10% of cell sites violate rules meant to limit RF radiation

10% of cell sites violate rules meant to limit RF radiation
With the exponential growth of the wireless industry, and ever increasing demands for signal capacity and coverage comes the consequence of having over 300,000 cell sites around the United States.

Cell sites are no longer stand-alone towers in remote areas, blasting radio frequencies (RF) across large areas of land. Even then though, there were rules about power management of these towers to that the radio waves would not be cause for any health concerns to the general public.

Nowadays though, to accommodate better coverage and network integrity expected and demanded by customers, cell sites can be an inconspicuous antenna array along the side or corner of a building, closer to the ground, dedicated gear inside buildings or stadiums, and some are designed to not look like antennas at all.  Some cell sites are made to look like trees, others are built into buildings and look like concrete blocks.

A small team of engineers conducting safety audits for carriers and local governments examined more than 5,000 sites and determined that 1-in-10 the towers violate the RF radiation output rules established by the FCC with the Telecommunications Act of 1996.  Given the vast assortment of sites across the country, the FCC simply does not have the ability to monitor each and every one.

The safety audits are generally conducted on behalf of the carriers to ensure engineers and technicians that work on the sites are not being exposed to dangerous levels of RF radiation up close at the antennas.  Some RF antennas that produce too much power can physically burn skin. Meanwhile, the debate continues about the long term effects of RF radiation from cell phones. For the engineers and technicians that are working around much more powerful gear, occupational safety organizations have voiced concerns over worker safety.

Carriers do use quite a bit of resources to maintain worker safety, as it has a long-term health benefit, translating to lower health-care costs for insurance and pension plans. Not all cell sites can be accessed all the time though due to complications encountered by property owners where some sites reside. Sometimes these issues arise of things that we might see as trivial, such as RF notification signs. Verizon recently noted that occupants of a New York City condominium complex hired a lawyer after the carrier posted signs near a cell site near a condo-complex terrace. Verizon removed the signs (required by law) and the tenants dropped the issue.

source: The Wall Street Journal

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11 Comments

1. uzimafioso

Posts: 469; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

Okay. Who's behind this? Taliban? -___-

2. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

-_____________________________-

3. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

........ |:-\

4. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

what!?!?!?! go to bed

6. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

7. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

ISIL. This is how they are going kill more infidels. On a serious note, everyone was worried about RF from cellphones. They should be worried about RF from the cell towers. As the article mentioned, towers are everywhere. With the attempts to disguise the look of the towers, you could be living or working near a tower and not even know it.

11. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 912; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

Not cell towers. Cell sites. Huge difference. They're already everywhere and have been there for decades. Not a new thing.. Guaranteed you've been in buildings where they are on the roof or even as an in building system. They're safe and cell techs have to carry RF monitors to make sure of that for their safety and others. (/mass histeria over nothing)

5. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Same reasons folks don't want them in their neighborhood. Everyone wants great coverage, only and only if placed in urban areas.

8. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

How many were Att/Verizon?

9. AlikMalix unregistered

Lets blame Apple iphones. RadiationGate?

10. edmundzea

Posts: 7; Member since: Sep 10, 2012

If in the US you have problems like that, I wonder what's in store for us

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