Background: Global system of mobile communication (GSM) and other telecommunication technologies are now common place in Lagos state Nigeria. The introduction of GSM in 2002 considerably increased radiofrequency (RF) radiation exposure of the public from telecommunications transmitting and receiving antennae. The RF radiation emanating from these devices, if above international limits may pose health risk to the public.
Objective: There is need for database of RF distribution level in Nigeria for safety assessment. The purpose of this study is to determine power density around different telecommunications antenna base stations and compare the measured values with the international recommended exposure limits in order to assess the safety of the members of the public.
Methods: A radiofrequency meter, Electrosmog from LESSEMF USA was used for the measurement. It is a highly sensitive device capable of measuring frequency between 50 MHz and 3.5 GHz. Measurements were taken at distances of 25, 50, 100, 150 and 200 m from selected antenna base stations in Lagos state. The results were compared with the International Commission of NonIonizing Radiation and Protection (ICNIRP) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering/American National Standard Institute (IEEE/ANSI).
Results: Power densities obtained varied between 0.219 and 302.40 mW.m(-2) from the studied base stations. Comparison of the results with the ICNIRP and IEEE/ANSI recommended safety standards of 12000 mW x m(-2) and 5700 mW x m(-2) showed that the exposure levels are very low.
Conclusion: Power densities of the RF radiation from telecommunication transmitting/receiving antennae were far below international standard limits. The measured values are not likely capable of inducing significant hazardous health effects among the people that are at least 6 m away from the antennae.