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Today a rapid technological development is happening in every area, and the high-tech products manufactured as a result of this development are provided for the service of humanity. Along with the developing technology, our daily life is increasingly becoming dependent on the Electromagnetic (EM) Fields. Everything from all electrical devices that we use at our homes (TVs and Computer Monitors, Hair Dryers, Electrical Shavers, Microwave Ovens, Irons, etc.) to mobile phones causes radiation due to EM fields. It is still controversial among scientific circles whether the said radiation has an impact on human health or not, and scientific research studies on this matter continue to be conducted in the world and in Turkey.
ICNIRP, International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection Guidelines, compulsory to comply with by the European Union countrieshttp://www.icnirp.de/The report titled “Mobile Phones, Base Stations and Health” (http://www.iegmp.org.uk/) by UK Department of Health (www.doh.gov.uk/mobilephones/index.html), NRPB, National Radiation Protection Board (www.nrpb.org.uk), and the independent group of experts chaired by Sir William Stewart.The report titled “Electromagnetic Fields and Public Health; Mobile Phones Base Stations” (Fact Sheet No: 193) within the scope of the “World Health Organization Electromagnetic Fields Project” (WHO EMF Project, www.who.int/peh-emf/index.htm) started by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1996 and still being continued.The report titled “Cellular Phone Antennas and Human Health” (www.mcw.edu/gcrc/cop/cell-phone-health-FAQ/toc.html) published by an American independent specialist researcher, Prof. Dr. John MOULDER (Medical College of Wisconsin).The report titled “Mobile Phones, Base Stations and Health” published by Australian Mobile Telecommunication Association (http://www.amta.org.au/).The report titled “Consumer Update on Mobile Phones” published by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (http://www.tunctelekom.com.tr/www.fda.gov/cdrh/ocd/mobilphone.html).As pointed out in these reports, the values of exposure to RF radiation arising from the base stations are much below the safety limit values mentioned in the regulations. As a result of the experiments so far, it is informed that there is no risk for cancer development in a living organism as a result of exposure to RF radiation arising from mobile phones. The ministry of Communications accepted the limits by ICNIRP, and issued the regulation titled “Regulation on Installation Location, Measurements, Operation and Inspection of Base Stations of Mobile Telecommunication Networks” in the Official Gazette with issue no 24130 on 4 August 2000. According to the table in Article 13 of this regulation of the limit values permitted on the base stations within the frequency band GSM 900 MHz, the electric field intensity is given as 41.1 V/m, the magnetic field intensity as 0.1092 A/m, and the power intensity as 4.5 W/m2; and within the frequency band GSM 1800 MHz, according to the table of limit values permitted on the base stations, the electric field intensity is given as 58.1 V/m, the magnetic field intensity as 0.1544 A/m, and the power intensity as 9 W/m2. According to the results of many measurements so far, the values of the electric, magnetic field and power intensity of currently active stations are much below these safety limits.
We are consistently exposed to radiation in almost every field of our daily life, both naturally and perhaps as a cost of the conveniences brought by the technological developments. Our organs and tissues interact with radiation in a way we are not conscious of. While this interaction sometimes causes visible results, it sometimes passes through our body without our knowledge.Radiation is the energy emitted by the packs of energy called waves, particles or photons. Radiation is a phenomenon always occurring in the nature and we live together with. The radio waves enabling radio and television communication, and the x-rays used in medicine and industry are the types of radiation that we are used to in our daily life.
The effects are analyzed under two major topics as ELF field effects and RF/MW field effects. The primary concern of the ELF field effects consists of the electrical devices that we use at our homes and workplaces, and the overhead power lines and the transformers, and the primary concern of the RF/MW field effects consists of the TV and radio transmitters, mobile phones, base stations, satellite dishes, and microwave ovens. As a result of the studies done on those living near transformers and Overhead Power Lines (OPL), it is found that they affect the immune system, the strong hormonal mechanisms in the brain and central nervous system, the prenatal development, the genetic mechanisms, cause an increase in the rate of hallucinations, headaches, depressions, and cause the sleep pattern to disrupt by slowing the synthesis of melatonin.Many effects among the above are associated with cancer development. Considering these findings, Russia determined the E-field value near the OPLs as 1-5 kV/m in 1975, and the USA as 9 kV/m in 1982. American Academy of Sciences pointed out that the probability of incidence of leukemia in children living near OPLs was 1.5 times more than the others in 1996. The experimental studies done on the impact of RF/MW radiation and their results: In Respect of Tissue Conductivity: As a result of exposure to RF/MW radiation, firstly the tissues in which implanted materials are placed, the patella, and the intra-ocular lens are affected. The secondarily affected tissue is the brain. Microwave Hearing Effect: Sounds are heard as wuthering, ringing, and buzz depending on the intensity of the radiation being exposed to. No finding has been encountered so far that this effect is a lasting one. However, it is established both with experimental and epidemiological studies that talking too much on mobile phones daily causes to hear fitfully and have a continuous ringing in the ears in the evenings. Effect on the BBB (Blood-Brain Barrier) Permeability: The brain has developed a barrier mechanism to prevent certain substances from moving to the brain through the blood. According to this mechanism, antibiotics fail to reach the brain. As a result of the experimental studies, it is determined that transition of antibiotics through the brain is possible in the animals exposed to RF/MW radiation for long. It is implied from this finding that the viral effects in the brain might be treated. Effect on the Nervous System: It has been observed that the EM fields with a power intensity of 10 W/m2 affect the nervous system. However, the power intensity at this value is above the limit values (4,5 W/m2 at 900 MHz, 9,0 W/m2 at 1800 MHz) permitted by the regulation of the Ministry of Communications currently in effect. Modifications in DNA Structure: Studies done on this matter do not support each other. While in an experiment, an increase in DNA damage was recorded in nine of 12 guinea pigs; in another research, a decrease in DNA damage was recorded in five of 9 guinea pigs. No scientific evidence has been demonstrated yet about cancer development due to exposure to RF/MW fields in the reports published in England and the USA titled “Mobile Phones, Base Stations, and Human Health”. As a result of the studies done in the USA, it was found that the risk of incidence of leukemia in children living near transformers and overhead power lines (OPLs) was 1.5 times bigger. Psychological or Behavioral Effects: In both studies by Mann and Röschke, and by Borbely, changes were observed in sleeping patterns. In an experiment by Wang and Lai, learning disability was found in animals exposed to a RF field with 2450 frequency, but this experiment has not been repeated yet. In another experiment by Wang and Lai, “long term memory loss” was found in animals. All experiments by Wang and Lai were conducted at 2450 MHz frequency, which is the frequency at which microwave ovens operate. An increase in the rate of hallucinations, headaches, and depressions was observed in people living around OPLs and transformers. Effects of the radiation arising from mobile phones are determined with the value of SAR (Specific Absorption Rate). The SAR value is stated to be the amount of electromagnetic energy that increases the 1 kg temperature of the body by 10ºC. For RF, the dosage of biological effect of the SAR causing damage is determined as 4 W/kg for the whole body. One ten of this value is accepted as the limit (0,4 W/kg) for those exposed to electromagnetic fields by their occupations. For general society exposure, one five of the occupational exposure is considered (0,08 W/kg).