Manufacturers of Implanted Heart Devices

Manufacturers of implanted heart devices often provide information on electromagnetic interference.  This typically covers a range of sources.  Advice often includes avoiding letting the implanted device get too close to certain sources of fields such as some household appliances, some walkie-talkies and similar transmitting devices, etc.  Some manufacturers’ literature does not mention high-voltage power lines, some gives a fairly low-key warning such as "do not linger".

The following does not claim to include every single manufacturer but where we know of advice we have included it.

Biotronik

On their website page "living with a pacemaker" they say:

"Please consult your physician if you use any of the following devices or if you are within their range of interference:

•Machines that generate strong vibrations (e.g., drills)
•Firearms
•Electrical equipment with strong electrical fields (high-voltage power lines; radio, television and radar stations; nonshielded ignition systems)
•Arc welders"

Boston Scientific

Their Electromagnetic Interference Information does not mention power lines, though it lists many other sources of electromagnetic fields where it says care or precautions may be required.

Medtronic

Medtronic's Electromagnetic Compatibility Guide says that low-voltage power lines are "no known risk" but does not mention high-voltage power lines.

In other advice available to healthcare professionals, Medtronic state:

“Power lines - high voltage
Low risk of affecting Pacemaker or ICD when walking, driving underneath, or living in a house or building nearby. Individuals servicing high voltage power lines have the potential for Pacemaker reversion or ICD shock. For this work environment contact Medtronic Technical Services to review specific concerns”

and in another document:

"Avoid high intensity electromagnetic fields. Large TV or radio transmitting towers and power lines carrying more than 100,000 volts are likely to interfere with your pacemaker. Areas for the general public are safe, however, avoid areas that have restricted access, such as:
• Broadcasting antennas of AM, FM, shortwave radio, and TV stations
• Power plants, large generators, transmission lines, transmission buildings
• Sometimes public walkways are underneath transmission lines. Avoid extended time in using a public walkway if there are overhead transmission lines."

In a 2013 standard letter, Medtronic state that "field intensity limits" for pacemakers and ICDs at power frequencies are 10 kV/m (for nominal settings) and 100 µT (actually stated as the equivalent 80 A/m):

table from Medtronic letter

St Jude Medical

St Jude's information for patients with pacemakers discusses various sources of electromagnetic interference but does not mention power lines.

In a document "EMI in the Workplace Environment", St Jude Medical state that the "field strangth test limits" for pacemakers and ICDs at power frequencies are 6 kV/m and 100 µT (actually stated as the equivalent 80 A/m).

Sorin Group

Sorin Group under "living with your pacemaker, your ICD or your CRT device" say:

"Keep away from:
any radar equipment, large TV or radio transmission towers, power lines carrying more than 100,000 volts"