Aeron M.A. Nahuku1, Kelvin Tembo2, Estiner Katengeza3, Flemmings F. Ngwira4
1. Biomedical Sciences Department, College of Medicine, University of Malawi, Mahat Ma Ghandi Road, P/Bag 360,Chichiri, Blantyre, Malawi.
2. Centre for Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Appropriate Technology Development, The Polytechnic, University of Malawi, P/Bag 303, Chichiri, Blantyre, Malawi.
3. Department of Physics and Biochemical Sciences, The Polytechnic, University of Malawi, P/Bag 303, Blantyre, Malawi.
4. Department of Language and Communications, The Polytechnic, University of Malawi, Blantyre, Malawi.
The numbers of Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) have increased across the globe over the past decade and Malawi is not an exceptional, especially in the major cities. The associated potential health effects of the released Radiofrequency (RF) radiation is a topic of debate among scholars and science experts.
The study employed a descriptive design and used Spectran HF V4 spectrum analyser to measure radiofrequency radiation levels in W.m-2 at every 25m interval from the fence of the BTS to a maximum radial distance of 150m. Microsoft excel and IBM® SPSS® statistics version 20 were used for a quantitative data management, organization and analysis to further answer the research question(s).
The study evaluated the existing RF radiation levels from 15 selected BTS in Blantyre through the analysis of RF radiation levels at different radial distances from the-base stations. The city registered a maximum power density of 0.00422W.m-2 and it was registered at BT 5. All values recorded were found to be below the ICNIRP standard guidelines of 1 – 10W.m-2 with far fields reaching the ground approximately at 30 m to 150 m.
Even though the radiation levels were below the ICNIRP guidelines but when compared to other epidemiological studies, similar radiation levels were reported to be associated with public health concerns in the literature. It is important to consider roof top BTSs in similar studies in the future.
Keywords: Base stations, Radiofrequency (RF) radiation, Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR), Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), Power density, ICNIRP guidelines.
Pages: 145 – 154 | Full PDF Paper