The three-dimensional distribution of the specific absorption rate of energy (SAR) in phantom models was analysed to detect clusters of mobile phones producing similar spatial deposition of energy in the head. The clusters characteristics were described from the phones external features, frequency band and communication protocol. Compliance measurements with phones in cheek and tilt positions, and on the left and right side of a physical phantom were used. Phones used the Personal Digital Cellular (PDC), Code division multiple access One (CdmaOne), Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Nordic Mobile Telephony (NMT) communication systems, in the 800, 900, 1500 and 1800 MHz bands. Each phones measurements were summarised by the half-ellipsoid in which the SAR values were above half the maximum value. Cluster analysis used the Partitioning Around Medoids algorithm. The dissimilarity measure was based on the overlap of the ellipsoids, and the Manhattan distance was used for robustness analysis. Within the 800?MHz frequency band, and in part within the 900?MHz and the 1800?MHz frequency bands, weak clustering was obtained for the handset shape (bar phone, flip with top and flip with central antennas), but only in specific positions (tilt or cheek). On measurements of 120 phones, the three-dimensional distribution of SAR in phantom models did not appear to be related to particular external phone characteristics or measurement characteristics, which could be used for refining the assessment of exposure to radiofrequency energy within the brain in epidemiological studies such as the Interphone.
The development of new wireless communication technologies that emit radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) is ongoing, but little is known about the RF-EMF exposure distribution in the general population. Previous attempts to measure personal exposure to RF-EMF have used different measurement protocols and analysis methods making comparisons between exposure situations across different study populations very difficult. As a result, observed differences in exposure levels between study populations may not reflect real exposure differences but may be in part, or wholly due to methodological differences.
A worldwide epidemiological study called INTERPHONE has been conducted to estimate the hypothetical relationship between brain tumors and mobile phone use. In this study, we proposed a method to estimate 3D distribution of the specific absorption rate (SAR) in the human head due to mobile phone use to provide the exposure gradient for epidemiological studies. 3D SAR distributions due to exposure to an electromagnetic field from mobile phones are estimated from mobile phone compliance testing data for actual devices. The data for compliance testing are measured only on the surface in the region near the device and in a small 3D region around the maximum on the surface in a homogeneous phantom with a specific shape. The method includes an interpolation/extrapolation and a head shape conversion. With the interpolation/extrapolation, SAR distributions in the whole head are estimated from the limited measured data. 3D SAR distributions in the numerical head models, where the tumor location is identified in the epidemiological studies, are obtained from measured SAR data with the head shape conversion by projection. Validation of the proposed method was performed experimentally and numerically. It was confirmed that the proposed method provided good estimation of 3D SAR distribution in the head, especially in the brain, which is the tissue of major interest in epidemiological studies. We conclude that it is possible to estimate 3D SAR distributions in a realistic head model from the data obtained by compliance testing measurements to provide a measure for the exposure gradient in specific locations of the brain for the purpose of exposure assessment in epidemiological studies. The proposed method has been used in several studies in the INTERPHONE.
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