EMF EMI Testing Magnetic – Electric Field – RF Radiation NIRAD : PART 1

EMF Testing EMI Testing Survey Electromagnetic Field Magnetic – Electric Field – RF Radiation NIRAD Testing: PART 1

Dallas Houston Austin EMF Survey Consulting Firm

214.912.4691

The following information on EMF / EMI levels and RF Radiation has been gathered and collated from various sources by ScanTech Technical Consulting who operates throughout the Texas / DFW region including Dallas, Houston, Austin, Fort Worth and San Antonio.

See HOME page for a complete list of services and inspection range

*EFFECTIVE January 1st, 2019 ScanTech will no longer perform residential testing OR consulting for homeowners / tenants – all services are COMMERCIAL ONLY. Here is a page for resources to other companies and common questions – CLICK HERE.

EMF Safety Levels / RF Safety Levels including Microwave, Infrared & UV: Part 1

It can be very hard to say exactly what levels of EMF are safe, because safety in this arena is often a relative concept based on frequency, exposure time, and individual sensitivity. Even then, studies are often considered inconclusive plus there is strong political and financial agenda to steer perception one way or the other.

In order to be fair and equitable while remaining informative, this page has been constructed to examine / compare / contrast various EMF safety standards from different organizations, average environmental levels and references along a continuum to better explain technical measurements in context.

In PDF format:

Safe EMF Levels - Radiation Safety Levels Guide

EMF Safety Levels Guide in PDF Format (REV B in Progress)

 

RF & EMF Safety Levels Comparative Guide REV A

Electromagnetic Fields and Safety Standards PART 2

FCC Radio Frequency (RF) Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE) Limits

OSHA ELF Radiation EMF Health Effects Page

ICNIRP Non-Ionizing Radiation Safety Guidelines: DC Magnetic – UV Light

EMF Exposures Safety Testing CDC NIOSH – PDF Format

ICNIRP EMF Survey Guidelines 1998  PDF Format

ICNIRP UV Visible Infrared Light Safety Levels 2013 – PDF Format

ICNIRP Electric Static Magnetic Fields 2014 PDF Format

ICNIRP Guidelines Limiting Exposure EMF Fields 2020 – PDF Format

Non-Ionizing Radiation Health Risk Safety Levels IRPA INIRC FCC ACGIH IEEE PDF Format (California College)

Applied Electromagnetics EMF Resources Site (Ulaby)

IEEE EMF EMI Safety Levels C95.1-2019

EMI EMF Testing Safety Levels C95.1-2019 IEEE PDF Format

Electric Magnetic Fields Electric Power EMF Health Safety Effects Cover

EMF / EMI Health Safety Effects Pamphlet from the NIH & NIEHS

Electric Magnetic Fields Electric Power EMF Health Safety Effects from the National Institute of Health & NIEHS PDF Format

EMF Health Effects Portal from the CDC and NIOSH

DoD EMF Testing Guidelines 605511p

Military Radar RF Microwave Antennas NAWCWPNS TP 8347 – PDF Format

Electromagnetic Fields EMF Exposure Safety Limits NATO – PDF Format

EMF EMI Fields Steel Industry Safety Levels – PDF Format

NIOSH Manual Measuring Electric Magnetic EMF Fields

Non-Ionizing EMF Radiation Biological Effects Safety ICNIRP NRPB – PDF Format

Non-Ionizing RF Radiation Cell Towers IARC WHO 2013 PDF Format (International Agency for Research on Cancer)

ICNIRP Guidelines Limiting Exposure RF Electromagnetic Fields 100 KHz – 300 GHz PDF Format

Static Magnetic ELF 60 Hz Fields Low Frequency RF – PDF Format

Non-Ionizing Radiation Medical Devices Instrumentation Vol 5 2nd Ed PDF Format

 

Magnetic Fields Conversion Table (Magnetic Flux Density)

1 mG (milliGauss) = 100 nT (nanoTesla)

1 nT = 10 uG (microGauss) or 0.01 mG

10 nT = 100 uG or 0.1 mG

100 microTeslas = 1 Gauss

1000 microTeslas = 10 Gauss

1 microTesla = 10 mG

1 milliTesla = 10 Gauss

1 T (Tesla) = 10,000 Gauss

1 nT = 1000 pT (picoTeslas) = 0.01 mG (10 microGauss) strongest brainwave is 1,000 times less

1 pT = 1000 fT (femtoTesla)

1 nT = 1,000,000 fT The best resolution of a SQUID (Super Quantum Interference Device) is 1,000,000 times less

 

EMF & MAGNETIC UNITS CONVERSION CALCULATORS

https://www.kjmagnetics.com/unit.converter.asp

Field Strength Calculator

https://www.unitsconverters.com/en/Ev-To-Hz/Utu-3462-3511

Unit Conversions for Nanophotonics (EMF band, eV, frequency, wavelength)

 

 

EMF Recommended Exposure Limits by Various Safety Organizations (these do not have regulatory power in the United States)

EMF Radiation Electromagnetic Field Safety Limit Reference TLVs

EMF Radiation Electromagnetic Field Safety Limit Reference TLVs according to ACGIH (American Council of Governmental Industrial Hygienists)

 

ACGIH – American Council of Governmental Industrial Hygienists

ICNIRP – International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection

SLAC – Stanford Linear Accelerator Center

CERN – European Council for Nuclear Research

CENELEC TC 111 – European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization

 

EMF Radiation Safety Limits Table 1

EMF Electromagnetic Radiation Safety Limits Including DC Magnetic Fields Table 1

 

EMF DC Magnetic Fields (Static)
G = Gauss = 0.1 mT (milliTesla) SLAC CERN CENELEC TC 111 ACGIH
Working day / whole body 200 G 2000 G 2000 G 600 G
Working day / limbs 2000 G 6000 G
Short day / whole body 2000 G 20000 G 20000 G
Short day / limbs 20000 G 50000 G 50000 G 20000 G
General public / whole body 100 G 400 G
General public / limbs 1000 G
Persons with pacemaker / implants 5 G 5 G 5 G
Avg. Earth’s DC Field

Conversion of EMF Electromagnetic Safety Limits for DC Magnetic Fields Table from Tesla to Gauss  (Table 1a)

ACGIH EMF Safety Threshold Limit Values – PDF Format

 

ELF AC Magnetic Fields (50 Hz / 60 Hz) CENELEC TC 111 ACGIH ICNIRP Regulations for transmission lines
G = Gauss = 0.1 mT (milliTesla)
Day / Whole Body 13.3 G 10 G 5 G 1 G Italy
Day / Limbs 208.3 G 50 G 250 G 1.5 G Florida

Conversion of EMF Electromagnetic Safety Limits for AC Magnetic Fields Table from Tesla to Gauss  (Table 1b)

 

 

IEEE – Institute of Electric & Electronics Engineers

ICNIRP – International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) is an organization of 15,000 scientists from 40 nations who specialize in radiation protection.

NRPB – Nuclear Radiological Protection Board

ACGIH – American Council of Governmental Industrial Hygienists: a professional organization that facilitates the exchange of technical information about worker health protection. It is not a government regulatory agency for EMF.

 

EMF Exposure Limits Electric Magnetic Field Levels Table 2

EMF Exposure Limits Electric Magnetic Field Levels Table 2

 

ACGIH EMF DC Magnetic Field Ceiling Values

Whole Body (general workplace)        2 Tesla = 20,000 Gauss

Whole Body (special worker*)             8 Tesla = 80,000 Gauss

Limbs                                                 20 Tesla = 200,000 Gauss

Medical Device Wearers                    0.5 milliTesla (mT) = 5 Gauss

 

*in this context, special worker means training + controlled workplace environment

 

ACGIH EMF Ceiling Limits AC Magnetic Fields (1 – 300 Hz including 60 Hz AC Power line frequency) TLVs (Threshold Limit Values)

Whole Body Exposure TLV      60 / f*  in mT   so for 60 Hz AC  = 1 mT  = 10 Gauss

Limb Exposure TLV                300 / f   in mT   so for 60 Hz AC  = 5 mT  =  50 Gauss

Hands & Feet Exposure         600 / f   in mT   so for 60 Hz AC  = 10 mT  = 100 Gauss

* frequency in Hz

 

ACGIH EMF Ceiling Limits AC Magnetic Fields (300 – 30 KHz) TLVs (Threshold Limit Values)

Whole & partial body ceiling value     0.2 mT   =  2 Gauss

 

All ACGIH AC Magnetic Field EMF levels are given in rms (root-mean-square) values

*NOTE – many biomedical implants such as pacemakers have an AC magnetic field maximum spec of 1 Gauss or less

 

CEMFAW (Control of Electromagnetic Fields at Work) Guidelines 2016: Developed in the United Kingdom

CEMFAW 2016 UK

The National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) says the UK should adopt international exposure standards. The NRPB has recommended for many years that nobody should be exposed to a level higher than 1,600 microTeslas. (16000 mG = 16 Gauss)

But in a consultation document on restricting people’s exposure, it now recommends the UK should adopt the guidelines of the International Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

CEMFAW Tables for Typical Fields & Frequencies (60 Hz AC and RF) in Lower ALs (Action Limits) and ELVs (Exposure Limit Values)

Electric Fields 60 Hz AC:       8333 V / meter

Magnetic Fields 60 Hz AC:   10 Gauss or 10,000 mG

HF Electric Fields 100 KHz – 300 Ghz:     61 V / meter – 300 V / meter  (frequency dependent)

DC / Quasi-DC  0 – 1 Hz:    20,000 Gauss body   80,000 Gauss Limbs

Induced Internal Electric Field 60 Hz:  1.1 V / meter

RF SAR (Radiofrequency Specific Absorption Rate:      0.4 W / kg Whole Body    10 W / kg head & trunk    20 W / kg Limbs

UHF RF 6 GHz – 300 GHz Power Density S:  50 W / m^2  ELV  (Exposure Limit Value)

Static DC Magnetic Fields Biomedical Implants:  5 Gauss  DC

Projectile Risk in Fringe Field of Strong Magnets: 30 Gauss DC

I generally agree with these guidelines, though the Electric Fields at 60 Hz are a bit high for those with biomedical implants. They should be under 6000 V / m in my experience.

 

Building Biology EMF Safety Level Sleeping Limits Germany 2015

Building Biology Health Home Standard 2012

While I do not agree with Building Biology Guidelines regarding EMF / RF Radiation fields and safety, I believe in having a set of alternate standards to compare against.

 

RF Levels & Safety

OSHA 1910 Subpart G 1910.97 Occupational health and environmental control Non-ionizing radiation

The exposure limit in this standard (10 mW/sq. cm.) is expressed in voluntary language and has been ruled unenforceable for Federal OSHA enforcement. The standard does specify the design of an RF warning sign.

For PCS antennas, the 1992 ANSI/IEEE exposure standard for the general public is 1.2 mW/cm-sq

For cellular phones, the ANSI/IEEE exposure standard for the general public is 0.57 mW/cm-sq

ICNIRP standard is 0.40 mW/cm-sq for cellular phone frequencies and 0.90 mW/cm-sq for PCS phone frequencies

NCRP guideline is 0.57 mW/cm-sq for cellular phone frequencies and 1.00 mW/cm-sq for PCS phone frequencies

SAR for cell phones – SAR stands for Specific Absorption Rate, which is the unit of measurement for the amount of RF energy absorbed by the body when using a mobile phone. Energy absorption from RF fields in tissues is measured as a SAR within a given tissue mass

The unit of SAR is watts per kilogram ( W/kg )

 

RESOURCE LINKS FOR LOOKING UP THE SAR RATINGS OF VARIOUS CELL PHONES

http://www.mmfai.org/public/sar.cfm  (no longer a good link)

For some reason, the Mobile Manufacturers Forum no longer offers this list and I have yet to find a one-stop website that lists EVERY phone with the measured SAR rating. My guess is that keeping up with the latest models of phones from over a dozen manufacturers has become problematic and the figures may discourage the sales of certain models.

This following link is a decent beginning point, but if you wish to get the SAR rating for your phone, you can engage ScanTech for a modest consulting fee to research for you.

SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) RF Ratings for Cell Phones (need FCC ID)

North American Standard 1.6 Watts per Kg averaged over 1 gram of body tissue

European Standard 2.0 Watts per Kg average over 10 grams of body tissue

A typical 802.11b wireless network card will transmit at around 30 milliwatts (a few 100mW and 200mW cards out there) and operates in the 2.4 GHz frequency band. Current FCC regulations limit power output to 1 Watt EIRP (Effective Isotropic Radiated Power) for 802.11b (2.4GHz) devices

A study conducted in the Unites States found that, in large cities , the average background RF levels were about 50 µ W/m 2 . About 1% of people living in large cities are exposed to RF fields exceeding 10 mW/m 2 . Higher RF field levels can occur in areas located close to transmitter sites or radar systems.

The average GSM mobile handset has a power output of around 600 milliwatts

Compare this with microwave ovens, which can generate upwards of 1500 Watts

RF fields between 10 MHz and 10 GHz penetrate exposed tissues and produce heating due to energy absorption in these tissues. The depth of penetration of the RF field into the tissue depends on the frequency of the field and is greater for lower frequencies.

SAR is the basic dosimetric quantity for RF fields between about 1 MHz and 10 GHz. A SAR of at least 4 W / kg is needed to produce adverse health effects in people exposed to RF fields in this frequency range. Such energies are found tens of meters away from powerful FM antennas at the top of high towers, which makes these areas inaccessible.

RF fields above 10 GHz are absorbed at the skin surface, with very little of the energy penetrating into the underlying tissues.

For adverse health effects, such as eye cataracts and skin burns, to occur from exposure to RF fields above 10 GHz, power densities above 1000 W/m 2 are needed. Such densities are not found in everyday life. They do exist in very close proximity to powerful radars. Current exposure standards preclude human presence in this areas due to physical restrictions, security and required warning signs.

 

EMF Magnetic Fields – A Relative Comparison

LOW LEVEL MAGNETIC FIELDS

Smallest value in a magnetically shielded room: 10^-10 Gauss (0.1 nanoGauss)

Galactic magnetic field: 10 microGauss

Gauss Solar Wind: 50 microGauss

Interstellar molecular cloud: 1 milligauss

Interstellar Space: 10^-6 Gauss (1 microGauss)

SQUID (Super Quantum Interference Device): 1.0 fT (femtoTesla) =  0.1 nanoGauss

Human Eye Magnetic Field:  0.1 pT (picoTeslas)

Human Brain Magnetic Field:  0.1 – 1.0 pT (picoTeslas)   ( 0.01 – 0.1 microGauss)

Human Heart Magnetic Field:   50^-12 Tesla (5 microGauss)

 

Hypothesized & Observed Animal Sensitivities to Magnetic Fields

Honeybees: 0.25 mG      ELF Fields Honeybees Paper

Homing Pigeons: 0.1 mG

Sharks & Whales: 0.5 mG

Sharks can detect electric fields down to 1 microvolt / meter^2

 

A Sampling of EMF Standards & Alleged Effects Suggested by Certain Studies

Lowest level to allegedly provoke reaction in Electromagnetically Sensitive Patients: 0.1 – 0.2 mG

Swedish Safety standard: 1.0 mG (proposed US EPA standard)

Indoor EMF levels: (when good wiring practices followed) 0.1 – 1.2 mG

New Swiss Standard: 2.5 mG ELF 0.25 mG VLF

Cancer researchers concerned with recent powerline issues are coming up with many reports on oncological effects of very low-level 1 mG ELF electromagnetic fields

Certain leukemia studies which suggest a link to low level EMF fields: 2 – 4 mG

A study (Ahlbom & Feychting, 1993) reported that at 2 mG and above, exposed children were 2.7 times as likely to develop cancer as unexposed children, and at 3 mG and above, the odds rose to 3.8 times as likely.

Computer Monitors: VDTs should produce magnetic fields of no more than 2 mG at a distance of 30 cm (about 1 ft) from the front surface of the monitor and 50 cm (about 1 ft 8 in) from the sides and back of the monitor.

The TCO’92 standard has become a de facto standard in the VDT industry worldwide. A 1999 standard, promulgated by the Swedish TCO (known as the TCO’99 standard), provides for international and environmental labeling of personal computers. Many computer monitors marketed in the U.S. are certified as compliant with TCO’99 and are thereby assured to produce low magnetic fields. Virtually all monitors are flat panel and have much lower magnetic fields, but may have increased RFI noise associated with them.

Indoor EMF levels with poor wiring practice: 3 – 20 mG

Hotspots near breaker boxes, transformers: 20 – 2000 mG

Directly beneath high voltage powerlines: 2 – 250 mG

Amount to affect older style CRT computer monitor: 10 mG

 

STRONGER EMF FIELDS (please note that the DC Magnetic Fields listed are not generally attributed as having negative health effects – and in fact, a number of alternative health experts actually recommend using magnets for healing and fitness)

Earth DC Magnetic Field:  (natural) 330 mG(equator) – 670 mG (poles)

Earth DC Magnetic Fields: (affected by building structure) 200 mG – 800 mG

Recommended Limit for Pacemakers: 1000 mG (1 Gauss)

Refrigerator Magnet: (thin label type) 10 Gauss

Magnetic Field which could erase magnetic data: 10 Gauss

Average Bar Magnet: (DC) 100 Gauss

Independent research finds a change in blood behavior: 500 Gauss

Strongest Inexpensive Ferrite Magnets: 1000 Gauss

High magnetic field levels exceeding 100 Gauss: (100,000 mG) may cause a temporary visual flickering sensation called magnetophosphenes which disappears when the field is removed.

Gauss required to affect / erase magnetic tape: 2000 – 3000 Gauss

Magnets used in Biomagnetic Therapy: (DC) 300 – 3000 Gauss

High Powered Neodymium N42 – N45 Magnets: (DC) 7500 – 9200 Gauss

Junkyard Electromagnet: (but over a large area to lift cars) 10000 Gauss

Medical MRI: 2000 – 30000+ Gauss

50000 Gauss = 5 Tesla  SAFETY LIMIT

High Level Laboratory Superconducting Electromagnet: 100,000 – 130,000 Gauss

Strongest Sustained Magnetic Field in a Lab 450,000 Gauss

Strongest Magnetic Spike artificially produced: (4 – 8 microseconds) 10,000,000 Gauss + or equivalent to 10^7 Gauss

Magnetic Field Instantly Lethal to Organic Life: 10^9 Gauss

Surface of a Neutron Star: 10^12 – 10^13 Gauss

Surface of a Magnetar: 10^14 – 10^15 Gauss

Highest Theoretical Magnetic Field: 10^49 – 10^53 Gauss

 

EMF MEASURING INSTRUMENT RANGES

Typical Range for inexpensive EMF meter: 1 – 10 mG

Range for Quality EMF meter: 0.1 – 200 mG

Sensitive High Quality Reference Meter: 0.01 – 2000 mG

Commercial High Field Gaussmeter: 1 mG – 20 kiloGauss

 

WHO DOES ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD TESTING NEAR ME?

ScanTech Technical Consulting professional commercial electromagnetic field testing and radio frequency testing in the Dallas – Fort Worth Texas area to detect and measure exposures and health risks (if any) to electromagnetic fields and radiation. Call 214.912.4691

WHO OR WHAT COMPANY DOES EMF TESTING NEAR ME?

ScanTech Technical Consulting professional commercial electromagnetic field testing and radio frequency testing in the Dallas – Fort Worth Texas area to detect and measure exposures and health risks (if any) to electromagnetic fields and radiation. Call 214.912.4691

WHO OR WHAT COMPANY DOES RADIO FREQUENCY (RF) TESTING NEAR ME?

ScanTech Technical Consulting provides commercial radio frequency (RF) testing in the Dallas – Fort Worth Texas area to detect and measure exposures to all forms of radio frequency.  Call 214.912.4691

WHO OR WHAT COMPANY DOES CELL TOWER TESTING NEAR ME?

ScanTech Technical Consulting provides commercial cellular testing in the Dallas – Fort Worth Texas area to detect and measure exposures to all forms of RF.  Call 214.912.4691

WHO OR WHAT COMPANY DOES ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION TESTING NEAR ME?

ScanTech Technical Consulting provides commercial radio frequency (RF) testing in the Dallas – Fort Worth Texas area to detect and measure exposures to all forms of electromagnetic radiation.  Call 214.912.4691

WHO OR WHAT COMPANY DOES ELECTRICAL INTERFERENCE TESTING NEAR ME?

ScanTech Technical Consulting provides professional radio frequency (RF) testing in the Dallas – Fort Worth Texas area to detect and measure exposures to all forms of electromagnetic radiation.  Call 214.912.4691

WHO OR WHAT COMPANY DOES RADIOACTIVITY TESTING NEAR ME?

ScanTech Technical Consulting provides professional radioactivity testing in the Dallas – Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio areas of Texas to detect and measure exposure to ionizing, nuclear or atomic radiation. Call 214.912.4691

WHO OR WHAT COMPANY DOES INDOOR AIR QUALITY TESTING NEAR ME?

ScanTech Technical Consulting provides certified indoor air quality testing for commercial clients in the Dallas – Fort Worth Texas area detect and measure harmful contaminants.  Call 214.912.4691

WHO OR WHAT COMPANY DOES DALLAS GREEN BUILDING INDOOR AIR QUALITY CLEARANCE TESTING NEAR ME?

ScanTech Technical Consulting provides certified indoor air quality testing in the Dallas Texas area for commercial clients to help pass the Dallas Green Building Clearance Code 804.2 for a Certificate of Occupancy.  Call 214.912.4691

WHO OR WHAT COMPANY DOES DALLAS AREA PHOTOMETRIC LIGHTING SURVEYS NEAR ME?

ScanTech Technical Consulting provides professional photometric testing in the Dallas Texas area for commercial clients to help pass lighting ordinances for their Certificate of Occupancy.  Call 214.912.4691

WHO OR WHAT COMPANY DOES PACEMAKER EMI TESTING AND ELECTRICAL INTERFERENCE SURVEYS FOR IMPLANTED BIOMEDICAL DEVICES NEAR ME?

ScanTech Technical Consulting provides professional EMI testing for pacemakers and other biomedical implants throughout the United States to detect and measure exposures to all forms of interference from electromagnetic radiation.  Call 214.912.4691

3 Responses

  1. Fahad says:

    Hello,
    I have a house about 1200 sq feet away from high voltage power lines. I would like to run a survey inside my home for EMF exposure – the house is about 3300 square feet in Plano, TX. Can you please tell me how much it would cost to do such a survey/test?

  2. Robert Blankinship says:

    I would like to speak to your firm regarding EMF testing at a commercial building that is directly adjacent to high voltage power lines. The best way to contact me is via cell phone at [cell number not revealed here to protect your privacy].

    • EMF Testing Indoor Air Quality Consultant says:

      Mr. Robert Blakinship,

      Thank you for bringing this EMF testing project to my attention; the commercial property manager has already contacted me and the matter of the nearby high voltage power lines has now been resolved to your satisfaction through the report on the EMF survey I performed.

      JAG of ScanTech Technical Consulting

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