Procedure for assessment of general public exposure from WLAN in offices and in wireless sensor network testbed

Health Phys. 2010 Apr;98(4):628-38. doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e3181c9f372.


A fast and accurate measurement procedure to determine experimentally wireless local area network (WLAN) radiofrequency (RF) exposure and to test compliance with international guidelines for the general public is proposed. This is the first paper where all optimal settings for the measurement equipment (sweep time, resolution bandwidth, etc.) are investigated, selected, and validated. The exposure to WLAN access points is determined for 222 locations with 7 WLAN networks present in office environments. The WLAN exposure is also characterized for the first time in a wireless sensor lab environment (WiLab) at IBBT-Ghent University in Belgium. Average background exposure to WLAN (WiLab off) is 0.12 V m(-1), with a 95 percentile of 0.90 V m(-1). With the WiLab in operation, average exposure increases to 1.9 V m(-1), with a 95 percentile of 4.7 V m(-1). All values are well below the International Commission on Non Ionizing Radiation Protection guidelines of 61 V m(-1) in the 2.4 GHz band (at least 9.1 times for distances of more than 1 m from the access points) but a significant increase of exposure is possible in WiLabs due to high duty cycles. By applying the proposed measurement method a relevant reduction in measurement time is obtained.

MeSH terms

  • Belgium
  • Electromagnetic Fields
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Geography
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Local Area Networks*
  • Public Health*
  • Radiation Monitoring / methods*
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects*
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Time Factors