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Identification of Research Needs Relating to Potential Biological or Adverse Health Effects of Wireless Communication Devices
LABORATORY EXPOSURE SYSTEMS
There is a need for improved exposure systems for human laboratory studies. Furthermore, location-dependent field strength needs to be accounted for in the characterization of exposures. Most of the present-day exposure systems used in laboratory studies focus on the exposure of the head. Though exposures to the head are relevant for most cell phone exposures, whole-body exposures due to base stations are a research need. The laboratory exposure systems also need to include ELF8 and pertinent modulation protocols.9
There is a need for reliable and accurate exposure assessment for designing the next generation of epidemiologic studies, such as development of an index that integrates service technology and location of use (both geographic location and whether a phone is primarily used indoors or outdoors). For human laboratory studies there has been considerable effort to quantify the uncertainties of the different methods used in dosimetry. However, there is little information about the overall accuracy of the dosimetric approaches with respect to reality and variability. The accuracy of dosimetric approaches is particularly important as well as the validation of results by several independent investigators to establish SAR variability.
The committee’s evaluation of presentations and discussions at the workshop has resulted in the identification of the following research needs and gaps.
There is a need to characterize exposure of juveniles, children,pregnant women, and fetuses both for personal wireless devices (e.g., cellphones, wireless PCs) and for RF fields from base station antennas including gradients and variability of exposures, the environment in which devicesare used, and exposures from other sources, multilateral exposures, andmultiple frequencies. The data thus generated would help to define exposure ranges for various groups of exposed populations.
Wireless networks are being built very rapidly, and many more basestation antennas are being installed. A crucial research need is to characterize radiated electromagnetic fields for typical multiple-element (four to sixelements) base station antennas for the highest radiated power conditionsand with measurements conducted during peak hours of the day at locations close to the antennas as well as at ground level. A study of the wire-
ELF: Extremely low frequency fields, such as the 50 and 60 Hz power frequency fields used in Europe and the United States, respectively.
Some commonly used modulation protocols are TDMA (time division multiple access) and CDMA (code division multiple access).