
Electrical Engineering Department IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumai – 400 076 - December 2010
Conclusion: "The seriousness of the health hazards due to radiation from the cell phones and cell towers has not been realized among the common man. Cell operators continue to claim that there are no health issues. Even organizations like WHO, ICNIRP, FCC, etc. have not recommended stricter safe radiation guidelines, whereas several countries have adopted radiation norms, which are 1/100th to 1/1000th of  these values based on their studies. Cell phone industry is becoming another cigarette industry, which kept claiming that smoking is not harmful and now there are millions of people around the world who have suffered from smoking. In fact, cell phone/tower radiation is worse than smoking; as one cannot see it or smell it, and its effect on health is noted after a long period of exposure. Therefore, majority of people tend to have casualness towards personal protection. Unfortunately, ignorance and non-awareness adds to this misery and all of us are absorbing this slow poison unknowingly. Even if people are aware of the radiation hazard, they may not have the choice to move away from it if the tower is installed near their office or residential building. In addition to the continuous radiation from cell towers, there is radiation from cell phones, wireless phones, computers, laptops, TV towers, FM towers, AM towers, microwave ovens, etc. We are exposed to all these radiations which are additive in nature. Hence, it is imperative that stricter radiation norms must be enforced by the policy makers. This does not mean that we have to stop living near these towers. We all know that automobiles create air pollution – have we stopped using them? Instead, solutions were found such asunleaded petrol, catalytic converters to reduce emission, CNG driven vehicles, hybrid vehicles,etc. If people in the mobile companies think there is no health hazard, then let them stand in frontof their own transmitting tower at 1m distance in the main beam for 6 hours – are they willing to take the risk? Similar effect will be there at 10m distance in about 600 hours (25 days). If mobile companies accept that radiation causes serious health problems, will people stop using cellphones? Not really, because the cell technology has its several advantages. However, thenresearchers/technocrats/entrepreneurs will come out with possible solutions, which may be expensive but that cannot be greater than the health risk faced by humans, birds, animals and environment."
(Note: Exposure limit in Canada is 1000μW/cm2, or 10W/m2)

 [4] - Abdel-Rassoul G, El-Fateh OA, Salem MA, Michael A, Farahat F, El-Batanouny M, Salem E (March 2007). "Neurobehavioral effects among inhabitants around mobile phone base stations". Neurotoxicology. 28(2):434-40 - [View Abstract]
" Inhabitants living nearby mobile phone base stations are at risk for developing neuropsychiatric problems and some changes in the performance of neurobehavioral functions either by facilitation or inhibition. So, revision of standard guidelines for public exposure to RER from mobile phone base station antennas and using of NBTB (neurobehavioral test battery) for regular assessment and early detection of biological effects among inhabitants around the stations are recommended." 

[5] - Yurekli AI, Ozkan M, Kalkan T, Saybasili H, Tuncel H, Atukeren P, Gumustas K, Seker S (2006). "GSM base station electromagnetic radiation and oxidative stress in rats". Electromagn Biol Med. ;25(3):177-88 - [View Abstract]
"When EM fields at a power density of 3.67 W/m2 (specific absorption rate = 11.3 mW/kg), which is well below current exposure limits, were applied, MDA (malondialdehyde - a marker for oxidative stress) level was found to increase and GSH (reduced glutathione, a major antioxidant) concentration was found to decrease significantly (p < 0.0001). Additionally, there was a less significant (p = 0.0190) increase in SOD (superoxide dismutase) activity (cell-repair) under EM exposure."

[6] - "Risk Evaluation of Potential Environmental Hazards From Low Frequency Electromagnetic Field Exposure Using Sensitive in vitro Methods". EU Programme, "Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources" - [View Foreword and Download Report]
"Genotoxic effects and a modified expression of numerous genes and proteins after EMF exposure could be demonstrated with great certainty, while effects on cell proliferation, cell differentiation and apoptosis (the process of programmed cell death) were much less conclusive. Since all these observations were made in in vitro studies, the results obtained neither preclude nor confirm a health risk due to EMF exposure, but they speak in favour of such a possibility."

[7] - Santini R, Santini P, Danze JM, Le Ruz P, Seigne M (July 2002). "Investigation on the health of people living near mobile telephone relay stations: I/Incidence according to distance and sex". Pathol Biol (Paris). 50(6):369-73 - [View Abstract]
"Women significantly more often than men (p < 0.05) complained of headache, nausea, loss of appetite, sleep disturbance, depression, discomfort and visual perturbations. This first study on symptoms experienced by people living in vicinity of base stations shows that, in view of radio protection, minimal distance of people from cellular phone base stations should not be < 300 m."

[8] - Santini R, Santini P, Danze JM, Le Ruz P, Seigne M (September 2003). "Symptoms experienced by people in vicinity of base stations: II/ Incidences of age, duration of exposure, location of subjects in relation to the antennas and other electromagnetic factors". Pathol Biol (Paris). 51(7):412-5 - [View Abstract]
"Our results show significant increase (p < 0.05) in relation with age of subjects (elder subjects are more sensitive) and also, that the facing location is the worst position for some symptoms studied, especially for distances till 100 m from base stations.
[9] - Balmori Alfonso (2005). "Possible Effects of Electromagnetic Fields from Phone Masts on a Population of White Stork (Ciconia ciconia)". Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 24: 109-119 - [View Summary and Download Report]
"Total productivity (number of young per couple, including nests with 0 chicks) for nests within 200m of the antenna was 0.86 (0.7 - 1.02), whereas productivity for nests further than 300m away was 1.6 (1.46 - 1.74). Both were statistically significant, with a p value of 0.001.
A large part of the difference here appears to be due to the likelihood of the couples in the nests near the mast (cell tower) not having any chicks: 40% of those within 200m had no chicks, whereas in the nests greater than 300m away only 3.3% did not have chicks!
Odd behaviour was also noted in the storks, happening much more frequently the closer the nests were to the masts."

[10] - Wolf R, Wolf D (April 2004). "Increased incidence of cancer near a cell-phone transmitter station". International Journal of Cancer Prevention Vol1, No2, - [Download Report]
"The measured level of RF radiation (power density) in the area was low; far below the current guidelines based on the thermal effects of RF exposure. We suggest, therefore, that the current guidelines be re-evaluated. 
The enormous short latency period; less than 2 years, indicates that if there is a real causal association between RF radiation emitted from the cell-phone base station and the cancer cases (which we strongly believe there is), then the RF radiation should have a very strong promoting effect on cancer at very low radiation!
Although the possibility remains that this clustering of cancer cases in one year was a chance event, the unusual sex pattern of these cases, the 6 different cancer kinds, and the fact that only one patient smoked make this possibility very improbable and remote. It should be noted that 7 out of 8 cancer cases were women, like in the work of Maskarinec (25) who found 6 out of 7 leukemia cases in proximity to radio towers to occur in girls. Such unusual appearances of cancer cases due to one accused factor on two completely different occasions is alarming."

[11] - Horst Eger, Klaus Uwe Hagen, Birgitt Lucas, Peter Vogel, Helmut Voit (April 2004). "The Influence of Being Physically Near to a Cell Phone Transmission Mast on the Incidence of Cancer". Umwelt Medizin Gesellschaft 17 - [View Summary and Download Report]
"People living within 400 metres of the mast in Naila had three times the risk of developing cancer than those living further away. This seems to be an undeniable clustering of cancer cases."

[12] - Oberfeld Gerd, Navarro A. Enrique, Portoles Manuel, Maestu Ceferino, Gomez-Perretta Claudio (August 2004). "The Microwave Syndrome - Further aspects of a Spanish Study". Conference Proceedings - [View Summary and Download Report]
All models showed statistical significant associations between the measured electric field (~ 400 MHz – 3 GHz) and 13 out of 16health related symptoms. The strongest five associations found are depressive tendency, fatigue, sleeping disorder, difficulty in concentration and cardiovascular problems. The symptoms associated are in line with the symptoms reported in the literature as “Microwave Syndrom... Based on the data of this study the advice would be to strive for levels not higher than 0.02 V/m for the sum total, which is equal to a power density of 0.0001 μW/cm²...”.

2011 International Association of Fire Fighters' Position on the Health Effects from Radio Frequency/Microwave (RF/MW) Radiation in Fire Department Facilities

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