• 05 JAN 06
    • 0

    Hazardous product warning: DECT phones

    To All

    About a year ago I received two RF meters designed by Alasdair Philips from Powerwatch in the UK that have proved very usefull in determining RF levels in various environments. One is the Acousti-COM (A-COM) Monitor that gives an audible noise to detect the presence of microwave emissions and whether they are pulsed or not. The other is the COM Monitor that measures exposure levels in volts per meter (0.7 to 6.5 v/m). Last November I used them to test several wireless laptops, and their base stations and found emission levels quite low, at least for the two models tested. They have also been used to test for microwaves in a Darwin legal office, a Hobart office space and to test the effectiveness of wire netting screening in a Brisbane office building facing a nearby (70 meters) array of antennas at the same elevation (levels were about 3.5 V/m before screening). I also used them in Sydney last year around several base stations and found ground levels generally under 1 Volt per meter in the few places tested.

    Now only today I had the good fortune to pick up a quantity of Telstra DECT cordless phones and took to opportunity to test each one’s base station for emission levels. These are the sort of wireless phone that could easily be placed on a bedside table or office desk. Very small innocuous looking gadgets.

    However when their base station power transformer is plugged into the mains power point my A-COM Monitor ceased emitting a soft hiss to let out a loud pulsing shrill that pulsed continously for the whole time the base station was energised – not just when the phone is being used. Then using the COM Monitor, I was hitting the red zone at 4 V/m at 1/2 a meter from the base station that cradles the phone when not in use. At this distance one’s head could well be exposed to this level all night long if placed on the bedside table, or for the working day in the office if on the desk. As for any warnings in the instruction pamphlet, all it states is: ” Make sure it is at least 1 metre away from other electrical products to avoid interference.”

    It would have been nice to see a warning against placing the base station by a bedhead but everybody knows the stuff is perfectly safe as long as you are not an electrical product – right?

    Now would anyone like to make comment to this list as to what sort of effects might be expected from prolonged exposure to a pulsing 4 v/m microwave field 8+ hours a night while trying to sleep?

    Perhaps this is the stuff of nightmares?


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