Electromagnetic fields (EMF) occur wherever electricity is used. They are a natural by-product of electricity and occur around electric wires and electrical appliances.
Electric and magnetic fields in and around the home or workplace are produced by anything with electric current flowing through it, including nearby powerlines, your home wiring system or electrical appliances in use in the home.
Generally, overhead powerlines contribute little to the electrical fields that exist inside a house or office.
The potential impact of the Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) produced by power transmission and distribution systems is under continued examination.
Recent findings in the UK suggest that a modest exposure to power frequency magnetic fields may increase health risks.
In Australia, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) has set guidelines on acceptable exposure in the workplace and in the home to enable the general public to assess the extent of their exposure and the safety of their workplace.
The electric and magnetic fields produced by the use of electrical powered equipment and appliances in close proximity to overhead or underground power lines can be calculated or measured and compared to the NH&MRC limits.
EMC Services is currently Australia’s only NATA accredited facility in EMF measurements and provides services including compliance certificates or NATA accredited reports as appropriate.
Where desired, interpretation of the results in terms of present scientific knowledge is also available. EMC Services is a leader in the assessment of exposure to power-lines and fields emanating from electrical appliances, equipment and installations.
Both high voltage lines and low voltage distribution lines produce EMF. In most cases, high voltage lines are constructed on easements where building is not permitted.
The extent of the magnetic EMF associated with powerlines depends on the amount of current flowing along the line and the distance from the line.
EMF fields rapidly decrease in strength with distance, therefore inside a house, the magnetic fields from nearby powerlines is usually similar to that produced by the wiring and appliances in the house.
A new draft EMF standard by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) was released in December 2006 for public comment.