PMID: 7082383Jan 1, 1982Paper

A comparative study of human sensory thresholds: 2450-MHz microwaves vs far-infrared radiation

D R JustesenV Bruce-Wolfe


Three male and female adults individually placed the ventral surface of the right and upright forearm against a 15-cm-diameter aperture in a wall of microwave-absorbent material. Ten-second exposures occurred to E-vector-vertically polarized, 2450-MHz-CW microwave (MW) fields. Comparable exposure to infrared (IR) waves was repeated with four of the six observers. Thresholds of detection of just-noticeable warming by MW and IR radiation were determined by the double-staircase psychophysical method. Although the exposed surface areas of male observers' arm were larger than those of female observers, thresholds of warming by either source of energy overlapped; the pooled means of irradiance at threshold are 26.7 mW/cm2 (MW) and 1.7 mW/cm2 (IR). Dosimetric measures on saline models indicated virtually perfect absorption of the incident IR, but nearly two-thirds of the MW energy was scattered. Accordingly, the 15-fold difference in means of MW and IR thresholds resolves to a 5-fold difference in threshold quantities of absorbed energy. In the light of the high correlation between thresholds of IR and MW irradiation (r = .97), it is concluded that the same set of superficial thermoreceptors was being stimulated, only less efficiently...Continue Reading


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