Luuk van Wel, Ilaria Liorni, Anke Huss, Arno Thielens, Joe Wiart, Wout Joseph, Martin Röösli, Milena Foerster, Amelie Massardier-Pilonchery, Myles Capstick, Elisabeth Cardis, and Roel Vermeulen, Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology 2021, online 02 March 2021; doi: 10.1038/s41370-021-00287-8
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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