Radiofrequency exposure in the Neonatal Medium Care Unit

Environ Res. 2017 Jan;152:66-72. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.09.019. Epub 2016 Oct 12.

Abstract

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.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal*
  • Radiation Exposure*
  • Radio Waves*
  • Radiometry
  • Spain