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Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/S41370-021-00287-8

Radio-frequency electromagnetic field exposure and contribution of sources in the general population: an organ-specific integrative exposure assessment.

02 Mar 2021-Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology (Springer Science and Business Media LLC)-Vol. 31, Iss: 6, pp 999-1007
Abstract: In order to achieve an integrated radio-frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) dose assessment, detailed information about source-specific exposure duration and output power is needed. We developed an Integrated Exposure Model (IEM) to combine energy absorbed due to use of and exposure to RF-EMF sources and applied it to a sample of the general population to derive population RF-EMF estimates. The IEM used specific absorption rate transfer algorithms to provide RF-EMF daily dose estimates (mJ/kg/day) using source-specific attributes (e.g. output power, distance), personal characteristics and usage patterns. Information was obtained from an international survey performed in four European countries with 1755 participants. We obtained median whole-body and whole-brain doses of 183.7 and 204.4 mJ/kg/day. Main contributors to whole-brain dose were mobile phone near the head for calling (2G networks) and far-field sources, whereas the latter together with multiple other RF-EMF sources were main contributors for whole-body dose. For other anatomical sites, 2G phone calls, mobile data and far-field exposure were important contributors. The IEM provides insight into main contributors to total RF-EMF dose and, applied to an international survey, provides an estimate of population RF-dose. The IEM can be used in future epidemiological studies, risk assessments and exposure reduction strategies.

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Topics: Population (54%), Exposure assessment (53%)
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7 results found


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.ENVINT.2020.105808
Alba Cabré-Riera1, Hanan El Marroun2, Ryan L. Muetzel2, Luuk van Wel3  +16 moreInstitutions (7)
Abstract: Objective To assess the association between estimated whole-brain and lobe-specific radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) doses, using an improved integrated RF-EMF exposure model, and brain volumes in preadolescents at 9–12 years old. Methods Cross-sectional analysis in preadolescents aged 9–12 years from the Generation R Study, a population-based birth cohort set up in Rotterdam, The Netherlands (n = 2592). An integrated exposure model was used to estimate whole-brain and lobe-specific RF-EMF doses (mJ/kg/day) from different RF-EMF sources including mobile and Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) phone calls, other mobile phone uses than calling, tablet use, laptop use, and far-field sources. Whole-brain and lobe-specific RF-EMF doses were estimated for all RF-EMF sources together (i.e. overall) and for three groups of RF-EMF sources that lead to a different pattern of RF-EMF exposure. Information on brain volumes was extracted from magnetic resonance imaging scans. Results Estimated overall whole-brain RF-EMF dose was 84.3 mJ/kg/day. The highest overall lobe-specific dose was estimated in the temporal lobe (307.1 mJ/kg/day). Whole-brain and lobe-specific RF-EMF doses from all RF-EMF sources together, from mobile and DECT phone calls, and from far-field sources were not associated with global, cortical, or subcortical brain volumes. However, a higher whole-brain RF-EMF dose from mobile phone use for internet browsing, e-mailing, and text messaging, tablet use, and laptop use while wirelessly connected to the internet was associated with a smaller caudate volume. Conclusions Our results suggest that estimated whole-brain and lobe-specific RF-EMF doses were not related to brain volumes in preadolescents at 9–12 years old. Screen activities with mobile communication devices while wirelessly connected to the internet lead to low RF-EMF dose to the brain and our observed association may thus rather reflect effects of social or individual factors related to these specific uses of mobile communication devices. However, we cannot discard residual confounding, chance finding, or reverse causality. Further studies on mobile communication devices and their potential negative associations with brain development are warranted, regardless whether associations are due to RF-EMF exposure or to other factors related to their use.

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Topics: Population (52%)

7 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.ENVRES.2020.110505
Laura Ellen Birks1, Luuk van Wel2, Ilaria Liorni3, Livia Pierotti1  +21 moreInstitutions (10)
Abstract: Background: Little is known about radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF) from mobile technology and resulting dose in young people. We describe modeled integrated RF dose in European children and adolescents combining own mobile device use and surrounding sources. Methods: Using an integrated RF model, we estimated the daily RF dose in the brain (whole-brain, cerebellum, frontal lobe, midbrain, occipital lobe, parietal lobe, temporal lobes) and the whole-body in 8358 children (ages 8–12) and adolescents (ages 14–18) from the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland during 2012–2016. The integrated model estimated RF dose from near-field sources (digital enhanced communication technology (DECT) phone, mobile phone, tablet, and laptop) and far-field sources (mobile phone base stations via 3D-radiowave modeling or RF measurements). Results: Adolescents were more frequent mobile phone users and experienced higher modeled RF doses in the whole-brain (median 330.4 mJ/kg/day) compared to children (median 81.8 mJ/kg/day). Children spent more time using tablets or laptops compared to adolescents, resulting in higher RF doses in the whole-body (median whole-body dose of 81.8 mJ/kg/day) compared to adolescents (41.9 mJ/kg/day). Among brain regions, temporal lobes received the highest RF dose (medians of 274.9 and 1786.5 mJ/kg/day in children and adolescents, respectively) followed by the frontal lobe. In most children and adolescents, calling on 2G networks was the main contributor to RF dose in the whole-brain (medians of 31.1 and 273.7 mJ/kg/day, respectively). Conclusion: This first large study of RF dose to the brain and body of children and adolescents shows that mobile phone calls on 2G networks are the main determinants of brain dose, especially in temporal and frontal lobes, whereas whole-body doses were mostly determined by tablet and laptop use. The modeling of RF doses provides valuable input to epidemiological research and to potential risk management regarding RF exposure in young people.

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6 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1515/REVEH-2021-0038
Dariusz Leszczynski1Institutions (1)
Abstract: Part of the population considers themselves as sensitive to the man-made electromagnetic radiation (EMF) emitted by powerlines, electric wiring, electric home appliance and the wireless communication devices and networks. Sensitivity is characterized by a broad variety of non-specific symptoms that the sensitive people claim to experience when exposed to EMF. While the experienced symptoms are currently considered as a real life impairment, the factor causing these symptoms remains unclear. So far, scientists were unable to find causality link between symptoms experienced by sensitive persons and the exposures to EMF. However, as presented in this review, the executed to-date scientific studies, examining sensitivity to EMF, are of poor quality to find the link between EMF exposures and sensitivity symptoms of some people. It is logical to consider that the sensitivity to EMF exists but the scientific methodology used to find it is of insufficient quality. It is time to drop out psychology driven provocation studies that ask about feelings-based non-specific symptoms experienced by volunteers under EMF exposure. Such research approach produces only subjective and therefore highly unreliable data that is insufficient to prove, or to disprove, causality link between EHS and EMF. There is a need for a new direction in studying sensitivity to EMF. The basis for it is the notion of a commonly known phenomenon of individual sensitivity, where individuals' responses to EMF depend on the genetic and epigenetic properties of the individual. It is proposed here that new studies, combining provocation approach, where volunteers are exposed to EMF, and high-throughput technologies of transcriptomics and proteomics are used to generate objective data, detecting molecular level biochemical responses of human body to EMF.

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Topics: Population (51%)

4 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.ENVINT.2021.106852
Martin Röösli1, Stefan Dongus1, Hamed Jalilian2, Maria Feychting3  +5 moreInstitutions (5)
Abstract: Background Applications emitting radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF; 100 kHz to 300 GHz) are widely used for communication (e.g. mobile phones), in medicine (diathermy) and in industry (RF heaters). Concern has been raised that RF-EMF exposure affects health related quality of life, because a part of the population reports to experience a variety of symptoms related to low exposure levels below regulatory limits. Objectives To systematically review the effects of longer-term or repeated local and whole human body RF-EMF exposure on the occurrence of symptoms evaluating migraine, tinnitus, headaches, sleep disturbances and composite symptom scores as primary outcomes. Methods We will follow the WHO handbook for guideline development. For the development of the systematic review protocol we considered handbook for conducting systematic reviews for health effects evaluations from the National Toxicology Program-Office of Health Assessment and Translation (NTP-OHAT) and COSTER (Recommendations for the conduct of systematic reviews in toxicology and environmental health research). Eligibility criteria Peer-reviewed epidemiological studies in the general population or workers aiming to investigate the association between local or whole-body RF-EMF exposure for at least one week and symptoms are eligible for inclusion. Only cohort, case-control and panel studies will be included. Information sources We will search the scientific literature databases Medline, Web of Science, PsycInfo, Cochrane Library, Epistemonikos and Embase, using a predefined search strategy. This search will be supplemented by a search in the EMF-Portal and checks of reference lists of relevant papers and reviews. Study appraisal and synthesis method Data from included papers will be extracted according to predefined forms. Findings will be summarized in tables, graphical displays and in a narrative synthesis of the available evidence, complemented with meta-analyses. We will separately review effects of local, far field and occupational exposure. Risk of bias The internal validity of included studies will be assessed using the NTP-OHAT Risk of Bias Rating Tool for Human and Animal Studies, elaborated to observational RF-EMF studies. Evidence appraisal To rate certainty of the evidence, we will use the OHAT GRADE-based approach for epidemiological studies. Framework and funding This protocol concerns one of the ten different systematic reviews considered in a larger systematic review of the World Health Organization to assess potential health effects of exposure to RF-EMF in the general and working population. Registration PROSPERO CRD42021239432.

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Topics: Systematic review (63%), Cochrane Library (54%), Population (54%) ... show more

1 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.ENVRES.2021.112291
Abstract: Objective To investigate the association of estimated all-day and evening whole-brain radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) doses with sleep disturbances and objective sleep measures in preadolescents. Methods We included preadolescents aged 9–12 years from two population-based birth cohorts, the Dutch Generation R Study (n = 974) and the Spanish INfancia y Medio Ambiente Project (n = 868). All-day and evening overall whole-brain RF-EMF doses (mJ/kg/day) were estimated for several RF-EMF sources including mobile and Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) phone calls (named phone calls), other mobile phone uses, tablet use, laptop use (named screen activities), and far-field sources. We also estimated all-day and evening whole-brain RF-EMF doses in these three groups separately (i.e. phone calls, screen activities, and far-field). The Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children was completed by mothers to assess sleep disturbances. Wrist accelerometers together with sleep diaries were used to measure sleep characteristics objectively for 7 consecutive days. Results All-day whole-brain RF-EMF doses were not associated with self-reported sleep disturbances and objective sleep measures. Regarding evening doses, preadolescents with high evening whole-brain RF-EMF dose from phone calls had a shorter total sleep time compared to preadolescents with zero evening whole-brain RF-EMF dose from phone calls [-11.9 min (95%CI -21.2; −2.5)]. Conclusions Our findings suggest the evening as a potentially relevant window of RF-EMF exposure for sleep. However, we cannot exclude that observed associations are due to the activities or reasons motivating the phone calls rather than the RF-EMF exposure itself or due to chance finding.

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Topics: Evening (60%), Sleep disorder (57%), Population (51%)

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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1007/S10654-007-9152-Z
Abstract: The very rapid worldwide increase in mobile phone use in the last decade has generated considerable interest in the possible health effects of exposure to radio frequency (RF) fields. A multinational case-control study, INTERPHONE, was set-up to investigate whether mobile phone use increases the risk of cancer and, more specifically, whether the RF fields emitted by mobile phones are carcinogenic. The study focused on tumours arising in the tissues most exposed to RF fields from mobile phones: glioma, meningioma, acoustic neurinoma and parotid gland tumours. In addition to a detailed history of mobile phone use, information was collected on a number of known and potential risk factors for these tumours. The study was conducted in 13 countries. Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the UK using a common core protocol. This paper describes the study design and methods and the main characteristics of the study population. INTERPHONE is the largest case-control study to date investigating risks related to mobile phone use and to other potential risk factors for the tumours of interest and includes 2,765 glioma, 2,425 meningioma, 1,121 acoustic neurinoma, 109 malignant parotid gland tumour cases and 7,658 controls. Particular attention was paid to estimating the amount and direction of potential recall and participation biases and their impact on the study results.

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Topics: Population (52%), Mobile phone (50%)

267 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1002/BEM.20552
Alfred Bürgi, Patrizia Frei1, Gaston Theis, Evelyn Mohler1  +5 moreInstitutions (2)
Abstract: We present a geospatial model to predict the radiofrequency electromagnetic field from fixed site transmitters for use in epidemiological exposure assessment. The proposed model extends an existing model toward the prediction of indoor exposure, that is, at the homes of potential study participants. The model is based on accurate operation parameters of all stationary transmitters of mobile communication base stations, and radio broadcast and television transmitters for an extended urban and suburban region in the Basel area (Switzerland). The model was evaluated by calculating Spearman rank correlations and weighted Cohen's kappa (kappa) statistics between the model predictions and measurements obtained at street level, in the homes of volunteers, and in front of the windows of these homes. The correlation coefficients of the numerical predictions with street level measurements were 0.64, with indoor measurements 0.66, and with window measurements 0.67. The kappa coefficients were 0.48 (95%-confidence interval: 0.35-0.61) for street level measurements, 0.44 (95%-CI: 0.32-0.57) for indoor measurements, and 0.53 (95%-CI: 0.42-0.65) for window measurements. Although the modeling of shielding effects by walls and roofs requires considerable simplifications of a complex environment, we found a comparable accuracy of the model for indoor and outdoor points.

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84 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1002/BEM.21782
Abstract: A framework for the combination of near-field (NF) and far-field (FF) radio frequency electromagnetic exposure sources to the average organ and whole-body specific absorption rates (SARs) is presented. As a reference case, values based on numerically derived SARs for whole-body and individual organs and tissues are combined with realistic exposure data, which have been collected using personal exposure meters during the Swiss Qualifex study. The framework presented can be applied to any study region where exposure data is collected by appropriate measurement equipment. Based on results derived from the data for the region of Basel, Switzerland, the relative importance of NF and FF sources to the personal exposure is examined for three different study groups. The results show that a 24-h whole-body averaged exposure of a typical mobile phone user is dominated by the use of his or her own mobile phone when a Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) 900 or GSM 1800 phone is used. If only Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) phones are used, the user would experience a lower exposure level on average caused by the lower average output power of UMTS phones. Data presented clearly indicate the necessity of collecting band-selective exposure data in epidemiological studies related to electromagnetic fields. Bioelectromagnetics 34:366-374, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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Topics: GSM (53%), Mobile phone (51%)

71 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1109/TEMC.2013.2252353
Markus G. Kuhn1Institutions (1)
Abstract: This study attempts to characterize the radiated compromising emanations from four typical television sets with liquid-crystal display (LCD), in particular the predictability of format and timing parameters. Three were found to emit clear ultrahigh frequency radio signals visually related to the displayed image, from the display controller or its low-voltage differential signaling link to the LCD panel. Although the input signals to all four products followed the same TV standard, the timing parameters of their emanations differed substantially. Some also frequency-modulate their pixel clock to improve compliance with electromagnetic-interference limits. All digitally rescale the input image to the respective display size. The frame rate at which the display panel is driven is, if at all, only loosely phase locked to the input signal. These observations have implications for eavesdroppers, for the design of test standards to limit compromising emanations from video displays, and for the practicality of detecting the mere presence of an active television receiver by correlating the emanations of the circuitry driving its display panel with a known broadcast TV input signal.

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Topics: Noise (video) (53%), Analog television (52%), Display size (51%) ... show more

70 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.PBIOMOLBIO.2012.10.002
Wout Joseph1, Daan Pareit1, Günter Vermeeren1, Dries Naudts1  +3 moreInstitutions (1)
Abstract: Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) are commonly deployed in various environments. The WLAN data packets are not transmitted continuously but often worst-case exposure of WLAN is assessed, assuming 100% activity and leading to huge overestimations. Actual duty cycles of WLAN are thus of importance for time-averaging of exposure when checking compliance with international guidelines on limiting adverse health effects. In this paper, duty cycles of WLAN using Wi-Fi technology are determined for exposure assessment on large scale at 179 locations for different environments and activities (file transfer, video streaming, audio, surfing on the internet, etc.). The median duty cycle equals 1.4% and the 95th percentile is 10.4% (standard deviation SD = 6.4%). Largest duty cycles are observed in urban and industrial environments. For actual applications, the theoretical upper limit for the WLAN duty cycle is 69.8% and 94.7% for maximum and minimum physical data rate, respectively. For lower data rates, higher duty cycles will occur. Although counterintuitive at first sight, poor WLAN connections result in higher possible exposures. File transfer at maximum data rate results in median duty cycles of 47.6% (SD = 16%), while it results in median values of 91.5% (SD = 18%) at minimum data rate. Surfing and audio streaming are less intensively using the wireless medium and therefore have median duty cycles lower than 3.2% (SD = 0.5–7.5%). For a specific example, overestimations up to a factor 8 for electric fields occur, when considering 100% activity compared to realistic duty cycles.

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Topics: Duty cycle (55%)

59 Citations


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