Thursday, December 04, 2014

Exposure to electromagnetic fields in households—Trends from 2006 to 2012

Exposure to electromagnetic fields in households—Trends from 2006 to 2012

Tomitsch J, Dechant E. Exposure to electromagnetic fields in households—Trends from 2006 to 2012. Bioelectromagnetics. 2014 Nov 24. doi: 10.1002/bem.21887. [Epub ahead of print]

AbstractThis article is a follow-up study of extremely low-frequency electric and magnetic fields (ELF-EFs, ELF-MFs) and radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) using data collected in 2012 following earlier data sets from 2006 and 2009. 

Measurements were conducted in 219 bedrooms in Lower Austria. Out of these rooms 113 measurements were done in the same households in 2006, 2009 and 2012, and 106 were conducted in neighbouring buildings added in 2009 and newly recruited buildings in mainly urban areas in 2012. 

In revisited places the median of the ELF-EFs decreased from 23.20 V/m in 2006 to 13.90 V/m in 2012. The median of all-night measurements of ELF-MFs at 50 Hz decreased from 13.50 to 11.37 nT. The median of total RF-EMFs increased from 28.13 to 52.16 µW/m2 . Highest increases were found for universal mobile telecommunication system (UMTS) and wireless local area networks (WLAN). The analysis of all households showed higher total RF-EMFs in urban (median = 117.73 µW/m2 ) than in rural (median = 34.52 µW/m2 ) areas. Long-term evolution (LTE) in the 2600 MHz frequency range was detected at 17 locations with a maximum of 38.20 µW/m2 . 

Indoor RF-EMF sources resulted in decreased exposure in the frequency range of digital enhanced cordless telecommunications telephones (DECT) and increased exposure.

ExcerptsBoth the equipment and the protocol for measurements were the same as applied in 2006 [Tomitsch et al., 2010] and 2009 [Tomitsch and Dechant, 2012]. Spot measurements were conducted during daytime. Additionally, ELF-MFs were recorded during night. 

Measurements were done at bedside as this is the location at which people spend the largest proportion of their lifetime and since it is considered a place for recreation. Data were collected from April 2012 to November 2012.

Extremely low-frequency electric fields (ELF-EFs) were assessed at nine positions on the bed ...

Short-term ELF-MFs were measured at 50–2000 Hz (electric power supply) at nine positions on the bed by using a three-dimensional field probe (Mlog 3D, Merkel, Maintal, Germany) ...RF-EMFs were measured using the swivel method by spectrum analyser (MT8220A, Anritsu, Morgan Hill, CA) and two biconical antennas (SBA 9113 and BBVU9135 + UBAA9114, Schwarzbeck, Schönau, Germany) to cover the whole frequency range listed in Table 2 ...

ConclusionELF-EFs and ELF-MFs of power supply decreased from 2006 to 2009 and 2012 due to measures to reduce EMFs. In 70 out of 219 cases, indoor devices were responsible for at least 50% of the RF-EMFs. This shows that EMFs can be reduced by applying simple actions by household residents, which should be done in respect to the precautionary principle. Mobile phone downlink signals increased over the observed period. The highest increase occurred in UMTS but also in GSM900. LTE in the 2600 MHz range is not widely spread in Lower Austria yet and presents lower power flux densities than the other mobile phone technologies.--Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., DirectorCenter for Family and Community HealthSchool of Public HealthUniversity of California, BerkeleyElectromagnetic Radiation SafetyWebsite:              http://www.saferemr.comFacebook:   Releases:                 @berkeleyprc

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