High radiofrequency radiation at the Stockholm Central Station in Sweden

We measured the radiofrequency (RF) radiation at the Stockholm Central Station in Sweden in November 2015. The full study can be read here. The exposimeter EME Spy 200 was used and it covers 20 different RF bands from 88 to 5,850 MHz. In total 1,669 data points were recorded. The median value for total exposure was 921 µW/m2 (or 0.092 μW/cm2; 1 μW/m2=0.0001 μW/cm2) with some outliers over 95,544 µW/m2 (6 V/m, upper detection limit). The mean total RF radiation level varied between 2,817 to 4,891 µW/m2 for each walking round.

Hot spots were identified, for example close to a wall mounted base station yielding over 95,544 µW/m2 and thus exceeding the exposimeter’s detection limit, see Figure below. A man is standing with his smartphone just a couple of meters below a base station (see arrow). In that area maximum measured power density in the GSM +UMTS 900 downlink band from the base station was 95,544 µW/m2, which is the upper limit of measurement for EME Spy 200.

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Almost all of the total measured levels were above the precautionary target level of 3 to 6 µW/m2 as proposed by the BioInitiative Working Group in 2012. That target level was one-tenth of the scientific benchmark providing a safety margin either for children, or chronic exposure conditions. Considering the rapid progress of this technology, including 5G that is to be launched in the near future, it is important to monitor current RF radiation exposure in the environment.

WHO Monograph on Radiofrequency Radiation and ICNIRP

There is growing international concern on the biased representation of persons in the preparation of the WHO Monograph on Radiofrequency Radiation. As discussed earlier the group is dominated by members of ICNIRP. In fact the Ethical Board at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden concluded already in 2008 that being a member of ICNIRP may be a conflict of interest that should be stated in scientific publications (Karolinska Institute Diary Number 3753-2008-609).

A recent letter to WHO written by members of the BioInitiative Working Group describes the unbalanced ‘no-risk’ group at WHO preparing the document. The full text may be read here.

Measurements of radiofrequency fields in outdoor environments

A novel mobile monitoring system was used to measure outdoor radiofrequency fields (RF) in Sweden recently published in Bioelectromagnetics. The system was car based and the frequency covered was 30 MHz to 3 GHz.

In total more than 70,000 measurements were made. According to Table 1 in the article the following results were obtained:

Rural area                       Urban                        Stockholm

Median (μW/m2)                                                16                            270                               2,600

Arithmetic mean (μW/m2)                               230                         1,500                               6,700

Most of the radiation comes from base stations for mobile phones, 2G and 3G (UMTS). Unfortunately the range of measurements is not given. Especially high values are found in Stockholm. These results can be compared with the evaluation in BioInitiative Report 2012 especially regarding biological effects of RF-EMF:

 ‘A scientific benchmark of 0.003 uW/cm2 or three nanowatts per centimeter squared for ‘lowest observed effect level’ for RFR is based on mobile phone base station-level studies.’