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Children Absorb Higher Doses of Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation From Mobile Phones Than Adults


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The greater vulnerability of children to the effects of environmental hazards has raised concerns about their exposure to and the resultant absorption of mobile phone radiation. Foster and Chou (2014) reviewed published studies that used computer models of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to estimate and compare the tissue dose rate in the heads of children and adults using mobile phones. Their review confuses exposure with absorption, and the study results conclude erroneously that children are not more exposed than adults. We show that their review was not executed systematically. There are discrepancies between text summaries and the graphed ratios of child: adult peak special specific absorption rate, in line with the author's hypothesis that children have the same or lower tissue dose than adults. Even the underlying precept of their review is flawed, as the results of deterministic models are treated as random variables. In fact, model results are entirely determined by the underlying assumptions and the structure of the model. Models are included in their unsystematic review that do not consider differences in dielectric constants among different tissues, or across ages, while other models that consider such differences are not included. In this paper, we discuss the differences between exposure and tissue absorption and re-examine the results presented by Foster and Chou. Based upon our review, we suggest an alternative interpretation of the published literature. In an Appendix, we discuss modeling of tissue dose in the context of governmental safety certification processes.
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Received June 1, 2015, accepted July 15, 2015, date of publication September 16, 2015, date of current version December 4, 2015.
Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/ACCESS.2015.2478701
Children Absorb Higher Doses of Radio
Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation
From Mobile Phones Than Adults
1Environmental Health Trust, Teton Village, WY 83025, USA
2Environmental Trust, Berkeley, CA 94709, USA
Corresponding author: Robert D. Morris (
This work was supported by the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole.
ABSTRACT The greater vulnerability of children to the effects of environmental hazards has raised concerns
about their exposure to and the resultant absorption of mobile phone radiation. Foster and Chou (2014)
reviewed published studies that used computer models of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to estimate
and compare the tissue dose rate in the heads of children and adults using mobile phones. Their review
confuses exposure with absorption, and the study results conclude erroneously that children are not more
exposed than adults. We show that their review was not executed systematically. There are discrepancies
between text summaries and the graphed ratios of child: adult peak special specific absorption rate, in
line with the author’s hypothesis that children have the same or lower tissue dose than adults. Even the
underlying precept of their review is flawed, as the results of deterministic models are treated as random
variables. In fact, model results are entirely determined by the underlying assumptions and the structure of
the model. Models are included in their unsystematic review that do not consider differences in dielectric
constants among different tissues, or across ages, while other models that consider such differences are not
included. In this paper, we discuss the differences between exposure and tissue absorption and re-examine
the results presented by Foster and Chou. Based upon our review, we suggest an alternative interpretation of
the published literature. In an Appendix, we discuss modeling of tissue dose in the context of governmental
safety certification processes.
INDEX TERMS Blood-brain-barrier (BBB), certification process, children, dosimetry, exposure-limits,
EMR (electromagnetic radiation), FACTS (Finite difference time domain Anatomically Correct Tissue
Specific), FDTD (finite-difference, time-domain), RF (radio frequency) SAM (specific anthropomorphic
mannequin), SAR (specific absorption rate), virtual family (VF), WTDs (wireless transmitting devices).
In recognition of the unique sensitivity of children to
environmental health hazards, the U.S. Environmental Pro-
tection Agency, in 1996, adopted a National Agenda to
Protect Children’s Health from Environmental Threats [1],
and in 1997 established an Office of Children’s Health [2]
dedicated to determining how to ensure that environmental
policies adequately protect children. Although considerable
attention has been paid to reducing chemical hazards in
environments frequented by the young, relatively little focus
has been applied to physical hazards such as those posed
by radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR)
emitted by mobile phones and other wireless transmitting
devices (WTDs).
To the extent that RF-EMR poses a risk, is that risk
uniquely elevated in children? Foster and Chou [3] argue
that children have the same exposure to the brain as adults,
and face equal risks, based on their review of studies com-
paring the intracranial dose rates of absorbed RF-EMR in
adults and children. Others, for example Gandhi [4], contend
that children have proportionally greater intracranial peak
tissue dose given their thinner skulls and the higher water
content of their cerebral tissues. Moreover, the rapid rate of
growth and development, and incomplete myelination of the
brain, make children uniquely susceptible to the effects of
radiation [5], [6].
The current study considers the methods used by
Foster and Chou [3] to identify and abstract data from rel-
evant studies. The results of these studies, as presented by
Foster and Chou, were examined in detail in an effort to
understand why their conclusions differ from those drawn by
other authors.
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R. D. Morris et al.: Children Absorb Higher Doses of Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation
The distinction between exposure and dose is fundamen-
tal to environmental health research. When considering a
potentially toxic substance, exposure is the amount of that
substance that is ingested, inhaled, or deposited on the body.
In the case of radiation, such as RF-EMR, exposure is the
duration and intensity of radiation that reaches the surface of
the body. The term ‘‘tissue dose,’’ on the other hand, refers
to the amount of radiant energy absorbed by a specific tissue,
and the ‘‘dose rate’’ is the energy absorbed per unit time.
The Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), which is the focus
of the Foster and Chou analysis, is a measure of the tissue
dose rate of microwave radiation, not exposure. The dose
is the specific absorption (SA), typically measured in
Joules per kilogram (J/kg). The reports assembled by
Foster and Chou compare estimated dose rates in the heads
of adults and children using simulation models that, by
design, have the same exposure. Thus the flaws in this paper
begin with its title, ‘Are Children More Exposed to Radio
Frequency Energy From Mobile Phones Than Adults?’This
is an important question, but the topic their paper actually
reviews should be restated as: are peak RF-EMR doses from
mobile phones higher in children than adults? Thus, the
paper’s title conflates exposure and dose.
Recognizing that this is an article on tissue dose rate,
the following section considers whether Foster and Chou
provide a systematic, comprehensive, meaningful, and objec-
tive review consistent with current scientific practice.
A literature review, whether qualitative or quantitative,
involves, at a minimum, three principal steps: 1) literature
search and report selection, 2) abstraction of study attributes
and results, and 3) analysis of abstracted data. The use of
meta-analysis is desirable whenever possible [7]–[9].
The validity of a scientific review is rooted in the comprehen-
sive identification of relevant research. Missing or exclud-
ing potentially relevant studies opens the door to bias, but
bibliographic search strings and methods used to assemble
the Foster and Chou review were not presented. Studies were
selected ‘‘that permit a direct comparison of SAR in heads of
children and adults from use of mobile phones . . . limited
to dosimetric issues [of] age-related differences . . . [3].’
Twenty-three studies were reviewed, all of which use finite
difference time domain (FDTD) calculation methods.
The major differences among the selected studies involve
the design of the simulation models, which have evolved
steadily with the growth in computing power. Early models
were relatively simplistic, using spheres [10] and cylinders
as crude approximations of the human head. All of these
early models required the simplifying assumption that human
tissue was a uniform, undifferentiated substance, character-
ized by a single set of dielectric constants, and child head
models were merely scaled down adult models. As a result,
the only differences between the tissue dose in adult and
child models resulted from either the position of the phone
or the penetration into additional anatomical regions resulting
from the smaller head size. Refinements in recent years using
the Talairach atlas (available since 1988) allow for model
improvements based on high-resolution characterization of
brain tissues, including adjustments for higher water content
in younger brains, which, as a result, absorb RF-EMR more
avidly [11].
In 2005, investigators at the U.S. Food and Drug Adminis-
tration working together with researchers at the Swiss IT’IS
Foundation developed a set of digital human models of the
entire body, not just the head, with organs and tissues in
anatomically correct locations [12]. These models, which
became known as the Virtual Family (VF), incorporated
tissue-specific parameters for conductivity and permittivity,
and a series of researchers have introduced other FDTD
Anatomically Correct, Tissue Specific (FACTS) models [13].
By coupling data from high-resolution MRI scans of a
broad range of subjects, researchers around the world, includ-
ing teams in Brazil [14] and Korea [15], have added to the
library of available FACTS models. Currently the VF has
more than a dozen different models, including male and
female children of various ages, men, women and even preg-
nant women at 1, 3, 7 and 9 months gestation [13]. Additional
models continue to be introduced. Absorption related param-
eters are derived from empirical measurements of dielectric
parameters in animal tissues of various ages immediately
after death. The models and WTD antennae can be configured
in any possible position, to predict the effects of exposure of
tissues of various sensitivities.
Foster and Chou acknowledge that, prior to the introduc-
tion of FACTS models, simulations ‘‘were not designed to
explore the effects of human variability on SAR, which on
the basis of [36] and other studies are considerable.’
Despite the fact that this statement seems to suggest that
these older models would not be suited to identifying dif-
ferences in tissue dose, Foster and Chou included many
such studies. Of the 22 distinct studies (2 are companion
studies [24], [25]) in their Table 2, only ten used FACTS
models [20]–[24], [26], [28], [29], [31], [35]. Foster and Chou
lumped these FACTS models together with ten older, less
sophisticated models spanning 19 years (1994-2012), which
simply used scaled down, non-FACTS models of adult heads
to model children without any consideration for the models’
To summarize a series of studies concisely, reviewers
must distill the findings of any particular study into a
few numbers. If the process of abstracting three or four
statistics to characterize an entire paper is not done according
to a clear, systematic protocol with meticulous attention to
detail, a strong potential for bias is introduced.
The papers that were selected by Foster and Chou
reported modeling exercises that differed in important ways.
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TABLE 1. Comparisons of qualitative study results from Foster and Chou [3] as summarized in their Table 2 and the quantitative results depicted
in their Figure 1.
These include: the precise positioning and nature of the radi-
ation source; the ages of the simulated heads; the degree to
which different tissue characteristics are considered (if at all);
and most importantly, the specific choice of anatomical sim-
ulation model. A table summarizing these variables for the
collection of studies would have been extremely informative.
Table 1 of the current paper summarizes the literature
selection, modeling designs and summary of results depicted
Figure 1 and Table 2 of Foster and Chou [3].
Comparison of Foster and Chou’s Table 2 and Figure 1
suggests a pattern of inconsistencies and errors in extract-
ing information. Although their Table 2 includes almost no
numerical data, a careful reading of the text summaries allows
classification of most studies according to which age group
had a higher peak tissue dose rate. Based on these determi-
nations, as shown in Table 1 of this paper, 11 of 22 distinct
studies [10], [14], [16]–[24] concluded tissue doses were
higher in children, 7 found no difference [26]–[32] and only
2 found higher doses in adults [15], [33]. In 2 cases the text
summaries were unclear [34], [35]. In other words, studies
reporting higher doses in children outnumber those reporting
higher doses in adults by a ratio of more than five to one,
according to the text summaries of the study results provided
by Foster and Chou in their Table 2.
Figure 1 from Foster and Chou does not accurately reflect
the information provided in their Table 2. Figure 1 from their
paper depicts 57 ratios of child/adult psSAR as abstracted
from 19 studies. Of these values, 14 (25%) indicate higher
peak dose in children, 17 (30%) found little or no difference
(0.95 1.05), and 26 (46%) found higher peak dose in adults.
Of all the values in Figure 1 from Foster and Chou [3], 60%
were greater than 1.00. Yet, according to Table 2, the per-
centage of studies that concluded that psSAR was higher in
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children was 57% while only 10% concluded that doses were
higher in adults. Figure 1 indicates psSAR ratios both above
and below unity for many studies, yielding ambiguous results.
For two studies summarized as reporting higher absorption in
children, all of the values in their Figure 2 represent higher
peak dose in adults [17], [19]. Because the authors did not
pool results quantitatively, the reader can not make conclu-
sions with respect to whether or not the combined studies
suggest the ratio of peak dose for children as compared to
adults is significantly different from 1.0.
Four of the studies listed in Table 2 were omitted
from Figure 1 including two that found higher doses in
children [22], [23] and two that concluded there were no dif-
ferences between adults and children [29], [30]. The reasons
for this omission are unclear.
Wiart et al. [22] stated that peripheral brain tissue had
‘‘. . . higher exposure with children than with adults.
Lu and Ueno [23] conclude that ‘‘[t]he induced SAR can
be significantly higher in subregions of the child’s brain.’’
Both of these quotes were taken directly from Table 2 in
Foster and Chou, but their Figure 1 shows results from neither
For at least two papers [17], [19], none of the results
in Figure 1 from Foster and Chou corresponds to the
summary of findings in their Table 2. In referring to
Gandhi and Kang [17], their Table 2 states that the model
of the child’s head has ‘‘peak 1 g SARs that may be
up to 50-55% higher compared to the SARs for the
larger [adult] model particularly for a PCS frequency of
1900 MHz [High Band].’’ In contrast, the bar graph
in Figure 1 shows the ratio of Child/Adult psSAR1g values
<1.0 in both the Low and High Bands.
According to Foster and Chou’s Table 2, Hadjem et al. [19]
estimated that, for two child head models, the peak 10 gm
SAR in the brain ‘‘is slightly more significant [higher] than
that for the adults one.’’ Their Figure 1 implies that adults
have higher dosage rates.
In other words, four studies were described in Table 2,
but omitted from Figure 1 and at least two other studies had
results reported in Figure 1 that were not consistent with
Foster and Chou’s own description of the results in Table 2.
Our Table 1 suggests additional contradictions between their
Table 2 and Figure 1.
Readers who rely on the visual summary of findings in
Figure 1 will infer that the majority of studies found higher
peak doses in adults. Readers diligent enough to sort through
the dense text of Table 2, will reach the opposite conclusion.
More important to the issue at hand is that many of the
models cited by Foster and Chou do not take into account dif-
ferences in the dielectric characteristics of the tissues of chil-
dren, compared with adults [29], [37]. Without this, models
only consider children as small adults. This all but assures that
there will be little difference in peak tissue dosage between
children and adults, except to the extent that children’s
smaller heads lead to higher doses in particular anatomical
regions of the brain when compared to the larger adult head.
There are two approaches to combining numerical results
abstracted from a group of comparable individual studies.
The first is to employ the statistical models commonly used
in meta-analysis, which pool results of experimental studies
mathematically using the standard error of the effect esti-
mates. The modeling studies reviewed by Foster and Chou
are not experimental, so their results cannot be pooled using
standard meta-analytical techniques.
Results from deterministic models, such as those reviewed
by Foster and Chou [3], can be systematically compared
based on study characteristics. Steady improvements in
model sophistication and dramatic increases in memory and
processing speed of computers would lead one to expect
more accurate results from more recent models. Of the five
studies using sophisticated FACTS models for both adults and
children and published in the past ten years, four found higher
peak dose rates in children.
Of 22 paragraphs devoted to discussing differences among
models, Foster and Chou [3] devote nine to an extended
discussion of two models that are 14 and 20 years old. Of
the fifteen models published in the past ten years, less than
half are mentioned in the discussion.
The reason Foster and Chou chose to criticize the work
of a particular author is suggested by their discussion of
Penetration Depth, in which they focus almost exclusively
on Gandhi’s 2002 Figure 3 image of RF-EMR absorption
in the brain at different ages. They assert, ‘‘A similar set
of false-color figures . . . showed SAR patterns in all three
differently sized head models that extended about the same
distance into the head.’’ This is true, as would be expected,
because the child’s head is smaller (scaled down from an
adult’s head). This study predated FACTS models, which
account for differences in dielectric properties between young
and older heads. The apparently controversial message of this
image is that RF-EMR penetrates proportionally deeper into
the brain of a child than an adult. If, as Foster and Chou assert,
absorption is the same in the pediatric and adult brains, then
the smaller size of a child’s head will guarantee higher doses
to tissues deeper in the brain. Much of their argument relies
on a paper [27], co-authored by Chou in 2005, a ten-year-
old study which relies on a simple, scaled down model of the
adult head.
In their Discussion, Foster and Chou state: ‘‘In summary,
simple generalizations found on the Internet about ‘kids
absorbing more RF energy than adults from cell phones
aren’t supported by available dosimetry studies.’’’ The textual
summaries of study findings, as provided by Foster and Chou
in their Table 2, appear to support exactly the opposite conclu-
sion. These 25 words represent the only part of the Discussion
section that refers directly to the topic of the paper—the
differences between tissue doses in adults and children.
The remainder of their Discussion argues that none of
this is relevant because compliance testing (as discussed in
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R. D. Morris et al.: Children Absorb Higher Doses of Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation
FIGURE 1. (a) Numerical results of original studies as abstracted by Foster and Chou [3]. (b) Summaries of study
findings as quoted by Foster and Chou [3].
detail in the Appendix of the current paper) is so susceptible
to slight differences in model conditions, particularly phone
position, that the calculated tissue doses have no real world
relevance. They further argue that worst-case testing grossly
overestimates true exposure. These points are, frankly, red
herrings and reintroduce the confusion created by the inac-
curate title.
Current safety certification of WTDs relies on the Standard
Anthropometric Model (SAM), a physical model of an adult
head. To draw the conclusion that children have higher doses
from a given exposure than adults would both invalidate
that certification process and suggest the need for stronger
safety standards. This would be expensive and problematic
for the telecommunications industry, particularly the makers
of WTDs.
The Appendix shows that the current cell phone certifica-
tion is vastly inferior to an FCC approved FDTD computer
simulation certification process that has never been employed
to certify phones but is regularly used to evaluate medical
Foster and Chou [3] review 23 studies that model the penetra-
tion and absorption of RF-EMR from cell phones and other
MTD’s. Figure 1a categorizes the conclusions drawn by the
authors of those studies as quoted by Foster and Chou [3].
Based on these summaries, 57% of studies concluded that
children had higher peak doses than adults. As shown in
Figure 1b, only 25% of the numerical results of these studies
as abstracted by Foster and Chou [3] concluded that Children
had a higher peak dose.
The chance of this pattern occurring by chance is negli-
gible (p=0.005 based on chi-squared test). There are only
two possible alternative explanations for this systematic dis-
crepancy. It is conceivable that the authors of the original
studies misrepresented their findings, but the fact that there
were many different authors involved and these were all peer-
reviewed papers makes this kind of widespread systematic
error unlikely. The alternative is that the values abstracted by
Foster and Chou do not correctly represent the actual results
of these studies.
In response to new evidence documenting children’s vul-
nerabilities to Non-Ionizing Radiation (NIR), the Belgian
government has made it illegal to provide a mobile phone to
a child age 7 or younger [40]. Similar legislation is under
consideration in France, India, Israel and other high-tech
nations to reduce exposures to WTDs [41].
Even if children and adults had the same tissue dose
for a given exposure, the effects of that same dose on the
developing brain of a fetus or young child would almost
certainly be greater. Younger brains are faster growing
and can therefore be more vulnerable to any toxic agent,
whether chemical or physical. In addition, the insulating
layer of myelin, which acts to protect nerve cells, is far
less developed in the child, the skull is thinner, the immune
system is still developing and cells are reproducing far
more rapidly than in adults. All of these vulnerabilities
increase susceptibility to neurological insult. Neurologists,
toxicologists and brain scientists agree that the develop-
ing brain is acutely and uniquely sensitive to hazardous
exposures [5].
Higher doses in children are even more important in light of
evidence that has emerged over the past 15 years suggesting
adverse effects from radiofrequency radiation that are com-
pletely unrelated to heating. These may include: increased
permeability of the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) [42], [43],
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R. D. Morris et al.: Children Absorb Higher Doses of Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation
genotoxic effects on human cell lines [44], brain
cancer [45]–[47], acoustic neuroma [48]–[50], and sperm
damage [51]–[53]. In 2013, the World Health Organization’s
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classi-
fied RF-EMR as a possible (2B) human carcinogen [54].
In light of explosive growth in usage rates and rapid techno-
logical change in wireless devices, the American Academy of
Pediatrics [55] supports ‘‘reassessment of radiation standards
for cell phones and other wireless products and the adoption
of standards that are protective of children and reflect current
use patterns.’’ The U.S. GAO has also recommended that the
FCC reassess its exposure limits in light of new evidence [56].
In sum, the review by Foster and Chou suffers from the
following weaknesses.
1. There is no clear protocol specified for the identifica-
tion of studies and the extraction and summary of data.
2. There are major, systematic discrepancies between the
summaries of study results in Foster and Chou’s Table 2
and the data presented in their Figure 1.
3. The authors spend almost half of their discussion focus-
ing on papers that are more than a decade old, but
say nothing about half of the studies published in the
past decade, most of which contradict their primary
In order to give some context to the concerns about com-
pliance testing raised by Foster and Chou [3], we present
a brief overview of RF-EMR exposure standard-setting and
compliance assessment.
Two RF-EMR exposure limit standards are in general use.
The FCC 1996 standard [58] was substantially based on
the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)
C95.1, 1991 standard with minor input from National Council
on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) Report
No. 86. The other, standard primarily used in the European
Union (E.U.), was authored by the International Commission
on Non-Ionizing Radiation (ICNIRP) [59], [60].
For the general U.S. public the maximum permissible spe-
cific absorption rate in any 1 g of tissue (SAR1g) is 1.6 W/kg
averaged over 30 minutes. In contrast, the corresponding
exposure limit for the general public in the E.U. (ICNIRP) in
any 10 gram cube of tissue is 2 W/kg averaged over 6 minutes.
The maximum SAR increases as the tissue weight and volume
decrease [61], so the E.U. limit allows roughly 2 to 3 times
greater exposure than the U.S. limit [21].
Applicants requiring certification of wireless transmitting
devices (WTDs) by the FCC and/or those E.U. agen-
cies adhering to the ICNIRP guidelines are permitted
to use either a finite-difference time-domain (FDTD)
Computer Simulation Process, or the Specific Anthropomor-
phic Mannequin (SAM) physical model to certify that WTDs
do not exceed the exposure limit [62].
FIGURE A-1. SAM Phantom. ‘‘CTIA’’ is the Cellular Telecommunications
Industry Association. Source: SPEAG Phantom Product Flyer.
A cell phone set to transmit at maximum power is affixed to
either side of the mannequin’s head (red plastic in Fig. A-1),
offset by a distance to simulate the ear. The robotic
arm probes SAM to find the highest electric field within
any 1 cm3(1 g) cube, or 10 g, for the 1 and 10 g standards
SAR is calculated from electric field measurements and the
properties of the liquid. Uncertainty in SAR determinations
has been stated as ±30% [63].
Modern WTDs can operate simultaneously on different
frequencies for both speech and other data, but devices are
tested on one frequency at a time.
In 1994, Niels Kuster worked with Motorola colleagues
at their Florida research center a submersible electric field
probe required for the SAM Certification Process. Shortly
thereafter, he created a commercial manufacturing company
in Zurich to produce the test system that is now widely
used around the world. SPEAG was founded in December
1994 as a spin-off company of the Swiss Federal Institute
of Technology (ETHZ) by Kuster and colleagues. Schmid
& Partner Engineering was one of the founders of the
IT’IS Foundation, and has remained a major sponsor of this
research institute [64].
SPEAG is the brand name used by Schmid & Partner
Engineering AG for the hardware and software required
for the SAM Certification Process. SAM models have been
extended to adult phantoms of other body parts, that may be
posed. SPEAG also provides FDTD modeling software and
services [65].
The FDTD Computer Simulation Process is approved for
FCC compliance, but according to government websites is
not used for WTDs [66], [67]. It is, however, used by the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for
Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) to evaluate the
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R. D. Morris et al.: Children Absorb Higher Doses of Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation
TABLE A-1. Comparison of cell phone certification processes.
safety of medical implants by relying on anatomically based
models for persons of varying ages and sizes [68], [69].
Compared with the homogenous fluid-filled SAM head
phantom, the FDTD Computer Simulation Process using
FDTD Anatomically Correct, Tissue Specific (FACTS) mod-
els provides fine-grained resolution of RF-EMR absorption
in tissues in any volume within the body, of any age or
sex, with any location of the WTD (e.g., adjacent to a
pregnant abdomen, or in a trouser pocket in proximity to
a testicle).
Table A-1 compares the attributes of the two FCC approved
certification processes.
The authors wish to thank Margaret Sears, for her extensive
contributions as both writer and editor and Barbara Payne for
her extraordinary copy-editing skill. Environmental Health
Trust provided support for Robert Morris, Lloyd Morgan, and
Devra Davis during the preparation of this manuscript, as
did grants from the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole
and Lucy R. Wiletzky MD.
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ROBERT D. MORRIS received the M.D. and
Ph.D. degrees. He has taught with the Tufts
University School of Medicine, the Harvard
University School of Public Health, and the
Medical College of Wisconsin, and has served
as an Advisor to the EPA, CDC, NIH, and the
President’s Cancer Panel. He resides in
Seattle, WA. He is currently an Environmental
Epidemiologist and the Senior Medical Advisor to
the Environmental Health Trust. His workhas been
featured in the New York Times and the London Times, and in the Dateline
NBC and the BBC. His first book, entitled The Blue Death, received the
Nautilus Gold Award, and was named one of the Best Consumer Health
Books of 2007 by the American Library Association.
L. LLOYD MORGAN has been involved in the
study of exposure to electromagnetic fields and
resultant health problems since 1995. He is cur-
rently an Electronic Engineer by training with
38 years of industrial experience and a member
of international science organizations. He contin-
ues to carry out critical analyses of epidemio-
logical studies in the field and presents findings
to local expert forums in Teton County, as well
as nationally and internationally. His paper, with
Dr. Gandhi, Dr. Herberman, and Dr. Davis, on brain modeling of cell phones
was one of the most widely cited papers in the field.
DEVRA DAVIS received the B.S. and M.A.
degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, the
Ph.D. degree in science studies from the Uni-
versity of Chicago, and the M.P.H. degree in
epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University.
She was the Founding Director of the Center
for Environmental Oncology with the University
of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and the Founding
Director of the Board on Environmental Studies
and Toxicology with the U.S. National Research
Council (1983–1993), where she served as a Scholar-in-Residence, and
a Professor of Epidemiology with the Graduate School of Public Health
(2004–2010). She served as the Presidential Appointee to the Chemical
Safety and Hazard Investigation Board and a Senior Advisor to the Assistant
Secretary for Health with the Department of Health and Human Services.
She has taught with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine,
the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Oberlin College, and Carnegie
Mellon University. She has counseled leading officials in the United States,
the United Nations, the European Environment Agency, the Pan American
Health Organization, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the
U.S. National Toxicology Program, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention. She is currently the Founder and President of the Environ-
mental Health Trust and visiting Professor at both Hebrew Univ. Hadassah
Medical Center and Ondokuz Mayis Univ. Medical School. She has authored
over 200 scientific publications, ten edited monographs, three popular books,
and numerous op-eds.
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... Despite the extensive literature on the subject [8,10,[23][24][25][26], there has been longstanding controversy about whether children absorb more RF energy than adults when using a smartphone [27]. Using realistic virtual human models, it is possible to find any differences in the exposure for different users such as adults vs. children. ...
... Regarding the question about whether children absorb more RF energy than adults when using a smartphone, the debate is still heated in the literature and to date, there are no firm conclusions on this matter [23][24][25][26][27]. The differences in peak local SAR and Sab between adults and children also found in this work are not relevant for compliance assessment [18] but might be important for other purposes, including research on possible biological effects of RF energy. ...
Full-text available
The recent development of millimeter-wave (mmW) technologies, such as the fifthgeneration (5G) network, comes with concerns related to user exposure. A quite large number of dosimetry studies above 6 GHz have been conducted, with the main purpose being to establish the correlation between different dosimetric parameters and the skin surface temperature elevation. However, the dosimetric studies from 28 GHz user equipment using different voxel models have not been comprehensively discussed yet. In this study, we used the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method for the estimation of the absorption of radiofrequency (RF) energy from a microstrip patch antenna array (28 GHz) in different human models. Specifically, we analyzed different exposure conditions simulating three real common scenarios (a phone call scenario, message writing scenario, and browsing scenario) regarding the use of smartphones/tablets by four different individuals (adult male and female, child male and female). From the results of Absorbed Power Density (Sab), it is possible to conclude that all the considered exposure scenarios comply with the safety limits, bothfor adult and children models. However, the high values of the local Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) in the superficial tissues and the slight differences in its distribution between adults and children suggest the need for further and more detailed analysis.
... addition, the effect of electromagnetic waves is greater, with deeper penetration in newborns and children [10]. Consequently, the use of alternatives to RF technologies, such as OWC technologies [11], is of great interest to have a reliable, secure and efficient transmission. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Existing Electrocardiogram (ECG) systems are either wired or based on radiofrequency (RF) wireless devices when remote transmission is needed. However, the use of radiofrequencies has limitations especially for sensitive populations such as newborns and infants. In addition, due to electromagnetic interference problems, impairments in the RF transmission of the ECG signal can lead to diagnostic errors. To answer these problems, we propose in this article, an optical wireless monitoring system, using an infrared link between an ECG sensor placed on a baby's chest and receivers placed on the ceiling of a pediatric room. In addition, it is assumed that the infant can move around in his bed. Our main contribution is the evaluation of the quality of the ECG signal transmitted by the proposed system, in terms of classic Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) and Bit Error Rate (BER) metrics but also in terms of Signal Quality Indexes (SQIs) calculated from the characteristics of the received ECG signal. Results show the ability to perform wireless infant ECG monitoring using the Optical Wireless Communication (OWC) with satisfactory quality for optimum power.
... It seems that the increase in power absorption from a mobile phone is inversely proportional to the child's age due to differences such as a lower thickness of pinna, skin, and skull of the younger child models. It is indicated that, in general, children are more vulnerable to electromagnetic radiation than adults [21][22][23]. ...
Full-text available
A detailed dosimetry study of electromagnetic absorption and temperature rise under real scenarios is delivered when a mobile phone is used inside an elevator cabin. Numerically accurate human models of a 7 th month pregnant woman and a 5-year-old female child are utilized as the exposed subjects. The female child acts as the phone user. The mobile phone is modeled in three talk positions (parallel, tilt, and cheek) operating at 1000 MHz and 1800 MHz. From the obtained numerical results for the specific absorption rate (SAR) and temperature rise induced by the mobile radiofrequency (RF) radiation, it is found that the child's RF exposure is significantly affected by the phone position and less affected by the relevant position of the human models. The exact opposite case applies for the pregnant woman model and its fetus. Almost all numerical investigations are carried out inside a metallic elevator cabin.
... The time a foteus spends in the mother's womb is a critical time of devleopment because the health problems that are once laid down in the cells or in epigenetic changes in the genome have life-long consequences on the health of that individual [31] The young population are more vulnerable to EMR exposure because of their smaller body mass and rapid physical development, both of which magnify the impact of EMR on body. The differences in bone density and the amount of fluid in a child's brain compared to an adult's brain allow children to absorb greater quantities of RF energy deeper into their brains than adults [32]. It is known in the field of medicine that the brain tissue in children shows more electrical conductivity when compared with adults. ...
The electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitted out of wireless communication modules in various IoT devices (especially used for healthcare applications due to their close proximity to the body) devices have been identified by researchers as biologically hazardous to humans as well as other living beings. Different countries have different regulations to limit the radiation density levels caused by these devices. The radiation absorbed by an individual depends on various factors such as the device they use, the proximity of use, the type of antenna, the relative orientation of the antenna on the device, and many more. Several standards exist which have tried to quantify the radiation levels and come up with safe limits of EMR absorption to prevent human harm. In this work, we determine the radiation concern levels in several scenarios using a handheld radiation meter by correlating the findings with several international standards, which are determined based on thorough scientific evidence. This study also analyzes the EMR from common devices used in day to day life such as smartphones, laptops, Wi-Fi routers, hotspots, wireless earphones, smartwatches, Bluetooth speakers and other wireless accessories using a handheld radio frequency radiation measurement device. The procedure followed in this paper is so presented that it can also be utilized by the general public as a tutorial to evaluate their own safety with respect to EMR exposure. We present a summary of the most prominent health hazards which have been known to occur due to EMR exposure. We also discuss some individual and collective human-centric protective and preventive measures that can be undertaken to reduce the risk of EMR absorption. This paper analyses radiation safety in pre-5G networks and uses the insight gained to raise valuable concerns regarding EMR safety in the upcoming 5G networks.
... Issues related to anonymization and re-identification of data, and sharing of research data collected from apps, were omitted. Finally, issues related to radiofrequency microwave radiation exposure were not discussed, including cellphone safety limits, emissions when cellphones touch the body, increased absorption rates in children (Gandhi et al. 2012;Gandhi 2019;Fernández et al. 2018;Morris et al. 2015), and potential health effects from long-term exposure (Lin 2018). The article search for this review occurred between February-May, 2019. ...
Full-text available
There has been increasing interest in the use of smartphone applications (apps) and other consumer technology in mental health care for a number of years. However, the vision of data from apps seamlessly returned to, and integrated in, the electronic medical record (EMR) to assist both psychiatrists and patients has not been widely achieved, due in part to complex issues involved in the use of smartphone and other consumer technology in psychiatry. These issues include consumer technology usage, clinical utility, commercialization, and evolving consumer technology. Technological, legal and commercial issues, as well as medical issues, will determine the role of consumer technology in psychiatry. Recommendations for a more productive direction for the use of consumer technology in psychiatry are provided.
Full-text available
Mobile information access and communication has become an important segment of modern life. At the same time, people wellbeing is taken into consideration for the safe use of technology. As per Bio-Initiative Report, the existing standards are to be relooked for proper healthy environment. Different countries are adopting different criteria for the limit of the radiation power density within the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection limits. For the purpose, administrators and regulators in Sultanate of Oman are taking utmost care according to the guidelines setup by International and National agencies. With the focus to have awareness about the technical requirements to protect the health of the people, especially (kids, pregnant women and patients), the study was done to measure the power density radiated by mobile towers near schools and health centers within Suhar using the “Spectran” handheld analyzer for GSM 900 MHz range with maximum distance 250 meters within the study area. It was found that the measured power density decreases as the distance of point of measurement is increased. On all the measurement points the power density was well below the recommended range from ICNIRP infers the safe use the communication devices under the present conditions.
Full-text available
Background For more than 20 years, the potential health risks of radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF EMF) exposure from mobile communication devices on children and adolescents have been examined because they are considered sensitive population groups; however, it remains unclear whether such exposure poses any particular risk to them. Objectives The aim of this review was to systematically analyze and evaluate the physiological and health-related effects of RF EMF exposures from wireless communication devices (mobile phones, cordless phones, Bluetooth, etc.) on children and adolescents. Methods This review was prepared according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Methodological limitations in individual studies were assessed using the Office of Health Assessment and Translation (OHAT) Risk-of-Bias Rating Tool for Human and Animal Studies. Results A total of 42 epidemiological and 11 experimental studies were eligible for this review. Most of the studies displayed several methodological weaknesses that limited the internal validity of the results. Due to a lack of consistency regarding the outcomes as well as the lack of scientific rigor in most reviewed studies, the body of evidence for the effects of RF EMF of mobile communication devices on subjective symptoms, cognition, and behavior in children and adolescents was low to inadequate. Evidence from the studies investigating early childhood development, brain activity, cancer, and physiological parameters was considered inadequate for drawing conclusions about possible effects. Discussion Overall, the body of evidence allows no final conclusion on the question whether exposure to RF EMF from mobile communication devices poses a particular risk to children and adolescents. There has been rapid development in technologies generating RF EMF, which are extensively used by children and adolescents. Therefore, we strongly recommend high-quality systematic research on children and adolescents, since they are generally considered as sensitive age groups.
A chiral-bioplasma model that characterizes the human head and analyzes its behavior when it is radiated by the microwave of wireless systems is presented. The technique of the method of finite differences in the domain of time allows numerical calculation of electromagnetic fields and simulates the specific absorption rate. The results were obtained for section 35 of the magnetic resonance imaging model. The most important conclusion of our work is that, considering that the brain tissue is a chiral bioplasma, there is greater absorption, compared to the classic models, of the microwave radiation emitted by the WiFi and Wi-Max systems.
Conference Paper
In this paper, the study is centered on the various effects of Electromagnetic Field (EMF) on the health of habitats living near a mobile tower. The proposed study has been focused on the particular tower of the State-owned mobile operator "BSNL" i.e., Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. It is located in the surrounding areas of Village Murthal (Sonipat). The aim of this investigation is to identify the vulnerable power of EMF Radiations at the particular location around the tower and compare them with the standard prescribed by the Department of Telecommunication (DoT).
Full-text available
We made a pooled analysis of two case-control studies on malignant brain tumours with patients diagnosed during 1997-2003 and 2007-2009. They were aged 20-80 years and 18-75 years, respectively, at the time of diagnosis. Only cases with histopathological verification of the tumour were included. Population-based controls, matched on age and gender, were used. Exposures were assessed by questionnaire. The whole reference group was used in the unconditional regression analysis adjusted for gender, age, year of diagnosis, and socio-economic index. In total, 1498 (89%) cases and 3530 (87%) controls participated. Mobile phone use increased the risk of glioma, OR=1.3, 95% CI=1.1-1.6 overall, increasing to OR=3.0, 95% CI=1.7-5.2 in the >25 year latency group. Use of cordless phones increased the risk to OR=1.4, 95% CI=1.1-1.7, with highest risk in the >15-20 years latency group yielding OR=1.7, 95% CI=1.1-2.5. The OR increased statistically significant both per 100h of cumulative use, and per year of latency for mobile and cordless phone use. Highest ORs overall were found for ipsilateral mobile or cordless phone use, OR=1.8, 95% CI=1.4-2.2 and OR=1.7, 95% CI=1.3-2.1, respectively. The highest risk was found for glioma in the temporal lobe. First use of mobile or cordless phone before the age of 20 gave higher OR for glioma than in later age groups. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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The Virtual Family computational whole-body anatomical human models were originally developed for electromagnetic (EM) exposure evaluations, in particular to study how absorption of radiofrequency radiation from external sources depends on anatomy. However, the models immediately garnered much broader interest and are now applied by over 300 research groups, many from medical applications research fields. In a first step, the Virtual Family was expanded to the Virtual Population to provide considerably broader population coverage with the inclusion of models of both sexes ranging in age from 5 to 84 years old. Although these models have proven to be invaluable for EM dosimetry, it became evident that significantly enhanced models are needed for reliable effectiveness and safety evaluations of diagnostic and therapeutic applications, including medical implants safety. This paper describes the research and development performed to obtain anatomical models that meet the requirements necessary for medical implant safety assessment applications. These include implementation of quality control procedures, re-segmentation at higher resolution, more-consistent tissue assignments, enhanced surface processing and numerous anatomical refinements. Several tools were developed to enhance the functionality of the models, including discretization tools, posing tools to expand the posture space covered, and multiple morphing tools, e.g., to develop pathological models or variations of existing ones. A comprehensive tissue properties database was compiled to complement the library of models. The results are a set of anatomically independent, accurate, and detailed models with smooth, yet feature-rich and topologically conforming surfaces. The models are therefore suited for the creation of unstructured meshes, and the possible applications of the models are extended to a wider range of solvers and physics. The impact of these improvements is shown for the MRI exposure of an adult woman with an orthopedic spinal implant. Future developments include the functionalization of the models for specific physical and physiological modeling tasks.
An automated coordinate-based system to retrieve brain labels from the 1988 Talairach Atlas, called the Talairach Daemon (TD), was previously introduced [Lancaster et al., 1997]. In the present study, the TD system and its 3-D database of labels for the 1988 Talairach atlas were tested for labeling of functional activation foci. TD system labels were compared with author-designated labels of activation coordinates from over 250 published functional brain-mapping studies and with manual atlas-derived labels from an expert group using a subset of these activation coordinates. Automated labeling by the TD system compared well with authors' labels, with a 70% or greater label match averaged over all locations. Author-label matching improved to greater than 90% within a search range of +/-5 mm for most sites. An adaptive grey matter (GM) range-search utility was evaluated using individual activations from the M1 mouth region (30 subjects, 52 sites). It provided an 87% label match to Brodmann area labels (BA 4 & BA 6) within a search range of +/-5 mm. Using the adaptive GM range search, the TD system's overall match with authors' labels (90%) was better than that of the expert group (80%). When used in concert with authors' deeper knowledge of an experiment, the TD system provides consistent and comprehensive labels for brain activation foci. Additional suggested applications of the TD system include interactive labeling, anatomical grouping of activation foci, lesion-deficit analysis, and neuroanatomy education. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Our reports of published research in several of the peer-reviewed journal articles in 1996, 2002, and 2004 have generated a lot of controversy over the last two decades, including the most recent publication by Foster and Chou. In this paper, we present arguments based on physics that the main reason for higher exposure of children (also women and men with smaller heads and likely thinner pinnae) to radiofrequency energy from mobile phones is the closer placement of the cell phone radiation source by several millimeters to the tissues of the head, e.g., the brain. Using heterogeneous anatomically derived shaped models of the head, we have previously reported that the exposure increases by a compounding rate of 10%–15% for every single millimeter of closer location of the radiating antenna. This is similar to the report of $sim 20$ % increase for every millimeter in the Foster and Chou’s paper from their (1) even though their simplistic (1) is valid only for a homogenous tissue slab of infinite size and the radiation source that is a wire dipole rather than a mobile telephone. Both of their assumptions for (1) are obviously not applicable for human exposures to mobile telephones. Actually, the physical reason for such a rapid drop off of coupled energy is that the radiofrequency electromagnetic fields close to a radiating source in the so-called near-field region reduce in strength very rapidly with every millimeter of distance, even faster than in the far-field region, where the electromagnetic fields reduce inversely with the square of the distance from the source.
There has been long-standing controversy, both among scientists and in the public, about whether children absorb more radio frequency (RF) energy in their heads than adults when using a mobile telephone. This review summarizes the current understanding of this issue, and some of the complexities in comparing the absorption of RF energy in different individuals from use of mobile phones. The discussion is limited to dosimetric issues, i.e., possible age-related differences in absorption of RF energy in the heads of mobile phone users. For most metrics of exposure, in particular those relevant to assessing the compliance of handsets with regulatory limits, there is no clear evidence for age-related differences in exposure. For two metrics of exposure, there is a clear evidence that age can play a factor: 1) the local specific absorption rate (SAR), in particular anatomically defined locations within the brain, will vary with head size and hence with age and 2) the SAR, in particular tissues, (e.g., bone marrow in the skull) can vary with age due to age-related differences in the dielectric properties of tissue. However, these differences involve SAR levels that are below the 1-g or 10-g peak spatial SAR (psSAR averaged over 1 or 10 g of tissue) and have no significance for compliance assessment. Age-related differences observed in worst case simulations such as presently considered are difficult to generalize to human populations under real-world exposure conditions due to many variables that determine SAR during realistic usages.
Among various possible health effects of mobile phone radiation, the risk of inducing cancer has the strongest interest of laymen and health organizations. Recently, the Interphone epidemiological study investigated the association between the estimated Radio Frequency (RF) dose from mobile phones and the risk of developing a brain tumor. Their dosimetric analysis included over 100 phone models but only two homogeneous head phantoms. So, the potential impact of individual morphological features on global and local RF absorption in the brain was not investigated. In this study, we performed detailed dosimetric simulations for 20 head models and quantified the variation of RF dose in different brain regions as a function of head morphology. Head models were exposed to RF fields from generic mobile phones at 835 and 1900 MHz in the "tilted" and "cheek" positions. To evaluate the local RF dose variation, we used and compared two different post-processing methods, that is, averaging specific absorption rate (SAR) over Talairach regions and over sixteen predefined 1 cm(3) cube-shaped field-sensors. The results show that the variation in the averaged SAR among the heads can reach up to 16.4 dB at a 1 cm(3) cube inside the brain (field-sensor method) and alternatively up to 15.8 dB in the medulla region (Talairach method). In conclusion, we show head morphology as an important uncertainty source for dosimetric studies of mobile phones. Therefore, any dosimetric analysis dealing with RF dose at a specific region in the brain (e.g., tumor risk analysis) should be based upon real morphology. Bioelectromagnetics 9999:1-11, (2014). © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.