EMF Health-effects Research

Occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields in physiotherapy departments,

Macc I, Scapellato ML, Carrieri M, Pasqua di Bisceglie A, Saia B, Bartolucci GB,

Radiat Prot Dosimetry, 128(2):180-190, 2008

To assess occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields, 11 microwave (MW), 4 short-wave diathermy and 15 magneto therapy devices were analysed in eight physiotherapy departments.

Measurements taken at consoles and environmental mapping showed values above European Directive 2004/40/EC and ACGIH exposure limits at approximately 50 cm from MW applicators (2.45 GHz) and above the Directive magnetic field limit near the diathermy unit (27.12 MHz). Levels in front of MW therapy applicators decreased rapidly with distance and reduction in power; this may not always occur in work environments where nearby metal structures (chairs, couches, etc.) may reflect or perturb electromagnetic fields.

Large differences in stray field intensities were found for various MW applicators. Measurements of power density strength around MW electrodes confirmed radiation fields between 30 degrees and 150 degrees , with a peak at 90 degrees , in front of the cylindrical applicator and maximum values between 30 degrees and 150 degrees over the whole range of 180 degrees for the rectangular parabolic applicator.

Our results reveal that although most areas show substantially low levels of occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields in physiotherapy units, certain cases of over-occupational exposure limits do exist.

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