Exposure assessment of microwave ovens and impact on total exposure in WLANs

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In situ exposure of electric fields of 11 microwave ovens is assessed in an occupational environment and in an office. Measurements as a function of distance without load and with a load of 275 ml of tap water were performed at distances of <1 m. The maximal measured field was 55.2 V m−1 at 5 cm from the oven (without load), which is 2.5 and 1.1 times below the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection reference level for occupational exposure and general public exposure, respectively. For exposure at distances of >1 m, a model of the electric field in a realistic environment is proposed. In an office scenario, switching on a microwave oven increases the median field strength from 91 to 145 mV m−1 (+91 %) in a traditional Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) deployment and from 44 to 92 mV m−1 (+109 %) in an exposure-optimised WLAN deployment.

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