ELF magnetic field exposures in an office environment

Patrick Breysse, Peter S.J. Lees, Melissa Anne McDiarmid, Barbara Curbow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Potential exposures to extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields were investigated in response to worker concerns about an apparent increased spontaneous abortion risk in a payroll office environment. Concern in this office centered on the use of video display terminals (VDTs), which have been investigated as a potential cause of adverse reproductive outcomes among women. In this investigation, magnetic field sources were evaluated using a hand‐held survey meter. Emdex datalogging dosimeters were also used to determine full shift personal exposures for 15 women working in the payroll area. On average, the exposures of workers to ELF magnetic fields in the payroll office area ranged from 1.0 to 6.5 mG with a mean of 3.2 /pm 1.5 mG. The results of this study indicate that many sources of ELF magnetic fields, including printers, photocopiers, and the electrical distribution system, can contribute to a worker's exposure in an office environment. © 1994 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-185
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1994


  • ELF
  • VDTs
  • exposure assessment
  • extremely low frequency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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