To avoid potentially adverse health effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF), the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has defined EMF reference levels from the basic restrictions on the induced whole-body-averaged specific absorption rate (SAR wb) and the peak 10 g spatial-averaged SAR (SAR 10g). The objective of this study is to assess if the SAR in children remains below the basic restrictions upon exposure at the reference levels. Finite difference time domain (FDTD) modeling was used to calculate the SAR in six children and two adults when exposed to all 12 orthogonal plane wave configurations. A sensitivity study showed an expanded uncertainty of 53% (SAR wb) and 58% (SAR 10g) due to variations in simulation settings and tissue properties. In this study, we found that the basic restriction on the SAR wb is occasionally exceeded for children, up to a maximum of 45% in small children. The maximum SAR 10g values, usually found at body protrusions, remain under the limit for all scenarios studied. Our results are in good agreement with the literature, suggesting that the recommended ICNIRP reference levels may need fine tuning.,
Physics in Medicine and Biology
Department of Radiation Oncology

Bakker, J., Paulides, M., Christ, A., Kuster, N., & van Rhoon, G. (2010). Assessment of induced SAR in children exposed to electromagnetic plane waves between 10 MHz and 5.6 GHz. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 55(11), 3115–3130. doi:10.1088/0031-9155/55/11/009