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Dosimetry and exposure assessment

Cumulative exposure in time and frequency domains of the central nervous system

Public exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMF) has increased dramatically during the last 15 years. Of special interest is the exposure of the central nervous system (CNS), as some evidence suggests that the CNS may be adversely affected by non-ionising radiation (NIR). Whereas considerable knowledge has been acquired in the last decade to determine maximum exposure during mobile phone usage, little is known about CNS exposure from mobile phones and other RF EMF sources in everyday life.

The aim of the project is to determine the cumulative exposure of the CNS to RF EMF from near-field and far-field sources. The study will cover the frequency range from 30 MHz to 6 GHz, thus comprising current and foreseeable future devices and sources such as transmitters, mobile and cordless phones, wireless LAN and Bluetooth. In addition, other factors that affect exposure, such as communication technology, user behaviour and environment, will also be considered for a realistic assessment of exposure to RF EMF over time. Since the general public is not uniformly exposed to RF EMF, the study will distinguish different user types, for example, non-users and extensive users of mobile phones.

The study will provide comprehensive information about the cumulative exposure of the CNS to the most prominent RF EMF sources in everyday life. This information can be used in epidemiological studies investigating potential adverse health effects due to RF EMF. It is also crucial for institutions and agencies to appropriately weigh the experimental evidence about CNS effects with respect to the general population and to develop suitable recommendations for exposure reductions.

Duration: 36 months
Grant: CHF 266970.--

Prof. Dr. Niels Kuster
IT'IS Foundation for Research on Information Technology in Society
Zeughausstrasse 43
CH-8004 Zurich

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