Evaluation of exposure to electromagnetic radiofrequency radiation in the indoor workplace accessible to the public by the use of frequency-selective exposimeters

Krzysztof Gryz 1  ,  
Laboratory of Electromagnetic Hazards, Central Institute for Labour Protection — National Research Institute, Warszawa, Poland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2014;27(6):1043–1054
Objectives: The aim of the study was to identify and assess electromagnetic radiofrequency radiation (EMRR) exposure in a workplace located in a publicly accessible environment, and represented by offices (where exposure is caused by various transmitters of local fixed indoor and outdoor wireless communication systems). Material and Methods: The investigations were performed in 45 buildings (in urban and rural areas in various regions of Poland), using frequency-selective electric field strength (E-field) exposimeters sensitive to the EMRR with a frequency range of 88–2500 MHz, split into 12 subbands corresponding to the operating frequencies of typical EMRR sources. The variability of the E-field was analyzed for each frequency range and the total level of exposure by statistical parameters of recorded exposimetric profiles: minimum, maximum, median values and 25–75th – percentiles. Results: The main sources of exposure to EMRR are mobile phone base transceiver stations (BTS) and radio-television transmitters (RTV). The frequency composition in a particular office depends on the building’s location. The E-field recorded in buildings in urban and rural areas from the outdoor BTS did not exceed respectively: medians – 0.19 and 0.05 V/m, 75th percentiles – 0.25 and 0.09 V/m. In buildings equipped with the indoor BTS antennas the E-field did not exceed: medians – 1 V/m, 75th percentiles – 1.8 V/m. Whereas in urban and rural areas, the median and 75th percentile values of the E-field recorded in buildings located near the RTV (within 1 km) did not exceed: 1.5 and 3.8 V/m or 0.4 and 0.8 V/m, for radio FM band or for TV bands, respectively. Conclusions: Investigations confirmed the practical applicability of the exposimetric measurements technique for evaluating parameters of worker’s exposure in both frequency- and time-domain. The presented results show EMRR exposure of workers or general public in locations comparable to offices to be well below international limits.