Non-Ionizing Radiation Analysis in Close Proximity to Antenna Tower: A Case Study in Northeast Brazil


J. Microw. Optoelectron. Electromagn. Appl.




Abstract While the amount of telecommunications services grows rapidly in the whole world, humans get potentially more exposed to Non-Ionizing Radiation (NIR) from a number of different sources. Measurements of NIR levels are relevant in order to compare the results with national and international standards, aiming at the preservation of human health. Thus, it is of great interest to explore a variety of topics regarding this subject. Based on this need, this paper has a number of goals, including monitoring radiation levels in an everyday situation, an investigation of how national and international regulations organs address NIR levels and a demonstration of scientific production trends regarding this topic. The work also presents a bibliometric study about the main scientific productions and trends related to NIR measurements, with focus on the field of Telecommunications. The analysis is based on the databases of Web of Science (WOS) and Scopus, computing publications in the last 10 and 3 years, showing a trend evaluation. Among the main results from this exploratory investigation, there is an exponential growth in the number of publications about NIR, ranging from research in physics to medicine. The way research contribution in different countries is also shown, in order to support the relevance of the topic in defining new tendencies for new investigations. Furthermore, the NIR exposure limits and measurement criteria are presented both in Brazilian and in international norms, demonstrating how different national regulations can be when compared to international guidelines. Another contribution is a case study in Natal, Brazil, where NIR levels were monitored in four distinct locations over a period of 24 hours each and compared to the current regulations. The result is a quantitative analysis of the amount of radiation that some populations might be exposed to in distinct moments of the day. Measurements were carried out in the proximity of an antenna spot, since it could represent a source of high NIR levels (a worst case of human exposure). This campaign differs from older studies by including a more intense usage of microwaves frequencies due to operating 4G and pre-5G systems in Brazil. Finally, a statistical study involving the measurements is conducted, concluding the analysis of how some population groups might be affected by NIR.

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