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Fighting the pollution by public radio broadcast antennas

Un texte en français : La pollution radio par les émetteurs FM
Een tekst in het Nederlands:  De radiovervuiling door FM-stralen
A petition:

The electromagnetic pollution has now reached such a level that not only hypersensitive persons are being harmed. The debate most often focuses on cell phones, their relay antennas, Wi-Fi routers and similar technologies. It is often pointed out that domestic appliances like power saving lamps and cheap electronic devices, are harmful too. Recently, I came to the conclusion that I too had problems with electromagnetic radiations. Yet after a few months investigating, I was surprised to find out that far out the main cause of my problems was nothing I had heard about. A 100 MHz FM public radio broadcast antenna is located atop a local hospital and burns the whole city with an astounding force of 2 V/m (pike value).

I found other persons that are harmed. For example people who develop severe headaches or tiredness after a few hours working in a given place. They have no problems in other places, that are less exposed to the FM radio waves. It seems to me that people who live in strongly exposed habitations often develop psychiatric problems. My guess is that probably several thousand persons in the city are severely affected. Maybe tens of thousands are affected but without getting obviously sick.

Most puzzling is the fact that this hammering by radio waves is completely useless. It wouldn't change anything to the quality of the reception by the listeners in the city, if the force of the radio waves was divided by 100 or preferably 1,000. The purpose of those antennas is to emit far away in the countryside. That's why they are located atop hills or tall buildings and they have a huge power. But, due to their rudimentary construction, quite much of that power is wasted and hits the nearby city.

It is legal to hit the ground with such force. Whether I measure in rooms or in the open, it is at worst a little below the norms. Hence the problem is with the norms. They keep being too high, despite the efforts of many scholars and health organizations. The situation is catastrophic. If the people did understand the harm that is done to their children, revolts would break open.

Below is a picture of a cheap calculator that I transformed. It contains no more battery nor solar power cell. Instead it draws its energy from a 1 meter long antenna. Anyplace in the city center, in direct view of the emitter, the power of the radio waves is strong enough to feed the device. I made this because nobody was frightened by the figures I was reporting, except some friends that are into electronics. Everybody knows that a car can kill even at 30 km/h speed but almost nobody has any knowledge about radio waves figures. When I showed the calculator, everybody understood and some whitened. (The calculator also works in some classrooms where I tried it out. The emitter was visible through the windows... Should I warn the parents of the students that failed their exams?)

calculator fed by the energy of radio waves

This didn't help anyway, so I invented another device: the "snake". The picture below shows six of them, an early version.

100 MHz pollution detector

You just hang the snake in the flux of radio waves and the LED lamp at one end will bright up, clearly visible in daytime and enough to light and read a text at night.

snake lighting up

The snake is less impressive than the calculator but it is much cheaper and easier to make and it can be sent in an envelope. I made tens of them and sent them to politicians, newspapers, universities... I gave some to local people, together with a user guide on a sheet of paper. Just like the calculator, the snake contains no battery. The lamp lights up solely on the power of the radio waves. The picture below shows a later version, that can be rolled up in an envelope that fits the conditions to be sent with only one stamp.

wire to detect radio waves

However mad it is to send such power on a city, nothing has been done yet against this. It's like an 19th century chemical plant sending its pollutants all around. Some complain but others argue that closing the factory would mean people laid off. Some then reply that being employed to feed children that die from ugly sicknesses may be nonsense... And so on, except for the fact that the chemical factory indeed had a purpose while the strength of the radio waves we're talking about, has no serious purpose at all.

Something common to all heavy sources of electromagnetic pollution is that it wouldn't cost much to make them harmless. For example, high tension power lines can be made harmless by feeding them DC current instead of AC current. This requires some more heavy electronics at the input and the output but the price of it is a detail in the whole. I studied the schematics of power saving lamps and simply noticed that they were conceived by people who do not understand the propagation of radio waves. Adding the necessary components to make the lamps radio-silent would almost not increase their prices. Enforcing proper norms will not change our way of life, it will just stop to favor the sociopathics amongst the industrials and lobbyists.

So, what can I do to help people understand the situation? They need to appropriate the scientific knowledge involved. Most assume that the necessary studies will be made by labs and then the governments will adapt the laws accordingly... That would be OK if it wasn't for the trillions of money involved. A minister in Belgium tried to prevent sugar dispensers in schools, she immediately got a made-up scandal on her shoulders. All she ultimately managed to get was to have some health advice notices glued on the sacred dispensers...

Flows of observations are now available, showing the effects of radio waves that match the norms: brains of rats destroyed, people unable to work, eggs that don't hatch, quarreling birds, increased risk of cancer, cows aging abnormally... I myself had seeds germinate and saw them die quicker when closer to a power saving lamp. Their strategy to cope with this is simple: "OK, there does exist scientific evidence of some danger... but there also does exist evidence that there is no danger at all! So let's balance the whole..." The norms are lowered but kept above what cell phone operators need for the current systems. The fact in itself of making a balance between scientific evidence is nonsense. Either a study proves a given danger and it can be verified, or bust. But anyway, what are those studies that tend to prove that there would be no danger? Lots of them are simply payed for by the cell phone industry... Yet some are perfectly serious, for example those concluding that radiations within the norms will not heat the brain or the body abnormally. This is perfectly true. There is no problem of scientific fairness involved with these studies. But, is a bullet harmless because it only very slightly heats your bones? A more sophisticated approach is to pick out studies that have borderline conclusions: "there may be a problem but it is not clear..." The study will be assumed to conclude that there is no problem at all, while it just was an inconclusive experiment like many are in science.
(When I'm exposed, I tend to compulsively perform simple tasks. What if a study examines if being exposed hampers the ability to perform that kind of tasks?)

Then, there is the problem that I'm going to make people sick. Indeed, electromagnetic hypersensitivity has a psychological component. Once people understand that they are victim to the radio waves and what symptoms the radio waves cause, they can overreact and become very sick when they start feeling the symptoms or just when they know there is a strong radiation force around. The radio waves induce a physiological stress, that hampers the proper functioning of the brain. When you add a psychological stress, due to the awareness of the problem, the summation of the two multiplies... Therapies for hypersensitive persons imply to dislearn them to overreact. Some friends of mine just refuse to start talking about electromagnetic sensitivity because they don't want to embark in the sickness. They do so with everything, meanwhile they eat very good food and have lots of pleasure in life. It works... with people with a strong health and a tad of selfishness.

When you are in a cold wind and you feel a pain in the neck, you know it is due to the wind and you take cover. Almost nobody can do this with the symptoms of an exposition to strong radio waves. You feel tired, some brain fog, like if your head was in a clamp, a headache, or simply you make stupid errors... You will blame yourself or the location, possibly the noisy people around... while in fact you are mainly undergoing electromagnetic sensitivity.
The home of a friend is strongly exposed. After about twenty minutes I can nor more find my words and speak correctly, unless I wrap my head in aluminum foil. There is a fair chance that a while ago, I would have blamed my friend for being annoying (he is) to the point of making me speechless. There also is a fair chance that my friend is annoying because he hangs in that electromagnetic pollution everyday. Since he lives there, he became an alcoholic, lost his job, manages to keep no girlfriend... (Everything I mention here can have other causes. Quite often, such causes just add up. For example, the person blaming the noisy people around, would maybe have felt nothing if the noisy people weren't there. Like you don't feel your bad knee when you carry no bag.)

The impact of the electromagnetic pollution is severe. It is a far too heavy, and pointless, contribution to our burdens and losses. But how do you establish, scientifically, be it as an amateur, that there indeed is a problem? My initial approach can be an illustration of this. As my home is uninhabitable, I spend most of the day working in local libraries. I noticed that I could work quite well at some places and not at all at other places. Then I saw an article taped on a board, about the effects of cell phone and Wi-Fi radiations. Okay... I made a spreadsheet, with a row for each location and a note from 0 to 10 according to my ability to work there. Although I knew it was a weak approach, I then filled in each row the strength of the closest Wi-Fi router, as listed by my laptop. There was no correlation... but this proved not at all that the Wi-Fi was innocent. Weeks later I made a nonsensical but working little assembly that made the variability of the radio waves hearable. This time I got a correlation. Mild, but obvious. The ability to work is horizontally while the intensity of the radio signals is vertically:

correlation of electrosmog and unability to work

It quickly became obvious that I was measuring no strong signal in the GHz bands. I had no doubt that there were cell phone and Wi-Fi emissions coming from all directions and echoing all around but their strength was obviously weak. The problem was with lower frequencies. I accused the fluorescent lamps for a while, till I finally understood that there was only one strong source, hitting me everywhere; those 100 MHz public radio broadcasts. The picture below shows the final correlation. Only one dot disagrees with the theory:

correlation about electromagnetic pollution and
        ability to work

I was heavily disturbed by the radio waves, simply unable to work, long before I started puzzling on the subject. This is a strong proof that the matter is not just psychological. Reciprocally, once I understood the psychological component, I tried to use it positively, to counterbalance the effects of the electrosmog. I did get some results but I was never able to work correctly in the most exposed places. It is by no means "just psychological". It is useless "to be willing to make a small effort". I did efforts that frightened other people. One thing that does clearly help is eating a lot of sugar (Organic jam on rice bread...) (by the way, is that why sugar dispensers are placed everywhere kids are supposed to think and learn, to counterbalance the effects of the nearby cell phone relay antennas?) Alcohol does also help and I'm afraid this is why people seem to become alcoholics in exposed habitations.

Also, it does sometimes happen that I feel like undergoing strong radio waves but when I pop out my measuring device, I measure nothing serious. I have a natural tendency to be knocked-out... The radio waves are far out my heaviest problem but they are not always responsible.

I started studying other sources of radio pollution. I had an obvious benefit of removing every power saving lamp in my home. I put ferrite cores on most power chords. On one power chord that I sometimes use to feed my laptop inside my shielded tent, I had to put ten ferrites till I felt no more direct effect. Something very interesting is that till then I had no problem when using my cell phone. You guessed correctly: I started having problems, to the point that I never more hold it against my ear. I always use an earplug linked to the cell phone by a wire with two ferrite cores. I suppose that since I started avoiding the exposure to strong radio waves (which significantly improved my life and ability to work), my brains are no more constantly knocked out. So they get knocked out if I hold my cell phone against my head. And I feel it. This is one more synergy between the public broadcasts emitters and the cell phone industry: one hides the other away. 'Want to prove that inhabitants close to a relay antenna are no worse than those further away? Do the experiment in a city that is strongly exposed to public broadcasts...

So: buy a measuring tool or have a friend assemble one for you. And start comparing your problems and those of the people around you, with the level of electromagnetic pollution. If you can, make large-scale experiments with tens of persons, under advice of somebody with knowledge in statistics (to build an expressive statistic yet completely false, is *easy*). We need many such experiments, till it becomes unbearable for local interlocutors to negate the problem and not to dim the emissions. Step by step, we need to conquer our world back. Some enterprises and some countries have already set their norms at responsible levels.

One very important parameter is the rate at which the problems build up and then disappear, when exposed. Some people claim that they instantly feel when their cell phone is going to ring. I never could verify this. A friend claims that his cat reacts when he is going to get a text message on his cell phone. I tried several times to see the cat change behavior while making my cell phone emit close to him but I got nothing. So I suppose that the cat reacts to the tone of the cell phone and my friend brain-confuses the timing. (I don't pretend nobody can feel a text message arriving, I'm just saying that I never could verify.) What I'm sure about is that my problems need minutes to build up, most often some ten or twenty minutes, the problem possibly becoming really painful after an hour. Once the problem built up, it needs much more time to diminish, maybe four times more. I often had to sleep a whole night on it. One day I "burned" my brains by holding a very polluting power saving lamp about 3 decimeters away from my head. I only noticed the problem after half an hour. But then it was horrible, like if a flame had been sweeping inside my head. Really just like the ache of a burn wound. I had a strong nausea and headache, that calmed down only hours later. I identified a few persons whose problems are obviously due to the electromagnetic pollution, in all cases the same applies: it needs time to build up. This means you cannot simply walk in and out of an exposed zone and claim you feel no difference. Also, you cannot get into a safe zone and claim you feel no better. If you were already poisoned, you will stay that way a long while. The only sure approach is to stay really long in a safe zone, preferably spend the night there, then go working in a polluted area. Try to be aware of what happens to you. The next day go working in a safe zone and try to see the difference. (This is a goldmine to build inconclusive studies.)

Everybody is sensitive to electromagnetic waves. The question is about the level of the sensibility. That's why people who get seriously sick with the current levels of exposition are called "hypersensitive". They are more sensitive than the average, sometimes with very painful and debilitating consequences.

There is a whole ladder of symptoms. This is roughly the ladder for me, exposed to the 100 MHz FM broadcasts:

No problem
No more able to concentrate and work
head in a clamp, maybe difficulties to talk
Tried it once for 2 hours, had to stay the whole next day in bed with an awful headache.

The serious problems begin for me at 0.1 V/m. Yet I know some people that wouldn't be called hypersensitive and that get problems similar to mine at about 0.3 V/m. A friend spent with me the two hours under the 10 V/m radiation and claimed he endured no problem... but he made surprising errors on the way back. It is very difficult for me, in my city, to find locations where the force is around 0.01 V/m. Values between 0.1 and 0.3 are common. It is easy to find building with rooms reaching 1 V/m. The force is quite predictable, according to the location and the orientation of the building, how much it emerges out of other buildings... So, because many people are being affected and because the radiation is reasonably easy to measure or to estimate, making statistics linking common health problems with the level of exposition is quite doable.

Hypersensitive persons would be 1% of the population. The need to protect this minority is enough to stop those powerful broadcasts from reaching the ground. I don't understand why I have to add that everybody is being harmed, be it to a lesser degree. I met official people whose job is to help hypersensitive persons. They've seen their pain and anguish by themselves... but they feel clueless as to how to stop the emissions. It's a very strange situation, when even the people close to the steer and convinced of a problem, can't do anything to stop it.

It has been claimed that the hypersensitivity of some persons is caused by an accumulation of toxic metals or organic pollutants. In such cases, antioxidants can be of immediate help and detoxifications would greatly help. (Note that common medical analysis like looking for mercury and the like in samples of blood, urine or hair, will reveal nothing even under severe intoxication, because blood and hair renew constantly. Only a sudden intoxication can be revealed by such analysis. The toxics slowly accumulated in standing body cells like the brain... Best method seem to be to take a well-tuned quantity of chelating molecules and then perform an analysis of the blood or urine.)

Cell phone and Wi-Fi radiations are different, for several reasons: they don't spread the same way in the body, they are pulsated and their frequency make they will not target the same macromolecules in the body. It would seem that you need 3 times more force of FM broadcast waves than cell phone or Wi-Fi waves, to have a same global impact...

I was frightened when I understood that under those 2 V/m force of radiation, an electric current in the order of 1 mA oscillates through the body. Such a current at a high frequency of 100 MHz will interact with the body quite differently than a DC or low frequency AC current. You cannot make direct comparisons... Anyway, 100 mA of DC current can be enough to kill a person by electrocution. 1 mA of low frequency current is enough to feel the current as a tickle. What are the consequences of such a current on the chemical reactions in the liver, on the production of hormones by glands everywhere in the body? What if the person being exposed is a pregnant woman, with the baby just at the worst place in the flux of current? The length of an "antenna" matters much to allow it to build up current. Teenagers have the "optimal" length for 100 MHz radio waves... One thing I'm sure about is that if the government decided that from now on the school kids will be latched electrodes on the body and a current of 1 mA send through several hours a day, whatever the frequency, the parents will not accept. But this *is* happening, through radio waves, and I could feel the neuroleptic-like effect of it. (By the way, this implies that those experiments that show brains of rats destroyed by cell phones waves within the norms, apply only to a lesser degree to human brains, because of the difference in size. Rats are close to the optimal length to be harmed by cell phone waves... The optimal wavelength to dammage teenagers is that of those 100 MHz public broadcasts...)

The radiations harm me more inside buildings than outside. I may get more sick under 0.2 V/m in a room than under 2 V/m directly exposed to an antenna. I don't know exactly why. Here are four possibilities:
Again, the four possibilities mentioned above are potentially very suitable to build experiments that demonstrate there is no problem. Perform the experiment in an anechoic place with the waves coming from aside and no other radiation than the one from the experiment... Just the opposite from real world situations but you can claim to be serious at avoiding parasitic variables...

If you want to find the FM emitters somewhere, is the reference I used till now.

This is the schematic of the "snake":

schematic of radio waves revealer

BAT62 detection diodes are no more produced. BAT15 diodes work fine but they wear out; after a few months they stop functioning. SMS7630 diodes are great but very little and mechanically fragile. MMSD701T1G diodes are sturdy and powerful; an excellent choice for a beginner. Such SMD diodes do also work for cell phone frequencies, which allows to test out a snake with a calling cell phone pushed against it. But any detection diodes that can manage 100 MHz will do.

The LED I'm currently using is the L-7113SEC-H . It lights up with a low tension and a very low current (the bluer a LED, the more tension it needs). Its color is red yet close to orange hence it is easily seen by the human eye (the eye is most sensitive to green, yellow and orange). The beam is quite narrow so when the LED is directed towards somebody's eyes it will appear quite bright.

For the lengths of 37.5 and 112.5 centimeters, any electric wire with two copper conductors will do. Audio signal wire is a practical solution. Use the shielding as one of the two conductors. The lengths of the two segments must not be precise. What matters is that the total length of the snake be 1.5 meters. Do not hesitate to try out if a little longer or shorter snake gives better results.

A schematic of my current probes, that I connect to a standard multimeter, measuring Volts DC. The measure displayed by the multimeter must be multiplied by 10. When using a 200.0 mV scale, just read while forgetting the dot:

probe to measure radio waves

This is a picture of a device that tries to pack the whole in a neat gadget. The electronic circuit is a €7 digital Volts display with a scale of 200.0 mV. I soldered away the jumper that makes the dot be displayed. The antenna is only 7 cm long, so an RMS value is displayed (for roughly steady radio waves). The whole cost about €12. Hold the antenna perpendicular to the direction the waves come from and try to hold the device away from conducting objects like your body or metallic objects. You cannot closely trust such simple device yet it is very handy and adequate to compare the radiation level in different places:

cheap radio waves meter schematic of cheap
        radio waves meter

Those probes and device, quite easily allow to know the direction some 100 MHz radiation come from. Hold the thing at some decimeters from your body, roughly at the height of the belly. Your body and the device form a directional antenna... When the device is towards the emitter, it will display up to twice the value, while when it is hidden from the emitter by your body, the measure will be very low.

If you measure something strong, yet by turning in different directions the device always shows approximately the same value, then you are probably undergoing low-frequency radio waves like short wave broadcasts.

If the emitter is close, like a power saving lamp or a wrongly build power supply, converge towards it simply using the fact that the closer you get, the stronger the measure.

Such measuring tools are handy to find out power chords and appliances that pollute, yet then the measure displayed doesn't mean much. Once you are really close to an emitter, the measuring device and the emitter interact and the power flowing through the measuring device can be tremendous even though the device is only weakly polluting. You are in the "halo of proximity" of the device... Best example is most quality laptops, which emit almost no radio waves. I never could notice a problem while using my laptop when it is plugged to nothing... Yet if I hold a measuring tool against the screen I get frightening data... A few decimeters further, where my head can be, the measuring tool tells there is nothing... So, the high figures close to the laptop indeed tell that strong currents flow through it, but competent people made things such that those currents harm nobody...

If you want a global measure, away from the effects of your body, hold the device above your head. Or place it on some plastic or cardboard box and walk some distance away.

The windows are a common entry point of radio waves and electric wires can be awfull ducts, yet in some cases I noticed that metallic structures unrelated with electricity, like the copper tubes of water heating radiators, were the main ducts of radio pollution towards a room.

Below is a device I assembled to focus on 1.8 GHz cell phone radio waves. Close to the nearby cell phone relay antenna, in direct view of it, I could not measure much more than 0.1 V/m (pike value). While this is still too much, it is by no means comparable to the frightening 2 V/m intensity of the FM broadcasts. I also went measuring in places where people complain about problems similar to mine. They thought the reason was the nearby cell phone relay antennas. But I could measure no significant intensity of cell phone radio waves at all, while the force of the FM broadcasts was above 0.2 V/m...

1.8 GHz cell phone radio waves detector

After about a year experimenting, the most simple protection I could come up with against 100 MHz broadcasts is a headband of aluminum, much the shape and size of a sweatband. I hide it inside a bonnet. I have no idea as to how and why it helps, aside from the general fact that any conducting structure will change something to the propagation of high frequency currents. Don't make it too high, a 3 to 4 centimeters height is OK. To try this out, you can just fold in a circle a 1 meter long wrap of aluminum and compress it to a flattened ring that fits your head. If you intent to re-use it, then you must strengthen it with lengths of tape before (inside) and after (outside) the ring is constituted. Make sure the tape does not hamper a perfect electric contact all around the ring. This protection is not perfect but it really helps.
When the field strength is above 0.1 V/m, I need a complementary vertical band in order to be able to work.
This also is a cheap way to make statistics. Compare days with the headband to days without the headband. In order to be scientific, you must ask somebody else to put the headband inside your bonnet every morning, at random. Every morning, the other person writes down if there was a conducting headband inside the bonnet or not. Every evening, you write a comment down to how your day was (headache? brain fog? errors? doomed day?) Then after a while you compare the two. At worst, if you have to do it alone, buy two identical bonnets, push a plastic headband inside one and an aluminum headband inside the other, and spend each day without knowing which one you picked. At the end of the day, write your appreciation down before checking and writing down which bonnet you picked.

conducting headbands to
        protect from FM radio waves

A friend who is a physician points out that in many administrations, be they public or private, the employees are being persecuted. (That often happens when the work done by the administration is mostly useless and only serves to justify the social position and the salaries of a few people.) A statistic about the health impact of radio waves in such administrations could be of few significance, because the people have all kinds of health problems due to the harassment. The addition to this by the radio waves may be comparatively negligible. (Yet another way to build a statistic that shows few or no impact of the radio waves: perform it in a place where people bow under humilations...)

I was quite frightened to discover that the symptoms caused by radio waves, as I see them around me, are very close to those of "radiation poisoning". This is part of nuclear medicine. When a victim is exposed to a short and strong burst of radioactivity or any other ionizing radiation, its body will quickly react like if it had been poisoned. A "low" poisoning by radiations yields headaches, tiredness, difficulties to think... while stronger poisoning can lead to the person die in a few days like if it was heavily burn. The exposure to ionizing radiations is measured in "Gray". 1 Gy leads to a low poisoning. So I computed out how much energy a person gets from the local FM emitter, like the person I know that get sick at their desk. The result is 0.01 Gy for 8 hours of exposition, which is quite close.

Radio waves can induce all the typical problems caused by that ionisinig radiations but the energy levels involved can be quite different. For example, ionizing radiations cause burns without increasing the temperature of the body, while radio waves can only burn if they are powerful enough to heat the body. Radio waves can induce cancer but again the energy required is ways higher, like spending ten years using a cell phone against the head, several hours a day.

Body cells can be attacked by all kinds of means. Ionizing radiations lead to direct damage of the cell membrane. Radio waves disturb the molecular cell gates operate. The cell will always react the same way, as for poisoning: it will close the cell gates, to try to shun itself from the outside world and from the harm. This has many consequences. The cell is less able to fulfill its purpose inside the body. It uses resources to try to protect its internal parts. It will accumulate waste. That's why people get tired, less efficient or even sick. When the aggression made to the cell is deemed too strong, the cell will auto-destruct. That's the way radiations and chemicals can be used against cancer, making the cancer cell suicide.

The cells can be helped to better recover from the state of shock. Also they can be made to go less likely into the state of shock. Medication and health advice can be helpful for this.

A link has been proposed between autism and radio pollution. The growth of the human brain is very complex, with cells traveling from one side of the brain towards the other to find their place. This involves a tremendous amount of communication and coordination between the cells. What if those cells are too often put into a state of shock?

These are two scientific publications about the link between autism and radio waves :

Publications about how radio waves disturb cells :


A petition:

Eric Brasseur  -  October 3 2009  till  October 16 2015