NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Comparison of extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic field personal exposure monitors.
McDevitt-JJ; Breysse-PN; Bowman-JD; Sassone-DM
J Expo Anal Environ Epidemiol 2002 Jan-Feb; 12(1):1-8
The MultiWave System III (MW III), a recently developed personal monitor for extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields, was compared with the standard EMDEX Lite (Electric and Magnetic Field Digital Exposure System), the type of monitor widely used in epidemiology and other exposure assessments. The MW III captures three-axis magnetic field waveforms for the calculation of many exposure metrics, while the EMDEX monitors measure only the root-mean-squared (RMS) vector magnitude (or resultant). Thirty-eight partial period personal samples were monitored in six different job classifications. The sampling time for each personal sample ranged from 90 to 133 min, with a mean sample time of 110 min. The EMDEX Lite and MW III were evaluated by comparing the maximum and partial period time-weighted average (TWA) of the ELF magnitude. TWA exposures measured for the 38 partial period samples by the EMDEX Lite ranged from 1.2 to 65.3 mG, with a mean of 18.1 mG, while corresponding values for the MW III ranged from 1.1 to 65.8 mG, with a mean of 17.7 mG. The maximum magnetic field exposures measured for the 38 partial period personal samples by the EMDEX Lite ranged from 27.0 to 420.2 mG, with a mean of 216.3 mG, while corresponding values for the MW III ranged from 40.2 to 1311.8 mG, with a mean of 368.4 mG. The maximum and TWA ELF magnetic field exposures measured by the EMDEX Lite and MW III were compared using a two-tailed, paired t-test. Analyses indicate that there was no significant difference in the TWA magnetic field magnitude measured by the EMDEX Lite and MW III. On the other hand, the EMDEX Lite reported significantly lower (P=0.002) maximum magnetic field measurements compared to the MW III. From a detailed analysis of the time traces, the EMDEX Lite appears to measure the ELF magnitude inaccurately when the field changes rapidly over a 4-s sampling interval. The results of this comparison suggest that the standard EMDEX Lite and MW III provide similar measure of the TWA magnetic field in a variety of occupational settings and ELF magnetic field magnitudes. However, the EMDEX Lite underestimates maximum exposures when compared to the MW III.
Electromagnetic-fields; Occupational-exposure; Cancer; Exposure-limits; Bioelectric-effects; Occupational-hazards; Electrical-workers; Electrical-safety; Workers; Monitors
Bloomberg School of Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21205
Issue of Publication
Research Tools and Approaches: Exposure Assessment Methods
Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology
MD; OH; NM
Johns Hopkins University
Page last reviewed: October 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division