EMF Health-effects Research

Frequency spectra from current vs, magnetic flux density measurements for mobile phones and other electrical appliances.

Straume A, Johnsson A, Oftedal G, WilÚn J

Health Phys, 93(4):279-287, 2007


The frequency spectra of electromagnetic fields have to be determined to evaluate human exposure in accordance to ICNIRP guidelines. In the literature, comparisons with magnetic field guidelines have been performed by using the frequency distribution of the current drawn from the battery.

In the present study we compared the frequency spectrum in the range 217 Hz to 2.4 kHz of the magnetic flux density measured near the surface of a mobile phone with the frequency spectrum of the supply current. By using the multiple frequency rule, recommended in the ICNIRP guidelines, we estimated the magnetic field exposure in the two cases.

Similar measurements and estimations were done for an electric drill, a hair dryer, and a fluorescent desk lamp. All the devices have a basic frequency of 50 Hz, and the frequency spectra were evaluated up to 550 Hz. We also mapped the magnetic field in 3D around three mobile phones.

The frequency distributions obtained from the two measurement methods are not equal. The frequency content of the current leads to an overestimation of the magnetic field exposure by a factor up to 2.2 for the mobile phone. For the drill, the hair dryer, and the fluorescent lamp, the supply current signal underestimated the exposure by a factor up to 2.3. In conclusion, an accurate exposure evaluation requires the magnetic flux density spectrum of the device to be measured directly.

There was no indication that the devices studied would exceed the reference levels at the working distances normally used.



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