Electromagnetic Fields at Schools and Hospitals
Investigation into Compliance of Electromagnetic Fields with Reference Levels at Schools and Hospitals in the City Tbilisi
Tech Area / Field
- ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment
3 Approved without Funding
Institute of Cybernetics, Georgia, Tbilisi
- Universidad Autonoma de Madrid / Escuela Politecnica Superior, Spain, Madrid\nUniversita del Salento / Dipartamento di Ingegneria dell'Innovazione, Italy, Lecce\nUniversity of Washington / Department of Bioengineering, USA, WA, Seattle
Project summaryAbsorption of RF and microwave radiation causes heating of biological tissues, which if excessive, is deleterious to health. The rapid growth of the use of cell phones to include more than a hundred million people world wide has lead to an increased interest in the possibility of adverse health effects as a result of exposures to radio waves. There are studies that suggest an association of exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields and adverse health effects. These include studies in animals and epidemiologic studies of human populations.
Increased use of mobile phones triggered an important deployment of base stations. This rapid development of wireless network, however, has induced a marked mistrust attitude into people who fear possible biological effects of electromagnetic emission from mobile communication base stations.
The number of base stations in a country depends on several factors as the number of network providers, the number of users and the topography. While there are guidelines on the limitation of human exposure to electromagnetic fields, there are no standard measurement procedures to evaluate compliance with the limits on exposure. The measurement procedure has to guarantee that the limits on exposure are not exceeded in any accessible location within the coverage area of base station.
Main guideline of GSM base station irradiation safety is technical data of antenna. Knowledge of the irradiated EMF distribution is based only on standard calculations. However real situation might occur much complicated. In some countries for intensively used locations such as apartments and offices the precautionary principle is applied. Therefore so-called “installation limit values” - in the frequency range of interest a factor of ten lower than the ICNIRP values – are taken.
Thereby, to be certain whether EMF level is in compliance with the reference level it is not sufficient knowledge only data of irradiated antenna. It is necessary to carry out measurements also at interested places, which occur in antenna coverage area.
The first objective of proposed project is to study if human exposure reference level (HERL) is complied at schools near the GSM base station’s antennas, TV and radio broadcasting antennas on the example of the city Tbilisi. The second stage of the project conceives investigations of school pupil due to exposure to RF EMFs. The reaction time, memory and attention of school pupil will be investigated. The skin resistance will be measured. The software will be developed which will give opportunity to determine mentioned parameters. The correlation between EMF reference levels and mentioned parameters will be revealed. Investigations of control groups and research groups will be compared.
The second objective is specific for hospitals scenarios, and concerns whether Electromagnetic Compatibility Reference Level (EMCRL) is complied in all locations where sensitive equipment, i.e., life support and monitoring equipment, is present at the hospitals nearby of GSM base station antennas.
It has to be appointed, that this project is first attempt of such kind epidemiological research in Georgia.
Wave propagation and the exposure situation inside buildings are determined by multiple reflections and is extremely complex. By this reason the software will be developed for estimation of positions with maximum power density in the room. Using the software theoretical estimation will allow choice of these places. Than the range with the highest field strengths in the room will be determined experimentally.
Post-processing will be done on the basis of the maximal measured field strengths. The field’s maximization will be performed. Measuremets will be performed unsing N9340A Handheld RF Spectrum Analyzer (Agilent company) and Spectran analyzer HF-6060 (Aaronia company).
Project team members have experience in EMF bioeffect investigations. Particularly, influence of cell phone induced EMFs on the neuron was investigated in the frame of the project #G-1187 - “Research of different frequency Electromagnetic Field effects on the neuron”, which was funded by ISTC in 2006-2008. Results of the project were published in scientific journals and reported to the international conferences.
Expected Results of proposed project will be:
New knowledge will be obtained about EMF levels and spectral distribution of RF EMFs at the “sensitive points”.
Possible impact of the RF EMFs on the school children health will be determined.
It will be revealed whether life support and monitoring equipment are affected by RF antenna irradiations in the hospitals.
The recommendations will be elaborated concerning siting of base station antennas and compliance of their irradiation with internationally adopted standards.
The recommendation will be elaborated for the purpose to adopt international standards of reference levels of human exposure to the EMFs in Georgia.
There is great interest among people about EMF bio-effects in the Europe and in other world particularly in Georgia and other sought Caucasus countries. After accomplishing of the project we intend to commercialize our investigations. Service of EMF measurements and determining compliance of EMF levels with adopted standards will be suggested to the population and organizations. Service will be for charge. Revenues will give opportunity for self-funding farther researches.
The project will fulfill the ISTC objectives: All scientists, including former weapon scientists completely will work in civilian environment on a basic research project. The project will facilitate integration of Georgian scientists into the international scientific community.
Role of Foreign Collaborators are: participation in the development of project proposal and work plan, exchange of information during project implementation, review of technical reports, sharing of scarce materials, contribution of software or other non-financial assistance to the project, efforts towards the potential commercialization of project results.
The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.
ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.