Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1994;20(2):132-138    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.1420

Exposure to power-frequency electromagnetic fields in Denmark.

by Skotte JH

OBJECTIVES The purpose of the study was to assess exposure to power-frequency electromagnetic fields in various groups with normal or high exposure in occupational and residential environments.

METHODS Exposure to power-frequency (50 Hz) electric and magnetic fields was measured for 301 volunteers (396 measurements) in periods of 24 h in both occupational and residential environments. The study included electrical utility workers (generation, transmission, distribution, substation), office and industrial workers, and people living near high-power transmission lines. Electric and magnetic fields were measured with personal dosemeters, and the mean values were calculated for work and nonwork periods.

RESULTS: The work-period magnetic field exposure, as the geometric mean of the distribution of the work-period means, for a group of selected industrial workers with high exposure was 6 [geometric standard deviation (GSD) 4.6] muT. The exposure level was 0.10 (GSD 2.4) muT for "normal" industrial workers and 0.09 (GSD 1.8) muT for office workers. For electrical utility workers the corresponding values were 0.72 (GSD 2.5) muT for substation workers, 0.52 (GSD 4.2) muT for generation workers, 0.36 (GSD 3.5) muT for transmission workers, and 0.15 (GSD 2.9) muT for distribution workers. The magnetic field exposure in normal residences was 0.04 (GSD 2.1) muT, and in residences near high-power lines it was 0.29 (GSD 2.8)muT. Corresponding results on exposure to electric fields are given in the study.

CONCLUSIONS All of the measurements of exposure to electric and magnetic fields were below the values normally used as guidelines.