From: jwill@AstraGate.net (John Michael Williams)
Subject: Re: Any ideas on measuring radiation in the home ?
Date: 3 Oct 2002 10:37:45 -0700
References: <%_wk9.52964$1C2.email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org> <7vOrdMA0+9m9EwpL@jmwa.demon.co.uk>
NNTP-Posting-Date: 3 Oct 2002 17:37:45 GMT
John Woodgate wrote in message news:<7vOrdMA0+9m9EwpL@jmwa.demon.co.uk>...
> I read in sci.electronics.design that John Michael Williams
> wrote (in <email@example.com
> ogle.com>) about 'Any ideas on measuring radiation in the home ?', on
> Wed, 2 Oct 2002:
> >So, don't believe anyone who says that the human
> >body is insensitive to RF, except the thermal effects.
> >There are other effects.
> But are you claiming that any of these other effects are harmful?
I'm not claiming anything in the previous message.
There is good evidence that they CAN be harmful. Without
going any further than microwave hearing, merely causing
someone to hear something when they should be listening to
something else CAN be harmful.
You probably are asking, Are the "thermal" safety standards
too lax? Should one worry about exposures below what the
FCC claims will be harmful?
I would say, Yes, one should worry.
The main problem, on a technical level, is that the
easy way to deal with RF is to assume one parameter can
say it all, and to link all safety standards to that one
parameter. That parameter is temperature rise per something
or other (second in a certain volume of water, for example).
Just ignore pulse rate, duty cycle, bandwidth, etc.
This makes it possible to send a technician out into the
field, make a simple measurement, and declare everything
Furthermore, even with complex transmission protocols,
one always can find conditions under which the temperature
rise is the same as with a continuous wave. So, it's
easy to convince onesself that the measurement is "real".
There is no support for such an approach, except that
it is easy.
There are plenty of experiments, performed by EPA
and others, that show biological harm from RF well
below the thermal safety levels. Often, these
experiments are performed with some sort of
condition other than a shallowly modulated,
essentially continuous wave at a fixed, highly
tuned frequency. So, the thermal
parameter fails to reflect the effect.
Actually, I am claiming that all RF "safety" standards
are old and out of date, too simple-minded for anything
other than FCC license forms, and should be thrown out.
If regulation were transferred from FCC to some more
medically-oriented group, one separated from licensing
profits and perhaps not even a government agency, then
perhaps realistic RF standards might be drawn up with
actual concern for biological effects and possible
Right now, all we have is a traffic cop who is
illiterate and thus unable to write a ticket.