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Reports - Pave Paws Radar



Initial Report on the

Environmental Health Assessment of the

PAVE PAWS Radar at the MMR



Submitted to:


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Department of Public Health

250 Washington Street

Boston, MA 02108-4619


Attention:

Kevin Costas, M.P.H.

Senior Community Epidemiologist

Environmental Epidemiology Program

Fax No.: (617) 624-5777

email: kevin.costas@state.ma.us


Submitted by the Expert Panel:

Linda Erdreich, Ph.D., Chairperson

Marvin Ziskin, M.D.

Om Gandhi, Sc.D.

Henry Lai, Ph.D.






Initial Report on the

Environmental Health Assessment of the

PAVE PAWS Radar at the MMR


The Expert Panel was pleased to attend the public meeting called by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) at the Sandwich High School Auditorium, Sandwich, MA from 6:00-9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 16, 1999. This meeting was preceded by a visit by the members of the Expert Panel to the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR) at which we had an opportunity to understand the PAVE PAWS Phased Array System and its engineering characteristics. Most important the members of the panel heard and considered the citizens' comments and their concerns about the health implications of the PAVE PAWS Radar.

The MDPH charge to the Panel was as follows:

(1) To determine if existing PAVE PAWS RFR data is adequate to estimate exposure potential on Cape Cod;

(2) If not, make recommendations for how to collect or estimate adequate data to assess exposure that can be applied epidemiologically to identify the public health implications of PAVE PAWS on Cape Cod;

(3) Assuming adequate data is available, make recommendation for how to assess the public health implications from exposure; and

(4) Prepare a report that includes the above recommendations and a summary of the current scientific understanding of the health effects, particularly cancer, from exposure to the type of RFR emitted from PAVE PAWS and the aspects of RFR (i.e., peak or average power levels, pulse or constant exposure, etc) seemingly most responsible for the various health effects.

[MDPH meeting announcement]

In order to examine the possible health effects of exposure to the radiation of the PAVE PAWS radars, we need to consider the effects of various features and parameters of radiofrequency radiation (RFR) exposure on human health. We have reviewed the existing materials that were sent to us initially and subsequent to the public meeting, and we have discussed the issue among ourselves. We have determined that the existing information is not adequate to estimate exposure potential regarding possible health effects. Therefore this report is preliminary, in that it includes our recommendation to take measurements for assessing exposure potential (charge item #2), and provides some guidance for selecting a consultant and planning the process.

The panel concurs with the opinion expressed by several of the speakers from the public that there should be an independent assessment of the exposure to the public from the PAVE PAWS Radar. Our main rationale for this recommendation is that existing data are not adequate to estimate exposure potential on Cape Cod (item 1 of Charge). In addition, these data can be informative for interpreting existing epidemiological data such as comparison of cancer rates among different areas.


Developing a measurement protocol

Since it is a fact of modern life that no place on earth is free from electromagnetic (EM) fields e.g. from radio, television, cellular telephone, etc. we feel that the proposed assessment be done in the context of all the EM fields that are present. We therefore, recommend that the entire spectrum of radiofrequency EM exposure including the emissions from the PAVE PAWS be measured at a number of carefully selected sites with participation of 3-4 representatives of the public, the personnel of the MDPH and one or two members of the panel. To cover all of the important sources of EM fields such as radio, TV, cellular base stations, etc., we recommend that the measurements include the entire EM frequency band from 0.1-12,000 MHz. This frequency range is suggested in order to be all-inclusive. It includes emissions from transmitters of AM radio (0.535-1.605 MHz), FM radio (88-108 MHz), Low VHF TV (Channels 2-6, 54-88 MHz), High VHF TV (Channels 7-13, 174-216 MHz), PAVE PAWS (420-450 MHz), UHF TV (Channels 14-83, 470-890 MHz), wireless communications base stations (820-890 MHz and 1850-2000 MHz), civilian and military radars (boat, airport radar, etc) and microwave point to point radio communication (above 2000 MHz).

The EM exposure measurements should be performed for a number of sites of interest, making sure to include sites accessible to the general public. These sites must include some high rise building(s), public parks and other publicly accessible areas close to the MMR as well as at larger distances under the PAVE PAWS beam. One measurement site should be located at the point of the anticipated maximum exposure for a member of the general public (that is, outside of restricted areas.) The committee should select the sites, bearing in mind that the amount of time an individual spends at a site is important as well as the strength of the fields. Measurements may include approximately a dozen sites, more or less, as some trade-off may be necessary, for example, between number of sites measured and duration of measurements at some sites.

Ideally, this assessment would be done without knowledge of the Air Force as several participants in the public hearing had requested. However, we have reason to believe that this facility may on occasion be shut down for short time periods for maintenance. Therefore, an alternative is to ask the Air Force to inform you about when, in a window of time (e.g., 2 weeks or some period longer than the few days needed for measurements) that we identify, the facility may be inoperative.

We recommend that the MDPH request a detailed protocol from the selected consultant prior to collecting measurements. To the extent possible, as described above, the EM exposure measurements for the recommended 0.1-12,000 MHz band including emissions from the PAVE PAWS radar should be done without knowledge of the Air Force or any of the other transmitters identified above, as suggested by several citizens.


Selecting a measurement expert

The measurements must be done by an independent contractor who is knowledgeable and experienced regarding phased-array radars, and who possesses calibrated equipment that is capable of making field measurements at levels that are often quite feeble (on the order of millivolts per meter or microwatts per square centimeter [μW/cm2]). Essential requirements for these measurements are to use calibrated pick up antennas and a spectrum analyzer, which separates the various frequencies. By separating the various frequencies one should be able to identify the EM fields including the PAVE PAWS radar that are present at each of the selected sites. Measurements should include temporal averages and temporal peak values, noting duty factors. Measurements should be taken over time to help evaluate temporal variations in exposure levels. The MDPH committee should work with the consultant to determine the specific duration of these measurements.

The committee should base their selection of a consultant on their proposal, which should include the firm's qualifications and experience, some information about a measurement protocol, and a discussion of how the results will be summarized. If deemed appropriate, the selection committee should ask for references, and/or samples of previous reports or references.

The Panel will respond to the charge regarding health implications when the report of the measurement data is forwarded to us. We invite you to call any one of us if you have additional questions regarding this response.



Submitted by the Expert Panel:

Linda Erdreich, Ph.D., Chairperson

Marvin Ziskin, M.D.

Om Gandhi, Sc.D.

Henry Lai, Ph.D.


 


Introduction

Click here to read report

Initial Report on the Environmental Health Assessment of the PAVE PAWS Radar at the MMR

Click here to read report

Assessment of Public Health Concerns Associated with Pave Paws Radar Installations

Click here to read report

PAVE PAWS Related Documents

Click here to read report



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