keywords: Electromagnetic, Katsina, mobile base station, power density, radiation, radiofrequency
The power density of the radiofrequency electromagnetic field from mobile base stations in some Local Government Areas of Katsina, Nigeria were studied to ascertain the safety of human health and the environment from radiations from the base stations. A handheld B and K precision spectrum analyzer (Model 2658A) capable of monitoring high-frequency radiation in the range of 50 kHz to 8.5 GHz was used in measuring the received radiated power. Measurements were taken conveniently at distances of 0, 20, 40, 60 and 80 m from the foot of each of the 77 masts earlier identified through reconnaissance survey. The power density varies with the network type and the distance from the foot of the mobile base stations. The overall average power density for the studied mobile base stations was 5.58 µW/m2 with a minimum value, 1.28 µW/m2 and a maximum value, 19.53 µW/m2. The obtained results were lower than the international commission for non-ionizing radiation protection recommended limit of 9.2 W/m2 for GSM 1800 and 4.7 W/m2 for GSM 900 which was adopted in Nigeria. Our results have shown that no health symptoms related to the radiofrequency electromagnetic exposure may be observed by members of the public at present. However, the possibility of long term effects could not be ruled out, hence, appropriate measures should be taken to minimize exposure.