31 Jan 2013

Dry eyes and RF?

Testing the ferrite rod antenna on TX this evening (with lots of RF within a metre of me) I'm noticing something I used to get when testing VHF RF PAs years ago in my design days: dry eyes. I assume this is an effect of RF on the body.  Apart from being madder than ever (!) I cannot say RF exposure has done me any noticable harm, but wonder if others have noticed this dry eyes effect?

Although the evidence in general is not strong, there was strong correlation back in my Pye Telecom days between those working on the design of high powered HF/VHF/UHF PA devices and those fathering girls. Maybe there was some subtle damage to sperm with exposure to high RF that made girl pregnancies more likely to succeed? Co-incidence?

A lot more controlled tests are needed, but with the widespread exposure to Wi-Fi and mobile phones it won't be too long before we find out more. So far the evidence is not at all conclusive but you do wonder whether, like smoking, we'll look back in 50 years time and say, did they really all use mobile phones and Wi-fi devices?


Ricardo - CT2GQV said...

I never notice dry eyes but did some sort of chill's in the body when near VHF moderate power audio/video emitters a friend was building/testing using an indoor antenna. Was a matter of leaving the shop to get OK, he felt nothing but on the other end he was kind of crazy anyway.

Anonymous said...

Elevated temperatures do tend to affect male fertility and particularly kill off male sperm. The effect you noticed at Pye would explain more girls being born. I also know a chef who has four daughters! Regards, Gary G0CUQ.

Anonymous said...

Well, I was a BBC transmitter engineer for 9 years and lived almost permanently in a high RF field, especially HF/LF (Daventry, Rampisham and Droitwich). I can honestly say (touch wood!) no effect on body. It takes a lot of power close by to start raising body temperatures. There are notable exceptions, like looking into powered waveguides (a no-no if you did not already know).
In a high RF environment it is easy to get RF burns from metal railings etc.. but I never suffered dry eye syndrome. Incidentally, I have 2 boys and a girl for children, so opposite effect there.
I am always surprised when people moan about mobile phone masts and RF exposure, when the next minute they have their own high power transmitter in contact with their own head! Hugh G6AIG

Anonymous said...

i have occassionally seen the dr about dry eyes.
just in the last few years.
now you've got me wondering.
RF these days is occassional 5W VX7R dualband handheld, or cellphone.