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Radiat Environ Biophys. 2012 Mar;51(1):85-92. doi: 10.1007/s00411-011-0389-2. Epub 2011 Oct 1.

Residential characteristics and radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposures from bedroom measurements in Germany.

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Department of Epidemiology and International Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Bielefeld University, POB 10 01 31, 33501, Bielefeld, Germany.


The objectives of this study were to assess total exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) in bedrooms and the contribution of different radioservices (FM radio, analogue TV and DVB-T, TETRA, GSM900 downlink, GSM1800 downlink, UMTS downlink, DECT, and wireless LAN and blue tooth) to the total exposure. Additional aims were to describe the proportion of measuring values above the detection limit of the dosimeters and to characterize the differences in exposure patterns associated with self-reported residential characteristics. Exposure to RF sources in bedrooms was measured using Antennessa(®) EME Spy 120 dosimeters in 1,348 households in Germany; 280 measures were available for each frequency band per household. Mean electrical field strengths and power flux densities were calculated. Power flux densities allow the calculation of proportions of different radioservices on total exposure. Exposure was often below the detection limit (electrical field strength: 0.05 V/m) of the dosimeter. Total exposure varied, depending on residential characteristics (urban vs. rural areas and floor of a building the measurement took place). Major sources of exposure were cordless phones (DECT standard) and wireless LAN/blue tooth contributing about 82% of total exposure (20.5 μW/m(2)). Exposure to RF-EMF is ubiquitous, but exposure levels are-if at all measurable-very low and far below the ICNIRP's exposure reference levels.

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