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Bioelectromagnetics. 1997;18(8):563-77.

Summary of measured radiofrequency electric and magnetic fields (10 kHz to 30 GHz) in the general and work environment.

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National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Montgomery, Alabama 36115-2601, USA.


We have plotted data from a number of studies on the range of radiofrequency (RF) field levels associated with a variety of environmental and occupational sources. Field intensity is shown in units of volts/meter (V/m) for electric field strength and amps/meter (A/m) for magnetic field strength. Duty factors, modulation frequencies, and modulation indices are also reported for some sources. This paper is organized into seven sections, each cataloging sources into appropriate RF frequency bands from very-low frequency (VLF) to super-high frequency (SHF), and covers frequencies from 10 kHz to 30 GHz. Sources included in this summary are the following: Coast Guard navigational transmitters, a Navy VLF transmitter, computer visual display terminals (VDTs), induction stoves or range tops, industrial induction and dielectric heaters, radio and television broadcast transmitters, amateur and citizens band (CB) transmitters, medical diathermy and electrosurgical units, mobile and handheld transmitters, cordless and cellular telephones, microwave ovens, microwave terrestrial relay and satellite uplinks, and police, air traffic, and aircraft onboard radars. For the sources included in this summary, the strongest fields are found near industrial induction and dielectric heaters, and close to the radiating elements or transmitter leads of high power antenna systems. Handheld transmitters can produce near fields of about 500 V/m at the antenna. Fields in the general urban environment are principally associated with radio and TV broadcast services and measure about 0.1 V/m root-mean-square (rms). Peak fields from air traffic radars sampled in one urban environment were about 10 V/m, 300 times greater than the rms value of 0.03 V/m when the duty factor associated with antenna rotation and pulsing are factored in.

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