EMF Health-effects Research

Comparison of radio frequency energy absorption in ear and eye region of children and adults at 900, 1800 and 2450 MHz.

Keshvari J, Lang S.

Phys Med Biol. 50(18):4355-4369, 2005

The increasing use of mobile communication devices, especially mobile phones by children, has triggered discussions on whether there is a larger radio frequency (RF) energy absorption in the heads of children compared to that of adults.

The objective of this study was to clarify possible differences in RF energy absorption in the head region of children and adults using computational techniques. Using the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) computational method, a set of specific absorption rate (SAR) calculations were performed for anatomically correct adult and child head models. A half-wave dipole was used as an exposure source at 900, 1800 and 2450 MHz frequencies. The ear and eye regions were studied representing realistic exposure scenarios to current and upcoming mobile wireless communication devices. The differences in absorption were compared with the maximum energy absorption of the head model.

Four magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) based head models, one female, one adult, two child head models, aged 3 and 7 years, were used. The head models greatly differ from each other in terms of size, external shape and the internal anatomy. The same tissue dielectric parameters were applied for all models.

The analyses suggest that the SAR difference between adults and children is more likely caused by the general differences in the head anatomy and geometry of the individuals rather than age. It seems that the external shape of the head and the distribution of different tissues within the head play a significant role in the RF energy absorption.

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