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EMF Study
(Database last updated on Jan 30, 2023)

ID Number 2034
Study Type Epidemiology
Model Mobile phone use and measurement of RF exposure using meters and hardware / software modified phones.

Modified mobile phones that measured time of use, transmit power, and relative position with respect to the head were calibrated using standard head phantoms and mobile phone SAR measuring equipment to determine the SAR associated with different positions of the phone with respect to the left and right sides of the head (SAR at various tilts and rotations at maximal output power). The authors report a maximal SAR of 0.9 W/kg at 900 MHz in the "touch" and 0.4 W/kg at a 30 degree tilt. The touch and 30 degree tilt values for 1800 MHz were 1.1 W/kg and 1.3 W/kg, respectively. There was no significant increase in SAR due to rotation. All of the SAR values using these modified mobile phone handsets were below ICNIRP limits for the general public and Australian standards. AUTHORS' ABSTRACT: Bhatt et al. 2016 (IEEE #6328): Radiofrequency-electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure of human populations is increasing due to the widespread use of mobile phones and other telecommunication and broadcasting technologies. There are ongoing concerns about potential short- and long-term public health consequences from RF-EMF exposures. To elucidate the RF-EMF exposure-effect relationships, an objective evaluation of the exposures with robust assessment tools is necessary. This review discusses and compares currently available RF-EMF exposure assessment instruments, which can be used in human epidemiological studies. Quantitative assessment instruments are either mobile phone-based (apps/software-modified and hardware-modified) or exposimeters. Each of these tool has its usefulness and limitations. Our review suggests that assessment of RF-EMF exposures can be improved by using these tools compared to the proxy measures of exposure (e.g. questionnaires and billing records). This in turn, could be used to help increase knowledge about RF-EMF exposure induced health effects in human populations. AUTHORS' ABSTRACT: Bhatt et al. 2016 (IEEE #6482): The purposes of this study were: i) to demonstrate the assessment of personal exposure from various RF-EMF sources across different microenvironments in Australia and Belgium, with two on-body calibrated exposimeters, in contrast to earlier studies which employed single, non-on-body calibrated exposimeters; ii) to systematically evaluate the performance of the exposimeters using (on-body) calibration and cross-talk measurements; and iii) to compare the exposure levels measured for one site in each of several selected microenvironments in the two countries. A human subject took part in an on-body calibration of the exposimeter in an anechoic chamber. The same subject collected data on personal exposures across 38 microenvironments (19 in each country) situated in urban, suburban and rural regions. Median personal RF-EMF exposures were estimated: i) of all microenvironments, and ii) across each microenvironment, in two countries. The exposures were then compared across similar microenvironments in two countries (17 in each country). The three highest median total exposure levels were: city center (4.33V/m), residential outdoor (urban) (0.75V/m), and a park (0.75V/m) [Australia]; and a tram station (1.95V/m), city center (0.95V/m), and a park (0.90V/m) [Belgium]. The exposures across nine microenvironments in Melbourne, Australia were lower than the exposures across corresponding microenvironments in Ghent, Belgium (p<0.05). The personal exposures across urban microenvironments were higher than those for rural or suburban microenvironments. Similarly, the exposure levels across outdoor microenvironments were higher than those for indoor microenvironments.

Findings Not Applicable to Bioeffects
Status Completed With Publication
Principal Investigator Swinburn U and Monash U, Australia -
Funding Agency NHMRC, Australia
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  • Inyang, I et al. J Exp Sci Environ Epidemiol., (2008) 18:134-141
  • Bhatt, CR et al. Australas Phys Eng Sci Med., (2016) 39:29-42
  • Bhatt, CR et al. Environ Res, (2016) 151:547-563
  • Bhatt, CR et al. Phys Eng Sci Med., (2022) :-
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