Comparison of personal exposure meter placement for the determination of office worker ELF magnetic field exposures

Theresa L. Cutler, Patrick N. Breysse, Amy Schiffman, Sukon Kanchanaraksa, Brian C. Rooney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This article compares extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic field exposures measured by placing EMDEX Lite personal exposure meters (PEMs) at the head, chest, and waist level for a group of office workers. Twenty-three volunteers were solicited to wear three PEMs simultaneously; one was attached to a baseball cap worn on the head, one was attached to a band and worn around the neck (positioned on the chest), and one was worn in a belted pouch around the waist (positioned on the right side of the hip). The effect of PEM placement was evaluated by comparing full-shift average exposures and daily maximum or peak exposure. The results of this investigation indicate that time-weighted average magnetic field exposures determined at the hip provide the highest mean exposure estimates. Averages of the full-shift mean magnetic field measurements taken at hip and head levels were statistically greater than measurements taken at the chest level by 33 and 22%, respectively. Comparisons of the maximum or peak magnetic field exposures by body position indicate that the hip position produced an average exposure estimate that was 136% greater than the average head-level measurement. Results suggest that for office workers PEM meter placement on the body does not produce large differences in full-shift average ELF magnetic flux density exposures. However, the hip position produced the largest daily maximum or peak exposures. It is recommended that PEMs be placed on the hip for exposure assessments in office environments, because this placement is the most commonly used, the most convenient, and resulted in the highest magnetic field exposures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-650
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999


  • Extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic field exposures
  • Office workers
  • Personal exposure meters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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