EMF Health-effects Research

Calculation of change in brain temperatures due to exposure to a mobile phone

Van Leeuwen GM, Lagendijk JJ, Van Leersum BJ, Zwamborn AP, Hornsleth SN, Kotte AN

Phys Med Biol 44(10):2367-2379, 1999

In this study we evaluated for a realistic head model the 3D temperature rise induced by a mobile phone. This was done numerically with the consecutive use of an FDTD model to predict the absorbed electromagnetic power distribution, and a thermal model describing bioheat transfer both by conduction and by blood flow.

We calculated a maximum rise in brain temperature of 0.11 degrees C for an antenna with an average emitted power of 0.25 W, the maximum value in common mobile phones, and indefinite exposure. Maximum temperature rise is at the skin.

The power distributions were characterized by a maximum averaged SAR over an arbitrarily shaped 10 g volume of approximately 1.6 W kg(-1).

Although these power distributions are not in compliance with all proposed safety standards, temperature rises are far too small to have lasting effects. We verified our simulations by measuring the skin temperature rise experimentally. Our simulation method can be instrumental in further development of safety standards.

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