The effect of increase in dielectric values on specific absorption rate (SAR) in eye and head tissues following 900, 1800 and 2450 MHz radio frequency (RF) exposure

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Physics in Medicine and Biology (Impact Factor: 2.76). 04/2006; 51(6):1463-77. DOI: 10.1088/0031-9155/51/6/007
Source: PubMed


Numerous studies have attempted to address the question of the RF energy absorption difference between children and adults using computational methods. They have assumed the same dielectric parameters for child and adult head models in SAR calculations. This has been criticized by many researchers who have stated that child organs are not fully developed, their anatomy is different and also their tissue composition is slightly different with higher water content. Higher water content would affect dielectric values, which in turn would have an effect on RF energy absorption. The objective of this study was to investigate possible variation in specific absorption rate (SAR) in the head region of children and adults by applying the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method and using anatomically correct child and adult head models. In the calculations, the conductivity and permittivity of all tissues were increased from 5 to 20% but using otherwise the same exposure conditions. A half-wave dipole antenna was used as an exposure source to minimize the uncertainties of the positioning of a real mobile device and making the simulations easily replicable. Common mobile telephony frequencies of 900, 1800 and 2450 MHz were used in this study. The exposures of ear and eye regions were investigated. The SARs of models with increased dielectric values were compared to the SARs of the models where dielectric values were unchanged. The analyses suggest that increasing the value of dielectric parameters does not necessarily mean that volume-averaged SAR would increase. Under many exposure conditions, specifically at higher frequencies in eye exposure, volume-averaged SAR decreases. An increase of up to 20% in dielectric conductivity or both conductivity and permittivity always caused a SAR variation of less than 20%, usually about 5%, when it was averaged over 1, 5 or 10 g of cubic mass for all models. The thickness and composition of different tissue layers in the exposed regions within the human head play a more significant role in SAR variation compared to the variations (5-20%) of the tissue dielectric parameters.

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