Saturday, November 08, 2008

RF Safety and Radio Amateurs - are we the canaries in the mine?

The effects of radio transmissions on the human body are always cause for interest. Every now and then, there's a scare story about the effect of mobile phones on our health. When it comes to scientific proof either one way or another, it's never terribly clear what the conclusion is.

Sure, we see reports saying that they're safe. But those of you with longer memories will remember that at one stage, it was considered safe to stand on Christmas Island and watch an atomic bomb being exploded! I'm not suggesting that the two are in any way a parallel, but we should at least recognise that hindsight is a wonderful thing! In a few more years, when people have been using mobile phones for longer, patterns will be clearer.

As Radio Amateurs, we have been close to radio energy for longer than most, so it's therefore very interesting to see studies being made about radio amateurs and their health. I was fascinated, this week to read 'The Canaries in the Mine' by Gregory Lapin, N9GL - a study of radio amateurs which considers how RF exposure may have affected them. It makes generally encouraging reading.

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