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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(5), 5338-5354; doi:10.3390/ijerph120505338

Radio Hazard Safety Assessment for Marine Ship Transmitters: Measurements Using a New Data Collection Method and Comparison with ICNIRP and ARPANSA Limits

Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia
Academic Editor: Martin Roosli
Received: 11 March 2015 / Revised: 4 May 2015 / Accepted: 6 May 2015 / Published: 19 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electromagnetic Fields and Health)
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Abstract

We investigated the levels of radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMFs) emitted from marine ship transmitters. In this study, we recorded the radio frequency (RF) electric field (EF) levels emitted from transmitters from a marine vessel focusing on the areas normally occupied by crew members and passengers. Previous studies considered radiation hazard safety assessment for marine vessels with a limited number of transmitters, such as very high-frequency (VHF) transceivers, radar and communication transmitters. In our investigation, EF levels from seven radio transmitters were measured, including: VHF, medium frequency/high frequency (MF/HF), satellite communication (Sat-Com C), AISnavigation, radar X-band and radar S-band. Measurements were carried out in a 40 m-long, three-level ship (upper deck, bridge deck and bridge roof) at 12 different locations. We developed a new data-collection protocol and performed it under 11 different scenarios to observe and measure the radiation emissions from all of the transmitters. In total, 528 EF field measurements were collected and averaged over all three levels of the marine ship with RF transmitters: the measured electric fields were the lowest on the upper deck (0.82–0.86 V/m), the highest on the bridge roof (2.15–3.70 V/m) and in between on the bridge deck (0.47–1.15 V/m). The measured EF levels were then assessed for compliance with the occupational and general public reference levels of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) standards. The ICNIRP and the ARPANSA limits for the general public were exceeded on the bridge roof; nevertheless, the occupational limits were respected everywhere. The measured EF levels, hence, complied with the ICNIRP guidelines and the ARPANSA standards. In this paper, we provide a new data collection model for future surveys, which could be conducted with larger samples to verify our observations. Furthermore, this new method could be useful as a reference for researchers and industry professionals without direct access to the necessary equipment. View Full-Text
Keywords: EMF; electric fields; radio hazard; ICNIRP limits; marine shipboard transmitters; exposure of general public EMF; electric fields; radio hazard; ICNIRP limits; marine shipboard transmitters; exposure of general public
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Halgamuge, M.N. Radio Hazard Safety Assessment for Marine Ship Transmitters: Measurements Using a New Data Collection Method and Comparison with ICNIRP and ARPANSA Limits. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 5338-5354.

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