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..
|Limit||Full name of organisation||Where it is used|
|ACGIH||American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists||Published annually in the USA, but not formally binding|
|NRPB 1993||National Radiological Protection Board||The exposure limits that applied in the UK from 1993 to 2004|
|ICNIRP 1998||International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation||The basis of the limits that now apply in the UK and Europe|
|EU 1999||European Union||European Recommendation on public exposure, based on ICNIRP (1998)|
|ICES 2002||International Committee on Electromagnetic safety||Not yet adopted in any country that we know of|
|EU 2004||European Union||European limits on occupational exposure, currently deferred pending revision|
|NRPB 2004||National Radiological Protection Board||Recommendation to Government to adopt ICNIRP (1998) in the UK|
|SBM 2008||Institute for Building Biology||No official status and not adopted in any country that we know of|
|ICNIRP draft 2009 (details no longer provided)||International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation||Draft for consultation|
|ICNIRP 2010||International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation||New guidelines|
|EU 2011 (details no longer provided)||European Union||Commission proposal to replace 2004 Directive on occupational exposure|
|EU 2013||European Union||European Directive on occupational exposures, replaces 2004 Directive and 2011 Draft.|
|UK Regulations 2016||UK||Implements the 2013 European Directive on occupational exposures.|
|IGNIR 2018||International Guidelines on Non-Ionising Radiation||No official status and not adopted in any country that we know of|
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:
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.