Rising Level of Public Exposure to Mobile Phones: Accumulation through Additivity and Reflectivity

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21 Citations (Scopus)


A dramatic development occurring in our daily life is the increasing use of mobile equipment including mobile phones and wireless access to the Internet. They enable us to access several types of information more easily than in the past. Simultaneously, the density of mobile users is rapidly increasing. When hundreds of mobile phones emit radiation, their total power is found to be comparable to that of a microwave oven or a satellite broadcasting station. Thus, the question arises: what is the public exposure level in an area with many sources of electromagnetic wave emission? We show that this level can reach the reference level for general public exposure (ICNIRP Guideline) in daily life. This is caused by the fundamental properties of electromagnetic field, namely, reflection and additivity. The level of exposure is found to be much higher than that estimated by the conventional framework of analysis that assumes that the level rapidly decreases with the inverse square distance between the source and the affected person. A simple formula for the exposure level is derived by applying energetics to the electromagnetic field. The formula reveals a potential risk of intensive exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-435
Number of pages4
Journaljournal of the physical society of japan
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Feb


  • Electromagnetism
  • Energetics
  • Exposure
  • Mobile phones
  • Public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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