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Survey of Potential Adverse health Effects of Mobile Phones, And wireless Base Stations in Nigeria

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Survey was conducted to gather information on potential adverse health effects of Mobile Phones, and Telecommunication Tower Base Stations in Nigeria. Data was sourced from two sampled populations. Firstly from the people living in close proximity to base stations, and secondly from cell phone users.Questionnaire was used to gathered information from 574 people on thirteen nonspecific health symptoms. Data obtained was presented and analyzed. The analysis shows that people living close to the based stations over a long period of time with or without cell phone, and also the heavy phone users with close proximity to the base stations are liable to have some potential health hazards, such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, headaches, feeling of discomfort, difficulty in concentrating, depression, memory loss, visual disruptions, irritability, hearing disruptions, skin problems, cardiovascular disorders, and dizziness.
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American Journal of Engineering Research (AJER)
2017
American Journal of Engineering Research (AJER)
e-ISSN: 2320-0847 p-ISSN : 2320-0936
Volume-6, Issue-1, pp-276-281
www.ajer.org
Research Paper Open Access
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Survey of Potential Adverse health Effects of Mobile Phones, And
wireless Base Stations in Nigeria
yekini N.A1, babalola I.T2, Koledoye T.O3,uhunmwangho E. E4.
1Department of Computer Engineering,
2,3, & 4Department of Electrical/Electronic Engineering
Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria.
ABSTRACT: Survey was conducted to gather information on potential adverse health effects of Mobile Phones,
and Telecommunication Tower Base Stations in Nigeria. Data was sourced from two sampled populations.
Firstly from the people living in close proximity to base stations, and secondly from cell phone
users.Questionnaire was used to gathered information from 574 people on thirteen nonspecific health
symptoms. Data obtained was presented and analyzed. The analysis shows that people living close to the based
stations over a long period of time with or without cell phone, and also the heavy phone users with close
proximity to the base stations are liable to have some potential health hazards, such as fatigue, sleep
disturbances, headaches, feeling of discomfort, difficulty in concentrating, depression, memory loss, visual
disruptions, irritability, hearing disruptions, skin problems, cardiovascular disorders, and dizziness.
Keywords: Nigeria, Mobile phones, health hazards, Telecommunication Tower Base Stations, wireless base
stations, phone users.
I. INTRODUCTION
In this era of mobile and ICT economy, there is pervasive public disquiet about the probable adverse
health effects of mobile phones, and especially their associated base-stations. There are hundreds of, apparently
conflicting, reports in the media about the health effects of mobile phones & base-stations. The scientific
literature is large and confusing, also apparently showing very inconsistent effects across studies [1]. As at the
May 2016, the total number of active phone users is one hundred and fourth eight millions, eight hundred and
forty eight thousand and one hundred and fifty eight (148,848,158) [2].Cell phone technology has revolutionized
the telecommunication scenario in Nigeria. Due to its several advantages, cell phone technology has grown
exponentially in the last decade. Currently, there are more than 148,848,158 cell phone users and several base
stations towers to meet the communication demand. The numbers of cell phones and cell towers are increasing
without giving due respect to its disadvantages.
The people who lived closest to the cellular antennas had the highest incidences of the following
disorders: fatigue, sleep disturbances, headaches, feeling of discomfort, difficulty in concentrating, depression,
memory loss, visual disruptions, irritability, hearing disruptions, skin problems, cardiovascular disorders, and
dizziness [3].
All over the world, people have been debating about associated health risk due to radiation from cell phone
and cell tower.In an article titled unknown health hazards associated with use of mobile phones identified the
following hazards: hearth problems, infertility, hearing impairments, eyes problems, skin allergies, infections,
and stress [4. From table 1, it is cleared that majority of active phone users in Nigeria uses mobile line. Nigeria
communication commission statistics for active mobile phone users as at June 2016 gives population to one
hundred and forty eighty million plus which is over fifty percent of the nation population see detail in table 1.
This implied that more than half of Nigeria population may be suffering from aforementioned hazards. In this
study we will look at possible negative effects of using mobile phone to the users. Also we will x-ray the effect
of living close to mobile base station on human beings. The questionnaire will be used to gather information on
potential adverse effect of living near the mobile base station and use of mobile phones. In section two of this
technical report we presents health effects of mobile phones, and wireless base stations, we present the analysis
of data obtained from questionnaire, recommendation to avoid ameliorate the potential hazards was given in
section four, while conclusion was presented in section five.
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Table 1: Statistic of active phone users [2]
Significance of Study
The significance of this study is to identify the adverse health of effects of using mobile phones/staying
near mobile phone station in Nigeria.
Problem Statement
As at June ending of year 2016, the number of active mobile phone users in Nigeria is one hundred and
forty eighty million plus. This is over fifty percent of the population of the country. Some of the users are not
aware of potential health hazards of using mobile or living near mobile phone stations. Hence there is need for
this research to carry out survey on potential health hazards and provide antidote for safety use of mobile phone
in Nigeria.
Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this research work is to examine the potential health hazards associated with
mobile phone use, and living near mobile phone stations.
II. HEALTH EFFECTS OF MOBILE PHONES, AND WIRELESS BASE STATIONS
Radiation effects
Several adverse effects of using mobile phone, and living near mobile phone towers are associated with
RF radiation. As people use cell phones to make calls, signals are transmitted back and forth to the base station.
The RF waves produced at the base station are given off into the environment, where people can be exposed to
them. The energy from a cellular phone tower antenna, like that of other telecommunication antennas, is
directed toward the horizon (parallel to the ground), with some downward scatter [5; 6; 7]. Base station antennas
use higher power levels than other types of land-mobile antennas, but much lower levels than those from radio
and television broadcast stations. The amount of energy decreases rapidly as the distance from the antenna
increases. As a result, the level of exposure to radio waves at ground level is very low compared to the level
close to the antenna. Radiation effects are divided into thermal and non-thermal effects. Thermal effects are
similar to that of cooking in the microwave oven. Non-thermal effects are not well defined but it has been
reported that non-thermal effects are 3 to 4 times more harmful than thermal effects. A GSM900 base station
antenna transmits in the frequency range of 935-960MHz. This frequency band of 25 MHz is divided into
twenty sub-bands of 1.2 MHz, which are allocated to various operators. There may be several carrier
frequencies (1 to 5) allotted to one operator with upper limit of 6.2 MHz bandwidth. Radiated power density
from the cell tower is given by the formula.
)(/
4
.2
2imWatt
R
GP
Ptt
d
Where Pt = transmitter power in watts, Gt= gain of transmitting antennae, and R = Distance from the antenna in
meters.
The implication of the formula is that, the closet is one to the antennae the possibility of effect with
hazards associated with radiation. Some possible adverse effects of using mobile phones as follows:
Blood Brain Barrier, the brain is protected by tight junctions between adjacent cells of capillary walls
by the bloodbrain barrier (BBB), which selectively lets nutrients pass through from the blood to the brain, but
keeps toxic substances out. Experiments conducted on young laboratory rats found that RF from mobile phones
can significantly open the BBB in animals and cause leakage of albumin from blood vessels in inappropriate
locations (neurons and glial cells surrounding the capillaries) in the brain;
Risk to Children, children are more vulnerable to cell phone radiation because they absorb more
energy than adults from the same phone owing to their smaller head and brain size, thinner cranial bones and
skin, thinner, more elastic ears, lower blood cell volume, as well as greater conductivity of nerve cells and the
energy penetrates more deeply;
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Irreversible infertility, recent studies confirm that cell phone radiation can drastically affect male
fertility. American Society for Reproductive Medicine reported that use of cell phones by men is associated with
decrease in semen quality, sperm count, motility, viability and normal morphology and is related to the duration
of cell phone use. Studies have found 30% sperm decrease in intensive mobile phone users, in addition to
damage of sperms;
DNA damage, cellular telephone frequencies can lead to damageof DNA. Studies show that
microwave exposure at levels below the exposure standard, produces single and double strand breaks in DNA;
Effect on Skin, radiation from cell towers and mobile phones affects human skin. People who talk
often on cell phones have a higher concentration of the transthyretinprotein than those who do not.
Transtyretinis formed in the liver; it helps transport vitamin A in the body and plays an important role in
nervous diseases such as Alzheimers;
Tinnitus and Ear Damage; tinnitus, popularly known as “Ringxiety” is the psychological disease of
hearing phantom sound and sensation of cell phone ring and it has been reported among millions of cell phone
users in the world. People with severe tinnitus may have trouble hearing, working or even sleeping. The
radiation emitted by mobile phones may damage the delicate workings of the inner ear, and long term and
intensive mobile phone use for more than four years and for longer periods than 30 minutes in a day are at a
higher risk of developing hearing loss, which cannot be reversed;
Effect on Eye/ Uveal Melanoma, frequent use of mobile phones can also damage the visual system in
many ways and cause uveal melanoma i.e. tumor of the eye. Tumors involve the choroid (98%), iris (1%) and
unknown parts of the uveal tract (1%). Computational modeling and experiments with several laboratory
animals show that microwave radiation similar to mobile phone frequencies (900, 1800 MHz and 2450 MHz)
can induce chromosomal breaks in the corneal epithelial cells and increase the intraocular temperature of the eye
with prolonged exposure;
weakness of bones, researchers have measured bone density at the upper rims of the pelvis (iliac
wings) in men who were mobile users and carried their phones on their belts. The iliac wings are widely used
source of bone for bone grafting, so any reduction in bone density may be of special importance to
reconstructive surgery. The results showed reduction in iliac wing bone density on the side where men carried
their phones;
Salivary gland tumor, increased risk of salivary gland cancer among residents in Israel from 1970 to
2006 has been reported, which is believed to be linked to the use of mobile phones. Among salivary gland
cancer cases, researchers found a worrying rise in the number of cases of malignant growth in parotid glands -
the salivary gland located under the ear, near the location where cell phones are held during conversations.
Users below the age of 20 were found to be more susceptible.
Another epidemiology study found that people who held a mobile handset against one side of their
head for several hours a day have 50% more risk for tumor formation in the parotid gland - the largest salivary
gland after 5-10 years;
Melatonin Reduction, melatonin, a vital natural neuro-hormone is a powerful antioxidant,
antidepressant and immune system enhancer that regulates our circadian rhythm. Every night as we go to sleep,
our melatonin levels rise. Melatonin goes through our blood and clears our cells up, that is to say, scavenges free
radicals in the cell to protect the DNA and reduce the possibility of cells becoming carcinogenic. The daily
sleep/wake cycle, blood pressure and heart rate cycle, metabolic rate and thermal regulation, hormone
production and immune system activity all have a daily cycle regulated by melatonin directly or indirectly
through the autonomic system;
Sleep Disorders, electromagnetic fields have been shown to affect the brain physiology. Use of mobile
phones disturbs Stage 4 sleep, the stage important for full recuperation of brain and body. Use of the handsets
before bed, delays and reduces sleep, and causes headaches, confusion and depression.The findings are
especially alarming for children and teenagers as they use cell phones at night and also keep the phone next to
their head; which may lead to mood and personality changes, depression, lack of concentration and poor
academic performance;
Increase in Cancer risk, heavy use of mobile phones can cause cancer. Use of mobile phones for >10
years give a consistent pattern of increased risk for brain cancer [8].
III. RESEARCH METHODS AND DATA ANALYSIS
Questionnaire was used to collect data from sampled population of 574 people living near mobile
phone base station around Sango-ota Ogun State Nigeria. Data obtained was tabulated and present in table 2.
The data obtained was analyzed based on the following: Distances from base stations in meters (m); How often
individual uses his/her mobile phone to receive or make calls per day; How long individual have been living
near the base station; and question was asked to ascertain whether the respondent have experienced any of the
potential hazard associated with mobile phones, and wireless base stations. With reference to thirteen difference
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potential hazards associated with mobile phone usage and it base station. It was discovered that it was only in
Visual Disruptions and Cardiovascular Disorders that the number of respondent with the symptom is below
average with the 29.7% and 2.97% respectively. It was revealed that the frequency of the occurrence of the
symptoms is associated with following factors.
i. Proximity with the mobile base stations.
ii. Length of period individuals have stayed or live near the base station.
iii. Length of time individual spent on receiving or making calls with his/her mobile phone.
Critical review of Girish Kumar 2010 report on cell tower radiation support the assumptions i-iii. As
regards the frequency of occurrences of the symptoms mentioned in this paper. The breakdown of the data in
table II is also a clear evidence as the percentage of YES to NO to the thirteen sampled nonspecific hazards in
this paper higher in the people living close to mobile phone stations, and those that received or make calls
frequentlyvice versa. See table 3, 4, and 5. The following results obtain from simple arithmetic equations derive
by authors of this paper from the table also authenticate the factors associated with the frequency of the
symptoms.
Let us have the following
No of Sample nonspecific hazards NS = 13
No of people sampled NP = 574
Total no of respondents = TNR
From the table 2,
Tnr People Within 300meters To Mobile Base Stationtnrx = 5298
Tnr Living For Over A Yr Near Mobile Base Station Tnry = 4911
Tnr People Call/Receiving Time Above 10mins/Day Tnrz = 4924
Using the equations
Taking into considerations, the TNRx(5298), TNRy(4911), and TNRz(4924). The total numbers of the
YES response to the non-specific hazards symptoms is 3974 which is equivalent to 75% TNRx, 80.9% TNRy,
and 80.7% TNRz responses.
%9.65
7462
4924
)(%
%81.65
7462
4911
)(%
%71
7462
5298
)(%
7462574*13
)(*
v
TNR
TNRz
TNR
iv
TNR
TNR
TNR
iii
TNR
TNR
TNR
iiNPNSTNR
z
y
y
x
x
%9.65
7462
4924
)(%
%81.65
7462
4911
)(%
%71
7462
5298
)(%
7462574*13
)(*
v
TNR
TNRz
TNR
iv
TNR
TNR
TNR
iii
TNR
TNR
TNR
iiNPNSTNR
z
y
y
x
x
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Table 2: Data Obtained from sampled population
Table 3: Response with respect to distance from base station versus sampled hazards
Table 4: Response with respect to time of mobile phone usages versus sampled hazards
Table 5: Response with respect to length of staying near base station versus sampled hazards
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1. Further Research
Many reports and reviews have been published, most concluding that there is little evidence for any
adverse health effects that can be attributed to mobile phone base-stations. But the result of this research prove
otherwise. Consequently we recommended a further research to be carried out on base stations in Nigeria to
determine the level of compliance with NRPB and ICNIRP guideline.
2. Recommendation and Conclusion
In our view, Proximity with the mobile base stations may result to adverse health effects such as
fatigue, sleep disturbances, headaches, feeling of discomfort, difficulty in concentrating, depression, memory
loss, visual disruptions, irritability, hearing disruptions, skin problems, cardiovascular disorders, and dizziness.
The level of the symptom is depends on: Length of period individuals have stayed or live near the base station;
Length of time individual spent on receiving or making calls with his/her mobile phone. Consequently we
recommended that people living or stay over a long time near mobile based station to ascertain level radiation
and make effort to screen the radiation if perceived danger, Also individual should reduce their level of making
or receiving call with their mobile to avoid some of the potential hazard mentioned conversation with text
messages could be a better option. In general, it is better to keep mobile phones as far as possible from our body
during our daily lives.
REFERENCES
[1]. Elaine Fox (n.d) Health Effects of Mobile Phone Base-stations: Human StudiesElectromagnetics& Health LaboratoryUniversity
ofEssexUK
[2]. NCC (2015) Subscriber Statistics http://www.ncc.gov.ng/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=125&Itemid=73.
Retrieved on July 3, 2016.
[3]. Santini R., Santini, J.M Danze, Le Ruz, M.Seigne (2002) Study of the health of people living in the vicinity of mobile phone
stations: I. Influence of distance and sex. PatholBiol 2002; 50:369-73.
[4]. Punch newspaper (July, 2016). Unknown Health Hazards Associated With Use Of Mobile Phones. Accessed at
http://www.punchng.com.ng/unknownhealthhazardsofmobilephones on July 6, 2006. 2014.
[5]. ANSI-C95.1, 1982, American National Standards Institute. American national standard safety levels with respect to human
exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, 300 kHz to 100 Ghz. New York: IEEE.
[6]. Repacholi M, van Deventer E, Ravazzani P, eds. Base stations and wireless networks: exposures and health consequences. World
Health Organization. Accessed at http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2007/9789241595612_eng.pdf?ua=1 on June 22, 2016.
[7]. Yildirim MS, Yildirim A, Zamani AG, Okudan N. Effect of mobile phone station on micronucleus frequency and chromosomal
aberrations in human blood cells. Genet Couns. 2010;21 (2):243-51.
[8]. Girish Kumar (2010). Electrical Engineering Department IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumai 400 076 Report on Cell Tower Radiation
Submitted To Secretary, DOT, Delhi
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Article
A survey study using a questionnaire was conducted on 530 people (270 men, 260 women) living or not in the vicinity of cellular phone base stations, on 18 Non Specific Health Symptoms. Comparisons of complaint frequencies (CHI-SQUARE test with Yates correction) in relation to the distance from base stations and sex show significant (p <0.05) increase as compared to people living > 300 m or not exposed to base stations, up through 300 m for tiredness, 200 m for headache, sleep disruption, discomfort, etc., 100 m for irritability, depression, loss of memory, dizziness, libido decrease, etc. Women significantly more often than men (p < 0.05) complained of headache, nausea, loss of appetite, sleep disruption, depression, discomfort and visual disruptions. This first study on symptoms experienced by people living in the vicinity of base stations shows that, in view of radioprotection, the of minimal distance of people from cellular phone base stations should not be < 300 m. © 2002 Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS base station / bioeffects / cellular phone 1. INTRODUCTION Chronic exposure to high frequency electromagnetic fields or microwaves brings on bioeffects in man such as headaches, fatigue, and sleep and memory disruptions [1, 2]. These biological effects, associated with others (skin problems, nausea, irritability, etc.) constitute what is known in English as "Non Specific Health Symptoms" (NSHS) that characterize radiofrequency sickness. [3] Cellular mobile phone technology uses hyperfrequencies (frequencies of 900 or 1800 MHz) pulsed with extremely low frequencies (frequencies < 300 Hertz) [4]. Even though the biological effects resulting from mobile phone use are relatively well known and bring to mind those described in radiofrequency sickness [5, 6], to our knowledge no study exists on the health of people living in the vicinity of mobile phone base stations. We are reporting here the results pertaining to 530 people living in France, in the vicinity or not, of base stations, in relation to the distances from these stations and to the sex of the study participants.
Article
The use of mobile telephones has rapidly increased worldwide as well as the number of mobile phone base stations that lead to rise low level radiofrequency emissions which may in turn have possible harm for human health. The national radiation protection board has published the known effects of radio waves exposure on humans living close to mobile phone base stations. However, several studies have claimed that the base station has detrimental effects on different tissues. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effects of mobile phone base stations on the micronucleus (MN) frequency and chromosomal aberrations on blood in people who were living around mobile phone base stations and healthy controls. Frequency of MN and chromosomal aberrations in study and control groups was 8.96 +/- 3.51 and 6.97 +/- 1.52 (p: 0.16); 0.36 +/- 0.31 and 0.75 +/- 0.61 (p: 0.07), respectively. Our results show that there was not a significant difference of MN frequency and chromosomal aberrations between the two study groups. The results claim that cellular phones and their base stations do not produce important carcinogenic changes.
American National Standards Institute American national standard safety levels with respect to human exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, 300 kHz to 100 Ghz
ANSI-C95.1, 1982, American National Standards Institute. American national standard safety levels with respect to human exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, 300 kHz to 100 Ghz. New York: IEEE. [6].
Base stations and wireless networks: exposures and health consequences. World Health Organization. Accessed at http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications
  • M Repacholi
  • E Van Deventer
  • P Ravazzani
Repacholi M, van Deventer E, Ravazzani P, eds. Base stations and wireless networks: exposures and health consequences. World Health Organization. Accessed at http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2007/9789241595612_eng.pdf?ua=1 on June 22, 2016. [7].
Electrical Engineering Department IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumai -400 076 Report on Cell Tower Radiation Submitted To Secretary
  • Girish Kumar
Girish Kumar (2010). Electrical Engineering Department IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumai -400 076 Report on Cell Tower Radiation Submitted To Secretary, DOT, Delhi
Base stations and wireless networks: exposures and health consequences. World Health Organization
  • M Repacholi
  • E Van Deventer
  • P Ravazzani
Repacholi M, van Deventer E, Ravazzani P, eds. Base stations and wireless networks: exposures and health consequences. World Health Organization. Accessed at http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2007/9789241595612_eng.pdf?ua=1 on June 22, 2016.