Protect People from the Effects of Electromagnetic Fields in Work and the Environment

Since the middle of the last century, there has been a massive boom in technical sources of electromagnetic field (EMF). Recently, this is particularly the development of wireless technologies (such as mobile phones, WiFi, etc.). These technologies have resulted in improved quality of life for people, but also uncertainty about possible negative health effects. Despite the support given by the WHO or the EU to research the impact of electromagnetic fields on human health, most citizens now feel that their public authorities are not sufficiently aware of measures to protect against electromagnetic radiation.

Company VUJE, a.s. within its activities deals with the issue of electromagnetic field levels objectification. For this purpose, since 2005, it has operated an accredited testing laboratory for electromagnetic fields. The laboratory performs measurements and calculations of the intensity of low frequency and high frequency electric field and low frequency magnetic induction and ensures the solution of research tasks aimed at objectification of EMF levels in the vicinity of OHL, electric stations, as well as in places of residence of the population.

The most extensive EMF project was focused on development the electromagnetic fields maps for cities in Slovakia with population more than 10,000 inhabitants. The results are in the form of digital maps of electromagnetic fields available on web via Overall, within the project were realized EMF calculations on the area of ​​3 960 km2 (about 8% of the territory of Slovakia), where live more than 2 mil. people (about 38%). During the project, EMF measurements were made at more than 20,000 places within the Slovak Republic. On the basis of the results it can be stated that in any city there was no exceeded the action value of the intensity of the electric field determined by the legislation. The highest field intensity: 5.5 V/m, was calculated in the city of Košice. More than 90% of the calculated field intensities were less than 0.5 V/m. The largest contribution to the overall EMF level was given by mobile operators' bands (average GSM contribution - about 35%, UMTS - about 17%). The average contribution to the overall EMF level in the FM band was approximately 6.2% and DVB-T 5.7%.

For reasons of ensuring adequate protection for the public against the adverse effects of EMF, the concept of 'reasonable exposure minimization' is being promoted in some developed countries. This concept in practice means adopting simple, easy-to-perform, low-cost measures to minimize exposure to the population, even when the risk of exposure to electromagnetic fields is not significant (exposure levels are lower than the limits set by legislation). An example of complying with the concept of "reasonable exposure minimization" may be to plan the construction of medical facilities, playgrounds, schools and pre-school facilities in sites with the lowest electromagnetic field exposure levels. However, this approach can´t be applied in practice without relevant information on the achieved levels of electromagnetic fields.


Ľuboš Skurčák, VUJE, a.s., Slovakia