By Redacción Ambientum
Today's civilization is the generator of a wide range of electromagnetic fields, ranging from high frequency such as radio and television antennas, radar, microwaves, cell phones, to very low frequency such as high voltage lines, computer screens , electrical networks, etc. Sometimes we tell ourselves that we are more and more prone to certain diseases, that before we did not get so many spots on our body, that we would get less sick, that the race was "stronger". In reality, our progress involves endless changes, small in many cases, but that nature perceives and that affect us to a greater or lesser degree.
The media have echoed the discussions that have taken place, especially in educational centers, about the risks of electro-pollution due to having mobile phone antennas nearby. The environmental authorities limit themselves to indicating that these radiations do not exceed the established legal limits.
The local authorities close the antennas for non-compliance with urban regulations. The doubt persists as to whether or not these radiations are the cause of the health problems that are attributed to them.
In this same sense, there are already several judicial decisions that accept the existence of health risks.
Today's civilization is the generator of a wide range of electromagnetic fields, ranging from high frequency such as radio and television antennas, radar, microwaves, cell phones, to very low frequency such as high voltage lines, computer screens , electrical networks, etc.
Much of the activities of many people tend to take place in areas where household appliances and electrical appliances abound, spending much of the day under the influence of innumerable radiation fields of this type. So it happens that society lives surrounded by magnetic fields. During the last thirty years the electromagnetic density of the environment has multiplied, generating a new type of pollution, intangible and immaterial, called "electromagnetic pollution". The accumulation of these emissions generates a phenomenon that has been called "electrosmog".
Some researchers affirm that above a certain threshold and by cumulative effect, radiation can trigger autoimmune diseases, allergies, chronic fatigue, anemia, nervous system disorders and even different types of cancer.
We have to accept that the non-specialized public still knows very little about these issues and that we do not assume such common actions as making a phone call, working in front of a computer screen or watching television as risks.
Electro pollution is a "pending issue" and a "new frontier" in raising the standards of environmental quality and the standard of living of citizens.
Electromagnetic fields are produced by waves of very low frequencies, 50 to 60 hertz, and are produced in all electrical appliances and conduits. For more than 25 years, these waves have been linked to childhood leukemia.
The risks to health that are supposed to be affected by electro pollution are concentrated in brain cancer, leukemia, breast cancer, testicular cancer and neurological pathologies.
The possible effects that contribute pollution are still little valued by citizens, in general because they are subtle issues, with which we have been used to living, without ever knowing whether or not they are the cause of some of our ills.
When the radiations are intense, such as those used in medicine, nuclear power plants, radiography, etc., being specific groups, the regulations have evolved, they are applied and adequate control of these professionals is achieved; but when its effects are more dispersed it is when we find great gaps in environmental protection.
Many are the scientific studies that have been done, and continue to be done, to increase our knowledge about these phenomena, in different populations, in different environments and for different sources of radiation. Although some of these studies have detected increases in the risk of cancer, they are statistically inconsistent results, and highly affected by other variables. Technically speaking, it is difficult and risky to attribute these risks to electro pollution. It is difficult for us to appreciate the levels of risk in "electro pollution". Its precise knowledge of highly specialized experts and its effects affect children, pregnant women, the elderly or adults in a different way. The intensity of the electromagnetic fields, the time spent in their field of influence, the extension of this area, are variable parameters that make it much more difficult to define simple risk parameters, which are those that the general public assimilates.
Despite the fact that numerous studies and investigations have been carried out throughout the world in recent decades, the effects caused by non-ionizing radiation are still in the field of scientific discussion, in which some denounce risks and effects on the human being. Human beings and others contradict them, and the real dimension of the phenomenon and the true scope of the effects of this type of radiation on humans is still in doubt.
Situations like these make that there are groups that do not care about this risk, because they neither understand nor know it, and others that are extremely interested in the subject and that, in general, magnify the real risks. It is a situation that goes changing little by little, as the reality of the problem is written and disclosed.
If we focus on the risks for childhood leukemia, there is important scientific work. His conclusion towards the risks are variable. Some conclude that the results are statistically insignificant, others fail to associate the probability of developing the disease with low levels of radiation, but all of them appreciate, for high levels of radiation, a correlation between exposure and risk. This conclusion is not applicable to low levels of radiation that populations are subjected to, in general. According to these studies, only 1% of the population, and almost always in the workplace, can be exposed to these high levels of radiation.
The concern of not having definitive results about these risks increases with the consequence of a certain chaos in the regulations on these risks, and we find extremely different evaluations between countries, which means that what the standards are, for one, the of the country and for others the most rigid in force in any other country, leading to levels of disorder and alarm that are difficult to reach consensus. What is clear is that electro pollution exists, that it is sufficiently known to assess its risks with a high degree of precision and that these risks, possibly to a very low degree, exist and can have consequences on health and the environment. ambient.
Sometimes we tell ourselves that we are more and more prone to certain diseases, that before we did not get so many spots on our body, that we would get less sick, that the race was "stronger". In reality, our progress involves endless changes, small in many cases, but that nature perceives and that affect us to a greater or lesser degree. Perfecting the knowledge of all these phenomena, establishing the appropriate and logical legislation to avoid these risks, demanding their compliance and taking the necessary protection measures are the ways of action against these new dangers.
It is clear that a power line emits electromagnetic fields that are harmful to health. The distance from these lines of houses or permanent activities is logical. Legislating on it, and verifying our standards is a social obligation. How much, when and how is what needs to be specified, and all this within a level of prudence and safety that puts health before the technical limitations of the facilities. This point is also conflicting since full security is very difficult to determine, and setting excessive limits does not provide more security, only more problems and more costs.
If we coldly analyze the power levels emitted both by irradiating systems, usually located generally at respectable distances from the places of residence of the population and on the other hand to mobile phones with their built-in antennas but a few centimeters from the human body, all of these emit with much lower powers, by almost two orders of magnitude, than for example FM transmitters and conventional radio stations.
As an example, some average values, measured at a distance of 10 to 15 meters from an 800 MHz cell, range from 0.001 to 0.005 mW / cm2. If these values are compared with the population exposure limits, assuming a frequency of 2,000 MHz, at that frequency of 0.4 mW / cm2, set by the regulations currently in force in our country, we will observe that the exposure to the population due to emissions from cellular systems is actually very low.
At present, in relation to the risks of leukemia, lymphomas, brain cancer and breast cancer, motivated by telephone, satellite dishes and the like, it has not been proven. All these studies do not reach definitive conclusions, especially due to the methodological difficulty in their execution, but they indirectly show the possibility of risks in mobile telephony, antennas and similar facilities.
The legislator, who does not understand anything about electromagnetism, must support his decision in technical and research work and it is in this world where there must be sufficient judgment and knowledge to reach reasonable points. This function is not easy at all since otherwise it would not happen that certain countries accept limits of electromagnetic pollution ten times higher than others, thousands in some cases, without including in this comment the infinity of the world area where this problem "does not exist". This should not surprise us since in Spain this risk is beginning to be considered now, despite the fact that there is sufficient knowledge of it for two decades.
There is a potential risk to human health in electro pollution and the current legislation can be classified as "tentative and provisional", pending greater scientific knowledge of these issues.
The awareness of citizens and civic organizations is the channel to show, with increasing knowledge and objectivity, the need to have clear and simple rules of action to act in this "new frontier" of environmental pollution.