Age-dependent tissue-specific exposure of cell phone users

Phys Med Biol. 2010 Apr 7;55(7):1767-83. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/55/7/001. Epub 2010 Mar 5.


The peak spatial specific absorption rate (SAR) assessed with the standardized specific anthropometric mannequin head phantom has been shown to yield a conservative exposure estimate for both adults and children using mobile phones. There are, however, questions remaining concerning the impact of age-dependent dielectric tissue properties and age-dependent proportions of the skull, face and ear on the global and local absorption, in particular in the brain tissues. In this study, we compare the absorption in various parts of the cortex for different magnetic resonance imaging-based head phantoms of adults and children exposed to different models of mobile phones. The results show that the locally induced fields in children can be significantly higher (>3 dB) in subregions of the brain (cortex, hippocampus and hypothalamus) and the eye due to the closer proximity of the phone to these tissues. The increase is even larger for bone marrow (>10 dB) as a result of its significantly high conductivity. Tissues such as the pineal gland show no increase since their distances to the phone are not a function of age. This study, however, confirms previous findings saying that there are no age-dependent changes of the peak spatial SAR when averaged over the entire head.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Aging / radiation effects*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain / radiation effects*
  • Cell Phone*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Computer Simulation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological*
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiometry / methods*
  • Relative Biological Effectiveness*
  • Young Adult