EMF Health-effects Research

The effect of authentic metallic implants on the SAR distribution of the head exposed to 900, 1800 and 2450 MHz dipole near field,

Virtanen H, Keshvari J, Lappalainen R

Phys Med Biol, 52(5):1221-1236, 2007

As the use of radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic (EM) fields has increased along with increased use of wireless communication, the possible related health risks have also been widely discussed.

One safety aspect is the interaction of medical implants and RF devices like mobile phones. In the literature, effects on active implants like pacemakers have been discussed but the studies of passive metallic (i.e. conductive) implants are rare. However, some studies have shown that the EM power absorption in tissues may be enhanced due to metallic implants.

In this study, the effect of authentic passive metallic implants in the head region was examined. A half-wave dipole antenna was used as an exposure source and the specific absorption rate (SAR, W kg(-1)) in the near field was studied numerically. The idea was to model the presumably worst cases of most common implants in an accurate MRI-based phantom.

As exposure frequencies GSM (900 and 1800 MHz) and UMTS (2450 MHz) regions were considered. The implants studied were skull plates, fixtures, bone plates and ear rings. The results indicate that some of the implants, under very rare exposure conditions, may cause a notable enhancement in peak mass averaged SAR.

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