The aims of this study were to characterize electromagnetic fields of radiofrequency (RF-EMF) levels generated in a Neonatal Medium Care Unit and to analyze RF-EMF levels inside unit's incubators. Spot and long-term measurements were made with a dosimeter. The spot measurement mean was 1.51±0.48V/m. Higher values were found in the proximity to the window and to the incubator evaluated. Mean field strength for the entire period of 17h was 0.81 (±0.07)V/m and the maximum value was 1.58V/m for long-term RF-EMF measurements in the incubator. Values found during the night period were higher than those found during the day period. It is important to consider RF-EMF exposure levels in neonatal care units, due to some evidence of adverse health effects found in children and adults. Characterization of RF-EMF exposure may be important to further investigate the mechanisms and underlying effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) on infant health. A prudent avoidance strategy should be adopted because newborns are at a vulnerable stage of development and the actual impact of EMF on premature infants is unknown.
Keywords: Electromagnetism; Incubator; Newborns; Premature infant; Radiofrequency.
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