Reports of problems with AM radio reception in parts of a Green Bay neighborhood have prompted a county lawmaker to call for a study of electromagnetic fields along University Avenue in that city.
Residents on parts of the city’s east side this year have complained of radio reception difficulties, Brad Hopp, a Brown County supervisor whose district is south of University Avenue and east of the East River, told The Green Bay Press Gazette. He asked last week that the county conduct a study on whether excess electromagnetic radiation is causing problems, perhaps because of the amount of electrical-transmission equipment in the area. The Brown County Health Department will review the request and report to the Human Services Committee of the County Board.
“This is more to satisfy my constituents’ concerns, but I have some concerns myself,” said Hopp, who is in his first term on the County Board. He said several residents in his district raised concerns during his campaign.
Radiation is emitted by electronic devices where electricity flows, from video monitors to cellphones to power lines. Concerns have been raised about possible links between radiation and certain types of health problems, though actual links to certain illnesses remain the subject of debate.
Hopp said he did not know what it would cost to conduct a study. Once a cost is known, the county would have to determine if it was worth funding.
A spokesman for Wisconsin Public Service Corp., which is responsible for the power lines, said a line that has broken insulation equipment could affect reception of certain broadcast signals. Spokesman Kerry Spees said the company receives “one or two calls a year about radiation interference.”
In such cases, he said, the company sends an employee to the area to check equipment and correct any problems.
RBR-TVBR observation: One thing about AM radio reception is that it is very, very sensitive to electromagnetic and RF energy emissions. For example, if you place your TV remote near an AM radio between stations, you’ll hear buzzing sounds when the remote keys are pressed. You can hear lighting strikes on AM when a storm is over 100 miles away. And yes, AM reception—especially on weaker stations—is very affected by interference from cell phones, PCs, laptops, the new fluorescent lights, microwave ovens, power lines, you name it. So if the reception is really, really bad as is the case in Green Bay, it may be a “signal” that the electromagnetic emissions may actually be harmful.