school notes 5th Oct 2000
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This is a bundle of notes put together for reference purposes to help the busy headteacher and governors, of a multi storey junior school, and the occupants of dwellings overlooked by an Orange (singled out for mention in the Stewart Report, summary here, on Maastricht Precautionary Prinxiple here, and extract below) macrocell station, to 'get the head around'  a complex technical topic that is persistently clouded by pseudo 'experts',   hired 'consultants' (professional propagandists), 'news' agencies adequately described by Fist here, and unscrupulous university quacks/charlatans willing to express any old anti-communitarian opinion or half-truth if paid for it by extremely powerful concentrations of predatory capital (unacceptable predatory faces of capitalism usually surface when there is too much concentration of economic power and there aren't enough capitalists in a system) .
A pre-Stewart Report 1999 UK legal view is available here and a page of basic information for non radio engineers is available here.
Dr. Cherry's diagrams in the paper here, are extremely helpful for non radio engineers trying to visualise the areas most effected by antenna radiation.
New research reported here dated 2000 (despite bitter establishment opposition) blows NRPB and industry claims, that there are no biological effects of non ionising radiation, completely out of the water and exposes NRPB and HSE in their true colours.

27-11-2000 : Mobile phones to carry government health warning.

Mobile phones sold in the run-up to Xmas will carry a government health warning.

Officials confirmed yesterday that they were finalising a leaflet that would warn buyers about mobile phones' health risks.

The leaflets will warn specifically that children should not spend too long on their mobiles. They are expected to be distributed to shops within the next two weeks to go out with the thousands of phones bought as Christmas presents.

Ministers decided to act after a report published earlier this year called for more research because of health risks. There are fears in Whitehall that the issue could develop into a BSE-style health scare in future years if no precautionary steps are taken now.

A Department of Health spokesman said: "...using mobile phones can have a harmful effect. We will produce advice for consumers shortly."

A government source said: "The truth is that we do not know enough about it and the leaflet will say there is to be more research, but in the meantime it is worth taking precautions." In the leaflets, parents will be told to limit the time children spend on the phone.

Research published earlier this year said that mobile phone use among children should be discouraged because their brains were more vulnerable than adults to radiation. Responding to the report, the Government sent advice to schoolsdiscouraging pupils under 16 from using mobile phones. In addition, the Department of Health is in discussion with telecommunication companies to distribute health warnings to alert families who already have mobile phones. There is no news of legislation to outlaw irresponsible operation of powerful base stations that beam radiation at schools and playgrounds - and reign in Environment Ministry inspectors who permit such developments in the face of communitarian opposition.

STEWART REPORT COMMISSIONED BY UK GOVERNMENT and delivered May 2000 after over a year of taking evidence - this is an unedited extract :

6.65 We suggest therefore that a better approach would be to require that the beam of greatest RF intensity (see paragraph 4.32) from a macrocell base station sited within the grounds of a school should not be permitted to fall on any part of the school grounds or buildings without agreement from the school and parents. Furthermore, when consent is sought from a school and parents about this question, they should be provided with adequate information to make an informed decision, including an explanation of the way in which the intensity of radiation falls off with distance from the antenna. This may be particularly relevant for schools with large grounds. If, for an existing base station, agreement could not be obtained, its antennas might need to be readjusted.

6.66 We further suggest that similar considerations should apply in relation to a macrocell base station outside the grounds of a school but at a distance from the edge of the grounds comparable to that of a macrocell base station were it to be placed within the school grounds. In this case, if requested by the school or parents, the network operator should be required to inform the school whether the beam of greatest intensity (see paragraph 4.32) falls on the school grounds or buildings. If it does, the operator should tell them where it falls and the nearest distance from the antenna to these points. It should also provide them with adequate information to make an informed consideration of the level of the intensity of RF radiation. This information should include an explanation of the way in which the intensity of radiation falls off with distance from the antenna. If there is major concern about the situation from the school and parents, it may be necessary for the network operator to make adjustments to the antennas.

6.67 We suggest that the responsibility for monitoring the requirements of paragraphs 6.65 and 6.66 should be given to local authorities with advice from the agency responsible for maintaining the database. Disputes could be referred to the Ombudsman (see paragraph 3.51).

6.68 We recommend, in relation to macrocell base stations sited within school grounds, that the beam of greatest RF intensity should not fall on any part of the school grounds or buildings without agreement from the school and parents. Similar considerations should apply to macrocell base stations sited near to school grounds.

FCC  (US regulating body) :

Specifically, the FCC will require evaluations for:

non-rooftop PCS base station antennas less than 10 meters (30 feet) off the ground and with a total ERP of greater than 2000 W (3280W EIRP);

rooftop PCS base station antennas with a total ERP of greater than 2000 W (3280W EIRP).

non-rooftop cellular phone base station antennas less than 10 meters (30 feet) off the ground and with a total ERP of greater than 1000 W (1640W EIRP);

rooftop cellular phone base station antennas with a total ERP of greater than 1000 W (1640W EIRP)

"rooftop" is defined as: "the roof or otherwise outside, topmost level or levels of a building structure that is occupied as a work place or residence and where either workers or the general public may have access." I would assume that a mount on a water tower would be considered "non-rooftop"

"total power" is defined as: "the sum of the ERP or EIRP of all co-located simultaneously operating transmitters of the facility. When applying the [exclusion] criteria, radiation in all directions should be considered. For the case of transmitting facilities using sectorized transmitting antennas, applicants and licensees should apply the criteria to all transmitting channels in a given sector, noting that for a highly directional antenna there is relatively little contribution to ERP or EIRP summation for other directions."

Standards Association of Australia. In that standard the allowable general public exposure limit for the frequencies used by mobile phone services was 0.2 mW/cm-sq; this was a factor of 2 - 6 lower than the FCC, ANSI/IEEE, ICNIRP and NCRP standards

The UK standard (based on cooking effects only - not on physiological/biological effects on mammalian systems reported here, here and here and many other sources)  is 0.57 mW/cm-sq at 900 MHz and 1.00 mW/cm-sq at 1800 MHz

Where there are multiple transmitting antennas at different frequencies, the method for assuring adherence to the ANSI or FCC standards is complex. However, there is also an easy way to check adherence under these conditions: add the power densities of all the antennas and apply the strictest power density standard. Anything which passes this easy check will pass the more stringent and complex test. Something that fails this easy check must be analyzed by the more stringent and complex method described in the ANSI standard.

- Under worst-case assumptions (multiple low-gain, high-ERP antennas), the SAR of a human in publicly-accessible locations near a FCC-compliant base station may be less than 0.01 W/kg.

- Under realistic conditions the SAR to a human near such a (FCC-compliant) base station can be less than 0.0005 W/kg.

As a result of differences between approaches and frequencies used, world-wide standards (mostly based on cooking effects only) for the continuous exposure of the public to RF from base station antennas ranges from 0.20 to 1.20 mW/cm-sq.

US AIR FORCE reported physiological effects ;

Outcomes of 5 year US air force test program and follow ups:

1. Single and double strand DNA breakage - double strand breakage leads to mutations - result of 2hr exposure

2. Melatonin suppression.

3. Immune system malfunction.

4. Increase in malignant endocrine tumors and benign adrenal gland tumors.

5. Increase in B-cell lymphomas.

6. Carcinogenic action of pulsed radio frequency radiation.

7. Leakage through blood brain barrier at one hundreth of the permitted exposure level.

8. Microwave and radar personnel had sharp increases in cancer inducing lymphomas, melanomas, leukemias, brain tumors, high blood pressure, headaches, memory loss, brain damage, immune system suppression.

9. 1982 :

at .01microW/cm sq : altered brain permeability

at .03microW/cm sq increased brain amine levels

at .04microW/cm sq - neuro endocrine effects

10. At rising levels up to 28 microW/cm sq reduced sperm count, genetic effects, paragenetic effects (cancer).


MOTOROLA : brandished in 1997 a report to the effect of immune system ENHANCEMENT without disclosing that further exposure resulted in immune system suppression.

Children 3 times more likely to get sick.

Military personnel exposed to non ionising radiation 8 times more likely to develop cancer.

Children, feotuses, and embryos far more sensitive and have far longer 'express time' (meaning they may not show the damage for thirty or more years or in later generation(s).

Russia 1994 : Reduction of blood cholisterase reduced to 70 per cent of pre-exposure level. Exposure no greater than .01mW/cm sq and for 7hrs daily for a duration of 4 months (similar to a typical child's sleep pattern during a school term, in bedroom bathed in radiation from a rooftop station). 70 per cent reduction is the effect of illegal exposure to organophospahates.

US Navy 1950s : "Broad spectrum of biological effects, on microwave and radar personnrel" of non ionising radiation across a wide range of frequencies and power levels.

BBC Nov 6 1999 : "Two minutes exposure ... disable a defence mechanism which exists to prevent harmful proteins in the blood from entering the brain ... higher risk of Alzheimers, Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis .........."

In summary - for the average citizen forced to live too near a powerful transmitting station , health effects include lower quality and shorter duration of life with probable effects passed on to succeeding generations, absence of peace of mind, and presence of fear.

Industry Work Practices, for Reducing Radio-frequency Radiation Exposure of workers (only):

Individuals working at antenna sites should be informed about the presence of RF radiation, the potential for exposure and the steps they can take to reduce their exposure.

"If radiofrequency radiation at a site can exceed the FCC standard for general public/uncontrolled exposures, then the site should be posted with appropriate signs." [Per Richard Tell, personal communication, Feb 2000]

Radio-frequency radiation levels at a site should modeled before the site is built.

Radio-frequency radiation levels at a site should measured.

Assume that all antennas are active at all times.

Disable (lock out) all attached transmitters before working on an antenna.

Use personal monitors to ensure that all transmitters have actually been shut down.

Keep a safe distance from antennas. "As a practical guide for keeping [radio-frequency radiation] exposures low, maintain a 3-4 ft [1-1.2 m] distance from any [telecommunications] antenna."[116]

"Keep on moving" and "avoid unnecessary and prolonged exposure in close proximity to antennas".

At some site (e.g., multiple antennas in a restricted space where some antennas cannot be shut down) it may be necessary to use protective clothing.

Remember that there are many non-RF hazards at most sites (e.g., dangerous machinery, electric shock hazard, falling hazard), so allow only authorized, trained personnel at a site.

(In other words, exercise sensible precautions but don't let local inhabitants in on the act because of known biologicical effects such as those reported here, here, here, here).

Italy and Switzerland are the only European countries with non-thermal regulations: Italian Decree No 381 of 10 September 1998, 'Regulation laying down standards for the determination of radio frequency ceilings compatible with human health', entered into force on 2 January 1999, and provides for an exposure limit of 6 V/m for transmitters in respect of buildings in which people live or work for more than four hours per day. The Swiss ORNI Ordinance came into force on 1st February 2000 and is almost identical to the Italian Standard

Safe distance calculation based on level of 100 pW/cm

here are some examples

According to my local office of Industry Canada the normal output is on average 70W but up to 10 channels are allowed so the maximum output at such towers can be 700W and the safe distance would then be 7.5 km (4.6 miles).If 400 m (1330 ft) is the distance from a 300 ft (100m ) tower the maximum power at this site should not exceed 2 W ! With 10 channels on one site operated with 3W each, the same as car phones and bag phones, the total output would be 30 W. The safe distance for such a site would be 1600m (~ 1 mile ). In many cases these distances are not maintained and the allowable power exceeds the above given values excessively. Using this value would translate to a safe distance from a tower with 100 W radiation power of about 2.8 km (1.75 miles).

The calculations assume a permanent radio output, as it is the case with most cellular communication towers .

They do not take in consideration other sources of radiation like TV, or Radio transmitters. If there are more transmitters in the vicinity the radiation has to be added up, consequently reducing the power at the new site, or moving it to a safe distance that the combined levels are below this value.

It is to be expected that this level will be dismissed as unrealisticly low, but even if higher levels would be proven guaranteed safe one should demand that only the lowest possible level is permitted that still allows the operation of the system (energy conservation). There may be some technical adjustments necessary, but that should be done! The operation of the system is generally not jeopardized with lower power.

This can not be set aside only for the reason that Safety Code 6 allows higher levels. One could even take the position that there is no specific reference in the code at all, so zero tolerance is valid until the code refers to accumulative permanent exposure. The code is still only refering to occupational exposure. Considering that the exposure of the public is involuntary and permanent, asking for power limits to such transmitters seems quite reasonable, and it is technically possible and justifiable.

However, the currently permitted levels of radiation are more than hundred thousand times higher ! With the powerful interest of the industruies in this field unfortunately no change is to be expected.

Update September 1997 :

The new review of Safety Code 6 in its preliminary form has again no accumulative limits, it will state and allow permanent public exposure levels (accumulative over 24 hours) nearly equivalent to those for worktime occupational exposure ( 8 hours). Professionals in this field are well payed and covered by disability insurance - the unaware public is not "protected". The radio/micro wave pollution continues to increase steadily.

Update February 1998:

The World Health Organisation WHO has called for a symposium on the health hazards of wireless communications citing such possible dangers as tumors and cancers caused by the use of modern telecommunication devices. Hopefully this will lead to new research and better standards and not only to a whitewash on behalf of the industry.


"Radiation emissions from mobile phones could place users at risk of brain conditions including Alzheimer's Disease, according to new reports.

Researchers in Sweden have found that just two minutes' exposure to energy waves from a handset can disable a defence mechanism in the body designed to prevent harmful proteins and toxins in the blood from entering the brain.

In what is the latest in a series of mobile phone health scares, once the proteins enter brain tissue there is a higher risk of brain and nerve diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis developing."

There is electrophonic effect of microwave on hearing. Humans can perceive a buzzing or clicking sound in the back of their heads at exposure to power densities as low as 0.1 mW/cm of pulsed microwave radiation (200-3000 MHz) , depending on the pulse repetition frequency and the peak power density (around 300 mW/cm). The absorbed energy produces a thermoelastic expansion of the brain tissue causing an acoustic pressure wave which is detected in the cochlea by the hair cells of the organ of Corti. The energy needed to produce this effect is so small that it does not actually increase the mean temperature of the brain, yet the acoustic sensation is strong enough to be clearly perceived in an ambient noise level of circa 65 dB. Due to this fact microwave hearing does not cause an apparent physical reaction within the head, but it is well known that humans suffer general stress reactions when they are exposed to higher levels of sound. Noise cannot only be an annoyance, but when it consists of pulsed sounds it affects heart beat and metabolic rates. [8] The subliminal aspects of noise levels are here not even considered despite the recognized physiological effects of acoustic noise

FoE - this extract highlights the gulf in thinking between the NRPB and other scientific bodies/governments :

It is difficult to imagine how the NRPB can continue to maintain that an investigative exposure level of 10000W/cm2 (100W/m2) is safe when in 1995 the New Zealand Environment Court (as the Planning Tribunal) in the case of MacIntyre vs BellSouth set a level of 2W/cm2 as a precautionary approach - a level 5000 times less than set by the NRPB.

............the NRPB levels are based solely upon the thermal effects of exposure to radiation - the extent to which the body heats up as a result of exposure to these fields. Currently a rise of 1C is the maximum permissible rise in body temperature, measured as an average over the whole body over a 15 minute period (by the system of averaging it is of concern that there will be times when the temperature rise is actually 2C). This is called the specific energy absorption rate (SAR) and is measured in Watts per kilogram (W/kg). Currently, in the UK, the SAR allows us to absorb 10W/kg in the head, compared with an SAR of 1.6W/kg in the U.S.A. and of 2W/kg with CENELEC.

..........It was previously thought that the only possible danger to human health through exposure to microwave radiation was the thermal/heating effect. There is a growing body of scientific evidence, internationally, to indicate, however, that there may be some very serious health concerns from non-thermal effects i.e. long term exposure to very low levels of radiation. The NRPB do not recognise the scientific merit of these studies as they have failed to prove a categorical link between long term exposure to low levels of radiation and ill health. The crux of the problem is categorical proof . Even when there is growing evidence, accepted internationally within sections of the scientific community, we only need to look at the smoking debate to see how long it can take to prove a categorical causal link. If, in time, a categorical link is proven then it will be of little consolation to the many thousands of people across the country currently being exposed to the present permissible levels, especially when all it would take to avoid this unnecessary exposure is the introduction of a more cautionary approach to the siting of transmitters.

Conversely, whilst refusing to acknowledge that there could be a problem with non-thermal exposure, the NRPB launched a 3 year UK National Research Study into Occupational Exposure to Radiofrequency Fields in November 1998. It explains that this research follows concern about the possible relationship between exposure to EMFs and cancer or leukaemia and should provide the high quality research data which the NRPB feel is needed. The NRPB stated as recently as March 1992 that there was "no firm evidence" of a carcinogenic hazard from exposure to EMFs for those "in the electrical, electronic and telecommunications industries", amongst others (a view shared by the International Commission on Non-Ionozing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) - of which the NRPB is a member), and yet now they find it necessary to re-examine this issue. This reinforces our opinion that there is, quite simply, not enough known about the possible health effects of exposure to this form of radiation and that a far more cautionary approach should be adopted now. To claim that there are no non thermal mechanisms for the interaction of weak RF/MW signals with human and animal organs and cells is simply not scientifically credible.

...........Research Findings Not Intended to Enter the Public Domain

In 1990 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded a two year study into the possible links between EMF radiation and cancer. A leaked draft report, entitled 'Evaluation of the Potential Carcinogenicity of Electromagnetic Fields', covering the frequency range 3Hz-30GHz, concluded that Extra Low Frequency magnetic fields are "probable human carcinogens".

..........the NRPB recognise that levels of radiation emissions should be lower for people with compromised health.

.........European Legislation/Treaties:

The U.K. already has an obligation under the Maastricht Treaty 1993 (Article 130r) to take a precautionary approach and this was re-inforced more specifically by a recent European Parliament recommendation, 10 March 1999, which stated that people living in member states should be protected from the "potentially harmful long term effects" of electromagnetic fields, as generated by these transmitter masts

........We appreciate that it would not be practicable to lower the public exposure limit below 2W/cm2, but would advise that this limit is adopted until more is known

Chip the size of a dot to replace masts -

Glasgow health board calls for ban on masts near schools -

A significant hazard of phone frequencies microwave radiation is injury to the eyes, especially damaging at frequencies above 800 MHz. Since the lens of the eye does not have an adequate vascular system for the exchange of heat, even a slight rise in temperature can cause protein coagulation, and opacities in the lens may form. This may already be defined as a cataract, however in clinical practice the term cataract is normally not used unless the opacity has progressed so much as to interfere with visual acuity. Experimentally cataracts in animals develop after exposure to power densities above 100 mW/cm. Missing was exact information on duration. It is safe to assume a short pulse was sufficient , since most researchers feel strongly that repeated exposure of the lens to lower doses of radiation can result in accumulation of injury.

Another area of concern is rapid increase in numbers of jaw cancers, thought to be connected with near field effects at mobile phone frequencies, on metal tooth fillings.

Possibly the main area of concern is the less than professional stance of the UK National Radiological Rrotection Board (to read NRPB 'information' sheet click HERE)

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