EMF Health-effects Research

Personal digital assistant (PDA) cell phone units produce elevated extremely-low frequency electromagnetic field emissions,

Sage C, Johansson O, Sage SA

Bioelectromagnetics, Mar 13 2007

[Epub ahead of print]

Initial tests indicate that personal and occupational use of personal digital assistants (PDAs or palm-held wireless units) produce high intensity bursts of extremely-low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF). These emissions could result in comparatively high ELF-EMF exposure in persons that carry a PDA close to the body (i.e., in a pocket or on a belt); or held to the head for cell phone conversations.

ELF-EMF emissions of 10 microT were recorded on PDAs during normal office use over a 24 h test period. Results of ELF-EMF measurements show that email transmit and receive functions produce rapid, short-duration ELF-EMF spikes in the 2-10 microT range, each lasting several seconds to over a minute apparently depending on file download size. Some units produced spikes as high as 30-60 microT during email activities.

Cell phone activity on PDAs produced continuously elevated ELF-EMF readings in the 0.5-1 microT range, as opposed to the rapid spiking pattern for email receipt and transmission. Switching the PDA unit from "OFF" to "ON" position resulted in single ELF-EMF pulses of over 90 microT on two units. Email downloads into the PDA can occur randomly throughout the day and night when the unit is "ON"; thus the user who wears the PDA may be receiving high-intensity ELF-EMF pulses throughout the day and night.

The frequency of email traffic on the PDA, and the power switching unit (battery unit) may affect the frequency and intensity of ELF-EMF emissions.

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