Digital (DAB) radio and television, unlike analogue transmissions, use similar protocols to mobile phones and wifi and can be expected to cause similar health problems. Dr Andrew Goldsworthy comments

Given that the new (comparatively) digital radio (DAB) and digital TV employ similar protocols to other digital communications such as mobile phones, wifi etc. can expect to see very significant increases in adverse health conditions around the transmitters for such media?


I should not be at all surprised if there is a deterioration in the health of people living near digital broadcast transmitters, despite their lower power compared with their analogue predecessors.

I think the probable explanation is because digital signals are transmitted at constant amplitude whereas amplitude modulated signals have more random amplitudes corresponding to the amplitude of the sound or video being transmitted.

The significance of this is that it has been known since work in Ross Adeys and Carl Blackman's labs in the 1970s, which showed that at least some of the biological effects of non-ionising radiation, such as calcium release from cell membranes, occur only within relatively narrow amplitude windows. In the case of a digital signal transmitted at constant amplitude, any cell that finds itself within its amplitude window will remain affected, possibly for long enough to give a non thermal biological effect. Reducing the amplitude of the signal will not necessarily help, since it may just put other sets of cells (possibly nearer the surface) semi-permanently into their amplitude windows. A cell exposed to an amplitude modulated signal is less likely to be affected since it will be constantly moving in and out of its windows and may not spend long enough within them to give a biological effect.

The same effect will be true for power lines, which also operate at quasi-constant amplitudes. This may be why it is particularly dangerous to sleep under power lines, when you are relatively motionless in the fields for long periods.

It may also explain why Theodore (Ted) Litovitz in the 1990's was able to reverse at least some of the biological effects of both power lines and digital phones by superimposing a random signal of about the same strength on the offending constant signal. The combined signals consequently have a random amplitude and, despite now being stronger, were relatively harmless. I am attaching brief summaries of some of his work (the comments in blue are my own). His findings may not be a magic bullet that will cure all of the problems associated with EMFs, but it is certainly worth reinvestigating before digital Britain becomes a digital disaster. Does anyone want to try it out?

Dr Andrew Goldsworthy - May 2011


More articles on broadcasting

First Published in May 2011


Top of page