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Radio-Frequency Energy

Part 1 - The Mobile Base Station
Part 2 - Radio-Frequency Energy Explained
Part 3 - RF Safety and Health Studies
Part 4 - Electromagnetic Radiation Guidelines for Mobile Tower Radiation and RF Exposure


Radio-Frequency Energy

Radio-frequency (RF) energy is the energy radiated by mobile base stations and mobile phones, as well as many other sources including broadcast radio and television towers, and covers frequencies in the range of 3 kHz to 300 GHz. Radio-frequency energy can also be referred to as microwaves, radiowaves, RF radiation or RF emissions.

The radio frequency energy emitted by these sources is non-ionizing, and has a fundamentally different effect on humans than the ionizing energy used in X-Rays. Ionizing radiation strips electrons from molecules and atoms, which can damage the genetic material in cells. While both ionizing and non-ionizing radiation is caused by electromagnetic sources, radio-frequency energy operates within frequencies far too low for electrons to break their chemical bonds.

Radio-frequency Energy

Radio-frequency Energy and Health

Although non-ionizing, radio-frequency energy maintains the potential for harm with substantial enough exposure. Most of these effects are thermal, that is, caused by heating effects. They include skin burns, deep burns, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Such effects depend almost entirely on the rate of absorption, and the frequency itself has little influence. Below a certain rate of whole body absorption, called the specific absorption rate (SAR), no biological effects have been proven. This means that the duration of exposure is inconsequential, so long as the radiation is absorbed at a rate lower than can cause thermal damage. Even constant exposure to radio-frequency energy sources, such as base stations and mobile phones, is typically safe from thermal effects as long as the devices are operating within allotted levels.

Other than those risks posed by heating effects of radio-frequency energy exposure, there has been little evidence of other risks, called non-thermal effects. None of these effects, however, have been independently replicated.


Part 1 - The Mobile Base Station
Part 2 - Radio-Frequency Energy Explained
Part 3 - RF Safety and Health Studies
Part 4 - Electromagnetic Radiation Guidelines for Mobile Tower Radiation and RF Exposure