Exposition und Risikowahrnehmung EMF

Wiedemann, Peter M. & Freudenstein, Frederik

Exposition und Risikowahrnehmung EMF

The survey “Exposure and Risk Perception” aimed at a comprehensive analysis of the public’s view regarding RF EMF exposure by focussing four key topics:

  • RF EMF exposure situation of the general public
  • Subjective beliefs about conditions that influence the strength of exposure
  • Subjective models about the relationship EMF exposure conditions and magnitude of risks
  • Social and personal determinants of RF EMF risk perception

The exposure situation should be explored in relation with the various exposure sources to which our interviewees are exposed and the duration of exposure for these exposure sources. Concerning the intuitive RF EMF exposure assessment the focus is on the perceived exposure strength regarding different RF EMF emitting devices, including both near-field and far-field exposure. The survey of subjective exposure models concerns mainly the subjective beliefs about the factors, which determine the strength of exposure. Regarding the EMF risk perception two topics are relevant: First the differential risk perceptions with respect to various EMF sources, and second, how people link exposure characteristics to their risk perception.


  • According to the responses of the interviewees, the dominant RF EMF exposure source in their daily life is the WLAN-connected laptop. Most people use the Internet on a daily basis.
  • Approximately 67% of the respondents use mobile phones in direct contact with their ears, i.e. without headsets. More than one quarter of the respondents reported a usage time up to 5 minutes per day. Only 3% use their mobile phones more often than 60 minutes per day.
  • Base stations for mobile telephony are seen as the most intensive RF EMF exposure source.
  • Interviewees underestimate the role of distance as an important factor of exposure strength.
  • Base stations are seen as a higher risk than all other RF EMF sources.
  • Intuitive risk perception is guided by subjective EMF-impact models, which underestimate near field exposure and overestimate far field exposure
  • There is no relationship between the use of exposure reduction measures and EMF risk perception.


  • Risk communication should emphasize that the distance to the EMF-emitting source is a critical parameter in risk assessment.
  • Risk communication should help to make the public aware that near-field exposure is usually more important than far-field exposure.


Titel (deutsch): Exposition und Risikowahrnehmung EMF
Titel (englisch): Exposure and Risk Perception EMF
Erhebungszeitraum: 04/2013
Stichprobe (effektiv): 652
Stand der Informationen: 10.07.2013

Weitere Informationen

Wissenschaftsforum Elektromagnetische Felder (WF-EMF)


Prof. Dr. Peter Wiedemann

Dipl. Psych. Frederik Freudenstein

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