Monthly Archives: July 2007

Electromagnetic pollution: Lessons from the radio amateurs…

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My antenna in Germany

Recently, a study came out [PDF] that looked at the short-term health effects of electromagnetic radiation on humans (more readable version here). Subjects were exposed in 50 minute-long sessions to transmissions from ordinary GSM-transmitting stations, 3G transmitters (i.e. UMTS) and sometimes they were only told that a transmission would take place although the transmitter was switched off.

The individuals who classified themselves as being “sensitive” towards electromagnetic radiation reported flu-like symptoms and feelings of uneasiness even if the transmitter was switched off.

This reminds me of two stories related to one of my hobbies, Amateur Radio. Once a friend told me that he installed a new wire-antenna at his house, highly visible to his neighbours. On purpose, he did not connect the antenna to his transceiver and let the cable hang out of his window. He did not use the antenna for about three weeks, when during that time the first reports of feelings of “uneasiness” by his neighbours came it. After he told them that the antenna was in fact not operating yet, the critiques went silent.

I myself had some minor feedback about my antenna, when somebody complained that she could “feel the antenna radiating” and asked whether it was not a dangerous thing to use. Here as well, I had not used the antenna for weeks.

Even more funny are some mail-order catalogues, where one can buy next to products shielding you from the “evil” mobile phone radiation, other radiating products that are said to be “good” and shall increase your wellness, remove headaches and so on. Maybe I should also start selling “wellness radiation sessions”…