The pattern of the electromagnetic field emitted by mobile phones in motor vehicle driving simulators

Piotr Politański 1, 2  ,  
Department of Radiological Protection, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland
Electromagnetic Hazards Laboratory, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, św. Teresy 8, 91-348, Łódź, Poland
Department of Work Physiology and Ergonomic, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2013;26(3):471–476
Introduction: The paper reports the results of the determinations of UMTS EMF distributions in the driver's cab of motor vehicle simulators. The results will serve as the basis for future research on the influence of EMF emitted by mobile phones on driver physiology. Materials and Methods: Two motor vehicle driving simulators were monitored, while an EMF source was placed at the driver's head or on the dashboard of the motor vehicle driving simulator. For every applied configuration, the maximal electric field strength was measured, as were the values at 16 points corresponding to chosen locations on a driver's or passenger's body. Results: When the power was set for the maximum (49 mW), a value of 27 V/m was measured in the vicinity of the driver's head when the phone was close to the head. With the same power, when the phone was placed on the dashboard, the measured maximum was 15.2 V/m in the vicinity of the driver's foot. Similar results were obtained for the passenger. Significant perturbations in EMF distribution and an increase in electric field strength values in the motor vehicle driving simulator were also observed in comparison to free space measurements, and the electric field strength was up to 3 times higher inside the simulator. Conclusions: This study can act as the basis of future studies concerning the influence of the EMF emitted by mobile phones on the physiology of the driver. Additionally, the authors postulate that it is advisable to keep mobile phones at a distance from the head, i.e. use, whenever possible, hands-free kits to reduce EMF exposure, both for drivers and passengers.