Kim BC, Park S-O. Evaluation of RF electromagnetic field exposure levels from cellular base stations in Korea. Bioelectromagnetics. June 3, 2010. Ahead of print.
Increased use of mobile phones in Korea led to an increase in the number of base stations in residential areas. The public is concerned about possible health risks associated with electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from base stations. In 2000, Korea established national guidelines for human exposures to EMFs. These guidelines are in accordance with the guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).
The objective of this study was 1) to evaluate the levels of exposure to radiofrequency EMFs from mobile phone base stations at locations where the public expressed concerns about EMFs; 2) to compare these levels with the guideline limits.
Methods and Results
Fifty places were selected for measurements across the country. These places were located in the areas where the public spends much of their time: 27 locations in school areas, 11 in apartment complexes, 5 in commercial areas, 4 in hospitals, and 3 in residential areas. The distances between measurement positions and the nearest base stations were 43-422 metres for schools, 35-136 metres for apartment complexes, 49-355 metres for commercial areas, and 43-85 metres for residential areas. The highest field level (1.5 V/m) was recorded at a school; this corresponds to 0.15% of the ICNIRP limit.
Interpretation and Conclusion
The measured levels of exposures to EMFs were very low; even the highest level was much lower than the ICNIRP exposure limit.