RF personal exposimetry on employees of elementary schools, kindergartens and day nurseries as a proxy for child exposures

Abstract : Personal RF exposimetry has been in the focus of the bioelectromagnetics community in the last few years. With a few exceptions, exposimetry studies focused on adults, because measuring the exposure of children, one of the most important target groups, introduces many complications. The main feature of our study is to select teachers and kindergarten caretakers as volunteers. They are expected to receive similar exposure patterns as the children because they spend the workday close to them. Thus they can stand as proxies for estimation of exposures of children. Volunteers belonging to one of two groups (elementary school teachers, n = 31; employees of kindergartens and day nurseries, n = 50) in Hungarian cities received a Personal Exposimeter (PEM) for 24 h each. Only workdays, when the volunteers worked near children, were considered. 51 additional volunteers (office workers) were measured as controls. The volunteers wore the PEMs on their bodies. Those activities marked in the exposure diaries as work were further classified into 5 categories based on the level of certainty that they actually worked near children during that activity. Subsets of the full dataset were derived and compared based on this categorization. It was found that relaxation of the selection criteria often under- or overestimates exposure. The differences of estimation depend on the frequency band and sub-population: the kindergarten and teacher groups differ in this regard. For most frequency bands the majority of data points was below the detection limit. Derived child exposures are comparable to the worktime exposure of adults (control group).
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Peter Juhasz, Jozsef Bakos, Noemi Nagy, Gabor Janossy, Viktoria Finta, et al.. RF personal exposimetry on employees of elementary schools, kindergartens and day nurseries as a proxy for child exposures. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Elsevier, 2011, 107 (3), pp.449-455. ⟨10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2011.09.020⟩. ⟨ineris-00963319⟩

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