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Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2021

Longitudinal Study of Exposure to Radio Frequencies at Population Scale

Abstract

Evaluating population-scale exposure to the radio frequencies~(RF) used in wireless telecommunication technologies is important for conducting sound epidemiological studies on the health impacts of these RF.Numerous studies have reported population exposure, but have used very small population samples. In this context, the real exposure of the population to RF remains subject to controversy. Here, to the best of our knowledge, we report the largest crowd-based measurement of population exposure to RF produced by cellular antennas, Wi-Fi access points, and Bluetooth devices for 254,410 unique users in 13 countries from January 2017 to December 2020. All measurements were obtained from the ElectroSmart Android app, and we applied a thorough methodology to clean and consolidate the measurements. We show that total exposure has been multiplied by 2.3 in the four-year period considered, with Wi-Fi as the largest contributor. The cellular exposure levels are orders of magnitude lower than the regulation limits and not significantly impacted by national regulation policies. Therefore, the mere comparison of exposure levels to regulation limits is a poor way to describe the real evolution of exposure. The population tends to be more exposed at home; for half of the study subjects, personal Wi-Fi routers and Bluetooth devices contributed to more than 50% of their total exposure. We make our dataset publicly available to provide a starting point for sound epidemiological studies on the health impacts of RF, and for other types of studies interested in population exposure to RF or the usage of wireless communication technologies.
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Dates and versions

hal-03361556 , version 1 (01-10-2021)

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : hal-03361556 , version 1

Cite

Yanis Boussad, Xi Leslie Chen, Arnaud Legout, Augustin Chaintreau, Walid Dabbous. Longitudinal Study of Exposure to Radio Frequencies at Population Scale. 2021. ⟨hal-03361556⟩
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