Assessment of Personal Occupational Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields in Libraries and Media Libraries, Using Calibrated On-Body Exposimeters

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Jun 13;16(12):2087. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16122087.


Background and objectives: With the spread of Wifi networks, safety concerns have arisen, with complaints of somatic disorders, notably in traditional libraries and media libraries. The aim of the present study was to describe the conditions and levels of exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields in the real-life occupational conditions of those working in traditional libraries and media libraries.

Methods: Dynamic measurements, using an exposimeter, were taken in 20 radiofrequency bands from 88 to 5850 MHz. The activity of 28 library workers was analyzed on a space-time budget. An audit of exposure sources and static measurements enabled the work-places to be mapped.

Results: In seven libraries, 78,858 samples were taken over the 20 radiofrequency bands from 88 to 5850 MHz. Exposure was described for 28 working days. The median total field was 0.071 V/m (10th percentile: 0.022 V/m, 90th percentile: 0.534 V/m) and for Wifi the median field was 0.005 V/m (10th percentile: 0.005 V/m, 90th percentile: 0.028 V/m). Median individual exposure to Wifi frequency waves ranged from 0.005 to 0.040 V/m.

Conclusions: Overall, the occupational exposure in this sector was close to the exposure in the general population. Peaks were due to the use of walkie-talkies by security staff. Exposure due to external sources depended on geographic location. Exposure in this occupation is well below the general occupational exposure levels, notably as regards Wifi.

Keywords: Wifi; libraries; measurements; radiofrequencies; work.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Monitoring / instrumentation*
  • Calibration
  • Cell Phone
  • Communications Media
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Humans
  • Libraries*
  • Occupational Exposure / analysis*
  • Radio Waves*
  • Workplace