Electric and Magnetic Fields
On a daily basis, Canadians are exposed to electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) generated by household wiring, lighting, and electrical appliances such as microwave ovens, hair dryers, and toasters. In the workplace, common sources include computer monitors, photocopiers, fax machines, and fluorescent lights. Power lines and electric tools also emit EMFs. Some medical applications of EMFs include short-wave diathermy and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
During the last twenty years, the general public has become increasingly concerned about potential associations between EMF exposure and adverse health effects.
Health Canada has been taking part in the International EMF Project, coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO). The goals of this project are to verify reported biological effects from exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) and to characterize any associated health risks to humans.
For health effects related to EMFs from power lines, household appliances, and computer monitors
For microwave oven radiation safety
- It's Your Health: Radiation Safety of Microwave Ovens
- Radiation Emitting Devices Regulations, Part III, Microwave Ovens
- Radiation Leakage of Before-Sale and Used Microwave Ovens
This paper presents data from surveys of both before-sale and used microwave ovens in the greater Ottawa area.
For safety guidelines related to electromagnetic radiation emitted by medical devices
- Safety Code 25. Short-Wave Diathermy Guidelines for Limited Radiofrequency Exposure, 1983
Provides general advice to the operators of short-wave diathermy devices, that would assist them in limiting their exposure to radiofrequency radiation. The document also provides data on field intensities for common treatments, methods of measuring the exposure and a brief summary of reported biological effects.
- Safety Code 26. Guidelines on Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields from Magnetic Resonance Clinical Systems, 1987
Reviews biological effects of various fields used in magnetic resonance devices and provides general guidance on exposure levels to the patient and to the operator.
To make an inquiry regarding EMFs and health
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