Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Phys Med Biol. 2011 Aug 7;56(15):4967-89. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/56/15/020. Epub 2011 Jul 19.

Children and adults exposed to electromagnetic fields at the ICNIRP reference levels: theoretical assessment of the induced peak temperature increase.

Author information

  • 1Erasmus MC-Daniel den Hoed Cancer Center, Department of Radiation Oncology, Section Hyperthermia, PO Box 5201, NL-3008 AE, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


To avoid potentially adverse health effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF), the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has defined EMF reference levels. Restrictions on induced whole-body-averaged specific absorption rate (SAR(wb)) are provided to keep the whole-body temperature increase (T(body, incr)) under 1 °C during 30 min. Additional restrictions on the peak 10 g spatial-averaged SAR (SAR(10g)) are provided to prevent excessive localized tissue heating. The objective of this study is to assess the localized peak temperature increase (T(incr, max)) in children upon exposure at the reference levels. Finite-difference time-domain modeling was used to calculate T(incr, max) in six children and two adults exposed to orthogonal plane-wave configurations. We performed a sensitivity study and Monte Carlo analysis to assess the uncertainty of the results. Considering the uncertainties in the model parameters, we found that a peak temperature increase as high as 1 °C can occur for worst-case scenarios at the ICNIRP reference levels. Since the guidelines are deduced from temperature increase, we used T(incr, max) as being a better metric to prevent excessive localized tissue heating instead of localized peak SAR. However, we note that the exposure time should also be considered in future guidelines. Hence, we advise defining limits on T(incr, max) for specified durations of exposure.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for IOP Publishing Ltd.
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk