Very high radiofrequency radiation at Skeppsbron in Stockholm, Sweden from mobile phone base station antennas positioned close to pedestrians' heads

Environ Res. 2022 May 15;208:112627. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.112627. Epub 2022 Jan 4.

Abstract

In urban environment there is a constant increase of public exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from mobile phone base stations. With the placement of mobile phone base station antennas radiofrequency hotspots emerge. This study investigates an area at Skeppsbron street in Stockholm, Sweden with an aggregation of base station antennas placed at low level close to pedestrians' heads. Detailed spatial distribution measurements were performed with 1) a radiofrequency broadband analyzer and 2) a portable exposimeter. The results display a greatly uneven distribution of the radiofrequency field with hotspots. The highest spatial average across all quadrat cells was 12.1 V m⁻1 (388 mW m⁻2), whereas the maximum recorded reading from the entire area was 31.6 V m⁻1 (2648 mW m⁻2). Exposimeter measurements show that the majority of exposure is due to mobile phone downlink bands. Most dominant are 2600 and 2100 MHz bands used by 4G and 3G mobile phone services, respectively. The average radiofrequency radiation values from the earlier studies show that the level of ambient RF radiation exposure in Stockholm is increasing. This study concluded that mobile phone base station antennas at Skeppsbron, Stockholm are examples of poor radiofrequency infrastructure design which brings upon highly elevated exposure levels to popular seaside promenade and a busy traffic street.

Keywords: Base stations; Cancer; Health; Measurement; Radiofrequency radiation; Stockholm.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone*
  • Electromagnetic Fields
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Humans
  • Pedestrians*
  • Radio Waves
  • Sweden