Measurement of personal radio frequency exposure in Japan: The Hokkaido Study on the Environment and Children's health

Environ Res. 2023 Jan 1;216(Pt 1):114429. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2022.114429. Epub 2022 Sep 26.


The opportunities for exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) among children are increasing. Children's exposure to RF-EMF in Japan was recorded using a personal exposure meter (ExpoM-RF), and factors associated with the exposure examined. A total of 101 children, aged 10-15 years old, participated in the prospective birth cohort "Hokkaido study". RF-EMF data were recorded in the 700 MHz-5.8 GHz frequency range for 3 days. The recorded data were summarized into six groups of frequency bands: downlink from mobile phone base stations (DL), uplink from mobile phones to a base station (UL), Wireless Local Area Network (LAN), terrestrial digital TV broadcasting (digital TV), 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz Time Division Duplex (TDD), 1.9 GHz TDD, and total (the summation of power density in all measured frequency bands). A questionnaire was used to document the internet environment (at home) and mobile phone usage. Personal RF-EMF exposure in Japanese children was lower than that reported in studies in Europe. The DL signals from mobile phone base stations were the most significant contributors to total exposure, while Wireless LAN and digital TV were only higher at home. The urban residence was consistently associated with increases in the four groups of frequency bands (DL, UL, digital TV, and TDD). TDD level has several associations with mobile phone usage (calls using mobile phones, video viewing, text message service, and online game). The association between inattention/hyperactivity subscale of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and higher Wireless LAN exposure at nighttime was also noted. Further studies with additional data will shed light on factors involved in RF-EMF exposure among Japanese children.

Keywords: Children; Epidemiology; Exposimeter; Internet environment; Mobile phone usage; RF electromagnetic Field.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cell Phone*
  • Child
  • Child Health*
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radio Waves
  • Surveys and Questionnaires