EMF Health-effects Research

Foot currents and ankle SARs induced by dielectric heaters.

Conover DL, Moss CE, Murray WE, Edwards RM, Cox C, Grajewski B, Werren DM, Smith JM,

Bioelectromagnetics 13(2):103-110, 1992

Data are presented on ankle-specific SARs and foot currents as a function of strengths of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields encountered by operators of dielectric heaters. The determination of foot currents was based on near-field exposures in which reactive coupling dominates, and which can result in substantial SARs in exposed workers.

The operators were located less than one wavelength from--usually within one meter of--the dielectric heaters, which generated fields at frequencies from 6.5 to 65 MHz. At distances normally assumed by workers, maximal strengths of electric fields ranged from 10(4) to 2.4 x 10(6) V2/m2; maximal strengths of magnetic fields ranged from 5.0 x 10(-3) to 33.3 A2/m2.

Currents through both feet to ground were measured while operators stood where they normally worked. Maximal currents ranged from 3 to 617 mA, rms. Nearly 27 percent of the dielectric heaters induced foot currents that exceeded the 200-mA limit that has been proposed for a new ANSI C95.1 standard.

Twenty percent of the heaters induced foot currents that exceeded 350 mA. SARs in ankles were calculated from foot currents, and they approximated 5 W/kg at 100 mA, 29 W/kg at 250 mA, and 57 W/kg at 350 mA. The maximal SAR in the ankle was approximately 176 W/kg at 617 mA.

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