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Article

Radio Base Stations and Electromagnetic Fields: GIS Applications and Models for Identifying Possible Risk Factors and Areas Exposed. Some Exemplifications in Rome

Department of Letters and Modern Cultures, Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy
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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2021, 10(1), 3; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi10010003
Received: 5 November 2020 / Revised: 9 December 2020 / Accepted: 21 December 2020 / Published: 23 December 2020
This paper—which is contextualized in the discussion on the methodological pluralism and the main topics of medical geography, the complexity theory in geographies of health, the remaking of medical geography and ad hoc systems of data elaboration—focuses on radio base stations (RBSs) as sources of electromagnetic fields, to provide GIS applications and simplifying-prudential models that are able to identify areas that could potentially be exposed to hazard. After highlighting some specific aspects regarding RBSs and their characteristics and summarizing the results of a number of studies concerning the possible effects of electromagnetic fields on health, we have taken an area of north-east Rome with a high population and building density as a case study, and we have provided some methodological and applicative exemplifications for different situations and types of antennas. Through specific functionalities and criteria, drawing inspiration from a precautionary principle, these exemplifications show some particular cases in order to support: possible risk factor identification, surveillance and spatial analysis; correlation analysis between potential risk factors and outbreak of diseases and symptoms; measurement campaigns in heavily exposed areas and buildings; education policies and prevention actions. From an operative viewpoint, we have: conducted some field surveys and recorded data and images with specific geotechnological and geomatics instruments; retraced the routes by geobrowsers and basemaps and harmonized and joined up the materials in a GIS environment; used different functions to define, on aero-satellite images, concentric circular buffer zones starting from each RBS, and geographically and geometrically delimited the connected areas subject to high and different exposure levels; produced digital applications and tested prime three-dimensional models, in addition to a video from a bird’s eye view perspective, able to show the buildings in the different buffer zones and which are subject to a hazard hierarchy due to exposure to an RBS. A similar GIS-based model—reproposable with methodological adjustments to other polluting sources—can make it possible to conceive a dynamic and multiscale digital system functional in terms of strategic planning, decision-making and public health promotion in a performant digital health information system. View Full-Text
Keywords: buffer zones; electromagnetic fields; GIS applications and models; GIS-based mapping; risk factors; Rome; radio base stations (RBSs) buffer zones; electromagnetic fields; GIS applications and models; GIS-based mapping; risk factors; Rome; radio base stations (RBSs)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pesaresi, C.; Pavia, D. Radio Base Stations and Electromagnetic Fields: GIS Applications and Models for Identifying Possible Risk Factors and Areas Exposed. Some Exemplifications in Rome. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2021, 10, 3. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi10010003

AMA Style

Pesaresi C, Pavia D. Radio Base Stations and Electromagnetic Fields: GIS Applications and Models for Identifying Possible Risk Factors and Areas Exposed. Some Exemplifications in Rome. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 2021; 10(1):3. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi10010003

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pesaresi, Cristiano, and Davide Pavia. 2021. "Radio Base Stations and Electromagnetic Fields: GIS Applications and Models for Identifying Possible Risk Factors and Areas Exposed. Some Exemplifications in Rome" ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 10, no. 1: 3. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi10010003

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