Limits from specific organisations

We give details on a different pages of the legal and regulatory situation in a number of countries.  In this section, we give details of some of the more important specific exposure limits that have been published.  The following table also summarises which countries if any they are used in, and by clicking on the toggle below, you can see a diagram showing which of these limits replaced which other ones..

LimitFull name of organisationWhere it is used
ACGIHAmerican Conference of Governmental Industrial HygienistsPublished annually in the USA, but not formally binding
NRPB 1993National Radiological Protection BoardThe exposure limits that applied in the UK from 1993 to 2004
ICNIRP 1998International Commission on Non-Ionizing RadiationThe basis of the limits that now apply in the UK and Europe
EU 1999European UnionEuropean Recommendation on public exposure, based on ICNIRP (1998)
ICES 2002International Committee on Electromagnetic safetyNot yet adopted in any country that we know of
EU 2004European UnionEuropean limits on occupational exposure, currently deferred pending revision
NRPB 2004National Radiological Protection BoardRecommendation to Government to adopt ICNIRP (1998) in the UK
SBM 2008Institute for Building BiologyNo official status and not adopted in any country that we know of
ICNIRP draft 2009 (details no longer provided)International Commission on Non-Ionizing RadiationDraft for consultation
ICNIRP 2010International Commission on Non-Ionizing RadiationNew guidelines
EU 2011 (details no longer provided)European UnionCommission proposal to replace 2004 Directive on occupational exposure
EU 2013European UnionEuropean Directive on occupational exposures, replaces 2004 Directive and 2011 Draft.
UK Regulations 2016UKImplements the 2013 European Directive on occupational exposures.

The Bioinitiative Report also proposed exposure limits, but it is principally a review of the science so we deal with it in that section not here.

What frequency ranges do these limits cover?

This site mainly deals with the values of exposure limits at power frequencies, 50 or 60 Hz. But many of the exposure limits cover a wider range of frequencies.  At 50/60 Hz and other lower frequencies, the limits are based on induced fields in the body; at higher frequencies, on heating; and, for some limits, there is a separate limit for static magnetic fields.  See how this works for some of the more important exposure limits in this diagram:

diagram of ranges covered by limits

See more on static field limits and on how limits vary at different frequencies including an interactive graph.

The evolution of limits in the UK and EU

The following diagram tries to show the evolution of limits in the UK - which limits replaced which other ones.  It is in two halves - public limits on the left and occupational limits on the right.

disgram showing evolution of exposure limits