Publication Details

Zeleke, B. M., Brzozek, C., Bhatt, C. Raj., Abramson, M. J., Croft, R. J., Freudenstein, F., Wiedemann, P. & Benke, G. (2018). Personal Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields among Australian Adults. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15 (10), 2234-1-2234-10.


The measurement of personal exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) is important for epidemiological studies. RF-EMF exposure can be measured using personal exposimeters that register RF-EMFs over a wide range of frequency bands. This study aimed to measure and describe personal RF-EMF exposure levels from a wide range of frequency bands. Measurements were recorded from 63 participants over an average of 27.4 (±4.5) hours. RF-EMF exposure levels were computed for each frequency band, as well as from downlink (RF from mobile phone base station), uplink (RF from mobile phone handsets), broadcast, and Wi-Fi. Participants had a mean (±SD) age of 36.9 ± 12.5 years; 66.7% were women; and almost all (98.2%) from urban areas. A Wi-Fi router at home was reported by 61 participants (96.8%), with 38 (61.2%) having a Wi-Fi enabled smart TV. Overall, 26 (41.3%) participants had noticed the existence of a mobile phone base station in their neighborhood. On average, participants estimated the distance between the base station and their usual residence to be about 500 m. The median personal RF-EMF exposure was 208 mV/m. Downlink contributed 40.4% of the total RF-EMF exposure, followed by broadcast (22.4%), uplink (17.3%), and Wi-Fi (15.9%). RF-EMF exposure levels on weekdays were higher than weekends (p < 0.05). Downlink and broadcast are the main contributors to total RF-EMF personal exposure. Personal RF-EMF exposure levels vary according to day of the week and time of day.



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