Pascal De Giudici, Jean-Christian Genier, Sylvie Martin, Jean-François Doré, Pierre Ducimetière, Anne-Sophie Evrard, Thierry Letertre, Claire Ségala,
Radiofrequency exposure of people living near mobile-phone base stations in France, Environmental Research, 2020, 110500, ISSN 0013-9351


Mobile-phone base stations antennas are the dominant source of exposure to electromagnetic fields in surrounding housing.
Indoor exposure was influenced by the position of the windows with respect to the antenna and the floor of the building.
Personal electric field measurements showed higher values during trips than at home.
Personal electric field measurements were higher during the day but not different between working days and weekends.
Exposure quantified by spot and personal measurements was strongly correlated

“In the framework of an epidemiological study, such spot measurements were implemented in the homes of 354 participants located in urban areas within 250 m of a mobile-phone base station (MPBS) and in the main beam direction of the antenna. Among the participants, more than half accepted to be enrolled in a longer-term study, among whom 152 were equipped with a personal exposure meter (PEM) for 48 h and 40 for seven continuous days. Both spot and PEM measurements quantified downlink field strengths, i.e. FM, TV3-4-5, TETRA I-II-III, 2 GHz–5GHz Wi-Fi, WiMax, GSM900, GSM1800, UMTS900, UMTS 2100, LTE800, LTE1800, and LTE2600.”

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“Spot measurements showed a mean/median field strength of 0.58/0.44 V/m for total RF-EMF and 0.43/0.27 V/m from the MPBS. RF-EMF from the MPBS was the dominant source of exposure in 64% of households. Exposure to RF-EMF was influenced by the position of the windows with respect to the MPBS, in particular line-of-site visibility, the distance of the antenna and the floor of the apartment. The PEM surveys showed the measured exposure to be higher during outings than at home and during the day than at night, but there was no difference between the weekends and working days. There was a strong correlation between exposure quantified by both spot and PEM measurements, although spot measures were approximately three times higher than those by PEMs.”

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“This study is the first to assess exposure to RF-EMF of people living near a MPBS in urban areas in France. These preliminary results suggest the value of using spot measurements to estimate the impact of the evolution of the mobile-phone network and technology on the exposure of populations to RF-EMF. The low levels of RF-RMF expressed as mean values do not necessarily rule out possible health effects of this exposure.”

“5. Conclusion

This study is the first to assess the exposure of people living near a MPBS to RF-EMF in urban areas in France. It shows a significant contribution of MPBSs in the exposure of urban citizens to RF-EMF and that exposure levels are far below the exposure limits recommended by the ICNIRP for heating. Because of the variation of field strengths within housing, spot measurements made according to the French standard protocol of the ANFR aim to estimate the maximal exposure of inhabitants staying at home. On the other hand, exposure measured by PEMs may be underestimated because of body shielding and other sources of uncertainty. However, spot measurements of maximal exposure can be a reliable method to estimate the impact of the evolution of mobile-phone networks and technology on exposure of the population to RF-EMF. Nevertheless, the anticipated development of the 5G network will entail a new protocol for future measurement of exposure to RF-EMF.”

Share Source: Environmental Health Trust