Measuring personal exposure from 900 MHz mobile phone base stations in Australia and Belgium using a novel personal distributed exposimeter

Chhavi Raj Bhatt, Arno Thielens, Mary Redmayne, Michael J. Abramson, Baki Billah, Malcolm R. Sim, Roel Vermeulen, Luc Martens, Wout Joseph, Geza Benke

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The aims of this study were to: i) measure personal exposure in the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) 900 MHz downlink (DL) frequency band with two systems of exposimeters, a personal distributed exposimeter (PDE) and a pair of ExpoM-RFs, ii) compare the GSM 900 MHz DL exposures across various microenvironments in Australia and Belgium, and iii) evaluate the correlation between the PDE and ExpoM-RFs measurements. Personal exposure data were collected using the PDE and two ExpoM-RFs simultaneously across 34 microenvironments (17 each in Australia and Belgium) located in urban, suburban and rural areas. Summary statistics of the electric field strengths (V/m) were computed and compared across similar microenvironments in Australia and Belgium. The personal exposures across urban microenvironments were higher than those in the rural or suburban microenvironments. Likewise, the exposure levels across the outdoor were higher than those for indoor microenvironments. The five highest median exposure levels were: city centre (0.248 V/m), bus (0.124 V/m), railway station (0.105 V/m), mountain/forest (rural) (0.057 V/m), and train (0.055 V/m) [Australia]; and bicycle (urban) (0.238 V/m), tram station (0.238 V/m), city centre (0.156 V/m), residential outdoor (urban) (0.139 V/m) and park (0.124 V/m) [Belgium]. Exposures in the GSM 900 MHz frequency band across most of the microenvironments in Australia were significantly lower than the exposures across the microenvironments in Belgium. Overall correlations between the PDE and the ExpoM-RFs measurements were high. The measured exposure levels were far below the general public reference levels recommended in the guidelines of the ICNIRP and the ARPANSA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-397
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironment International
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

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