Mobile-phone base stations


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With the development of telecommunication technologies, more and more mobile-phone base stations are built nowadays. Some of base stations are located near residential area, the result is some people afraid of Radio Frequency (RF) energy which is from mobile-phone towers has negative effects on health. Most people think RF can lead cancers, headache, and insomnia, and some other diseases symptoms. However, the RF has limited damage on human health which has been checked by a lot of researchers so far. This essay will state the evidences which can prove the RF which is emitted by mobile-phone tower is not harm on human health. First of all, background of mobile phone base station will be introduced. Secondly, the evidence of RF which is from mobile base stations is harmless for people will be showed, including aspects of psychology and physiology. In the third part the comparisons of mobile phone base station, mobile phones and other household appliances will be stated. At last, the base station is not necessary to move will be proved through these statements.

Nowadays, all mobile phones are based on second (GSM, TDMA) or third generation (UMTS, CDMA) technologies, the nominal power for every channel from the digital mobile phone base station towers is 10 to 20 W, micro and pico-cells even only 4 and 2 W (Kundi & Hutter, 2009). This kind of digital base station only can cover 50 to 200 metres distance. Numerous base stations should be built if people can use mobile phones or other mobile devices such as Netbooks smoothly (Kundi & Hutter, 2009). Therefore, large numbers of base stations began to be built since the beginning of 1990s (Kundi & Hutter, 2009). Because of short cover distance of digital base stations, some of them have to be built in residential areas. Some organisations and governments suggested regular the range of RF in 0 to 300 GHz to avoid possible dangerous, such as WHO launched out a guideline of scientific research which about RF, UK government supported the harmonisation of standards of frequency range which was launched by European Commission (NRPB, 2004). Table 1 was the exposure guidelines, governments such as UK ruled the mobile phone handset and base stations by this kind of table. As a matter of fact, most new mobile phones which were produced after 2000 year were all lower than maximum level at least 10% (Moulder et al, 2005). Therefore, RF which was emission by mobile phones and base stations are harmless for people.

Most people afraid of the radiation of mobile phone base stations is harmful, especially in cancers and insomnia. Some women think RF has negative influence on their health. Therefore, more and more researchers began to study the relationship between RF and human health (NRPB, 2004). People complain that they have some symptoms because nearby the base stations. Take for instance, in 2003, a man who was living in Florida claimed that his wife was died by brain cancer which was made by mobile phone (Moulder et al, 2005). Some people said they have headache, insomnia, and hard on concentration (Coggon, 2006). All of these evidences seem like can be prove the RF can lead diverse changes in brain functions. However, researchers has not find any direct evidence to prove the RF of mobile phone base stations can make people ill (Moulder et al, 2005).

Scientists have been trying to find relationships between RF and cancers. They found it is harmless if the ray can control in a low and proper level. Figure 1 showed the different frequency from different equipments and whether they are harmful. RF which was from mobile phone base stations is between FM radio of TV and microwave oven, belonging to non-ionizing. Indeed, this kind of RF is included in microwave rays and can cause damage through heating (Feychting et al, 2005). However, the research showed there was no increase of cancers among RF workers (Feychting et al, 2005).

An animal test proved the RF was harmless for human health because animals have similar biology features as human kind. Table 2 showed the mice which were tested in different frequencies and there was no significant evidence can prove they influenced by GSM RF. The researches were done by different researchers in different times. Therefore, the RF of mobile phone base station and cancers has no relationship. The worries of RF can make cancers are redundant. The report which was published by European Commission proved that neither RF nor Extremely low frequency (ELF) link with cancers and other health problems (SCENIHR, 2009).

People complained that the nearby mobile phone base stations affect on their health, such as sleep disturbances, headaches and other physical symptoms. Researchers had tried to use diverse methods to show the relationships between RF of mobile phone base stations and these symptoms. For example, Berg-Beckhoff and his group did the research through 2 phases. They sent over 50 thousands of questionnaires in the worldwide in the first phase of the research. In the second step, more than 4,000 participants who had taken part in the first phase were selected to answer the more detailed questionnaires (Berg-Beckhoff et al, 2009). The result of this research was the RF of mobile phone base station had no relationship with these symptoms. However, further research was needed because the number of people who complained of headaches was increased (Berg-Beckhoff et al, 2009).

Some other researchers divided the research in two types, one was exposure under RF in short-term, another is in long-term. The research ??Effects of Short-Term W-CDMA Mobile Phone Base Station Exposure on Women With or Without Mobile Phone Related Symptoms?? which was done by Japanese researchers belonged to short-term. The researchers tested around 2,500 participants in four different ranges of frequencies. The tests kept from 30min to 2 hours. During the experiments, researchers inserted some other elements such as noise to test whether there was any psychological effect. The results of this research showed, the RF of the base station had no significant influence on symptoms (Furubayashi et al, 2009). However, psychological elements contribute on people who living near base stations. People were worried about the effects of RF and kept giving themselves negative notices and cause the symptoms such as headaches and problems of sleep (Furubayashi et al, 2009). However, people still worried about health problems happened by exposure under RF in a long-term. As the report of European Union Scientific Committees said, the long-term of exposure under RF has limited influence on human health (SCENIHR, 2009).

However, more and more people complaint that they had health problems such as headaches, insomnias, and so on (Berg-Beckhoff et al, 2009). The researchers could not ignore this kind of phenomenon and some researches about this area were published. The Japanese report which had been mentioned showed the evidence about this argument. The report explained that some people had sensitivity on long time using the mobile phone but not caused by mobile phone base stations (Furubayashi et al, 2009). On the other hand, some other researchers showed there was no obvious evidences link to these symptoms. As figure 1 showed, RF of mobile phone nearly the microwave and can bring damage by heating. Therefore, people had the experiences on ear warmth after finished a long time phone call (Sandstrom et al, 2001). Indeed, this is non-relationship with base station.

These evidences and statements proved the RF of mobile phone base station is harmless, the range of frequency which emitted by station tower even is similar as TV tower, but people still worried about that. Some participants thought the RF can be detected by themselves (Anon, 2008). They claimed that the blood pressure, and the heart hit rate could be changed when they exposure under RF (Anon, 2008). Particularly, some of them pointed out the skin had obvious changes when they exposure in RF (Anon, 2008). For example, the skin aging became faster than before (Anon, 2008). The researchers tested the participants through different classes of frequencies, however, there was no evidences showed that people can detect the RF (Anon, 2008).

The researchers pointed out the psychological effect on people??s physiological health. Some people thought the RF influenced on their mood and lead the sleep problems. According to SCENIHR (2009), mostly, exposure in GSM RF had no relationship with psychology. The researchers tested mood, alertness and calmness through 3 different classes of RF. The result was only calmness had a little change (SCENIHR, 2009). However, further research was necessary. Other researchers had proved psychological factors were main reason for symptoms such as headaches happened. For example, as mentioned above, the Japanese researchers showed the psychological elements were main reason that guided women feel uncomfortable (Furubayashi et al, 2009).

When people complaining the negative effects of mobile phone base station the household appliances are emitting the radiation as well. Take for instance, through analysis of figure 1, microwave ovens emit radiation even stronger than mobile phone RF towers. People argued that there are protections of microwave oven, however, radiation still can emitted out of ovens (Riswadkar, 1995). There was also no evidence to prove this kind of radiation influence on human health (Riswadkar, 1995). The appliances which around us include TV, radio, dishwasher, vacuum cleaners and something else like these. People argued that this was new EMF sources and perhaps have negative effects on human health. However, there was no direct evidence to prove whether this argument was right. Comparing with TV RF, the RF which is from mobile phone base station is not stronger than that. Therefore, the base station of mobile phones is also harmless for people.

To sum up, there was no evidence can support the RF of mobile phone base stations has negative effects on human health so far. The mobile phone base stations appeared numerous since early 1990s. The debate about whether RF is harmful has lasted decades. The essay critical stated the evidences in two parts. People worried about the RF can lead to cancers, headaches, insomnias and other mental or physiology problems. Researchers have not found the evidence which can prove the RF has relationships with these symptoms. In addition, comparing with other household appliances, RF of mobile phones and mobile phone base stations is not stronger. Furthermore, some researchers found there were psychological elements influenced on residents who living near the mobile phone base stations. Because most people are worried about the RF has negative effects and mention themselves all the time.

The mobile phone base station which will build in residential area does not need to move. However, the telecoms company should advertise the knowledge of RF is harmless to the public. As the results of psychology tests, residents are worried about the base station will bring negative effects. Therefore, guiding the public eliminate these misunderstanding is very important.

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