Electromagnetic fields in contemporary office workplaces
¹Tallinn University of Technology, Ehitajate tee 5, EE19086 Tallinn, Estonia;
²Tallinn University Haapsalu College, Lihula mnt. 12, EE90507 Haapsalu,Estonia
Technological progress and widespread use of electronics has rapidly increasedlevels of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in workplaces during the last decade. Today’s workersare exposed to levels of EMFs unprecedented in history. This has caused concern amongst thegeneral public. Although the EMF levels of such modern devices fall within current safetylimits, the recent studies have still raised questions regarding the biological effects well belowthe safety limits. The European Union and the World Health Organization have called forscientists to conduct more studies in this field and to investigate all aspects of EMFs. The aimof this study was to quantify the actual levels of the EMFs in contemporary workplaces. Asmost of studies have only addressed a certain frequency range, this study covers all thespectrum of low (LF), intermediate (IF) and high frequency (HF) EMFs. Altogether 69workplaces were investigated. Great variations were detected across the workplaces, dependingmainly on the computer set-up configuration. Exposure levels proved to be affected by thenearby electrical equipment, arrangement of wires or faulty appliances. At the end of the paperthe authors discuss different network connection technologies and provide the results whichsuggest solutions for lower HF EMF exposures that allow for following of the precautionaryprinciple.Key words: electromagnetic fields, occupational exposure, office, reduction, mitigation.