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Exposure knowledge and perception of wireless communication technologies

Freudenstein, F.; Correia, L.M.; Oliveira, C.; Sebastião, D.; Wiedemann, P.M.

The presented survey investigates risk and exposure perceptions of radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF EMF) associated with base stations, mobile phones and other sources, the key issue being the interaction between both sets of perceptions. The study is based on a cross-sectional design, and conducted with an online sample of 838 citizens from Portugal. The results indicate that respondents’ intuitive exposure perception differs from the actual exposure levels. Furthermore, exposure and risk perceptions are found to be highly correlated. Respondents’ beliefs about exposure factors, which might influence possible health risks, is appropriate. A regression analysis between exposure characteristics, as predictor variables, and RF EMF risk perception, as the response variable, indicates that people seem to use simple heuristics to form their perceptions. What is bigger, more frequent and longer lasting is seen as riskier. Moreover, the quality of exposure knowledge is not an indicator for amplified EMF risk perception. These findings show that exposure perception is key to future risk communication.

Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse (ITAS)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Jahr 2015
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator DOI: 10.3390/ijerph121114177
ISSN: 1660-4601, 1661-7827
URN: urn:nbn:de:swb:90-569299
KITopen ID: 1000056929
Erschienen in International journal of environmental research and public health
Band 12
Heft 11
Seiten 14177-14191
Lizenz CC BY 4.0: Creative Commons Namensnennung 4.0 International
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