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Base transceiver stations (BTS) or mobile base stations produce non-ionizing (RF)

energy that is radiated through its antennas into space. There are health effects that can

occur when the human body is exposed to high levels of radio frequency (RF) energy.

The health implication associated with exposure from telecommunication masts is

demanding attention due to the expansion of telecommunication networks and base

station installation. In this study, power density from various telecommunication masts

of different network providers were measured using a spectrum analyser 2658A B and

K precision model. RF radiations within a radial distance of 100 m around some

selected areas in Kaduna State were measured. The measured values range between 9.29

nWm-2 to 58.08 nWm-2 with a mean value of 23.52 nWm-2. Although values fluctuated

due to the influence of other factors including wave interference from other

electromagnetic sources around reference base stations. The results show that radiation

exposure level is below the standard limit of 4.5 Wm-2 for 900 MHz system set by the

International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and other

regulatory agencies. This shows that the exposure levels in these areas are low and as

such will not pose significant health risks to the people living in the study area.



1.0 Introduction

Mobile phone technology has revolutionized the telecommunication industry in Nigeria.

Due to its advantages, mobile phone technology has grown rapidly in the last decade.

Presently, there exist more than 6.9 billion mobile subscription globally and over 1.4

million mobile base transceiver stations (BTS) exist worldwide to meet the growing

communication demand and the number is increasing significantly (WHO, 2006).The

Global System of Mobile (GSM) communication has proved to be of tremendous

benefit to the society especially in a developing country like Nigeria, where other forms

of communication exist to a very limited extent. GSM technology of wireless

communication produces constant pulsed microwave radiation. The cellular base

stations are transmitting continuously even when nobody is using the phone. The

number of cell towers is massively increasing without taking into consideration its

disadvantages. The risk associated with the radiation emitted from base transceiver

stations with respect to its proximity to residential and other public areas were of great

concern worlwide. The radiation effects on humans 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 it is about 3 to 4

times greater than thermal effects. Radiation emitted from telecommunication mast is

also harmful to the environment by adding to the background radiation and also have

negative effect on plants and animals (Girish, 2010).


1.1       Background of the study

A BTS is a component of a wireless communication infrastructure that houses the radio

that defines a cell and coordinates the radio link protocols with mobile devices such as

GSM phones. A typical BTS consists of radios, amplifiers, combiners, duplexers,

splitters, power supplies, an antenna system, and the software that runs the base station

(Godfrey, 2015).

Telecommunication masts or towers are tall structures designed to support antennas or

aerials responsible for the transmission of telecommunication signal. These masts make

use of electromagnetic radiation (a form of energy which have both electric and

magnetic component and is propagated through space) in transmission of this signal.

Erection of cellular telecommunication antennas close to or even upon schools,

daycares, retirement homes and residential buildings that affect the health and wellbeing

of everybody. The erection of these antennas has created lots of problem between

families and friends, tenants and landlords due to the huge amount of money accrued to

leasing or selling of land to telecommunication companies for the purpose of

installation of telecommunication mast at the detriment of their health and the needed

luxury of space for proper ventilation. It has been mentioned that we are now virtually

living within a microwave oven (Andrew, 2008). Although the effects of the radiation

that mobile phone towers emit are harmful and above all it has not been proved safe by

the telecommunication companies, there are more and more towers being approved by

the municipal governments (Andrew, 2008).Scientifically, there were several reports

that the electromagnetic radiation released by mobile telecommunications, has now

become the main man-made source of environmental radioactivity (Andrew, 2008).


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