AN INNOVATIVE PRACTICE IN THE PHYSICS LABORATORY: RADIOFREQUENCY ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS PERSONAL EXPOSURE
1 University of Castilla-La Mancha, Albacete (SPAIN)
2 Instituto Politécnico Nacional, ESIMEZ (MEXICO)
3 Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí (MEXICO)
4 Instituto Politécnico Nacional (MEXICO)
5 Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia (COLOMBIA)
6 Universidade do Estado do Amazonas (BRAZIL)
7 Universidad de Alicante (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The evolution of the species has led us to adapt and live in an environment of electromagnetic waves of low frequency and low intensity of natural origin: proceeding from the Sun and Storms. In addition, we have gotten used to the Earth’s weak magnetic field, which is practically stationary. However, human activity has altered this natural balance with more intense electromagnetic fields and with a very different spectral distribution of frequencies. In the past two decades, personal exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields (RF-EMF) has experimented an important increase due to the development of the information society, and at some point, we have wondered whether these have any negative effects on health, some out of concern and some out of curiosity.
Parallel to the increase of the exposure to RF-EMF, the concern regarding the potential health effects has increased. Among the most feared effects, stands out the possible relationship of the RF-EMF with some diseases of the brain of unspecified causes, which has motivated numerous epidemiological studies. However, many of these studies have focused almost exclusively in the location of the antennas of mobile phones, and not in involving the participants to disseminate the results with society.
In this context, the use of personal Expometers allows to study the RF-EMF exposition in great detail (spatial, temporary, number of bands, precision, etc.) and/or characterize the exposure level of the population in different micro environments, where it is possible to study if there is spatial correlation with the incidence of any disease. Some studies propose alternatives to assess exposure in different micro environments, using different models elaborated from point measurements or elaborating exposure maps.
In view of the growing public concern about the possible health effects of RF-EMF, we believe that a modern society must be sufficiently informed of all technological developments and possible health implications, and the best option is through education. At university level, laboratory practices can be developed where students participate during the measurement process, so they know the equipment and see the application of physics in this type of studies; in addition, they will be aware of the obtained results.
We firmly believe that the work in the laboratory contributes in making learning more meaningful. What you manipulate is learned differently, you know the why, but also the how. For that reason, in this work we present the design and development of a laboratory practice for students of Physics for Computer Science Engineering the Degree in Computer Science, whose objective is to measure the intensity of the RF-EMF in 14 different frequency bands.
The practice has been developed at the Faculty of Computer Science Engineering at the UCLM, located in the Campus of Albacete. The measurement instrument was Satimo's EME Spy 140 personal exposimeter, and data analysis was performed using EME Spy Analysis Software v3.20, Excel, Google Earth, ArcGIS Software and the Kriging method.
With the results obtained, we realize that the recorded measurements are well below the basic restrictions and reference levels allowed by the European, Spanish and Castilla-La Mancha regulations respectively. We believe that this laboratory practice can be replicated in other national universities, as well as universities in other countries.
Keywords: Wave Intensity, Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields, Personal Exposure, Kriging.