Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Chinese government phone tower tests calm public health worries

China tallA comprehensive study of more than 800 mobile phone towers in China has helped reduce local residents’ health fears and confirmed mobile signal exposures in the region are well below international safety standards.
The researchers found that not only were all towers compliant with safety standards, but once concerned residents were made aware of their local phone tower’s measurements in comparison with the safety limits, they were less likely to be worried about living near a tower. A survey found 98 per cent of respondents said living near a tower was dangerous before the measurements, while afterwards only 25 per cent still believed they were dangerous.
The Chinese government ordered the extensive exposure testing be carried out in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region in southwest China, at the request of mobile operators who had noticed an increase in public complaints against base stations in the region.
Between April and July 2009 the Telecommunication Metrology Centre – under the direction of the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, took 6,207 Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) measurements in the vicinity of 827 base stations, including all towers that had been the focus of public complaints.
The study found all of the measurements were well below the exposure guidelines set by the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and were also in compliance with the more restrictive Chinese national safety standard (GB 8702-88) developed by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
“The selection of the measured base stations included all the sites which had ever received complaints of excessive RF EMF exposure,” the study found.
“The results show that the measured GSM downlink EMF is compliant with the reference levels of ICNIRP guidelines and GB 8702-88.”
“Most of the measured GSM band EMF levels are usually at the thousandth level of the ICNIRP [guidelines].”
“It reveals that even in the close vicinity of the GSM base station, the GSM band EMF strength is far less than either the ICNIRP guidelines or the GB 8702-88.”
To help the public access the study’s results, the researchers published a database where residents could use their GPS coordinates to view the exposure levels near their local base station and compare them to the relevant safety guidelines.
The researchers also undertook a survey of local residents before and after they were notified of their nearby tower’s exposure to gauge their level of concern and knowledge of the safety limits.
“A survey has been made for the random selected general public after the notification of their adjacent EMF exposure. Among the 216 surveyed people, 137 (63.4 %) reported being familiar with the scientific phrase safety limits compared with only 6 before the notification,” the study said.
“One hundred and sixty-one (74.5 %) and 4 (1.9 %) reported living near the GSM base stations as no danger, post and prior to the notification of the measured data. “
The researchers also said complaints about EMF exposure from mobile base stations decreased drastically in cities after the results were published.

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