Friday, October 27, 2006

Mobile masts

A democracy isn’t it great. It allows all types of people to run for election whether they are right or wrong. Take this for example. Last weeks Nenagh Guardian (Free reg regd) reports that

A group lobbying against the erection of mobile phone masts are considering running a candidate in North Tipperary in next year’s General Election.

The group, known as B.E.S.T. (Better Environmental & Safer Telecommunications), held a meeting in the Abbey Court Hotel in Nenagh on Saturday last to discuss running candidates in a number of constituencies.

Now firstly I would like to state all the scientific evidence that supports the belief of some people that mobile masts harm people.

As you can see from the above list there is massive amounts of data to support this claim. As you can see I have linked to no studies because well there is no studies, certainly none that I can find from good sources if anyone can point me to one please do. I could say that this is rise in Anti-mobile masts groups due poor science education in the country especially physics but however true that might be it is a cheap shot.

There has been numerous studies done that have not been able to prove any connection. And the basic reason is this.

The inverse square law.

I = \frac{P}{A} = \frac{P}{4 \pi r^2}.

I = \frac{P}{A} = \frac{P}{4 \pi r^2}.

I is the intensity P is the power and r is the distance from the mast. Basically the power decreases by r^2. So the further away from the mast you are the less the intensity. And this value decreases by a lot. The average mast would be lets say 10 meters high. That means the intensity at the bottom of the mast has dropped by a factor of 100. (Technically there would be no signal at the bottoom of the mast as the angle of output means a few meters around the mast get no power anyway) Now a mobile mast has maximum of 16 channels but seemingly 4 is typical. So lets take 16. Now each channel is going to be connected to a phone so that a mobile phone is going to broadcasting a signal equal to the power being sent to the mast. So basically the power that your mobile phone emits at is going to be at a maximum 1/16th of the power of the base station. So for you to get more microwave energy from the phone mast at full power that you are standing under then you phone, your phone would have to be about 6 meters from you.

How close is your phone from you right now? How many other phones are also within 6 meters of you? Are you right beside a mobile mast?

But I suppose that does not matter masts look dangerous, microwave radiation has the word radiation in it and people use words like cumlative dose which sounds technical so people believe it. And when do we let facts get in the way of a good scare story.

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