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Determinants of mobile phone output power in a multinational study – implications for exposure assessment
  1. M Vrijheid (mvrijheid{at}creal.cat)
  1. Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Spain
    1. S Mann (simon.mann{at}hpa.org.uk)
    1. Health Protection Agency, Centre for Radiation Chemical and Environmental Hazards, United Kingdom
      1. P Vecchia (vecchia{at}iss.infn.it)
      1. National Institute of Health, Italy
        1. J Wiart (joe.wiart{at}orange-ftgroup.com)
        1. France Telecom R&D, France
          1. M Taki (taki{at}eei.metro-u.ac.jp)
          1. Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan
            1. L Ardoino (lucia.ardoino{at}apat.it)
            1. Superior Institute for the Protection and the Environmental Research (ISPRA), Italy
              1. B K Armstrong (brucea{at}health.usyd.edu.au)
              1. School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Australia
                1. A Auvinen (anssi.auvinen{at}uta.fi)
                1. Tampere School of Public Health, University of Tampere, Finland
                  1. D Bédard (dbedard{at}uottawa.ca)
                  1. McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment, University of Ottawa, Canada
                    1. G Berg-Beckhoff (gabriele.berg{at}uni-bielefeld.de)
                    1. Dept of Epidemiology and International Public Health, Faculty of Public Health- Univ. of Bielefeld, Germany
                      1. J Brown (jbrown{at}health.usyd.edu.au)
                      1. School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Australia
                        1. A Chetrit (angelac{at}gertner.health.gov.il)
                        1. The Gertner Institute for Epidemiology and Health Policy Research, Chaim Sheba Medical Centre, Israel
                          1. H Collatz-Christensen (hcollatz{at}dadlnet.dk)
                          1. Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society, Denmark
                            1. E Combalot (emicombalot{at}yahoo.fr)
                            1. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), France
                              1. A Cook (angus.cook{at}uwa.edu.au)
                              1. School of Population Health, University of Western Australia, Australia
                                1. I Deltour (deltour{at}cancer.dk)
                                1. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), France
                                  1. M Feychting (maria.feychting{at}ki.se)
                                  1. Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Sweden
                                    1. G G Giles (graham.giles{at}cancervic.org.au)
                                    1. Cancer Epidemiology Centre, The Cancer Council Victoria, Australia
                                      1. S J Hepworth (s.j.hepworth{at}leeds.ac.uk)
                                      1. Paediatric Epidemiology Group, Centre for Epidemiology and Bioestatistics, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
                                        1. M Hours
                                        1. Unité Mixte de Recherche Epidémiologique Transport Travail Environnement INRETS- UCBL - InVs, France
                                          1. I Iavarone (ivano.iavarone{at}iss.it)
                                          1. Department of Environment & Primary Prevention, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Italy
                                            1. C Johansen (christof{at}cancer.dk)
                                            1. Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society, Denmark
                                              1. D Krewski (dkrewski{at}uottawa.ca)
                                              1. McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment, University of Ottawa, Canada
                                                1. P Kurttio (paivi.kurttio{at}stuk.fi)
                                                1. Research and Environmental Surveillance, STUK - Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Finland
                                                  1. S Lagorio (susanna.lagorio{at}iss.it)
                                                  1. National Centre for Epidemiology, Surveillance and Health Promotion, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Italy
                                                    1. S Lönn (stefan.lonn{at}ki.se)
                                                    1. Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
                                                      1. M McBride (mmcbride{at}bccancer.bc.ca)
                                                      1. B.C. Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada
                                                        1. L Montestruq (lucile.montestrucq{at}ors-rhone-alpes.org)
                                                        1. Unité Mixte de Recherche Epidémiologique Transport Travail Environment INRETS, France
                                                          1. RC Parslow (r.c.parslow{at}leeds.ac.uk)
                                                          1. Paediatric Epidemiology Group, Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
                                                            1. S Sadietzki (siegals{at}gertner.health.gov.il)
                                                            1. The Gertner Institute for Epidemiology and Health Policy Research, Chaim Sheba Medical Centre, Israel
                                                              1. J Schüz (joachim{at}cancer.dk)
                                                              1. Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society, Denmark
                                                                1. T Tynes (tore.tynes{at}stami.no)
                                                                1. National Institute of Occupational Health, Oslo, Norway
                                                                  1. A Woodward (a.woodward{at}auckland.ac.nz)
                                                                  1. School of Population Health, University of Auckland, New Zealand
                                                                    1. E Cardis (ecardis{at}creal.cat)
                                                                    1. Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Spain

                                                                      Abstract

                                                                      Objectives: The output power of a mobile phone is directly related to its radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic field strength, and may theoretically vary substantially in different networks and phone use circumstances due to power control technologies. To improve indices of RF exposure for epidemiological studies, we assessed determinants of mobile phone output power in a multi-national study.

                                                                      Methods: More than 500 volunteers in twelve countries used software-modified GSM phones (SMPs) for approximately one month each. The SMPs recorded date, time, and duration of each call, and the frequency band and output power at fixed sampling intervals throughout each call. Questionnaires provided information on the typical circumstances of an individual’s phone use. Linear regression models were used to analyse the influence of possible explanatory variables on the average output power and the percentage call-time at maximum power for each call.

                                                                      Results: Measurements of over 60,000 phone calls showed that the average output power was approximately 50% of the maximum, and that output power varied by a factor of up to 2 to 3 between study centres and network operators. Maximum power was used during a considerable proportion of call-time (39% on average). Output power decreased with increasing call duration, but showed little variation in relation to reported frequency of use whilst in a moving vehicle or inside buildings. Higher output powers for rural compared with urban use of the SMP were observed principally in Sweden where the study covered very sparsely populated areas.

                                                                      Conclusions: Average power levels are substantially higher than the minimum levels theoretically achievable in GSM networks. Exposure indices could be improved by accounting for average power levels of different telecommunications systems. There appears to be little value in gathering information on circumstances of phone use other than use in very sparsely populated regions.

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