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Radiological protection, radiation in everyday life

Luz María Cabrera

This is not a new topic, but it is in our context. Radiation protection is hardly talked about nowadays. This is a multidisciplinary activity, of a scientific and technical nature, whose purpose is to protect people and the environment against the harmful effects that may result from exposure to ionizing radiation, according to the international organization Nuclear Safety Council.

For this first article we wanted to make a scenario analysis of the principles of radioprotection of electro frequencies for the city of Quetzaltenango.

We are a group that started to talk about the anti-radiation issue, however, we had a lot of opposition, but we have essential information that many people shared, so I decided to share it with the public.

We are still looking for the approval of a university that can do local studies that will eventually lead to the creation of a law initiative so that from there we can guarantee the safety of everyone regarding the antennas, especially the poles in Xela. Yes, the high voltage poles that carry high voltages and are a risk for the population.

It all started a few months ago, when we began to take the tone of activists and bought the meter, inspired by the work of Dr. Stockes, a controversial character, who filed a complaint with the Public Prosecutor´s Office. His objective was to request radio protection. In the country there is no real control of the poles and transformers, and all the irradiations can have effects on the population. Our work as activists is just beginning.

The cost of development 

The technological boom and development of recent decades has modified the natural electromagnetic environment surrounding human beings. Although this phenomenon occurs to a greater extent in urban areas, it is difficult to find a place on the planet today that is free of artificial radiation.

The implementation of modern technologies without having foreseen their repercussions on health and ecosystems, without taking into account existing studies and evidence, leads to the continuous emergence of new and greater risks for the population and nature.

It is important to note that chronic exposure to electromagnetic fields can have effects on people’s health, and some studies have suggested that exposure to high-frequency electromagnetic fields may increase the risk of certain types of cancer and other health problems. However, more research is still needed to confirm these potential risks.

Some ways to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields may include limiting the use of wireless devices, such as cell phones and Wi-Fi routers, and keeping a safe distance from cell phone antennas and other similar equipment. In addition, it is important to educate yourself about the potential risks and take steps to protect yourself and your family.

Transformers and high, medium, and low voltage electrical distribution networks are one of the sources emitting extremely low frequency electro-magnetic radiation with the greatest potential risk for the general population. 

Power lines generate electromagnetic fields due to the alternating electric current (which changes the positive and negative charge) which circulates through a conductor and can produce intense electromagnetic fields. The alternating current is used to generate electrical energy, thanks to the possibility of using transformers to vary the voltage by magnetic induction. Thus, electricity undergoes a series of processes and transfers, from the generating plant until it reaches the consumer. It is easier to transport voltage than current. For this reason, power companies work with high voltage transmission lines, which are then transformed.

The process is as follows: from the generating plant the high voltage arrives through transmission lines to intermediate power stations, where it begins to be reduced, thus being used in industries, or it continues its journey to other substations, reducing the voltage again by means of transformers to reach small industries and residential areas, where finally the voltage is reduced for domestic use with smaller transformers. Once the current reaches the urban centers, the high voltage (in the order of 400,000 volts) is reduced to lower voltages (24,000 volts) for transport through the city. However, extremely high voltage overhead and buried lines are found within cities and in residential neighborhoods.

A close and clear example is the high voltage poles that cross residential neighborhoods and commercial centers in zones 3 and 9 of the city.

According to data from the Confederation of Neighborhood and User Associations (Confederación de Asociaciones de Vecinos y Usuarios, CAVE), 95% of the mobile telephone antennas installed are poorly located and, for example, 15% of the telephone antennas are located above health centers, schools, and urban areas.

It is a fact that in the area close to the antennas the field created is high and its repercussion on health can be more worrying, especially for children, the elderly and the sick, who are much more sensitive to its effects.

It should be noted that obstacles (buildings, mountains, etc.) can reduce the dose of radiation produced by mobile telephone, television, and radio antennas, but not by power lines and other low-frequency sources.


The intention of this presentation is to make everyone aware of the concept of electromagnetism and its importance to the city and that there is a good, bad, better, and worse way of doing things. Therefore, it is recommended:

  • Consider the guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).
  • Perform natural bio feedback practices, such as sungazing, grounding, sunbathing, blue light blocking and the use of all resources to mitigate non-ionizing radiation.
  • Stay informed about developments on 5G and best practices to implement it.
  • Discuss the possibility of a moratorium on the rapid expansion of antennas as their safety has not been tested and approved.
  • It is also important that neighbors and organizations are informed and ask for the regulation of the limits of telephone antennas, easements for the passage of high voltage poles.
  • Conduct the corresponding public health studies to establish the local impact of the technology.
  • Eliminate and oppose excessive technology that poses health hazards, in addition to environmental, cultural, archaeological, landscape and tourism destruction.
  • Do not tolerate any practice that does not support human sovereignty over technology and ancestral traditions.

With this we intend to start addressing the issue in different spaces. We know that the fight is just beginning, but we have information and research to socialize and prevent the city from following excessive facilities.

Luz Maria Cabrera, psychologist, with experience in public health projects.