Article

A comparison of foetal SAR in three sets of pregnant female models

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Abstract

This paper compares the foetal SAR in the HPA hybrid mathematical phantoms with the 26-week foetal model developed at the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Tokyo, and the set of 13-, 26- and 38-week boundary representation models produced at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. FDTD calculations are performed at a resolution of 2 mm for a plane wave with a vertically aligned electric field incident upon the body from the front, back and two sides from 20 MHz to 3 GHz under isolated conditions. The external electric field values required to produce the ICNIRP public exposure localized restriction of 2 W kg(-1) when averaged over 10 g of the foetus are compared with the ICNIRP reference levels.

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... This was attributed to the fact that the main contribution to SAR in the mother and fetus occurred through the central core of the body and not in the superficial layers at lower frequencies. The maternal cross-section was usually greater for the twin-pregnancy, and the position of the twin-fetal models was nearer the front surface of the abdominal extension, away from the core regions of the mother [Dimbylow et al., 2009]. For the fetuses weighing 1730 and 2110 g, the ratio of fetal WBSAR to basic restrictions was 0.07 and 0.09 (FIVP, 2100MHz, Varsier et al., 2014, respectively, at 2100 MHz. ...
... A significantly higher ratio for planewave exposure was observed, up to 8 folds at 80 MHz and 10 folds at 2100 MHz. It was greater than the results obtained for singleton by two folds [Dimbylow et al., 2009]. The effect may also be due to the previously mentioned shielding effect of the adjacent fetus. ...
... Researchers have scaled the fetal model to represent the standard parameters of various WG. Results indicated an increase in the dosimetric values along with WG for ELF MF exposure [Cech et al., 2007;Zupanic et al., 2007;Liorni et al., 2014], slightly increased while being stable after 20 WG, but in reserve direction for RF-EMF band [Dimbylow et al., 2009]. A 31-WG twin-fetal and a 32-WG twinfetal model were considered for the present study. ...
Article
Fetal development is vital in the human lifespan. Therefore, it is essential to characterize exposure by a series of typical environmental magnetic and electromagnetic fields. In particular, there has recently been a sharp increase in the twin birth rate. However, lack of appropriate models has prohibited dosimetric evaluation, restricting characterization of the impact of these environmental factors on twins. The present study developed two whole‐body pregnant models of 31 and 32 weeks of gestation with twin fetuses and explored several typical exposure scenarios, including 50‐Hz uniform magnetic field exposure, local 125‐kHz magnetic field (MF), and 13.56‐MHz electromagnetic field exposure, as well as wideband planewave radiofrequency (RF) exposure from 20 to 6000 MHz. Finally, dosimetric results were derived. Compared to the singleton pregnancy with similar weeks of gestation, twin fetuses were overexposed at 50‐Hz uniform MF, but they were probably underexposed in the RF scenarios with frequencies for wireless communications. Furthermore, the twin fetuses manifested large dosimetric variability compared to the singleton, which was attributed to the incident direction and fetal position. Based on the analysis, the dosimetric results over the entire gestation period were estimated. The results can be helpful to estimate the risk of twin‐fetal exposure to electromagnetic fields and examine the conservativeness of the international guidelines.
... A number of numerical studies have been performed to assess the exposure of the mother and the fetus to RF electromagnetic fields in the far-field (plane wave) (Nagaoka et al. 2007;Dimbylow 2007;Bibin et al. 2009;Dimbylow et al. 2009;Kawai et al. 2010) using both anatomical and generic or stylized models integrated into anatomical models of the mother. Only one study (Togashi et al. 2008) analyzes the exposure of the fetus in the immediate environment of an RF transmitter. ...
... In Dimbylow et al. (2009), a comparison of the fetal exposure to plane waves in three sets of models [hybrid mathematical representation of the fetus in the 8th, 13th, 26th, and 38th gestational week; the 26-wk-old model in Nagaoka et al. (2007); and a third anatomical model at 13, 26 and 38 weeks of pregnancy (Xu et al. 2007)] was made for vertical polarization and frontal, back and two sides incidence, from 20 MHz to 3 GHz.** The resonance frequency of the body of the mother (about 80 MHz) lies in the order of magnitude of 30 mW kg −1 W −1 m 2 . ...
... For increasing frequencies, these values drop with similar characteristics as observed in Nagaoka et al. (2007). Dimbylow et al. (2009) compare whole body as well as localized SAR averaged over 10 g of contiguous tissue. At resonance, it is found to be highest in the stylized model, whereas an additional maximum is observed at 900 MHz for one of the two anatomical models. ...
Article
This study analyzes the exposure of pregnant women and their fetuses in three different gestational stages to electromagnetic radiation in the radio frequency range in the near- and the far-field using numerical modeling. For far-field exposure, the power density at which the basic restriction for the whole body SAR is reached is calculated for both the mother and the fetus at whole body resonance and at frequencies between 450 MHz and 2,450 MHz. The near-field exposure is assessed at 450 MHz, 900 MHz, and 2,450 MHz using half wavelength dipoles as generic sources located at different locations around the abdomen of the mother. For the investigated cases, the exposure of the mother is always below or on the order of magnitude of the basic restriction for exposure at the reference level. When applying the reference levels for the general public, the fetus is sufficiently shielded by the mother. However, the basic restrictions for general public exposure can be exceeded in the fetus when the mother is exposed at reference levels for occupational conditions. For plane wave exposure at occupational levels, the whole body SAR in the fetus can exceed the basic restrictions for the general population by at least 1.8 dB, and in the near-field of professional devices, the 10 g SAR can be non-compliant with the product standard for the general public by > 3.5 dB.
... Some of the differences in results obtained in the studies referred to above arise from the use of differing mother/foetus models, dielectric properties (particularly for foetal tissues), coil designs and dimensions and positions of the body models relative to the coil. For example, the dependence of SAR on gestational age has been investigated by Wu et al (2006) and the use of different pregnant woman models for plane wave dosimetry has been discussed by Dimbylow et al (2009). Other studies have shown that shifts of several centimetres in the axial position of the body model relative to a birdcage coil result in only minor changes in the location of the maximum local SAR, suggesting that the intracorporal SAR distribution is primarily dependent on the dielectric properties of the tissues (Hand et al 2006), but do affect SAR values averaged over the foetal eyes, foetal brain and the foetus itself as well as those for local SAR by up to 10% . ...
... The standard deviation of the SAR averaged over the torso was approximately 25% of the mean value at 100 MHz. Dimbylow et al (2009) reported on simulations of plane wave exposure of three pregnant women models using different FDTD codes. When the same assumptions regarding dielectric properties and SAR averaging algorithms were used, differences of results were generally within ∼5%. ...
Article
Full-text available
Numerical simulations of specific absorption rate (SAR) and temperature changes in a 26-week pregnant woman model within typical birdcage body coils as used in 1.5 T and 3 T MRI scanners are described. Spatial distributions of SAR and the resulting spatial and temporal changes in temperature are determined using a finite difference time domain method and a finite difference bio-heat transfer solver that accounts for discrete vessels. Heat transfer from foetus to placenta via the umbilical vein and arteries as well as that across the foetal skin/amniotic fluid/uterine wall boundaries is modelled. Results suggest that for procedures compliant with IEC normal mode conditions (maternal whole-body averaged SAR(MWB) < or = 2 W kg(-1) (continuous or time-averaged over 6 min)), whole foetal SAR, local foetal SAR(10 g) and average foetal temperature are within international safety limits. For continuous RF exposure at SAR(MWB) = 2 W kg(-1) over periods of 7.5 min or longer, a maximum local foetal temperature >38 degrees C may occur. However, assessment of the risk posed by such maximum temperatures predicted in a static model is difficult because of frequent foetal movement. Results also confirm that when SAR(MWB) = 2 W kg(-1), some local SAR(10g) values in the mother's trunk and extremities exceed recommended limits.
... But fetus models at 12 and 20 pregnancy weeks were only morphed models derived from a 26 weeks pregnancy fetus model, which may not be realistic since the rate of development is variable and organ specific. In (Dimbylow et al 2009), the influence of the pregnancy stage was limited to three stages of pregnancy between 13 and 38 weeks, and to the averaged maximum Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) over 10 g in the fetus. The aim was to compare values with the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) reference levels but not to specifically analyze the influence of the pregnancy stage on exposure. ...
... The fetus whole body SAR was found to be on average 7 times less than the mother whole body SAR. This result seems to be consistent with results obtained in (Nagaoka et al 2008a, Dimbylow et al 2009, Hadjem et al 2010. Table 3 compares the total power absorbed by the fetus and the average SAR in the fetus brain at three different pregnancy stages, both when using a truncated pregnant woman model and when using the whole body model. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper analyzes the influence of pregnancy stage and fetus position on the whole-body and brain exposure of the fetus to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. Our analysis is performed using semi-homogeneous pregnant woman models between 8 and 32 weeks of amenorrhea. By analyzing the influence of the pregnancy stage on the environmental whole-body and local exposure of a fetus in vertical position, head down or head up, in the 2100 MHz frequency band, we concluded that both whole-body and average brain exposures of the fetus decrease during the first pregnancy trimester, while they advance during the pregnancy due to the rapid weight gain of the fetus in these first stages. From the beginning of the second trimester, the whole-body and the average brain exposures are quite stable because the weight gains are quasi proportional to the absorbed power increases. The behavior of the fetus whole-body and local exposures during pregnancy for a fetus in the vertical position with the head up were found to be of a similar level, when compared to the position with the head down they were slightly higher, especially in the brain.
... Exposure assessment in this study was limited to mothers' reports of prenatal cell phone use and their children's cell phone use at age seven years. Although actual RF exposure was not measured, exposure to the fetus from maternal cell phone use during pregnancy is likely to be low [36, 37]. Further, most children were not using cell phones at age seven, and those who were did so for short periods of time. ...
Article
Full-text available
Children today are exposed to cell phones early in life, and may be at the greatest risk if exposure is harmful to health. We investigated associations between cell phone exposures and headaches in children. The Danish National Birth Cohort enrolled pregnant women between 1996 and 2002. When their children reached age seven years, mothers completed a questionnaire regarding the child's health, behaviors, and exposures. We used multivariable adjusted models to relate prenatal only, postnatal only, or both prenatal and postnatal cell phone exposure to whether the child had migraines and headache-related symptoms. Our analyses included data from 52,680 children. Children with cell phone exposure had higher odds of migraines and headache-related symptoms than children with no exposure. The odds ratio for migraines was 1.30 (95% confidence interval: 1.01-1.68) and for headache-related symptoms was 1.32 (95% confidence interval: 1.23-1.40) for children with both prenatal and postnatal exposure. In this study, cell phone exposures were associated with headaches in children, but the associations may not be causal given the potential for uncontrolled confounding and misclassification in observational studies such as this. However, given the widespread use of cell phones, if a causal effect exists it would have great public health impact.
... In the past, a deterministic approach has been used, to estimate the SAR in heterogeneous phantoms, both for NF and FF exposure conditions [Hirata et al., 2007, 2009; Findlay et al., 2008, 2009; Dimbylow et al., 2009, 2010; Kühn et al.,2009; Bakker et al., 2010, 2011b; Uusitupa et al., 2010; Conil et al., 2011]. More specifically, in order to estimate FF exposure, the SAR is calculated for different single plane-wave (SPW) exposure conditions coming from basic directions [Bakker et al., 2010; Conil et al., 2011] or worst-case plane wave exposure [Bakker et al., 2011b]. ...
Article
The organ-specific averaged specific absorption rate (SARosa ) in a heterogeneous human body phantom, the Virtual Family Boy, is determined for the first time in five realistic electromagnetic environments at the Global System for Mobile Communications downlink frequency of 950 MHz. We propose two methods based upon a fixed set of finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations for generating cumulative distribution functions for the SARosa in a certain environment: an accurate vectorial cell-wise spline interpolation with an average error lower than 1.8%, and a faster scalar linear interpolation with a maximal average error of 14.3%. These errors are dependent on the angular steps chosen for the FDTD simulations. However, it is demonstrated that both methods provide the same shape of the cumulative distribution function for the studied organs in the considered environments. The SARosa depends on the considered organ and the environment. Two factors influencing the SARosa are investigated for the first time: conductivity over the density ratio of an organ, and the distance of the organ's center of gravity to the body's surface and exterior of the phantom. A non-linear regression with our model provides a correlation of 0.80. The SARosa due to single plane-wave exposure is also investigated; a worst-case single plane-wave exposure is determined for all studied organs and has been compared with realistic SARosa values. There is no fixed worst-case polarization for all organs, and a single plane-wave exposure condition that exceeds 91% of the SARosa values in a certain environment can always be found for the studied organs. Bioelectromagnetics © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
... It has been shown that besides the amount of use, the amount of RF-EMF exposure also depends on the duration of the calls, the use of hands-free equipment, the communication system and the frequency band used. 7 In our study, when the use of a hands-free equipment was taken into account, the results remain similar. Another limitation is that not all ABCD participants were included in this analysis and loss to follow-up was related to a lower socioeconomic position, limiting the generalisation of our results. ...
Article
Background: A previous study found an association between maternal cell phone use during pregnancy and maternal-reported child behaviour problems at age 7. Together with cell phones, cordless phones represent the main exposure source of radiofrequency-electromagnetic fields to the head. Therefore, we assessed the association between maternal cell phone and cordless phone use during pregnancy and teacher-reported and maternal-reported child behaviour problems at age 5. Methods: The study was embedded in the Amsterdam Born Children and their Development study, a population-based birth cohort study in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2003-2004). Teachers and mothers reported child behaviour problems using the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire at age 5. Maternal cell phone and cordless phone use during pregnancy was asked when children were 7 years old. Results: A total of 2618 children were included. As compared to non-users, those exposed to prenatal cell phone use showed an increased but non-significant association of having teacher-reported overall behaviour problems, although without dose-response relationship with the number of calls (OR=2.12 (95% CI 0.95 to 4.74) for <1 call/day, OR=1.58 (95% CI 0.69 to 3.60) for 1-4 calls/day and OR=2.04 (95% CI 0.86 to 4.80) for ≥5 calls/day). ORs for having teacher-reported overall behaviour problems across categories of cordless phone use were below 1 or close to unity. Associations of maternal cell phone and cordless phone use with maternal-reported overall behaviour problems remained non-significant. Non-significant associations were found for the specific behaviour problem subscales. Conclusion: Our results do not suggest that maternal cell phone or cordless phone use during pregnancy increases the odds of behaviour problems in their children.
... Interest in simulating exposure of people to electromagnetic fields at microwave frequencies has grown recently on developing models of pregnant women and in-utero foetuses (Hand et al 2006, Kawai et al 2006, Dimbylow 2006, 2007, Kawai et al 2006, Nagaoka et al 2007, Togashi et al 2008, Dimbylow et al 2009, McIntosh et al 2010). In a recent publication (Peyman et al 2011), we highlighted the lack of data in the literature to characterize the properties of pregnancy-related tissues which resulted in the use of substitutes such as data for blood and muscle instead of placenta and cerebrospinal fluid instead of amniotic fluid. ...
Article
The dielectric properties of rat embryos/foetuses have been acquired at several stages of gestation at 37 °C and in the frequency range of 40 MHz-20 GHz. Measurements were carried out on homogenized tissues, as trial experiments did not show any systematic difference between the dielectric data of intact and homogenized tissues at microwave frequencies. The results showed that dielectric properties of the foetus are generally higher than adult muscle and brain. The measured data also showed some decline for both permittivity and conductivity as the foetus grew from 18 to 20 days old; however, these changes were not statistically significant. Data were also collected for placenta and amniotic fluid which were in good agreement with those recently obtained from human tissues. Finally, tabulated numerical dielectric data for rat foetal tissues are presented for a wide range of medical and telecommunication frequencies.
... Numerical calculation of RF electromagnetic fields in human models with realistic geometry and tissue properties using finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) algorithm is an efficient means in evaluating and optimizing coil configuration for better transmit/receive performance in MR imaging (26,27). The numerical calculation results lead to prospective insight into the coil performance for fetal MRI such as SNR, specific absorption rate (SAR) and parallel imaging feasibility, which provides important guideline for fetal array design and fabricating prototype coil arrays (28)(29)(30)(31)(32). ...
Article
Full-text available
Fetal MRI on 1.5T clinical scanner has been increasingly becoming a powerful imaging tool for studying fetal brain abnormalities in vivo. Due to limited availability of dedicated fetal phased arrays, commercial torso or cardiac phased arrays are routinely used for fetal scans, which are unable to provide optimized SNR and parallel imaging performance with a small number coil elements, and insufficient coverage and filling factor. This poses a demand for the investigation and development of dedicated and efficient radiofrequency (RF) hardware to improve fetal imaging. In this work, an investigational approach to simulate the performance of multichannel flexible phased arrays is proposed to find a better solution to fetal MR imaging. A 32 channel fetal array is presented to increase coil sensitivity, coverage and parallel imaging performance. The electromagnetic field distribution of each element of the fetal array is numerically simulated by using finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method. The array performance, including B(1) coverage, parallel reconstructed images and artifact power, is then theoretically calculated and compared with the torso array. Study results show that the proposed array is capable of increasing B(1) field strength as well as sensitivity homogeneity in the entire area of uterus. This would ensure high quality imaging regardless of the location of the fetus in the uterus. In addition, the paralleling imaging performance of the proposed fetal array is validated by using artifact power comparison with torso array. These results demonstrate the feasibility of the 32 channel flexible array for fetal MR imaging at 1.5T.
... Temperature monitoring in pregnant pigs exposed to 1.5-T SSFSEbased MRI examination has shown that heat deposition in the pig gravid uterus was less than 0.5°C [30]. Several mathematical models have estimated the fetal temperature increase during prenatal MRI exposure, and their results slightly vary according to the theoretical assumptions and parameters used [31][32][33][34][35]. One common limitation of these static mathematical simulations is the assumption that fetal MRI scans are continuous (i.e. the fetus stays still), whereas in reality fetal MRI scanning is a dynamic process due to fetal motion. ...
Article
Fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been routinely used as a noninvasive diagnostic tool for more than a decade; however, there is a paucity of follow-up studies examining the effects of prenatal exposure to 1.5-T MRI on developmental outcome. The objective of this study was to assess the safety of 1.5-T fetal MRI by evaluating functional outcomes of preschool children who were exposed in utero. In the context of a prospective observational study, healthy pregnant women underwent a 1.5-T MRI study using single-shot fast spin echo (SSFSE) sequences during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. The study was approved by the institutional review board at our institution, and written informed consent was obtained from all study participants. MRI scanning times were recorded, and prenatal/postnatal clinical data were collected prospectively. Functional outcomes were assessed using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale (VABS), a widely used, norm-referenced and psychometrically sound functional assessment. We studied 72 healthy pregnant women, who underwent fetal MRI at a mean gestational age of 30.5 ± 3.1 weeks. The cohort of fetuses was composed of 43% females, and 18 fetuses were scanned during the second trimester. All fetuses were born at term with appropriate birth weights (3.54 ± 0.5 kg) for gestational age. Mean age at follow-up testing was 24.5 ± 6.7 months. All children had age-appropriate scores in the communication, daily living, socialization and motor skills subdomains of the VABS (z-scores, P > 0.05). Furthermore, all children passed their newborn otoacoustic emission test and had normal hearing at preschool age. MRI study duration and exposure time to radio frequency waves and SSFSE sequences were not associated with adverse functional outcomes or hearing impairment. Prenatal exposure to 1.5-T MRI during the second or third trimester of pregnancy in a cohort of healthy fetuses is not associated with disturbances in functional outcomes or hearing impairment at preschool age.
... Exposure assessment in this study was limited to mothers' reports of prenatal cell phone use and their children's cell phone use at age seven years. Although actual RF exposure was not measured, exposure to the fetus from maternal cell phone use during pregnancy is likely to be low [36,37]. Further, most children were not using cell phones at age seven, and those who were did so for short periods of time. ...
Article
Children today are exposed to cell phones early in life, and may be the most vulnerable if exposure is harmful to health. We investigated the association between cell phone use and hearing loss in children. The Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC) enrolled pregnant women between 1996 and 2002. Detailed interviews were conducted during gestation, and when the children were 6 months, 18 months and 7 years of age. We used multivariable-adjusted logistic regression, marginal structural models (MSM) with inverse-probability weighting, and doubly robust estimation (DRE) to relate hearing loss at age 18 months to cell phone use at age 7 years, and to investigate cell phone use reported at age 7 in relation to hearing loss at age 7. Our analyses included data from 52 680 children. We observed weak associations between cell phone use and hearing loss at age 7, with odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals from the traditional logistic regression, MSM and DRE models being 1.21 [95% confidence interval [CI] 0.99, 1.46], 1.23 [95% CI 1.01, 1.49] and 1.22 [95% CI 1.00, 1.49], respectively. Our findings could have been affected by various biases and are not sufficient to conclude that cell phone exposures have an effect on hearing. This is the first large-scale epidemiologic study to investigate this potentially important association among children, and replication of these findings is needed.
... Body types and anatomical structures of the mother and fetus differ depending on the stage of fetal growth. Therefore, evaluations for various gestation ages are important, but they have not been reported for near-field exposure, although Nagaoka et al. [9], Dimbylow [10], and Dimbylow et al. [11] have reported results for far-field exposure. ...
Article
Full-text available
As the electromagnetic (EM) environment is becoming increasingly diverse, it is essential to estimate specific absorption rates (SARs) and temperature elevations of pregnant females and their fetuses under various exposure situations. This study presents calculated SARs and temperature elevations in a fetus exposed to EM waves. The calculations involved numerical models for the anatomical structures of a pregnant Japanese woman at gestational stages of 13, 18, and 26 weeks; the EM source was a wireless portable terminal placed close to the abdomen of the pregnant female model. The results indicate that fetal SARs and temperature elevations are closely related to the position of the fetus relative to the EM source. We also found that, although the fetal SAR caused by a half-wavelength dipole antenna is sometimes comparable to or slightly more than the International Commission Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection guidelines, it is lower than the guideline level in more realistic situations, such as when a planar inverted-F antenna is used. Furthermore, temperature elevations were significantly below the threshold set to prevent the child from being born with developmental disabilities.
... When modeling specific absorption rates of RF to the womb of pregnant mothers, research suggests that exposures are likely low and not high enough to elevate the body temperature (26)(27)(28). But this modeling is based on numerous assumptions and extrapolations. ...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to examine if prenatal use of cell phones by pregnant mothers is associated with developmental milestones delays among offspring up to 18 months of age. Our work is based upon the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC), which recruited pregnant mothers from 1996-2002, and was initiated to collect a variety of detailed information regarding in utero exposures and various health outcomes. At the end of 2008, over 41,000 singleton, live births had been followed with the Age-7 questionnaire, which collected cell phone use exposure for mothers during pregnancy. Outcomes for developmental milestones were obtained from telephone interviews completed by mothers at age 6 and 18 months postpartum. A logistic regression model estimated the odds ratios (OR) for developmental milestone delays, adjusted for potential confounders. Less than 5% of children at age 6 and 18 months had cognitive/language or motor developmental delays. At 6 months, the adjusted OR was 0.8 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.7-1.0] for cognitive/language delay and 0.9 (95% CI 0.8-1.1) for motor development delay. At 18 months, the adjusted OR were 1.1 (95% CI 0.9-1.3) and 0.9 (95% CI 0.8-1.0) for cognitive/language and motor development delay, respectively. No evidence of an association between prenatal cell phone use and motor or cognitive/language developmental delays among infants at 6 and 18 months of age was observed. Even when considering dose-response associations for cell phone, associations were null.
... These results are consistent with the results found by other authors [Keshvari et al., 2006;Dimbylow et al., 2009;Peyman et al., 2009;Christ et al., 2010b], who have shown that a change in the dielectric properties does not necessarily lead to a noticeable change in the maximum psSAR 10 g values. Christ et al. [2010b] also suggested that the influence of dielectric property variations on the psSAR 10 g should not be neglected for specific single-tissue exposure, such as bone marrow, bone, and fat. ...
Article
The spread of radio frequency identification (RFID) devices in ubiquitous applications without their simultaneous exposure assessment could give rise to public concerns about their potential adverse health effects. Among the various RFID system categories, the ultra high frequency (UHF) RFID systems have recently started to be widely used in many applications. This study addresses a computational exposure assessment of the electromagnetic radiation generated by a realistic UHF RFID reader, quantifying the exposure levels in different exposure scenarios and subjects (two adults, four children, and two anatomical models of women 7 and 9 months pregnant). The results of the computations are presented in terms of the whole-body and peak spatial specific absorption rate (SAR) averaged over 10 g of tissue to allow comparison with the basic restrictions of the exposure guidelines. The SAR levels in the adults and children were below 0.02 and 0.8 W/kg in whole-body SAR and maximum peak SAR levels, respectively, for all tested positions of the antenna. On the contrary, exposure of pregnant women and fetuses resulted in maximum peak SAR10 g values close to the values suggested by the guidelines (2 W/kg) in some of the exposure scenarios with the antenna positioned in front of the abdomen and with a 100% duty cycle and 1 W radiated power. Bioelectromagnetics. 9999:XX-XX. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Article
Children are more and more using wireless communication systems. This growth has strengthened public concern and has highlighted the need to assess the radio frequency (RF) exposure of children. In dosimetry, taking advantage of the improvement of High Performance Calculation systems, great efforts have been carried out to improve the numerical tools and human models used to assess the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). This paper analyses progress in building child and foetus models for numerical dosimetry purpose. The simulation results, in terms of Specific Absorption Rate over 1 and 10 g of tissues, in specific organs such as brain and averaged over the whole body, are reported and analysed. The results show that compliance methods used nowadays to certify phones are valid for children. The studies also show that specific tissues such as peripheral brain tissues can have higher exposure with children than with adults. Studies performed with plane waves as sources and whole body children models show that the whole body SAR of children can be higher than the WBSAR of adults and that the compliance to ICNIRP reference levels does not guarantee the compliance to ICNIRP basic restrictions. Dealing with the foetus models and dielectric properties great efforts have been made. Preliminary results show that the foetus exposure is often lower than the mother exposure, with an important influencing parameter: the foetus position in the uterus.
Article
The dielectric properties of freshly delivered human placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic fluid have been acquired at 37 °C and in the frequency range of 200 MHz-10 GHz. The experimental data were fitted to a Cole-Cole expression. The results show that dielectric properties of the umbilical cord are significantly higher than placenta due to the presence of high water content Wharton's jelly. The results also demonstrate large differences in the dielectric properties of amniotic and cerebrospinal fluids. The data presented can be used in numerical simulations of the exposure of pregnant women to electromagnetic fields.
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Potential health effects of cell phone use in children have not been adequately examined. As children are using cell phones at earlier ages, research among this group has been identified as the highest priority by both national and international organisations. The authors previously reported results from the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC), which looked at prenatal and postnatal exposure to cell phone use and behavioural problems at age 7 years. Exposure to cell phones prenatally, and to a lesser degree postnatally, was associated with more behavioural difficulties. The original analysis included nearly 13 000 children who reached age 7 years by November 2006. To see if a larger, separate group of DNBC children would produce similar results after considering additional confounders, children of mothers who might better represent current users of cell phones were analysed. This 'new' dataset consisted of 28 745 children with completed Age-7 Questionnaires to December 2008. The highest OR for behavioural problems were for children who had both prenatal and postnatal exposure to cell phones compared with children not exposed during either time period. The adjusted effect estimate was 1.5 (95% CI 1.4 to 1.7). The findings of the previous publication were replicated in this separate group of participants demonstrating that cell phone use was associated with behavioural problems at age 7 years in children, and this association was not limited to early users of the technology. Although weaker in the new dataset, even with further control for an extended set of potential confounders, the associations remained.
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This paper presents finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) calculations of SAR in the University of Florida newborn female model. The newborn model is based upon a surface representation of the organs of the body, using non-uniform rational B-spline surfaces (NURBS). The surface model can then be converted into voxels at any resolution required. This flexibility allows the preparation of voxel models at 2, 1 and 0.5 mm to investigate the effect of resolution on dispersion and the choice of algorithms to calculate SAR in the Yee cell as the frequency increases up to 6 GHz. The added advantage of the newborn model is that it is relatively small and so FDTD calculations can be made tractable at a very fine resolution of 0.5 mm. A comparison is made between the calculated external electric fields required to produce the basic restriction on whole-body-averaged SAR and the ICNIRP reference levels for public exposure. At 250 MHz, the whole body resonance, the ICNIRP reference level does not provide a conservative estimate of the whole-body-averaged SAR restriction. The reference level is also breached in the range 700-2450 MHz by all of the irradiation geometries considered.
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This paper presents calculated specific absorption rate (SAR) dosimetry in 4 and 8 week Japanese pregnant-woman models exposed to plane waves over the frequency range of 10 MHz-1.5 GHz. Two types of 2 mm spatial-resolution pregnant-woman models comprised a woman model, which is similar to the average-sized Japanese adult female in height and weight, with a cubic (4 week) embryo or spheroidal (8 week) one. The averaged SAR in the embryos exposed to vertically and horizontally polarized plane waves at four kinds of propagation directions are calculated from 10 MHz to 1.5 GHz. The results indicate that the maximum average SAR in the embryos exposed to plane waves is lower than 0.08 W kg(-1) when the incident power density is at the reference level of ICNIRP guideline for general public environment.
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This paper details development of human body models for use in simulations for EMC certification and testing of aircraft. Current models are reviewed and their unsuitabilities for the task in hand are highlighted, which chiefly arise from inappropriate levels of complexity resulting in unfeasible computational loads. Tissue layering close to the body's surface is investigated, as are the frequency-dependent properties of the relevant tissues, to give a model of human interaction with EM fields over a broadband frequency range. For a preliminary model, lossy dielectric spheres are simulated loading a cavity, and results are compared. These are found to be inadequate and a new model is developed, using layered dielectric cylinders to give a better fit to the body's EM characteristics while still maintaining relative simplicity compared to the anatomically correct models previously reviewed.
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Current crowd density estimation technologies that leverage IR depth perception, video and image processing or WiFi/BLE-based sniffing and probing have privacy and deployment issues. This paper presents a novel method for non-intrusive crowd density estimation that monitors variation in EM radiation within an environment. The human body's electrical and magnetic characteristics can be correlated with variations in available EM energy. This allows for the determination of the number of people within a room. Simulations conducted using Comsol to analyse and measure electromagnetic energy levels inside a room containing human bodies. Experimental analysis provides validation of the simulation results by showing ${0.8dBm}$ drop on the average level of EM energy per person.
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The adverse health effects of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields have become of increasing concern. We conducted a specific absorption rate (SAR) dosimetry study of pregnant females and their fetuses at various gestational ages. We developed novel pregnant female models with anatomically realistic fetal and gestational tissues at 20, 26, and 29 weeks of pregnancy. In this paper, we present the modeled SAR characteristics of pregnant females and their fetuses exposed to vertically and horizontally polarized EM waves from 30 MHz to 3 GHz at the three gestational ages.
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Recently, there has been increasing concern regarding the safety of exposure to RF electromagnetic fields in pregnant females and their fetuses. Therefore, we acquired fetal MRI images from pregnant women during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy and newly developed six fetal computational models at 20, 23, 26, 29, 32 and 33 weeks of pregnancy on the basis of the acquired images. The fetal models consist of about 20 different tissue types. These tissues were segmented by medical staffs using both manual and semiautomatic segmentation techniques from fine-resolution images acquired by 3D-ture FISP (Fast Imaging with State Precession) sequence. The works were performed under the supervision of a pediatric radiologist. The number of tissues and the spatial resolutions of the fetal models are better than those of models previously developed. This paper outlines the high-fidelity computational models of human fetuses during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.
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Sixteen male Djungarian hamsters, serving as their own controls, were individually exposed to RF-EMF (900 MHz, GSM modulation) at 0 (sham), 0.08, 0.4 or 4 W/kg specific absorption rate (SAR) in specially constructed rectangular waveguides. Exposure duration was one week per condition, followed by one week without exposure. Once per day, the temperatures of the hamsters' back fur (a surrogate for skin temperature) and the cornea of the eye (a surrogate for body temperature), were measured by infrared thermography. Oxygen, carbon dioxide and humidity were measured continuously in the ambient and exhaled air. Food and water consumption, as well as body weight were recorded once per week. Only at the highest SAR level were the following effects observed: fur temperatures were elevated by approximately 0.5°C (P < 0.001), while the temperatures of the eyes' surface were not affected; food consumption was lowered (P < 0.05), while water consumption and body weight were not affected; the production of carbon dioxide was lowered during the day (P < 0.01) and unaffected during the night, while oxygen consumption levels remained unaffected and finally the respiratory quotient (carbon dioxide production divided by oxygen consumption) was lower during the day (P < 0.05) and also somewhat lower during the night (not significant). The results demonstrate the usefulness of our methods for experiments dealing with metabolic effects of RF-EMF exposure in rodents. They also confirm the assumption that even though the metabolism is reduced at high SAR levels, the body core temperature is being kept constant by the energy uptake from the RF-EMF exposure which is able to physiologically compensate for the reduced metabolism.
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Recently, there has been increasing concern regarding the safety of exposure to RF electromagnetic fields in pregnant females and their fetuses. In this study, we acquired fetal magnetic resonance imaging at 20 26 and 29 weeks from a healthy volunteer of pregnancy and developed the pregnant female models at those weeks of pregnancy by combining the fetal models constructed on the basis of the fetal MRI data and an existing non-pregnant female model. We also estimated the specific absorption rates in those models for whole-body exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields using the finite-difference time-domain method.
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Exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic (EM) fields has become an important issue in preserving human health. In particular, conducting numerical dosimetry on the mother and fetus during pregnancy has become an important issue. We developed novel pregnant female models with anatomically realistic fetal and gestational tissues at 20, 26, and 29 weeks of pregnancy. In this paper, we present the modeled SAR characteristics of pregnant females and their fetuses exposed to vertically and horizontally polarized electromagnetic waves from 30 MHz to 3 GHz at the three gestational ages. © 2014 The Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineer.
Conference Paper
Recently, there has been increasing concern regarding the safety of exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) in the fetus during pregnancy. We generated anatomically realistic models of fetus including gestational tissues in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy on the basis of magnetic resonance imaging data from healthy volunteers or a patient and developed semi-homogeneous whole-body models containing the anatomically realistic fetal models. The semi-homogeneous models were included about 20 different types of fetal and gestational tissues and composed of voxels of 2 × 2 × 2 mm 3 . In this paper, we estimated the specific absorption rate in fetuses in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy for whole-body exposure to RF-EMFs using the finite-difference time-domain method.
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There is uncertainty regarding the risk posed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations to pregnant patients. The most frequently used methods, such as single-shot fast spin echo (ssFSE), often require operation at the specific absorption rate (SAR) limits imposed by safety guidelines. With the introduction of higher-field systems, such limits will be even more significant for fetal imaging. An electromagnetic solver based on the time domain finite integration technique (FIT) was used to predict SAR in an anatomically realistic model of a pregnant patient (28 weeks' gestation) associated with the radiofrequency (RF) fields from birdcage body coils typical of 1.5 T and 3 T MRI systems (i.e., operating at approximately 64 and 127 MHz, respectively). The results suggest that 1) the highest local SAR is in the mother, with the fetus being exposed to a peak of approximately 40-60% of that value at 64 MHz, increasing to approximately 50-70% at 127 MHz; 2) compliance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines requires control of SAR values averaged over 1 g or 10 g of tissue, respectively; and 3) compliance with Medical Device Agency (MDA) guidelines requires control of the maximum SAR(10g) within the fetus.
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Fetuses are extremely radiosensitive and the protection of pregnant females against ionizing radiation is of particular interest in many health and medical physics applications. Existing models of pregnant females relied on simplified anatomical shapes or partial-body images of low resolutions. This paper reviews two general types of solid geometry modeling: constructive solid geometry (CSG) and boundary representation (BREP). It presents in detail a project to adopt the BREP modeling approach to systematically design whole-body radiation dosimetry models: a pregnant female and her fetus at the ends of three gestational periods of 3, 6 and 9 months. Based on previously published CT images of a 7-month pregnant female, the VIP-Man model and mesh organ models, this new set of pregnant female models was constructed using 3D surface modeling technologies instead of voxels. The organ masses were adjusted to agree with the reference data provided by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and previously published papers within 0.5%. The models were then voxelized for the purpose of performing dose calculations in identically implemented EGS4 and MCNPX Monte Carlo codes. The agreements of the fetal doses obtained from these two codes for this set of models were found to be within 2% for the majority of the external photon irradiation geometries of AP, PA, LAT, ROT and ISO at various energies. It is concluded that the so-called RPI-P3, RPI-P6 and RPI-P9 models have been reliably defined for Monte Carlo calculations. The paper also discusses the needs for future research and the possibility for the BREP method to become a major tool in the anatomical modeling for radiation dosimetry.
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This development of new mathematical models arose from our current work in external neutron dosimetry for the embryo and fetus when pregnant women travel at commercial aircraft altitudes. A problem of concern in radiation protection is exposure of pregnant women to ionizing radiation because of the high radiosensitivity of the embryo and fetus. Special regulations and dosimetric considerations are necessary for pregnant women at the work place and in the public. To perform dosimetry, mathematical models for the embryo and the fetus, together with the modified adult female model for pregnant woman, are required. There are no models available for embryo. Models developed for the fetus need to be updated with the new reference values such as those in ICRP Publication 89. This article presents mathematical models for the embryo and fetus at different stages: the embryo at 8 wk and the fetus at the end of each trimester. In addition to fetal skeleton, the fetal brain is explicitly modeled because of its high radiosensitivity. All model parameters are determined from the most recent reference values available. The models are designed so that an interpolation can be easily performed to generate a model of embryo/fetus at any given stage of development. This feature also allows convenient adaptation of the models to different reference values representing various ethnic populations. The new mathematical models presented here were developed for external dosimetry. They can also be used for internal dosimetry purposes, if other organs inside the female phantom are adjusted accordingly.
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This paper outlines the development of a 2 mm resolution voxel model, NAOMI (aNAtOMIcal model), designed to be representative of the average adult female. The primary medical imaging data were derived from a high-resolution MRI scan of a 1.65 m tall, 23 year old female subject with a mass of 58 kg. The model was rescaled to a height of 1.63 m and a mass of 60 kg, the dimensions of the International Commission on Radiological Protection reference adult female. There are 41 tissue types in the model. The application of NAOMI to the calculations of induced current densities and electric fields from applied low frequency magnetic and electric fields is described. Comparisons are made with values from the male voxel model, NORMAN. The calculations were extended from 50 Hz up to 10 MHz. External field reference levels are compared with the ICNIRP guidelines.
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This paper describes the development of 2 mm resolution hybrid voxel-mathematical models of the pregnant female. Mathematical models of the developing foetus at 8-, 13-, 26- and 38-weeks of gestation were converted into voxels and combined with the adult female model, NAOMI. This set of models was used to calculate induced current densities and electric fields in the foetus from applied 50 Hz magnetic and electric fields. The influence of foetal tissue conductivities was investigated and implications for electromagnetic field guidelines discussed.
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Electromagnetic (EM) absorption of the human body for far-field exposure at the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) reference level has two peaks in the resonance frequency and GHz regions. Dominant factors influencing whole-body average specific absorption rate (SAR) in these two frequency regions have not yet been revealed sufficiently. The main purpose of this study is to clarify the dominant factors influencing EM power absorption in terms of whole-body average SAR in an anatomically based model compared with those in a homogeneous anthropomorphic model and corresponding cuboid models. Computational results show that EM absorption peak in the resonance frequency region greatly depends on the electric properties of tissue, while the peak in the GHz region is affected mainly by the surface area of the model.
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This paper describes the finite-difference time-domain calculation of SAR from 20 MHz to 3 GHz in hybrid voxel-mathematical models of the pregnant female. Mathematical models of the developing foetus at 8-, 13-, 26- and 38-week gestation were converted into voxels and combined with the reference adult female model, NAOMI at a resolution of 2 mm. Whole-body averaged SAR in the mother is presented as well as the average over the foetus, over the foetal brain and in 10 g of the foetus. The electric field values required to produce the ICNIRP public exposure restriction of 2 W kg(-1) when averaged over 10 g of the foetus were calculated. Comparison suggests that the ICNIRP public reference level is a conservative predictor of local SAR in the foetus.
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The numerical dosimetry of pregnant women is an important issue in electromagnetic-field safety. However, an anatomically realistic whole-body pregnant-woman model for electromagnetic dosimetry has not been developed. Therefore, we have developed a high-resolution whole-body model of pregnant women. A new fetus model including inherent tissues of pregnant women was constructed on the basis of abdominal magnetic resonance imaging data of a 26-week-pregnant woman. The whole-body pregnant-woman model was developed by combining the fetus model and a nonpregnant-woman model that was developed previously. The developed model consists of about 7 million cubical voxels of 2 mm size and is segmented into 56 tissues and organs. This pregnant-woman model is the first completely anatomically realistic voxel model that includes a realistic fetus model and enables a numerical simulation of electromagnetic dosimetry up to the gigahertz band. In this paper, we also present the basic specific absorption rate characteristics of the pregnant-woman model exposed to vertically and horizontally polarized electromagnetic waves from 10 MHz to 2 GHz.
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This paper deals with the variability of body models used in numerical dosimetry studies. Six adult anthropomorphic voxel models have been collected and used to build 5-, 8- and 12-year-old children using a morphing method respecting anatomical parameters. Finite-difference time-domain calculations of a specific absorption rate (SAR) have been performed for a range of frequencies from 20 MHz to 2.4 GHz for isolated models illuminated by plane waves. A whole-body-averaged SAR is presented as well as the average on specific tissues such as skin, muscles, fat or bones and the average on specific parts of the body such as head, legs, arms or torso. Results point out the variability of adult models. The standard deviation of whole-body-averaged SAR of adult models can reach 40%. All phantoms are exposed to the ICNIRP reference levels. Results show that for adults, compliance with reference levels ensures compliance with basic restrictions, but concerning children models involved in this study, the whole-body-averaged SAR goes over the fundamental safety limits up to 40%. For more information on this article, see medicalphysicsweb.org
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If an electromagnetic field is incident normally onto a perfectly conducting ground plane, the field is reflected back into the domain. This produces a standing wave above the ground plane. If a person is present within the domain, absorption of the field in the body may cause problems regarding compliance with electromagnetic guidelines. To investigate this, the whole-body averaged specific energy absorption rate (SAR), localised SAR and ankle currents in the voxel model NORMAN have been calculated for a variety of these exposures under grounded conditions. The results were normalised to the spatially averaged field, a technique used to determine a mean value for comparison with guidelines when the field varies along the height of the body. Additionally, the external field values required to produce basic restrictions for whole-body averaged SAR have been calculated. It was found that in all configurations studied, the ICNIRP reference levels and IEEE MPEs provided a conservative estimate of these restrictions.