Publication Details

Freudenstein, F., Wiedemann, P. & Brown, T. W. C. (2015). Exposure perception as a key indicator of risk perception and acceptance of sources of radio frequency electromagnetic fields. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2015 198272-1-198272-9.


The presented survey was conducted in six European countries as an online study. A total of 2454 subjects participated. Two main research questions were investigated: firstly, how does the cognitive, moral, and affective framing of radio frequency electromagnetic field (RF EMF) exposure perception influence RF EMF risk perception? Secondly, can the deployment of mobile phone base stations have greater acceptance with RF EMF exposure reduction? The findings with respect to the first question clearly indicated that the cognitive framed exposure perception is the main determinant of RF EMF risk perception. The concomitant sensitivity to exposure strength offers an opportunity to improve the acceptance of base stations by exposure reduction. A linear regression analysis supported this assumption: in a fictional test situation, exposure reduction improved the acceptance of base stations, operationalized as the requested distance of the base station from one's own home. Furthermore, subjects with high RF EMF risk perception were most sensitive to exposure reduction. On average, a 70% exposure reduction reduced the requested distance from about 2000 meters to 1000 meters. The consequences for risk communication are discussed.



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