your questions about antennas
do EMF have an impact on health?
Regarding EMF radiated by base stations, international expertise agrees that with the current state of scientific knowledge, and given the low levels of exposure to electromagnetic fields around base stations, the assumption of a health risk for people living near these stations has been rejected by all independent health committees
why continue to install new base stations?
Depending on their characteristics, base stations are capable of simultaneously transmitting communications and mobile data. To meet the growing demands for these services, due in particular to the mobile internet that uses ever higher data levels, operators must constantly adapt their network (increase its capacity and develop new 4G/LTE technologies to enable ultra-broadband). Such updates, for some countries, are also a regulatory requirement – determined in terms of coverage and quality – of national telecommunications regulatory authorities in return for granting operators the right to purchase licences.
why not reduce the thresholds of public exposure to the electromagnetic fields of base stations?
Existing thresholds defined internationally by ICNIRP (opens in a new window) are based on scientific knowledge and are recommended by WHO (opens in a new window) and the European Union. Exposure to radio waves is a scientific and health issue, and there is currently no scientific evidence that other lower thresholds would have any benefit. While some countries have chosen different thresholds, there is, however, no evidence that this has reduced the exposure of the public, as shown by a recent study by the GSMA association (opens in a new window) (opens in a new window). Moreover, the 2009 Eurobarometer of the European Commission (opens in a new window) (opens in a new window) shows that lower thresholds in some countries have not reduce people’s concerns.
shouldn’t operators share the same antennas to reduce exposure?
From the point of view of exposure, this is not a satisfactory solution for existing sites. The grouping of several existing antenna sites into one does not lead to a decrease in the level of exposure: it may cause gaps in coverage requiring the construction of new sites; it increases the number of antennas on a given site and requires strengthening and increasing the size of existing structures (pylons or support masts on terraces).
For new sites, the grouping of antennas allows a reduction in the number of installation sites or pylons, but does not lead to a lower level of exposure.