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BRASIL: Mortality by neoplasia and cellular telephone base stations in the Belo Horizonte municipality, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. This research showed the existence of a spatial correlation between cases of death by neoplasia and the locations of the BSs, in the Belo Horizonte municipality from 1996 to 2006. The mortality rates and the relative risk were higher for the residents inside a radius of 500 m from the BS, compared to the average mortality rate of the entire city, and a decreased dose- response gradient was observed for residents who lived farther away from the Base Stations.

Martes 5 de marzo de 2013 · 2222 lecturas

Mortality by neoplasia and cellular telephone base stations in the Belo Horizonte municipality, Minas Gerais state, Brazil ☆

Adilza C. Dode a,b,e,⁎, Mnica M.D. Leo c, Francisco de A.F. Tejo d, Antnio C.R. Gomes e, Daiana C. Dode e, f,

Michael C. Dode e, Cristina W. Moreira b, Vnia A. Condessa b, Cláudia Albinatti b, Waleska T. Caiaffa g

a Minas Methodist University Center Izabela Hendrix, Belo Horizonte City, Minas Gerais State, Brazil

b Municipal Government of Belo Horizonte, Municipal Health Department, Belo Horizonte City, Minas Gerais State, Brazil

c UFMG-Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais-Belo Horizonte, Environmental and Sanitary Engineering Department, Belo Horizonte City, Minas Gerais State, Brazil

d UFCG-Universidade Federal de Campina Grande, Center of Electrical Engineering and Informatics, Academic Unit of Electrical Engineering, Paraíba State, Brazil

e MRE Engenharia (Electromagnetic Radiations Measurement-Engineering), Belo Horizonte City, Minas Gerais State, Brazil

f Faculty of Medical Sciences, Medicine-Belo Horizonte, Belo Horizonte City, Minas Gerais State, Brazil

g UFMG-Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais-Belo Horizonte, Urban Health Observatory, Belo Horizonte City, Minas Gerais State, Brazil

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history:

Received 14 January 2011

Received in revised form 25 May 2011

Accepted 25 May 2011

Available online xxxx

Keywords:

Assessment and management of impacts

and environmental risks

Non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation

Public health

Radio base station

Environmental electromagnetic pollution

Environmental electromagnetic

field monitoring

Pollution caused by the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) of radio frequencies (RF) generated by the

telecommunication systemis one of the greatest environmental problems of the twentieth century. The purpose

of this researchwas to verify the existence of a spatial correlation between base station (BS) clusters and cases of

deaths by neoplasia in the Belo Horizonte municipality, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, from 1996 to 2006 and to

measure the human exposure levels to EMF where there is a major concentration of cellular telephone

transmitter antennas. A descriptive spatial analysis of the BSs and the cases of death by neoplasia identified in the

municipality was performed through an ecological-epidemiological approach, using georeferencing. The

database employed in the survey was composed of three data banks: 1. death by neoplasia documented by the

Health Municipal Department; 2. BSs documented in ANATEL (“Agncia Nacional de Telecomunicaes”:

Telecommunications National Agency’); and 3. census and demographic city population data obtained from

official archives provided by IBGE (“Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística”: Brazilian Institute of

Geography and Statistics’). The results show that approximately 856 BSswere installed through December 2006.

Most (39.60%) of the BSs were located in the “Centro-Sul” (Central-Southern’) region of the municipality.

Between 1996 and 2006, 7191 deaths by neoplasia occurred and within an area of 500 m from the BS, the

mortality rate was 34.76 per 10,000 inhabitants. Outside of this area, a decrease in the number of deaths by

neoplasia occurred. The greatest accumulated incidence was 5.83 per 1000 in the Central-Southern region and

the lowest incidence was 2.05 per 1000 in the Barreiro region. During the environmental monitoring, the largest

accumulated electric fieldmeasured was 12.4 V/mand the smallest was 0.4 V/m. The largest density powerwas

40.78 μW/cm2, and the smallest was 0.04 μW/cm2.

2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

Mobile phone radio base stations (RBSs) are now found in cities

and communities worldwide. They can be found near or even on top

of homes, schools, hospitals, daycare centers and offices. In Brazil, the

number of mobile phone users is estimated to be over 200 million and

there are more than 5 billion users worldwide. In the municipality of

Belo Horizonte, the capital of the state of Minas Gerais, there are

approximately 1000 base stations (BSs) with 128.77 accesses by

mobile phones per 100 inhabitants and in Brazil, there are 49,979 BSs

licensed through April 2011 (ANATEL, 2011).

The non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation from the BSs is of low

intensity compared to the current guidelines on human exposure

limits. However, its emission is continuous. This raises concerns as to

whether the health and well-being of people living or working close

to the BSs are at risk Khurana et al., 2010; Alanko et al., 2008.

The emission of a BS is usually described by its effectively radiated

power in watts (W), which describes the total amount of radiation

emitted by the antenna of the BS. Their intensity, called the power

density, is commonly measured in milliwatts per square centimeter

(mW/cm2) or microwatt per square centimeter (μW/cm2) and it

expresses the power per unit area impinging normally to the external

surface of the subject. The immission (absorption) of the subject is

measured by the specific absorption rate (SAR), which is reported in

Science of the Total Environment xxx (2011) xxx-xxx

☆ All the authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

⁎ Corresponding author at: Rua Desembargador Assis Rocha, 279, Bairro Belvedere,

30320-250, Belo Horizonte (MG), Brazil. Tel.: +55 031 3286 1892.

E-mail addresses: adilzadode terra.com.br (A.C. Dode), monica desa.ufmg.br

(M.M.D. Leo).

STOTEN-12672; No of Pages 17

0048-9697/$ - see front matter 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.05.051

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Science of the Total Environment

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/scitotenv

Please cite this article as: Dode AC, et al, Mortality by neoplasia and cellular telephone base stations in the Belo Horizonte municipality,

Minas Gerais state, Brazil, Sci Total Environ (2011), doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.05.051

5. Conclusion

This research showed the existence of a spatial correlation

between cases of death by neoplasia and the locations of the BSs, in

the Belo Horizonte municipality from 1996 to 2006.

The mortality rates and the relative risk were higher for the

residents inside a radius of 500 m from the BS, compared to the

average mortality rate of the entire city, and a decreased dose-

response gradient was observed for residents who lived farther away

from the BS. The major antenna concentration was located in the

Central-Southern SD of the city, which also had the largest

accumulated incidence (5.83/1000 inhabitants).

The measured values of the EMF, determined in 2008 and 2003,

were substantially below the values allowed by the Brazilian federal

law nr. 11934, May 5, 2009. Nevertheless, the values encountered in

this study surpassed the limits of human exposure adopted by many

other countries and cities in the world, including Italy (10 μW/cm2);

China (6.6 μW/cm2); Switzerland (4.2 μW/cm2); Paris, France

(1 μW/cm2); Salzburg, Austria (0.1 μW/cm2); and Porto Alegre, Brazil

(4.2 μW/cm2).

New epidemiological studies must explore this issue with more

timely and appropriate methodology to provide evidence that may

confirm the relationship between risk and hazard at an individual

level. Meanwhile, we strongly suggest the adoption of the Precautionary

Principle until the limits of human exposure, as established in

Brazilian Federal Law, can be re-evaluated.

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