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Phys Med Biol. 1996 Jan;41(1):71-81.

Domestic magnetic field exposures in Avon.

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  • 1Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering, Bristol Oncology Centre, UK.


To define a protocol for surrogate measurement of magnetic field exposure by questionnaire, a series of spot and 24-hour measurements was made at 50 houses in Avon, UK. Measurements were made with Emdex II equipment in the centres of rooms with the house power encountered at the start of the visit, and then with all power to the house isolated at the main switch. The mean spot magnetic field averaged over the 50 homes for each room varied between 0.011 and 0.023 microT with an overall mean (0.017 +/- 0.003) microT with the power 'on', and between 0.008 and 0.015 microT, giving an overall mean (0.012 +/- 0.002) microT with power 'off'. Measurements over 24 h in the three main occupancy rooms showed a distinct diurnal variation in the overall mean magnetic field of the 50 homes by a factor of three, giving a 24-hour mean of (0.044 +/- 0.06) microT; at the same time mean recorded personal exposure for the occupants monitored was (0.067 +/- 0.08) microT. These values appear low compared with, for example, USA domestic levels of magnetic field exposure demonstrated in several studies, but also show a wide variation in individual values, which could not be predicted from spot measurements.

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