Occupational exposures

Sources of field at work

Many workers receive more exposure at work than at home, despite the lower time spent there. Fields in workplaces tend to be higher than in homes, partly because of the greater concentration of appliances. The mean field experienced at work by a recent sample of office workers was 0.18 microtesla (µT).

Certain industries have particular items of equipment which involve high currents and produce high fields. In the Electricity Industry, examples are live-line work, generator busbars in power stations and some reactive-compensation plant in substations. High electric fields come when climbing pylons with live circuits.  In other industries, certain welding, heating and electrolytic processes can produce high fields. In general these high fields affect only specific workers and not the general public. An increasing number of industries (including the UK electricity industry) limit the exposure of their workers according to the guidance of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. more on exposure limits in the UK.