A significant number of rooftop antenna sites owned primarily by wireless carriers exceed FCC public and occupational exposure limits, make it impossible for workers to avoid standing in front of antennas, and are inadequately posted with warnings and barriers. The people who measure RF radiation levels at broadcast and wireless sites have known this for years. Now a lot more people are getting the message, and it’s put the FCC (already smarting from the LightSquared debacle) in the position of trying to explain why it isn’t enforcing its own rules in the case of wireless carriers, all the while regularly nicking broadcasters for trivial infractions like not announcing their call sign at the top of the hour. Not a single fine has been levied by FCC against a wireless carrier for exceeding the limits.
The issue came to light last month when a group called the EM Radiation Policy Group sent out a press release announcing the results of work it had conducted to “unimpeachably” show that these problems exist, that the FCC ignores them, and that perhaps, just perhaps, it was because wireless carriers are good customers. That is, wireless carriers have added tens of billions of dollars to federal government coffers by buying the one thing the FCC has to offer: spectrum.
Yes, another government agency that services the abusers of the system and abandons the average citizen to the unknown risks of EM levels.
I thought these agencies were set up for the public safety!
Another example on how the government no longer serves a purpose in our modern society.
Just my opinion.
I have somewhat mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, the FCC does seem to be clueless many times, about things they should be expert at understanding. Examples such as the LightSquared fiasco, and the TV "white space" impending fiasco, are obvious examples.
On the other hand, I'm not sure just how much of an issue this 6X over limit measurement really is. I assume they're talking about those clustered cellular base stations we see on top of buildings. Inside the building, where people work, I'm not sure whether the levels are any higher than at home, with WiFi and cordless phones, or on the train, where every Tom, Dick, and Harry sitting close by is mindlessly texting or otherwise busy transmitting low power RF just inches or feet from you.
The inverse square law is what applies to point sources such as these. Power density drops off quite rapidly as distance increases. Use of the term "600 percent" seems tailor-made for engendering that "ooooh aaaaah" reaction.
It depends on the construction of the roof structure and antenna placement. Unless you actually perform field strength measurements, you cannot be sure what exposure is inside the building. Inverse square law applies, but RF propogation is not always straight line, and reflects of metal objects in unexpected ways.
EM Radiation Policy Group
I lost interest after the word "family" in the second paragraph, "US workers and families are at risk of overexposure to RF at hazardous levels."
Another self-promoting FUD agenda. Nothing to see there, move along.
FCC, about 10 years ago, recognized the danger of such communications and set what they thought were adequately low power levels for transmitters.
I hope the author is wrong, but I suspect he is right: Lousy enforcement has caused widespread violation.
If the reader doubts the danger of electromagnetic exposure, it is analyzed and explained in "Biological Effects of Microwaves: Thermal and Nonthermal Mechanisms" at http://www.scribd.com/doc/45663757/Biological-Effects-of-Microwaves-Thermal-and-Nonthermal-Mechanisms,
an older version of which was posted at arXiv.
perhaps some blame is because of the darn fragmented wireless technology in the US. Every cell tower has multiple rings of antennas: CDMA, GSM, ATT, Sprint, Tmobile, Verizon---everyone has a separate transceiver so no wonder the E-M field in front of that christmas tree is huge.
Everywhere else in the world they settled on one system per area (bands differ so no universal harmony yet). I think the carriers over there just settle charges for using each other's base stations---it probably just evens itself out in proportion to how many base stations each one owns.
I've heard that LTE finally harmonizes the system worldwide---I am looking forward to that.
What we have as the reason that all of the violations are allowed is a new FCC that is composed of non-technical people who are only interested in the money. It is very clear that technical reality is something that they simply do not understand. But a law degree and an MBA simply don't qualify anybody for any sort of honest employment,mwhich is why they work foir the government. So being the technically illiterate people that they are, and being paid off by some commercial folks with lots of money to pay them off with, they naturally go for the money. What else would one expect them to do? No, it is neither legal nor moral, but then that is not what is taught in law school these days.
... lets start with a ban on MBA degree handed to anybody who does not have any other ...
The start requring technical pedigree from anybody applying to work in technical agencies ...
All that is common sense but I am afraid we lost it some time ago ...
The EETimes community has a great opportunity to demonstrate leadership on this topic. Please keep us posted on progress towards resolution. Is the FCC going to pursue documented violations or are the watchdog measurements faulty? I'm sure that the collected fines would be appreciated by a hard pressed Washington DC (and encourage the telecommunications industry to improve their self-policing practices).