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WP 5: Development of relevant indicators to quantify exposure to RF. New devices, uses and technologies

Coordinator: CREAL

Collaborators: ISGLOBAL; UMRESTTE; IMEC; IRAS; IT’IS ; Orange; Swiss TPH

Objective

By combining general population surveys (WP1), information on the transmitted powers (WP3), exposure levels related to different uses, technologies and devices (WP4) this WP will define relevant indicators for the quantification of exposure to RF related to new uses, devices and communication technologies.

Work will be divided into three parts:

  • Development of exposure matrices:
    • For each of the devices, uses, positions of use and technologies studied in the previous WPs, we will assign an estimate of average exposure – and the uncertainty associated with it - based on the results of WP4;
    • For each device, use and position, we will estimate the mean exposure (and its uncertainty) by calculating the weighted average by technology. The weight will be chosen according to the proportion of use of the different technologies (wifi, regular cellular network, femto cells, etc.) in the general population if these can be estimated from data collected by mobile applications and, possibly, from the survey.
    • Additional matrices will be developed based on credible scenarios of future technologic evolution (defined by the partners based on discussions with stakeholders and information from the LEX-NET project).
  • Estimation of RF exposure in the general population:
    • Responses to the survey conducted in WP1 will be combined with information from exposure matrices to estimate the distribution of exposure to RF (and its associated uncertainty) in the general population, overall as well as by age-range, source and type of use. Possible differences between countries, sexes and age ranges will be evaluated. These data will be essential both for assessing the health impact of new communication technologies and for communicating possible risks.
    • A report for regulators - and another for the public - will be prepared summarizing the information collected during the project.
  • Estimation of exposure in epidemiological studies:
    • Several study questionnaires (such as that of Mobi-Kids) collect information on use of multiple devices and on different uses (voice vs data – separating the later by type of use: messaging, streaming, web browsing, VoIP, etc.). Currently, it is difficult to estimate RF exposure related to the use of different types of data. The exposure matrices described above will be an essential element to improve the estimation of exposure in existing studies and algorithms by allowing the estimation of exposure based on responses to the questionnaires.
    • The characterization of the main sources of exposure, uses, and devices conducted in CREST will allow the development of better adapted epidemiological questionnaires for future epidemiological studies of the health impact of new communication technologies.