What EMF Level is Considered Safe? — Exposure Level Guidelines...

By MICHAEL R. NEUERT © 2012

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“Possible EMF Safety Levels To Consider”
for the 3 Types of EMF →

ELF
Magnetic
Fields

ELF
Electric
Fields

Radio
Frequency (RF)
& Microwaves

Unit of Measurement in USA
(Abbreviation)
Milligauss
(mG)
AC Volts on
skin (VAC)
Microwatts/cm²
(μW/cm²)

Lowest Level Linked to Cancer See Note 1

1.0 (2.0) Unknown Unknown

Average Level in Homes See Note 2

0.5 to 1.0 0.5 to 2.0 0.0001 to 0.5

BioInitiative Report See Note 3

1.0 N/A 0.1

General Public Precautionary Level See Note 4

0.5 1.0 (sleep 0.5) 0.01

EMF Hypersensitivity Advice See Note 5

0.1 0.1 0.001 or less

FCC Guidelines for General Public See Note 6

N/A N/A 1000 Note 8

ICNIRP Guidelines for General Public See Note 7

833 N/A 1000 Note 8

 

Special Notes about the EMF Safety Levels above...


Note 1 The Lowest Level Linked to Cancer:  For magnetic fields, the strongest evidence comes from the Swedish epidemiological study which reported increased leukemia for children at levels of 2.0 mG or more (Feychting & Ahlbom, 1993).  Also, a Canadian study has reported increased leukemia starting at 1.5 mG for children under age six (Green, Miller Villeneuve, Agnew, Greenberg, Li & Donnelly, 1999).  And a German study has linked exposures as low as 1.0 mG to reduced survival rates for children recovering from leukemia (Svendsen, Weikopf, Kaatsch & Schuz, 2007).
 
Note 2 The Average Level in US Homes for magnetic fields is derived from nationwide research studies and confirmed by my own testing experience.  The average levels for electric fields and RF fields are estimates based on my 20 years of professional testing in the San Francisco Bay area.
 
Note 3 The BioInitiative Report Recommendations are from the 2007 “BioInitiative Report: A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields” (go to www.bioinitiative.org).
 
Note 4 The General Public Precautionary Level is my own offering to concerned clients based on my own understanding of the EMF research, and leaning towards caution.  For example for magnetic fields, to offer some margin of safety below the 1.0 mG linked to cancer, I might suggest a safety level of 0.5 mG.
 
Note 5 The EMF Hypersensitivity Advisory is based on anecdotal experience by EMF professionals like myself who often find it necessary to reduce EMF exposures below these levels for sensitive individuals to report relief of their symptoms.  However, there is no guarantee that these levels will be low enough for any particular person – especially with RF exposure, as some people report symptoms at surprisingly low levels.
 
Note 6 The FCC Guidelines for General Public show the current US standards for Radio Frequency exposure from FCC/OET Bulletin 56, based on the ICNIRP guidelines (go to http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Engineering_Technology/Documents/bulletins/oet56/oet56e4.pdf).
 
Note 7 The ICNIRP Guidelines for General Public are taken from the commonly cited 1998 publication by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (go to www.icnirp.de/documents/emfgdl.pdf).
 
Note 8 The official safety level depends on frequency.  Value shown is for frequencies of 2.0 GHz and higher.
 
Note 9 I am engineer, not a medical doctor, and I cannot diagnose or treat any EMF-related health problems.  Please consult with your own doctor or other health professional regarding proper exposure guidelines.

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