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Radio-frequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure levels in different European outdoor urban environments in comparison with regulatory limits

Urbinello, Damiano and Joseph, Wout and Huss, Anke and Verloock, Leen and Beekhuizen, Johan and Vermeulen, Roel and Martens, Luc and Röösli, Martin. (2014) Radio-frequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure levels in different European outdoor urban environments in comparison with regulatory limits. Environment international, 68. pp. 49-54.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6263162

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Abstract

Concerns of the general public about potential adverse health effects caused by radio-frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) led authorities to introduce precautionary exposure limits, which vary considerably between regions. It may be speculated that precautionary limits affect the base station network in a manner that mean population exposure unintentionally increases.; The objectives of this multicentre study were to compare mean exposure levels in outdoor areas across four different European cities and to compare with regulatory RF-EMF exposure levels in the corresponding areas.; We performed measurements in the cities of Amsterdam (the Netherlands, regulatory limits for mobile phone base station frequency bands: 41-61V/m), Basel (Switzerland, 4-6V/m), Ghent (Belgium, 3-4.5V/m) and Brussels (Belgium, 2.9-4.3V/m) using a portable measurement device. Measurements were conducted in three different types of outdoor areas (central and non-central residential areas and downtown), between 2011 and 2012 at 12 different days. On each day, measurements were taken every 4s for approximately 15 to 30min per area. Measurements per urban environment were repeated 12 times during 1year.; Arithmetic mean values for mobile phone base station exposure ranged between 0.22V/m (Basel) and 0.41V/m (Amsterdam) in all outdoor areas combined. The 95th percentile for total RF-EMF exposure varied between 0.46V/m (Basel) and 0.82V/m (Amsterdam) and the 99th percentile between 0.81V/m (Basel) and 1.20V/m (Brussels).; All exposure levels were far below international reference levels proposed by ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection). Our study did not find indications that lowering the regulatory limit results in higher mobile phone base station exposure levels.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Environmental Exposures and Health > Physical Hazards and Health (Röösli)
UniBasel Contributors:Röösli, Martin
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0160-4120
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:27 Oct 2017 08:43
Deposited On:15 Aug 2014 07:16

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