A New Pollution? Essay

2872 Words 12 Pages
A New Pollution?


Increasingly our society is being inundated with information wirelessly, through emissions of electromagnetic waves (EMF). Any room you enter is being blanketed with ever increasing amounts of, in some cases, highly powerful electromagnetic waves. These waves carry everything from cell phone traffic to wireless internet signals, to even conventional AM/FM radio signals. Although humans and animals cannot perceive most of these electromagnetic frequencies, they can affect biological organisms in many ways that scientists currently do not even understand. Even further, demand for such wireless applications is growing in terms of both signal strength and bandwidth. This leads to the important question of
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Today, it would be a daunting challenge to even count all the various ways wireless communication is employed around an average household for example. The push for increasingly powerful wireless systems begs the question, whether at some point the wireless signals will become so powerful and transmitted at so high a frequency that they may begin to cause adverse symptoms in humans and animals as a result. This paper will focus on the ethical implications of developing such technologies without yet having scientific research that demonstrates the safety of these systems on humans and animals. Before we can begin examining this topic from an ethical standpoint, it is useful to review some of the basic concepts and terminology underlying wireless communications in as simple a fashion as possible, since many of you may not happen to be engineers.

All wireless technologies rely upon propagation of electromagnetic (EM) waves oscillating at various frequencies (generally through air and water). The wireless segment traditionally refers to transmission of RF waves for the intent of human communication. RF stands for radio frequency, and refers to the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum from 3 KHz-300 GHz.1 As an aside, current deployment of telecommunication signals range in the 700 MHz - 6GHz range. There are also technologies designed for non-communicative uses
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