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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(5), 5634-5656;

Development of an RF-EMF Exposure Surrogate for Epidemiologic Research

University of Basel, Petersplatz 1, CH-4003 Basel, Switzerland
ARIAS umwelt.forschung.beratung, Gutenbergstrasse 40B, CH-3011 Bern, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 18 March 2015 / Revised: 28 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 May 2015 / Published: 22 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electromagnetic Fields and Health)
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Exposure assessment is a crucial part in studying potential effects of RF-EMF. Using data from the HERMES study on adolescents, we developed an integrative exposure surrogate combining near-field and far-field RF-EMF exposure in a single brain and whole-body exposure measure. Contributions from far-field sources were modelled by propagation modelling and multivariable regression modelling using personal measurements. Contributions from near-field sources were assessed from both, questionnaires and mobile phone operator records. Mean cumulative brain and whole-body doses were 1559.7 mJ/kg and 339.9 mJ/kg per day, respectively. 98.4% of the brain dose originated from near-field sources, mainly from GSM mobile phone calls (93.1%) and from DECT phone calls (4.8%). Main contributors to the whole-body dose were GSM mobile phone calls (69.0%), use of computer, laptop and tablet connected to WLAN (12.2%) and data traffic on the mobile phone via WLAN (6.5%). The exposure from mobile phone base stations contributed 1.8% to the whole-body dose, while uplink exposure from other people’s mobile phones contributed 3.6%. In conclusion, the proposed approach is considered useful to combine near-field and far-field exposure to an integrative exposure surrogate for exposure assessment in epidemiologic studies. However, substantial uncertainties remain about exposure contributions from various near-field and far-field sources. View Full-Text
Keywords: exposure assessment; RF-EMF; mobile phone; adolescents; dose calculation exposure assessment; RF-EMF; mobile phone; adolescents; dose calculation

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Roser, K.; Schoeni, A.; Bürgi, A.; Röösli, M. Development of an RF-EMF Exposure Surrogate for Epidemiologic Research. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 5634-5656.

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