Strict Monitoring of EMF Emissions in Tehran, Alborz

Strict Monitoring of EMF  Emissions in Tehran, AlborzStrict Monitoring of EMF  Emissions in Tehran, Alborz

Electromagnetic fields (EMF) across the country would be strictly monitored and a pilot project was taken up in this regard in Tehran and Alborz Provinces to measure the emissions, says the director general of the environment monitoring office at the Department of Environment (DoE).

Shina Ansari said EMF monitoring is among the tasks on the agenda of the DoE since the past year.

For the monitoring purpose, several portable devices with probes for measuring electromagnetic fields (10 Hz to 3 KHz) and radio waves (100k Hz to 8 GHz) and also frequency bands for mobile phones (900 MHz to 1800 MHz) have been installed in different geographic locations of Tehran and Karaj cities, ISNA quoted Ansari as saying.  

Today, with widespread growth of modern technologies including cell phones, WiMax systems, Base Transceiver Station (BTS) antennas, radar waves, etc, public exposure to EMF emissions is inevitable; but the exploitation of the facilities should be accompanied by protection of environment and public health and safety; especially since the range of some electromagnetic fields and waves can affect the human body cells communication system and therefore the waves (particularly those which increase the body frequency range) can increase possibilities of body malfunctions.


Ansari also explained the limits for radiation emission. The standard amount of electric and magnetic fields are determined by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines. ICNIRP is a non-government organization validated by the World Health Organization (WHO). The commission uses health risk assessments developed in conjunction with the WHO to draft guidelines on exposure limits.

Till now, widespread monitoring of parks, metro stations, residential areas and susceptible facilities such as hospitals and schools in the two provinces has been undertaken. “All except two cases in the vicinity of high pressure electricity pylons were standard.”

“Also, 55 points in Karaj county, Alborz Province have been controlled by the DoE,” Ansari said.

She stressed the DoE plan for continuous monitoring and measurement of the fields. “However, permanent and continuous monitoring of the electromagnetic emissions in all areas of the provinces requires more funding.”

With the existing equipment, DoE will continue to monitor regions which have high population concentration. “We also plan to address people’s complaints regarding installation of Base Transceiver Station (BTS) antenna, used to facilitate wireless, in residential areas,” she added.

Ansari suggested strategies to reduce exposure to harmful electromagnetic waves and their adverse environmental effects by observing: safety distance of antennas (which should be installed as far as possible away from hospitals, health centers and schools); suitable distance of high pressure electric power towers when constructing buildings, and preventing substandard phone imports, by the relevant organizations.


Meanwhile, Alireza Dabir, head of the plan and budget commission of Tehran City Council said negotiations were going on between the ministry of energy and urban management to dismantle high pressure electrical transmission towers in different areas of Tehran. “We are planning to develop underground electricity transmission networks in the city, to increase urban safety levels.”

According to the WHO, people who live or routinely work around high frequency electromagnetic fields have expressed concerns about long-term adverse effects on health, including cancer, reproductive malfunction, cataracts and changes in behavior or development of children. A recent example has been the reported increase in testicular cancer in police using speed control hand-held “radar guns.” Several ecological studies of cancer in the vicinity of base stations report both a strong increase of incidence within a radius of 350 and 400m respectively.

According to a study conducted by Isfahan University of Medical Sciences symptoms such as nausea, headache, dizziness, irritability, discomfort, nervousness, depression, sleep disturbance, memory loss and lowering of libido were statistically significant in the inhabitants living near the BTS antenna (300 m distance) compared to those living far away.

 However, all EMF don’t have adverse effects on health. An SAR or specific absorption rate (watts per kilogram) of at least 4 W/Kg is needed to produce known adverse health effects.