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Characterisation of spatial and temporal variability of RF-EMF exposure levels in urban environments in Flanders, Belgium

Maarten Velghe (UGent) , Wout Joseph (UGent) , Senne Debouvere, Reza Aminzadeh (UGent) , Luc Martens (UGent) and Arno Thielens (UGent)
(2019) ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH. 175. p.351-366
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Abstract
Personal exposure to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (RF-EMFs) was studied using personal measurements in five different microenvironments in each of five cities (Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges and Hasselt) in Flanders, Belgium. These measurements were carried out by two researchers using on-body calibrated personal exposimeters. In three out of the five studied cities (Brussels, Ghent and Bruges), temporal aspects of personal exposure to RF-EMFs were studied as well. Measurements during and outside of rush hours (7:00-9:15 and 16:30-19:00) were compared. Likewise, measurements were executed during night time and compared to the ones measured during working hours. Representativeness and repeatability of the measurement method was studied as well. The highest mean total exposure was found in Brussels (2.63 mW/m(2)), the most densely populated city in this study. However, we measured higher downlink exposure in Antwerp than in Brussels, which might be an effect of the stronger legislation on base stations in Brussels. The measurements and used protocol were found to be both repeatable over time (r = 0.95 for median total exposure) and representative for the studied microenvironments in terms of path selection (r = 0.88 for median total exposure). Finally, in 10 out of the 13 on-body calibrated frequency bands we found that the measurement devices underestimate the intensity of the incident RF-EMFs with median underestimations up to 68%.
Keywords
ELECTROMAGNETIC-FIELD EXPOSURE, ON-BODY CALIBRATION, PERSONAL EXPOSURE, EXPOSIMETERS, AUSTRALIA, Radio-frequency electromagnetic fields, Personal exposure, Microenvironmental research

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Chicago
Velghe, Maarten, Wout Joseph, Senne Debouvere, Reza Aminzadeh, Luc Martens, and Arno Thielens. 2019. “Characterisation of Spatial and Temporal Variability of RF-EMF Exposure Levels in Urban Environments in Flanders, Belgium.” Environmental Research 175: 351–366.
APA
Velghe, M., Joseph, W., Debouvere, S., Aminzadeh, R., Martens, L., & Thielens, A. (2019). Characterisation of spatial and temporal variability of RF-EMF exposure levels in urban environments in Flanders, Belgium. ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, 175, 351–366.
Vancouver
1.
Velghe M, Joseph W, Debouvere S, Aminzadeh R, Martens L, Thielens A. Characterisation of spatial and temporal variability of RF-EMF exposure levels in urban environments in Flanders, Belgium. ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH. San diego: Academic Press Inc Elsevier Science; 2019;175:351–66.
MLA
Velghe, Maarten et al. “Characterisation of Spatial and Temporal Variability of RF-EMF Exposure Levels in Urban Environments in Flanders, Belgium.” ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH 175 (2019): 351–366. Print.
@article{8623636,
  abstract     = {Personal exposure to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (RF-EMFs) was studied using personal measurements in five different microenvironments in each of five cities (Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges and Hasselt) in Flanders, Belgium. These measurements were carried out by two researchers using on-body calibrated personal exposimeters. In three out of the five studied cities (Brussels, Ghent and Bruges), temporal aspects of personal exposure to RF-EMFs were studied as well. Measurements during and outside of rush hours (7:00-9:15 and 16:30-19:00) were compared. Likewise, measurements were executed during night time and compared to the ones measured during working hours. Representativeness and repeatability of the measurement method was studied as well. The highest mean total exposure was found in Brussels (2.63 mW/m(2)), the most densely populated city in this study. However, we measured higher downlink exposure in Antwerp than in Brussels, which might be an effect of the stronger legislation on base stations in Brussels. The measurements and used protocol were found to be both repeatable over time (r = 0.95 for median total exposure) and representative for the studied microenvironments in terms of path selection (r = 0.88 for median total exposure). Finally, in 10 out of the 13 on-body calibrated frequency bands we found that the measurement devices underestimate the intensity of the incident RF-EMFs with median underestimations up to 68%.},
  author       = {Velghe, Maarten and Joseph, Wout and Debouvere, Senne and Aminzadeh, Reza and Martens, Luc and Thielens, Arno},
  issn         = {0013-9351},
  journal      = {ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH},
  keywords     = {ELECTROMAGNETIC-FIELD EXPOSURE,ON-BODY CALIBRATION,PERSONAL EXPOSURE,EXPOSIMETERS,AUSTRALIA,Radio-frequency electromagnetic fields,Personal exposure,Microenvironmental research},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {351--366},
  publisher    = {Academic Press Inc Elsevier Science},
  title        = {Characterisation of spatial and temporal variability of RF-EMF exposure levels in urban environments in Flanders, Belgium},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.05.027},
  volume       = {175},
  year         = {2019},
}

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