[AMRadio] Re: [Boatanchors] AEA Moscow Muffler

Phil Galasso k2pg at worldnet.att.net
Tue May 2 20:15:49 EDT 2006

----- Original Message -----
> " whereas the Russians apparently fired part of theirs through Finland,
> supposedly causing an elevated number of cases of a certain type of cancer
> due to the huge power used"

If high RF fields in the HF bands caused cancer, most of us would have been
in the oncology ward years ago and I wouldn't be here to write this. The
same goes for people working in broadcast engineering, especially at high
power shortwave stations such as the Voice of America and Radio Moscow (now
the Voice of Russia). A lot of that cancer scare crap came from a book
published about 25 or 30 years ago called "The Zapping of America" by Paul
Brodeur. Much of what was written in that book was pure speculation, but the
politicians picked up on it and saddled us with all kinds of environmental
restrictions related to RF energy. Who was this Paul Brodeur? He was neither
an engineer nor a physician. He was a staff writer for "The New Yorker", a
LITERARY magazine!

What is indisputable is that high RF fields will cause tissue heating.
That's how a microwave oven cooks your food! Years ago, tower climbers
working at FM or TV sites would report a sensation of warmth if they got too
close to the antenna. THAT could be dangerous, due to the overheating of
tissues and body fluids, resulting in thermal injuries. Current FCC and OSHA
regulations require such stations to greatly reduce power, switch to an
auxiliary antenna, or leave the air if someone is climbing the tower. And
working in a tuning house of an AM station running 50 kW or higher can be
dangerous, unless the transmitter is powered down, as the RF can arc to
someone who gets too close to "hot" components, causing a potentially lethal
burn. But it is highly unlikely that any harm came to Finns who lived maybe
100 or more miles away from the Soviet radar. One of the Soviet sites was
believed to be in Minsk, which is in Belarus, at least 600 miles from

The "Russian Woodpecker" was a terrible nuisance, especially on 15 and 20
meters. I certainly don't miss it!

Phil K2PG

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