Is Electromagnetic Pollution Worse Than Air Pollution? Part 2

Electromagnetic Pollution, Electromagnetic Pollution Protection

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2. Cell Telephony Base Station Antennas Radiation
Base Station Antennas are usually located in the middle of hexagon areas named as cells, which divide a large area having a cell telephony network, as it is shown in the following picture on the right. The density of these cells and the number of antennas is increased with the number of users per area. The Base Station Antennas located at the center of these cells look like the ones in the picture on the left.
Any cell telephony company has its own different cells network with antennas, something which increases the total electromagnetic pollution per area.

Electromagnetic Pollution by one only Base Station Antenna
There is strong interest about the level of pollution and its relation with the safety limit distance of nearest buildings from the position of one only radiating antenna.
The radiation patterns of common used antennas are anisotropic and their lobes cannot be calculated approximately by using the simple model of isotropic omnidirectional antenna.
In the picture on the left, you can observe the simulation of distribution of electromagnetic radiation of a typical base station antenna located on the wall of a tall building.
The position and kind of materials of each building around it, can give impressive results because of propagation phenomena (i.e. multi-reflections), like stronger fields (red color) even in areas far away from the antenna against closer to it (green color). This fact, and other kind of phenomena not mentioned here, make useless any proposal of a safety distance limit i.e. 300 metes, between an antenna and a building.

Electromagnetic Pollution by many Base Station Antennas
The existence of many antennas in one area makes more difficult the calculation of a standard safety distance limit from an antenna. This limit depends on each antenna (i.e. frequency, power, position, kind of antenna), the surrounding buildings construction, the weather and other factors.
In the picture on the left, you can observe one more simulation of electromagnetic radiation emitted by many antennas distributed to an urban area. The positions of maxima of this radiation are presented with red color and of minima with blue colors.

As you can see, the distribution of radiation is not the same at each area and height. So, a simple monitoring of electromagnetic fields with sensors of the emitted radiation by a cell telephony network, near or far from each antenna, is not a secure way to patrol an urban area.

Extra Covers of Cell Telephony Base Station Antennas
Extra covers of any kind to base station antennas are not permitted, neither for “extra” protection nor to “fit better” to the environment, as they can change their technical characteristics.
Good quality antennas sold by companies have their own protection materials named “radome” which have been passed specific tests i.e. weather changes, absorption behavior etc. in special labs.
In picture on the left, white and gray colored radome materials are used to cover the inside wired structure of different kind of antennas.

2.3.1. One example, which must be avoided
Greece is a less-developed country and this fact is verified every day in many aspects. Here is one…
Greek Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) is a state authority responsible for protection of the population from electromagnetic pollution (ionic and nuclear). According to this authority base station antennas are permitted to be covered with extra covers in order to “fit better” to the environment. In the following, I show you a representative case.
In the first picture on the left, two base station antennas are installed – on the top of a building – inside two chimneys somewhere in Athens.
In the lower picture on the left, you can observe inside these chimneys big metallic elements (green circles) in front of the antennas, which make them parasitic ones.

It seems, that the members of GAEC know neither “what parasitic antenna” is nor “what radome” is.
It should be mentioned that the addition of such kind of extra materials around antennas (metalic elements or extra covers) by the cell telephony companies goes against the law. The effect of them to the radiation patterns of antennas is not included to their application study to GAEC, which checks it and gives them the permission to proceed.
The above case is a “common situation” in Greece and many antennas systems of unspecified construction have been installed on many buildings. The weight of these systems can be of great danger in case of a big earthquake.
I hope soon European Union will help Greece to undrestand the problems of this situation, by giving appropriate common instructions to all its member states.

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Is Electromagnetic Pollution Worse Than Air Pollution? Part 1

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Electromagnetic pollution is one kind of environmental pollution which is of electromagnetic origin. You can imagine it like a smog composed of many kinds of electromagnetic waves. For this reason the term “electromagnetic smog” or “electrosmog” is used sometimes against of the more official term of “electromagnetic pollution”.

Electromagnetic pollution is the result of electromagnetic excess of the environmental electromagnetic background that the electromagnetic waves radiated from many different technological products.

Inappropriate design of products, the need of companies for easy win, the existence of international standards and/or agreements without the correct level of focus to environmental issues, the higher safety limits, the misleading information and/or education and some kind of society problems are few of the reasons which permit the further expansion of electrosmog problems around the world.
Source of electromagnetic pollution is almost every electric, magnetic or electromagnetic device independently of size and use.

One simple example to understand the problem of electromagnetic pollution is the case of an inappropriately designed microwaves oven used for cooking. The microwaves which are produced inside it are used to heat the food. As result of inappropriate design, microwaves can usually propagate through the oven`s window to the environment. This is a kind of function which the oven does not need to have. It is not the reason was made. This useless radiation is an electromagnetic waste and it contributes to what is called electromagnetic pollution.

The electromagnetic radiation is divided to ionizing and not ionizing one, something which depends on frequency and applications (see the above picture). The sources of both kind of radiation can contribute to the existed electromagnetic environmental pollution.

Ionizing radiation is the one which can excite electrons from atoms and molecules or even to excite the nucleus of elements. It includes i.e. one part of Ultraviolet (UV) frequencies, X-ray frequencies, Gamma ray (γ-rays) frequencies and Cosmic ray frequencies.

Non-ionizing radiation is the one with no ability of ionizing. It includes i.e. visible light, Infrared (IR), Microwave (MW), Radio Frequencies (RF), Extremely Low Frequencies (ELF radiation) and the stable electric or magnetic fields (DC fields).
Non-ionizing radiation is produced by different kind of sources which exist at home, at work or outside i.e. power transmission lines, home electric devices, any kind or wireless network, any kind of radar etc. including cell phones, cell telephony base station antennas, PCs, routers and so many others.

The most important effect of non-ionizing radiation is the increase of temperature to the application area it acts i.e. human body or even the environment itself. The reason is the acceleration of charges because of the electromagnetic forces acting on them during radiation, which creates heating. In the case of human body, this heat can change the speed of biochemical reactions and possibly their function. Accidentally, it will take many years to understand bioelectromagnetic phenomena. So, the best for the time being is to understand what electromagnetic pollution is and also to keep the safety radiation limits at the acceptable level.

The activism about electromagnetic pollution should not be seen as a war between environmentalists and companies or health organizations but as a chance to improve the quality of life by using new better designed and more sophisticated technological products. It is a good chance to rebuild the existing market on a healthier basis with realistic prospects for everyone.

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