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Adverse Health Effect of Radiofrequency Exposures from Weather Radar System

Li, Pi-I; Guo, How-Ran

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000362694.21587.60
Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Symposium Abstracts

National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.


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Background and Objective:

The health effect of radiofrequency has been a public concern for years. To improve the quality of data, the Center Weather Bureau set up four Doppler radar stations in Taiwan. In order to assess the health effects of radiofrequency exposures form weather radar system, we conducted this study to evaluate the associations between weather radar system and the mortality of the residents living in the two areas (Areas I and II) where the radar stations are located.

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The all-cause mortality of residents near the radar stations was studied over the period 1997–2006. We compared the data between five years before and five years after the weather radar system was established. For comparing the mortality rates between the periods, we calculated the standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) using the mortality observed in the five-year period before the establishment of the radar station as the reference.

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The SMR of the over-all mortality was 0.94 in Area I, 0.88 in Area II, and 0.89 in Taiwan as a whole. The SMR of all malignant neoplasma mortality combined was 1.05 in Area I, 0.97 in Area II, and 0.98 in Taiwan. The SMR of all leukemia mortality combined was 1.61 in Area I, 1.21 in Area II, and 0.99 in Taiwan. The death rates of leukemia in residents in the exposure areas increased in the recent five years.

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During a 10-year period of observation, we found mild increase in the mortality of leukemia in residents living in areas with radar station. However, in order to take the latent period of cancer into account, further follow-up is needed. In addition, the correlations between the mortality of leukemia and distance from the radar stations should be evaluated using further subdivisions of unit population, such as a village.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.